Ah, where to start? What a whirlwind trip I took to Japan! In a little more than a week, I hung out (usually for long periods) with 14 people, including four proofreaders, the main JOK web designer, and dictionary guru Jack Halpern.
Aside from all the ways in which I enjoyed these get-togethers, as well as the immersion in a kanji-rich world, the highlight of the trip had to be the island of Shodoshima in the Seto Inland Sea. Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote about teaching people to long for the sea; Donald Richie made me long for the Inland Sea years ago, and this desire has never faded. More recently, writing about Shodoshima (小豆島, しょうどしま) in essay 1640 on 豆 (まめ: bean) made me eager to visit the place.
On Shodoshima we saw scads of wild monkeys and even fist-bumped one of them after a monkey show. Strangely, while inviting us to take a picture with the star performer, the monkey handler addressed my husband and me as 外人様 (がいじんさま), linking the rude 外人 (がいじん: "outside person," foreigner) with -様 (-さま), the bit that follows people's names in ultra-polite sentences!
[To read the rest, just go to Joy o' Kanji!]
Causes Eve Kushner Supports
The Milo Foundation, Planned Parenthood, Doctors Without Borders, PCI, FINCA