Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Gifts from the Ito Family

During my recent trip to Japan, I stayed with a host family in Hiroshima.  They were the Ito's---Yoshikazu and Fumie.  Their daughter Megumi was visiting.  She recently retired from a ballet company that was touring Europe, and is now married and expecting to start a family.  Mr. and Mrs. Ito don't really speak English, though Mr. Ito can read and write it.   Megumi was our translator.  

It was a real treat to stay in their very comfortable home in the Saeki-ku section of Hiroshima.  I had been told that Japanese homes are small, but theirs was very spacious and comfortable.  Mr. Ito's mother also lives with them, but she has Alzheimer's and so I didn't have much interaction with her.  They served me a very nice meal, with special dishes. It was a huge meal, more than could be eaten at one sitting.  They also gave me breakfast the two days that I was there, but the breakfast was pretty conventional for me---cereal and yogurt.  They also had very good coffee.  It was somewhat of a surprise to me how good the coffee is in Japan--a little serendipity.  I found you could order it either hot or cold.

As is customary in Japan, we exchanged gifts.  They gave me a sweet hand-made doll dressed in a traditional kimono.  As I understand it, it was a gift from the group that was hosting us, Rissho Kosei-kai Dharma Center, as well as from the Itos.  So, as Mrs. Ito explained, she also wanted to give me a special gift.  It was a beautiful leather purse from Inden-ya.  I did a little internet research and learned that it the flowers are lacquer on deerskin and the process of making the leather dates back to 1582.  It is also a beautifully-crafted purse and I find pleasure in just holding it.

The Itos were wonderful hosts, as were all of the people I met in Hiroshima.  Really, they took hospitality to a whole new level.  It was a real treasure to get to know them.  

1 comment:

  1. catching up with your blog...love this painting of the beautiful little purse! You are so good at things like this. :)