A few words of how life in Japan can be really amazing and once you get away from the fast pace life of Tokyo. While working at my tiny school in Tokorozawa, I’ve had a lot of free time to go and take photos. Walking through green tea fields, seeing the flowers that people take time to tend, to fields where people anonymously dump their trash. Tractors no longer used become a testament to how we all move on and somethings are just forgotten.
Every afternoon, to get out of the stuffy office environment, I would take some time to walk in the near by neighborhood and take pictures of flowers. This particular house, every week would have new freshly planted roses and tulips and carnations and daisies. One day as I was taking some photos, a lady came to me and asked, in Japanese “What are you doing?” Shocked I responded in English, “Nothing!”
The voice came from a very small petite lady, who stood with perfect posture and a sweet smile. I then proceeded to tell her in Japanese, I’m a teacher at the school nearby and that when I have free time I love to come see the flowers and that I can see the hard work put into arranging them. After exchanging names she invited me to take some photos of other flowers she had arranged closer to the entrance of her house and outside the back door. For weeks I have talked to this lady and she is always so inviting and sweet. For months I continued to go talk even for a few moments. Almost a year passed and one day, she asked me, “Do you like opera?”. Curious to where the conversation was going, I said, “yes”, but I couldn’t name any famous persons or singer, “I do enjoy music.”
Turns out that the perfect posture came from my friend being an opera singer! For years she has performed around Japan. “If you have free time, please come to my next opera session.” I’ve never been to an opera but I figured I should wear a suit and maybe some decent shoes with it, worried about tying my tie correctly, shaved and cut my hair. Turns out I was the only person other than the performers to be dressed up. I’m not sure why , but jeans and a shirt is good enough.
Today is my last day at this school, and I did my weekly routine and went to see my friend. She cried to know that I won’t be coming by as much to see the flowers and appreciate her works of art, but I told her that anytime she can contact me, and I also passed her the photo that was taken of us from the show. Thank you so much Nakazawa San!!