Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Paul's Good-bye is Lawrence's Hello!

Raising a toast is Lawrence in the brown shirt and Paul in the traditional Japanese jimbei!

On July 25, Shiramizu held the 'Farewell Paul! / Welcome Lawrence!' party. Paul was just finishing up as the second intern to have held the position, leaving 2 days later on July 27th to return to Canada. As per position policy, Lawrence arrived on July 14 to shadow Paul for 2 weeks to get accustomed to everything.

Paul and Lawrence were the evening's entertainment by having a natto (fermented soybeans) eating contest!

Shiramizu folks are the best at throwing family-friendly parties. Get a medal at a tournament? Then let's all go for dinner! New to Japan, well then, let's go to Tokyo Disneyland, then bowling, then dinner with 25 or more new friends!

This party was held at the 'Healthy House', kind of a complex of several buildings on about a 10min walk from the dojo. One building is for yoga, one is an inn, one is a new high-end kennel (more designer dogs then kids in Japan now, hence population decline) and another one is a sort of Japanese style lodge where the party was held.

Paul and myself holding a typical 'guts pose'! The fist-pump, victory pose is very popular in Japan, especially with contact sports like boxing and karate. Some karate tournaments even have an official rule that one is not allowed to do a gut's pose on the mat during a match because it is disrepectful to one's opponent in budo sports. But lot's of people do anyway.

Paul with with full-time Shiramizu assistant instructor, Hachizuka Sensei. Nice hat...

Rie and Lawrence.

Arakawa Sensei's youngest son Masatoshi and Lawrence make monkey faces.

Macho men.

Paul's main style is Shotokan, but really the most important thing about being an intern is having a cheerful character, which his really won us over with when he applied. So while he was in Japan, he trained at the local SKIF branch near Shiramizu as well, called Zenshinkan. The Zenshinkan chief instructor, Masuda Sensei, returned with Paul to Kelowna, BC where Paul is from for a 2 week visit.

Masuda, Paul, Masatoshi, Yusuke (Arakawa Sensei's eldest son who broke his arm falling during a running drill at a training camp afew weeks previously), and myself.

Arakawa Sensei brought everyone to Narita International Airport, the main airport for international flights for Tokyo.

Not the plane Paul and Masuda Sensei flew on! They got bumped to JAL, but I only got an Air Canada shot.


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