Jikiden Reiki

Jikiden Reiki is the Reiki from its birth place, Japan.
Nothing is added or amended from its original teaching from Mr. Chujiro Hayashi, one of the 20 students of Mr. Usui, the founder of Reiki.

23 Sept 2012

Sunflower 4 ~Friendship

This story is being continued from Sunflower 3

"Atsui desu. (It's hot.)"

I haven't heard Japanese for a while, and I certainly didn't expect to hear Japanese at that moment, so I didn't know what to say. 

I asked,
"Can you speak Japanese?" 

"Un Chotto dake. (Yeah, a little bit.)" 

He told me his girlfriend was Japanese, that was why he knew a little
bit of Japanese.  --- Who would know his wife will be Japanese at this point ... 

I was not interested in having boyfriend, relationship, romance, marriage,
anything at all at that time, so I remember I felt relieved when I heard that
he had a girlfriend.

In fact, at that time, I was programmed myself that it would be better off to
live rest of my life without a partner or family. Because I lost my parents in an early
age, so I thought, it would be more sad to lose loved ones than live alone in
entire life. I thought, I wouldn't lose loved ones if I didn't have one.
So,I better not love anyone .....

  Looking back, it was a silly fear based program that I made up for myself... 

Anyways, he had a girlfriend, I had no intention to have a boyfriend, so our conversation
went really casual.

"Why in the world are you live in this city? "

"I've been here since last summer as a gymnastics instructor. "

"So rare to see a Japanese in this town. Do you have any friend?"

"I know few people, but I don't have friend."

"What do you do in a day off?"

"I go to movie, bike riding, shopping mall, but not much."

"By yourself?"

"Yeah, by myself."

"What is your hobby?"

"I used to race windsurfing, playing piano, gymnastics, reading book. But I don't have windsurfing gears, I don't have piano here, I can't find any Japanese book, so I don't do much."

"I do windsurfing, too! Do you ski?"

"I can ski, but I'm not good at it."

"I can take you skiing if you want to."

"Really? OK!"

I simply felt happy and thought
"I can go skiing with a Canadian in Canada.  How CANADA it is !!!" 

When we went to ski, he talked about his girlfriend for the entire time. (She was in Japan at that time, and they were in a distance relationship.)  I thought,
"How lucky she is to have a boyfriend who loves her so much!" 

That was the beginning of our friendship. He took me skiing few more times,
windsurfing, hiking and we built a healthy outdoor friendship, and it was
our time to go to Japan.    My contract as a gymnastics instructor was finished,
and he was planning to go to Japan to be with his girlfriend. 

I was so thankful for his hospitality and kindness by taking me to ski, windsurfing and made many fun Canadian memories.

To show my gratitude, I gave him a thank you card. 

I bought this card when I was in Japan, because I like sunflowers. I bought one for myself, and one for a special occasion when I would want to write a card, and 
it was time for this card to be sent out. 

I wrote my thankful feeling with my poor English and gave it to him.
(I am so embarrassed to read now, because it IS really a poor English !!! )

He looked at the card and said 

"This photo is really good for a screen printing. Do you want to make hand printing card with me? "

I didn't understand what is screen printing, but I understood that he wanted to
make a handmade card. So I said, OK

Since then until both of us would be back to Japan, we met everyday for about 1 week. 

I visited his parent's T-shirt printing and trophy shop.  There were many equipment
for printing T-shirts and engraving plates for trophies.  Everything was new to me,
and it was fascinating !

I met his dad, and my first impression for him was,
"Oh my, he has a tatoo says 'MOTHER'. He must really respect his mom. This must
be a Canadian way to show the respect! How cool." 
 --- OK, tatto is a very rare thing to see in Japan. Even now, not so many people has tatto. 

I met his mom and my first impression was 
"She seems so kind. That's why he is so kind." 

They were talking about his niece when she went across Canada by hitch hiking when
she was about 13years old, and I thought 
"How wild!  Do all Canadians do hitch hiking? " 

Everything was so fascinating, so Canadian

At that time, he was designing an engage ring for his girlfriend. So I was giving him
advice as a woman.  "I think this is better.  I think this makes her happier. " 

While we were working on the card, his family had planned a surprise good bye
party for his new journey to Japan.

He thought he was invited to a family dinner, but he found out 
that it was a surprise party for him by seeing all of his friend's cars all around 
the dinner venue.

He turned around and said,
"It's my surprise party. I am not going there."

I said,
"Don't you have to go to your won party? Wouldn't they be disappointed?" 

We ended up going to a lake.

I'm confessing to my family that it was me who spent time with him 
on the day of the surprise party day.  I'm sorry, please forgive me ! 

It was the most fun week of my entire 1 year in Canada. 

This is the card that we made together,
and by the time those cards were ready,
we were both ready to go to Japan.

I can not remember if he left first, or I left first, but I do remember I felt really
sad to say good bye to him.  I told him,

"We will be in Japan at the same time, so please come and visit 
Nagasaki with your girlfriend, it is a really beautiful town ! 

and said goodbye, and without a hug.  

Since we met, we both didn't care how we look, we didn't fake ourselves to be liked each other, I didn't put make ups on. I was in a simple T-shirt and jeans, no dresses.
It was such a casual friendship that we can both be "myself". 

in 2001, we got married :) This is the sunflower magic!

As you can see, my favourite sunflower flourished again in this situation. 

That is why I have "himawari" in my email.  Himawari means sunflower in Japanese.

Himawari brought Mari a happiness.  --- himawarimari

Anyways, thank you for reading this series of sunflower story, 
I hope you have enjoyed my journey with sunflower !

The end...

17 Sept 2012

Sunflower 3 ~ Meeting

Continuing the story of Sunflower.

This 3rd story is the back ground story of Sunflower 4, so you will not find
any sunflower in this story today.

It was 1999 August when I came to Canada for the first time. Directly from
Nagasaki, Japan to Chilliwack, BC. Despite having to face so many cultural shocks, 
it has been already 14th year, now it is 2012.

The reason I came to Canada was to teach gymnastics to children, and I was 
planned to stay only 1 year.
  English was one of my favourite subject in school, but I was one of the typical
Japanese who could read and write English but wasn't so good at having actual conversation. 

Once I landed to Canada and started to teach gymnastics with my limited English,
I thought
"Oh, No.  Maybe I was too brave... But,,, there is no going back, so I just have to
do what I can do..." 

My life in Canada started with challenges, 
with no other choice and no escape. 

Back then, Chilliwack still looked like pure Canadian society. I did not see any
Asian people. Small children stared at me in super markets, and when 
I join some sort of parties, I could feel awkwardness from others, and I could only
imagine what they were thinking,,,

   "I wonder if this person speaks English. I don't know what to say, so I'm going 
to sit far from her ..."  A-W-K-W-A-R-D...

Even though I finally joined in a circle, I couldn't catch up with the native
English conversation, so I could only nod and smile, without understanding what
they were talking about... 

As you can see, it was difficult to make friends. I went to the movie by myself, 
shopping by myself and bike ride adventure in a town,,, by myself. 

My life was like this for about 5 months, but I was OK with it. 

Even though I didn't have any people whom I could call "a friend", I was getting used to
this life in Chilliwack, and I was able to go anywhere as long as I have my bicycle.

I was also getting used to teaching gymnastics in my second language, and my life 
and my heart started to have little more space. 

                             "I wonder if I can find a job ... "

Suddenly I thought about it, and went to a Japanese Restaurant that was close 
to my apartment.

"Are you hiring?" I asked with my limited English.

"Do you have resume?" ,the owner asked.
----- I was thinking, 

"What does resume mean? "

Then the owner asked me "Are you Japanese?"

So I answered,"Yes, I am."

The owner said "Oh,then, you are hired. Can you start tomorrow? "

I said, "O, OK. I will come tomorrow."

"That's it???  Is that simple to look for a job???"

Scratching my head, and went home. 
I thought, 
"Oh anyway, what does resume mean? 
I got to check in my English Japanese dictionary."

"Ohhhhh, resume means resume~~~~! Dumb me."

--- Of course, when you look for a job, you need to bring a resume, 
it's a common sense. But I didn't even think of it, and jump into a job hunting 
and found a job with a single shot.  Such a lucky girl I was !

  It was a new Japanese restaurant owned by Korean people. That is why they 
hired me right away just by being a Japanese, because it was helpful for them 
to have a Japanese who can show them how to prepare Japanese food. 

I felt such a freedom to have a job.  I worked there only lunch time as a waitress, but I was so happy !

 When I was in Japan, I was working for a Mitsubishi Corporation, a biggest company 
in Japan (back then). Some time it became a stressful job by making a mistake, 
or being late for the order especially when I was handing a million dollar contract. 
But still, I enjoyed working and I learned a lot. 

However, one thing I didn't learn with this company is to respect money. 
The monthly wage was higher than most of the other companies and I was earning 
more than I needed, so I was spoiled and numb for the value of money. 

 The wage of being a waitress at Japanese restaurant was $7/hour. Working only 
lunch time and adding small amount of tips, I earned about $25~$30 per day.  
It wasn't a big amount, but I was so happy and also I learn the value of the money.

 The other waitress would invite me to go to the pub for a drink, but I didn't 
want to spend money for a glass of drink!  
"I worked SO HARD to earn this $25 today. I don't wantto spend it to just get 
into the pub and two drinks! I spend enough money on drinks in my life !"

 I found I was acting completely opposite than I was in Japan.  
I felt so much appreciation for the money that I spent on numbers of 
parties, karaoke, drinks etc...  Thank you, Mr.Money.

Anyways, back to the story of the restaurant.
A guy came to this restaurant. 
Who would know he would be a love of my life. 

I still remember clearly. He was wearing a sky blue T-shirt, and he was by himself.
His gentle smile hasn't change a bit, still now. 

"I would like to place a takeout order for my lunch." He said.

"Here is the menu", I passed him a menu.

"OK, I would like to have a nabeyaki udon. (Hot Pot Udon noodle in soup)" 

In my head, I was going through another cultural shock, 

   "Why in the world this guy is ordering a nabeyaki udon for take out! 
   The beauty of the nabeyaki udon is to eat when it is very hot with sweating
   forehead! If you takeout the nabeyaki udon, the noodle will be soggy and 
   it would be  no longer hot. It would wrack the flavour ! "  

But I said,

He said,
"I'll pay now and wait for the food here." and he looked for his wallet only to find out that he left it in his car.

"I left my wallet in my car, I'll be right back!" and he left the restaurant.

He came back right away and told me,
"I changed my mind. I will eat nabeyaki udon here, so please make it for dine-in." 

I said,
"OK!" with smile, but I thought in my head,

"You got it!  Of course, you HAVE TO eat nabeyaki udon here. " 

I brought the nabeyaki udon in a super hot pot to his table and told him
"It's very hot, so please be careful!" with my limited English. 

He had one bite and said in Japanese,

"Atsui desu. (It's hot)."

I was so surprised to hear a Japanese word came out from his mouth ! 

I said, "Y,, You speak Japanese?" 

He said "Chotto dake. (A little bit)"

OK, the story continues to Sunflower 4. Please look forward to the next one !! 

P.S. This lucky day was the year 2000, February(2nd month) 2nd, around 2pm. 
Many "2", my lucky number. Also, Tuesday lunch wasn't my shift date, but the other waitress called sick, so I had to be there on Tuesday. This was the only Tuesday lunch time that I worked for this restaurant, and I met my love of my life.   

Universe always lead us to the destiny....