Posted by: yoko | June 19, 2004

Remember Where You Came From

I’ve been spending more time do-ing and not as much time reflecting. And that’s pretty good right now.

Friday night was the Congratulations-and-Good-Luck get-together for NYBoundSage. With T-Rings and Pinky, we started at the Tritone, with yummy meals of mac and cheese, red beans and rice, catfish tenders and caesar salad, and drinks– the ol’ gin and tonic, Seagrams & 7Up, Jack (Jim?) and somethingorother, amaretto sour. We then migrated to Bob and Barbara’s PBR haven and met up with Shasta and Sweet Basil, Ashyknees, and Mr. Pink. Toetapping jazz and more drinks. I got home rather late–

And woke up early this morning to retrieve my car from the repair shop, oil changed and de-rattled (loose heat shield, they tell me)– took a very heavy nap once I got home, woke up again just in time to get going to the dojo. The demo team assembled and did a quick talk-through of the presentation before loading up the mats and driving to the Japanese House in Fairmount Park for its 50th Anniversary Summer Festival.

The mats were laid out on the grass, under a tree, and we performed our half-hour show to a good crowd of people. Because of the small mats, it was mostly pairs of people demonstrating various techniques, rather than large freestyle displays. The row of kids in front were particularly impressed at some of the feats, and oohed and aahed appreciatively.

Other martial arts were represented besides aikido– there was kyudo (archery), iaido (swords), and judo. At other parts of the grounds near the house, tables were set up for bento lunches, papermaking, calligraphy, kimono wearing, bonsai displays, and shiatsu, among other things. I met up with Sage and Waffle Lady after our demo, wandered about the grounds, and walked through the house in paper slippers.

After they left, I ran into Matt, a fellow aikidoka who had gotten to the festival after all the martial arts demonstrations. We had a pleasant conversation, watched the taiko drum performance, and even danced in the Bon-Odori dances towards the end of the festival.

I had a great time.

It’s funny how more Japanese I get as I get older– but this Japaneseness has a distinctly Western influence to it. Here, I’m practicing aikido. I’ve studied Japanese and would like to study more. I’ve sampled shiatsu and would like to learn to do more. And here’s my latest idea: I want to try taiko drumming.



  1. I like this idea of you doing taiko drumming. Taiko drumming is big and mighty. I’m a big fan of the big and mighty side of the Yoko. Is there a taiko dojo in Philly? There’s a big one in San Francisco. I haven’t been to it, but I’ve seen their demos and been awed.

  2. I bet you’d rock with the drumming, like you have with everything else.

  3. yeah, I want to be big and mighty and rock. :)

    Unfortunately, no taiko dojo in Philly– I either have to go way down South Jersey or to NYC. I’m going to check out the Jersey one first, as it’s relatively closer.

    The San Jose Taiko group came here earlier this year– they were very energetic and inspiring.

  4. Very cool, Yoko.
    Argh, I wish I had an ethnic background that was interesting. What can one do with english, german and a little itralian? There’s no funky drummer there. And there’s only one-third yummy foodstuff.

  5. Bob and Barbara’s somehow completely slipped my mind until just now. Do they still do their shot + PBR special for $3.50, I think it was? Good grief..

  6. Hey Carol–

    Yes indeedy, although I didn’t partake– PBR (and any beer in a can) makes me queasy.


%d bloggers like this: