Oct 20, 2013

MEMENTOS: Simple Countryside Pleasures

Young kids playing taiko at a small neighborhood Odori festival.

Out on a bike ride, I crossed the river that runs between Nanao's east and west side. The yellow building in the distance is Yamada Denki electronics store.

The roller slide that made all our bums hurt!

After the new JETs were settled in, the NSSSN (Not-So-Secret Society of the Noto) had a welcome party in Suzu, the city at the tip of the peninsula. The restaurant we met at had a giant roller slide on the grounds. Of course, we all had to try it in the dark! We threw our hands in the air and sped down towards the shoreline.

After, we climbed back up again to enjoy an incredible dinner. It was one of the best parties we've gone to, nothing but laughs and great conversations.
Undokai (Sports Day) Schedule

Undokai is a special "sports day" event where parents and teachers watch as the kids perform various kinds of exercise. The kids prepare for undokai for months, with girls practicing the madara dance and boys balancing on each other in human pyramids.

On the big day, the students are divided into two teams (red and blue). They march out in step onto the field to compete in relay races, cheering routines, and games like jump rope (with 10 kids to a rope).

When it started to rain in the afternoon, everyone kept going. I was concerned they would catch pneumonia, but no one else seemed to think this was a problem. The tents the parents were under pooled water along the edges and splashed down all at once when it became too heavy.

By the end of the day, the red team had won! Pictures of their big day were posted up around the school hallways, and everyone got the next Monday off to make up for having to come to school on a Saturday.

Later in September...
It's early autumn in the countryside, and the once lush green rice fields blowing in the wind have now been harvested.

Restocking the many vending machines around Nanao.


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