Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Kendo Kiai farewell

A kendo Kiai (spirit) farewell is exactly what I received last Monday (Yes I am behind in the updates- these entries take an obscenely long time to write) when my Kendo club held a sou betsu kai (linguists- sou betsu kai means farewell party in Japanese) to bid me adieu and good luck.

Monday morning we arrived at Kendo to complete some H.I.T (High Intensity Training) before we embarked to party hard for the afternoon. We started practice at 10am and finished at 1:30pm, half an hour to spare before all the parents and the minibus arrived to whisk us away to our party destination- a restaurant on the bay. We arrived at our destination and made our way up to a second storey tatami room where we were greeted with the sight of food….lots of food. The food and drink just kept on coming, spring rolls, sushi, garlic bread, yakitori, yakisoba, ebi mayo- even better was the fact it all tasted fantastic!! Throughout the party speeches were given (including myself) and my club presented me with two framed photos- an enlarged one of myself in my Kendo uniform and one of my entire club and I- I will treasure these items. It was amazing how incredibly sweet everyone was towards me, my teachers wife is a music teacher, she took a famous Japanese song and changed the lyrics to be about my year with Kendo club, then the entire club stood up and sang the song to me (I almost cried). Not only did they sing for me but following on from the song all the club members stood up one at a time and talked about their fondest memories with me and how much fun they had with me- it was really special.

As the Alcohol continued to flow to the adults (Japan has to be the only place in the world your teachers are permitted to become drunk at a school event) they decided it was time to play a few games- bingo (this is a must at any Japanese party) and a strange clapping game.

After much food, many photos and a few tears our party had finished. We thanked the restaurant owners and drove back to school where I thanked everybody profusely for a wonderful party. Let us practice Kendo together once more in the future!