“Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.” ~Rabindranath Tagore
I don’t even know where to begin, really. Coming home from Japan and trying to sort through over 2000 photographs is not an easy task. But it’s so much more fun than sorting through my suitcase, so my suitcase still sits. I step over it on the way to the computer and get to work.
I visited many different buildings, parks, and historical sites on my trip. And though parks and castles and food are intriguing and important, my most favourite photographs were the ones I made of the children I met. The smalls.
I learned a very important phrase while in Japan…”Sumimasen, sashin o totte ii desuka?” It means, “excuse me, can I take your picture?” I struggled with it at first. I could never remember the “o totte” part! Once, when I was sure I had it right, I approached a couple of school aged boys and struggled though the phrase. One of the boys looked up at me after what seemed forever and asked me in perfect English, “you mean, take my picture?” Ha!!
The smalls were almost always eager to have their photograph made…except some of the older, more shy schoolgirls. And they loved to “pose”. Which, to the smalls of Japan, meant putting up their “peace” fingers! Even the preschoolers were pros at the “pose”…
I had so much fun meeting these kids. They were so excited to say “hello” to me! One of the little boys I met, walked away doing the fist pump, he was so excited! Hehehehehe! Their smiles and their shyness, their eagerness to practice English, all brought me so much joy. It helped me not miss my own smalls so far away in Canada.
There was never a shortage of children on my trip. School kids everywhere! Laughing, silly teenage girls. Goofy, show-off boys. Families. Just the same. On the other side of the world, but just the same.
And just like every other child I know, their thirst for knowledge and their curious nature was clearly evident.
I even got to help a handful or two with their English homework! They gifted me with a folded paper crane when we finished!
A few things were different…like the wee kids’ busses…
Seriously…my kindergartener would give his right arm to ride on that bus! And I have a bunch of preschoolers and toddlers who would love to play in this play place at the mall…
The room with the balloons in it had air blowing to make the balloons float and bounce around…too much fun!
I have always wanted to visit Japan. Every since I was a small myself. I couldn’t wait to taste all the different foods, and see the buildings. To walk in the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, and feel the ocean on the other side of the world with my very own toes.
Now I have done all these things and more. I have climbed up castle towers, tried on samurai armour, eaten meat right off the head of the fish, and tried my very first hot sake. But the thing I’ll remember the most of this trip is these little faces that reminded me of home.
Arigato gozaimasu, smalls. You made everything so much more joyful.
Thanks for stopping by!
~Arlee, Small Potatoes