Friday, October 19, 2007

Samurai warrior

Today we headed back to the samurai town of Kitsuki and I learnt even more facts about the detailed lives of the samurai. Today it was a lesson in swords. Did you know that when a sword is placed to "rest" in its holder the blade should be facing up and the handle should be pointing to the left side... this is to show that you do not intend to kill anyone with it (unless of course you are left handed...). Terry got to have a bit of a swing with a sword and Mr. Nishi found a great umbrella for a beautiful "2-shot".
Next it was time for the traditional tea experience, where as usual the atmosphere and the enthusiasm of the owner were more appreciated than the actual tea itself! The owner of this shop never fails to amaze me. When we walked in today it was obvious looking in the back room that someone close had died very recently. It turned out to be her father-in-law who had been the 9th generation owner of the shop and who had died only about a week before. Despite this the shop remained open and the owner managed to make us feel more than welcome while also dealing with visitors who had come to pay their respects. When I asked if she had thought of closing the shop for a few days she said it would never cross her mind - she would never want to dissapoint someone who might try to come to the shop and discover it was closed. Of course she didn't have to be there for all the time herself, but her dedication to the business is just incredible. One place I never get sick of going to!

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