In every country there are some flowers that its people take pride in and Ume (or Japanese apricot) blossoms and cherry blossoms are quintessential flowers that Japanese people are proud of. Well, if you ask average run-of-the-mill Japanese people across the nation, they would answer “cherry blossoms” as the ones that represent Japan but in Mito, the city I live in, you might have a different answer. I am not saying this on an idiographic foundation so you have to take what I am saying here with a grain of salt but What I base this idea on is that the Lord who ruled Mito about 200 years ago (a descendant of sons of Lord Tokugawa who ruled Japan for some 300 years peacefully) opened up a national famous “Kairakuen” park in this city and planted lots of Ume trees.
Another story is that umeboshi, the Ume fruit dried and sort of pickled, is considered the best remedy for just about anything. As a little kid, when I had a cold, I had to eat one at every meal and then when I had a headache, my parents even had me put Umeboshi at my temples. Those two reasons combined, I would say people in Mito would say, “Ume is the one representing Japan.”
So, I was running an errand for my family on my mountain bike this morning and the air was so warm that I went on a little bike tour around my neighborhood. As a Japanese (these days many people denied me of my “Japaneseness,” which I do not give much thought about these days. I am what I am and I will do what I love to do. There’s no group or the norm or commonsense from a certain group intervening in my life. I won’t let them kick in. I am beyond all that), it is a duty to take a picture or two of those quintessential blossoms of Japan and show them to you.
Now I wrote my mission statement in the other site I run (that one is mainly in Japanese) . It is pretty much the same one I wrote in this blog. I take to English like a duck to a water. I am happy with working over time as long as it has something to do with English but In my job situation, there are so many other things to do and I am sort of propitiating myself with saying “someday.” What I am trying to achieve in next two years is to increase the proportion of English-related work. Hope I can achieve that somehow.