04th 5月 2006

My mother’s ideal daughter

My mother’s ideal daughter
Preppy girl
My mother wanted to make me a preppy.
Actually she had made me enter a private school from elementary to high school.
She could not go to school in spite of the fact her brothers were going there since WW2. At that time parents put boys above girls to go to school.

“Be girlish!”

My mother has been saying often and even now she still says, “Be girlish!” to me. When I was child, rice refills had a limit of 3 times.
Because eating a lot doesn’t look good and is not girlish.

Many enrichment lessons

She thinks these lessons must be adopted by her ideal daughter.
The Japanese tea ceremony – The first time when I learned it I was in Kindergarten. I could not understand why almost every hand movement was prescribed, even walking! I ran away from lessons after a few times.The Japanese tea ceremony certificate
The flower arrangement- But I dislike cutting flowers a lot. It seems cruel! I stopped going to these lessons too.
The Japanese traditional dance – Indeed I love it but it was too expensive. I stoppped as well.
The Japanese harp – I have a basic certificate but I can’t play it at all!!
(However I think the tea ceremony lessons were necessary for me. Studying it, I silently understood why Japanese company and family structures have been made like this. So I have started to study it again. Extended entry show you what the tea ceremony is for me. if you like, please have a look.)
The first break in my life
I think I have tried to be my mother’s ideal daughter until last year.
However, once I did oppose her request when I was a high school student.
After my graduating high school, she recommended me to go to 2 yearswomen’s college.
According to her, women should have lower educationthan men, otherwise it is hard to find a husband.
However, I was keen on going to a 4 year university or college.
Because I wanted to become an office worker at a big company and get a good salary as much as I could, so I could rise a child by myself.
Why I thought like this is because my father died, but thanks to my mother, I could keep going to my private school, although it is common that woman became housewife in Japan.
Becoming a good salary office worker is necessary to graduate a 4 year school. Which university you graduate from is impotent to our entering a company and our subsequent life. The higher university you graduate from, the higher salary you can get.
Therefore the competition to get into good schools makes the Japanese over-concerned about our status and prestige.

What is the tea ceremony? (30/May/2005 Kahori OCHI)
It is very difficult question. I can’t find its answer even now.
My teacher told, “tea ceremony refracts Japanese heart”. And she also said to me ”when host open tea ceremony, who must concentrate on one thing, as it is, how to entertain your guest. However, you yourself think of the “how” aspect. I can teach you the technicalities, (Almost each hand movement is prescribed, even walking!) but you must find the “heart “of the tea ceremony on your own”.
According to SEN Rikyu, the 16th-century tea master who perfected the Way of Tea, when he was asked to explain what this Way entails. He replied that it was a matter of observing but seven rules:
Make a satisfying bowl of tea;
Lay the charcoal so that the water boils efficiently;
Provide a sense of warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer;
Arrange the flowers as though they were in the field;
Be ready ahead of time; Be prepared in case it should rain;
Act with utmost consideration toward your guests.
The questioner was vexed by Rikyu’s reply, saying that those were simple matters that anyone could handle. To this, Rikyu responded that he would become a disciple of the person who could carry them out without fail.
This story tells us that the Way of Tea is basically concerned with activities that are a part of everyday life, yet to master these requires great cultivation.
In this sense, the Way of Tea is well described as the Art of Living. As seen within Rikyu’s seven rules, the Way of Tea concerns the creation of the proper setting for that moment of enjoyment of a perfect bowl of tea. (from ura senke HP)
Beside, The custom has been strongly influenced by Zen Buddhism.
My favorite and most famous spirits is “Remember, thought that when you meet that guest for the tea ceremony, it might be the only time you see the guest in your life”.
It indicate that the encounter of the host and the guest in the tea ceremony us a special occasion which occurs only in a lifetime. I think we can say same thing in our life as well, therefore, in my opinion, the tea ceremony is kind of Japanese philosophy.

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