Okinawa Sunrise

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Nakamura House

Cultural treasures are easy to stumble across here in Okinawa. So although I could use the rainy season as an excuse, I was feeling pretty guilty that given my predeliction for soap-box style rants on the importance of burying yourself in culture and wallowing in history....I had hardly taken a step away from base in the past few weekends. So Adrian and I took a 10 minute drive up to the Nakamura house...a restored home, typical of the Ryukyus that once belonged to a member of Okinawa's landed gentry. It was begun in the 16th century (from what I gathered from the oddly translated guidebook) and was in use until the early part of last century.

As you can see from the pictures it is very open to the elements but very serene inside. Everything is open so that the rooms lead very easily into the living quarters and the alter room into the kitchen. I can imagine it must have been pretty chilly in the winter months and pretty steamy in the summer ones but hopefully it caught a decent breeze. I have come to love the feel of tatami beneath my feet and the calming look of the paper walls. I think when we own a house I shall have to build one for relaxation purposes!

Also outside was a lovely coy pond filled with fish that I think we caught in the midst of their evolutionary process. They were literally walking on their fins up the rocks to get the fish food Adrian was throwing at them!

In other news, I have started my Japanese lessons in earnest! I have 2 lessons a week with a private tutor named Megumi-san....quite literally the smallest adult I have ever known! I am 5'2' as many of you know....Megumi-san barely clears my collar bone. I haven't asked how old she is but I would wager a guess at 75-80. She's from Tokyo originally and very sweet if a little tough to please when it comes to pronounciation.

Since Megumi-san is pretty much starting me out from the ground up, I also head to a conversation class once a week so that I can learn some useful phrases that I can use around and feel like I am making some dent in this language. Next month, Megumi-san is starting me on writing! Yay!

Also...I am finally on my way to becoming an American...wooohoo! I am heading to Hawaii next week to finally take my citizenship test and (if I pass) the oath. All my American readers....I now challenge you to a trivia test on American Government! How many Supreme Court Justices are there? How many US representatives do we have? Don't know? And you call yourself a citizen! :-P


Post a Comment

<< Home