♥ Goukons= Group dates, Nomikais= Drinking parties, Sadou=Tea Ceremonies
When I first moved to Japan, my entertainment consisted mostly of Goukons, Nomikais, and Sadou. Drinking and dancing with the boys, that's where the fun was at. I had absolutely no interest whatsoever in the actual Japanese culture. My boyfriend at the time didn't mind, since his friend thought it was so cool he had a wild girlfriend. Every weekend consisted of goukons and nomikais with neighboring schools.
We broke up only two months after my arrival.
Some months after that, I began dating Take. He never asked me to stop partying, but it was obvious he didn't approve. I began to explore other things such as Karaoke, Bentou making, and Kendo. Surprisingly, the most interesting turned out to be Sadou.
The ladies spoke to me as though I had a clear understanding of the Japanese language. It was a bit hard to follow at times, but they were really patient with me and helped me along. It did wonders for my Japanese! Spending time with these ladies helped spark my interest in Kimono as well as the Koto. Take's mom rewarded my giving up the clubbing life for something "more lady-like" by buying me a yukata, then later on buying me a new kimono for the new year. Getting involved with Sadou was one of the best things I could have done. Not only did it please my new boyfriend and his family, but it taught me a lot about Japanese culture and inspired further change within myself. I admired these classy ladies and wanted to be like them.
The following pictures are from my last time at the house.
(I realized from this picture that I had horrible posture! This was actually me sitting straight! Now, I've fixed my posture and no longer have back pain ^^)
I've decided to take Shaimsen lessons again at the local culture center, even if only to feel a little closer to a time in my life I felt challenged and a little more alive.I had attempted to play the Koto but it proved to be too much of a challenge and instead turned to the Shamisen. Having experience with a guitar, learning to play a Shamisen had been slightly easier. The woman I spoke to had been so surprised to hear me ask about Shamisen lessons that she offered to teach me for two months for a minimal one time fee!
Whenever I meet new people and tell them I'm in to Sadou, they give me this unusual look. I met a guy not too long ago who assumed I was interested in Anime and Manga. I confessed to him that though there were a few series I still enjoy from long ago, I really had no idea about half of the things he mentioned. "Then," he asked me, "What do you like?" I told him one of my main interests was Sadou and he seemed genuinely surprised, telling me my type was rare.
I don't think that we're rare...but I guess we're not as "easily seen?"
I dunno. I know a lot of people who are in to it. I just don't get why it's considered rare.