Dawn is breaking. Here’s an Hawai’ian dawn song.
I walked over to Waikiki beach before 7 am. The dawn rises behind the hills. Here are some views:
After the walk to the beach, I met some of the participants for breakfast at the school’s cafeteria. The breakfast featured green salad, a noodle-potato salad-egg salad combination, scrambled eggs, miso soup, toast, fountain drinks, coffee, … At breakfast, we had a chance to talk with our instructor for the first two days, Bill Tsutsui, Dean of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at Southern Methodist University, about SMU, Dallas, and the Bush library. Joe and Nancy convened our opening session in the Plumeria Room at 8:30 am, instructing us on the rules for living in the Tokai residence and suggestions for weekend activities.
Bill joined us for the rest of the day to lead a discussion of the geography of Japan, the cultivation of rice and its influence on societal organization, minorities in Japan, and the political history from origin myths to the Mejii Restoration. In the evening, Bill provided commentary on the original Godzilla film and its reflections on US-Japanese relations in the 1950s, the role of women during that era, and cinematic in-jokes – Gojira was the nickname of a Toho Film Company’s press agent, monster whale – about the production of the film. Probably due to jet lag and recent sensitivities, I objected, perhaps too strongly, to the use of BC and AD as not being inclusive and argued for the use of BCE and CE as being more than political correctness.
At 3:30 pm, Nancy led a group to Don Quijote, a part tourist shop, more Japanese grocery store. I bought some refreshments for the film discussion – chocolate macadamia nuts and nut clusters in carmel, peanuts, passion-orange-guave juice, and soju – a Korean saki-like drink, a Hawai’ian outfit for myself – floral short, cargo shorts, plastic sandals, 2 refrigerator bottle openers, post cards and photos of flowers for my love. I left the group to visit the beach again, this time the public beach at Ala Moana.
I’ve been in touch with Debbie and Charlie by phone and with several people at Eastern via email, although we are separated by 6 hours. Looking into Shabbat and Shavuot services. There is a conservative congregation about 4 miles from here called Sof Ma’arav – end of the west – which is an echo of a poem by Judah HaLevi about one’s heart being in Jerusalem although one’s body is at the end of the west.
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