Saturday, February 5, 2011

Oni wa soto!

Fuku wa uchi! "Go away demons and good luck and fortune come inside", is what the children and I chanted on Feb. 3, 2011.  For Setsubun, a Japanese holiday, it is custome for the father or an older male sibling to wear an oni mask.  While wearing the mask they come in to the house and the children will through roasted soy beans at the oni and say, "Oni wa soto fuku wa uchi!"   The oni hates soy beans and quickly leaves the house. Afterwards, children then through the soy beans inside the house.  They also eat the quanity of soy beans that matches their age.  With this, the oni will leave you alone for one whole year.  I work at a Japanese school with American children and English is our primary language but we have Japanese staff that tries to incorporate the Japanese culture and introduce it to our students.  Here you will see my students greated by a red faced oni coming to steal our good fortune.  (Mr. Ken)  Our students did really well!  None of them cried, you will also hear my lovely, rich, southern accent.  I hate my voice.
We later were told to make sure to tell the children our oni was not real and it was just for fun.  There was an upset parent or two, but again, luckily, not from our class.  The only child that was upset was Japanese and Mom was okay with it, she just knew she didn't have to have the oni come visit the child at home too.  I think one oni is enough for the day when it comes to 2,3,4, and 5 year olds. 

Lunar New Year came and went, all I could tell you is that it's the Year of the Rabbit.  I figured I'd hear people in the streets or be able to find some kind of festival.  I am sure there was one but I completely dropped the cultural experience ball on this one.  In Hawai'i, I never missed it, go figure. 

Super Bowl Monday!!  You mean, Sunday?  No, Monday.  It's a virtual holiday here!  Crazy, I agree.  Mark is off work so I decided to take an extra day of rest and relax with my husband.  The big show starts at 7:00 AM for us, kick off at 8:00 AM, I can not promise that I myself will be on time for the football festivites, but I am sure many out here have their alarms set.  Not everyone gets off work.  Alot of people do though, lets just hope the post office isn't one of those places.  A service that boasts being able to survive rain, sleet, and snow being side tracked by football would be laughable, but you never know.

Mark and I had our 1st YHOPJ experience today.  Jakkepoes, also known as the Yomitan House of Pancake, no, not pancakes is a pancake place that I have wanted to check out since I have heard of it.  That apparently means something around here because the little eatery sat 5 tables only and shortly after Mark and I arrived the sign up sheet was put outside the door.  A nice couple with their son offered to share their table with us, but we respectfully declined.  I wouldn't have mined but I figured I'd keep my tourist moments to myself.  Parking is almost non exsistent and for that reason I doubt I will put it on the top of my list when it comes to going back.  The food was amazingly tasty, but traffic and seating left much to be desired.  For the most part though, that is an Okinawan and Japanese staple.  Little places tucked in to neighborhoods with not many places to sit, it makes it cozy and personable, but getting in and out seems like a stress fest!  This place is pretty popular, I hadn't heard of it until a friend posted pictures on her facebook and I decided I must try this place.  I had hot milk with my meal which for a little while went with my Anko Pancakes pretty well, until it settled.  I do not drink whole milk often and the heated whole milk was almost too much for me.  You can check out their website here:  They urge you to walk down to the beach for an after meal stroll, but how could you when your care is in the way?  Now to show you our meals.
I opted for the pancakes with Japanese flare, the Anko Pancakes.  My pancakes, which are made fresh to order, the batter is not even pre made, come topped with green tea powder, another powder made from another type of tea, and azuki bean paste.  On the side, fresh, home made butter and whipped cream.  You also see my hot whole milk, along with my spoon for skimming the film from the top. 
My husband, along with his high blood pressure, decided to go with the Meat Lover's.  Spam, egg, bacon, and sausage complete his 3 pancake meal.  At least it doesn't look like it will kill you...much.

Now it's nap time!
Sayonara from the Scott's!

Everday Okinawa:
Will Marie be able to stay with us, she seems to have worked her furry way in to Mark's heart.  It may be her time to go regardless.  We found out, the cat chews couches. Sunabe, we have a problem.
I have come back to work to be temporary lead teacher, but will it be temporary?
Mark has high blood pressure, time to make life changes, but is there something else going on, we will find out soon. 
It rained all week last week, but it is warming up.
Feb. is proving to be a wonderful month to view cherry blossoms, kawaii!
I am continuing to enjoy roller derby.  I hope to work hard so that in April I am actually able to secure a place in the bout and actually be able to play.  It will be on my 30th birthday weekend which is quickly approaching.  I am pretty excited.