150. My Japanese Life by P. Anne Winter

P. Anne Winter. Image courtesy P. Anne Winter.

I was adopted at an early age, appear Caucasian and grew up in Canada. I have never been to Japan. However my draw to Japanese things has enriched my life for many years.

I started traveling as a ballet dancer. Being exposed to other folks’ cultures sparked my curiosity. Since the late 60’s I have had many Japanese friends. They patiently answered my many questions. They gave me opportunities to study its arts, history and sociology. A Japanese chef came to my house to teach me the proper techniques. The mother of a kind woman made me the proper underwear or “Juban” for my kimono. Another taught me how to walk with short steps in thonged “geta.” As a potter, I have even made fresh water containers for the “Chanoyu” tea ceremony.

I feel at home in Japanese surroundings in Toronto — the Japanese Canadian Culture Centre where at one time I taught yoga, the Japanese Foundation, and a host of churches and temples where they have traditional and contemporary exhibits. I go to some wonderful Japanese films. Fortunately, many of these events are either free or very low cost.

On Saturday July 9 there is a free festival called Natsu Matsuri Obon Festival 3.00 to 10.00p.m.  There is an array of traditional home-cooked festival foods, crafts, and toys.  Families can enjoy various activities together such as watching Taiko Japanese drums, or over 100 “yukata-clad” dancers at sundown, and many other fascinating choices.

What makes this Festival particularly unique is that it is held indoors and outdoors. I hope you can join me there.- – P. Anne Winter.

Editor’s Note: Anne will be writing about Japanese-Canadian events in Toronto for this Blog. 

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