Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tagged to the Wall

I've been tagged again! This time the culprit is Pandabonium. The tag is simple enough; I'm supposed to go to my photo archive, look in the fourth folder, post the fourth photo in it, and talk about it. I'm also supposed to tag four more hapless sods victims.

Panda-B himself was lucky; his own #4 of #4 was a wonderful shot from Kashima Shrine, one that was good enough to be chosen for a magazine cover. Coincidentally, mine is also from Kashima Shrine. It's an awful shot, one for which I take no responsibility, but it does bring back a lot of memories:

1999 Shichigosan Mao

You can see the date on the side of the image. It was November of 1999. My daughter is in a beautiful, red kimono that she received from her great grandmother (who is still alive and kicking at 98). We had dressed her up and taken her to Kashima Shrine because it was the Shichigosan (literally 7-5-3) festival, and she was three years old. The bag she is holding says "thousand year candy", i.e. candy received in hope of a long life.

My son was in attendance, too. He's the bulge in my wife's gut. He was born about a month later.

And what a sight I am! I still wear that coat sometimes, but look how skinny I was in those days! (I actually lost about fourteen kilograms [31 lbs.] between April of 1999 and March of 2000 on account of stress and depression. But what's really amazing is that I was still a bit heavier than I was when I first arrived in Japan. I was almost a human pencil then!) I replaced those glasses with my current pair about two months later, and now I'm coincidentally planning on getting new ones. I remember I really liked those shoes; I don't remember the make, but they were comfortable and, most importantly, were easy to get on and off...a necessity here in the Land of the Frequently-Shed Footwear. I wore them out rather quickly. Those Levi's were the only pair of jeans I had at the time, underscoring how much my lifestyle had changed since coming to Japan. (In the States jeans were about the only kind of pants I ever wore.) I wound up wearing them out, too.

My wife still looks pretty much the same. She still likes those Laura Ashley print dresses, too. My daughter does NOT look the same. She'll be entering junior high in a couple of months, and she looks like a young teen. It's hard to believe she was ever that small and babyish. Where DOES the time go? (Okay, now that I've gotten that cliche &%#$ out of the way...)

Okay, let's see...I tag Happysurfer, Pink Panther, Dewkid, and Swinebread.


  • John Denver would be proud of your selection of atire.

    By Anonymous Dave, at 6:24 AM  

  • How fun to see you almost 10 years ago. How long had you been in Japan? Just a few years, no?

    By OpenID nikkipolani, at 2:25 PM  

  • Nice picture. You are doing much better in the fitness department than I am, so don't feel too bad. It would be nice to the whole lot of you now (HINT HINT).

    By Blogger Don Snabulus, at 2:34 PM  

  • Dave
    Ironically, when I first arrived in Japan everyone in my new workplace called me "John Denver". After a few months that changed to "John Lennon".

    Actually not. I arrived in Japan in 1990, so I already had 9 years under my belt when that pic was taken.

    Point taken. I've been trying to get some good, up-to-date family pics to send to my folks, but it's hard getting everyone together and away from their respective activities long enough to take one. I'll do what I can, though.

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 5:27 PM  

  • Thanks for doing this tag. Interesting that Kashima Shrine should come up again.

    The quality of the pic may be less than you desire, but in terms of content it's great! Pregnant with meaning one might be tempted to say. ;^) Super.

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 10:09 PM  

  • Actually, my brain fell apart. My hint should have included the word "see" as in, "It would be nice to see all of you." Pictures are good too though.

    Word verification - Ranst: I ranst as fast as I couldst.

    By Blogger Don Snabulus, at 10:53 AM  

  • Was that a digital photo or a film one? It looked like a bit faded to yellow color. Though it is, also
    a treasonable picture to recall yr. sweet memory.

    John Lennon?? No
    John Denver??? NO..
    That M.M. in 1999 should be a mix-up of John Lennon{hairstyle} + Mr. Bean {mouth}. o_O

    By Anonymous L.C_D, at 1:39 PM  

  • Okay, I think I can handle this one.

    By Blogger HappySurfer, at 3:10 PM  

  • i'd have to agree... john denver would be proud! you do resemble him... has anyone ever told you that before?

    your wife looks very pregnant :) and uncomfortable.. just by her facial expression. your daughter looks adorable!!!!!! soooo cute in that outfit.

    wow... can hardly believe that your daughter will be going into junior high... time does fly.

    nice photo. :)

    By Blogger Um Naief, at 9:11 PM  

  • I am happy to report that I have done the tag.

    By Blogger HappySurfer, at 8:04 PM  

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