Sunday, December 11, 2011

Noah's Himotoki Iwai

A month ago, Noah received yet another letter from our town. Inviting him to take part in the Himotoki Iwai celebration that our town has for the kids who are about to start the first grade. If you research it online, there is very little about this. : ( In fact when I was speaking to my friend Noriko last week when I went to her house to watch the last Harry Potter dvd and have lunch and popcorn and stuff, she said, this was the first she had ever heard of a Himotoki. And Noboru said the same. Where as 7-5-3, there is information a plenty online. But not so much..in fact almost slim pickings when it comes to the Himotoki. : ( From what I gather in the olden days, this was when the kids, were finally a bit older and could tie their obi or belt themselves. Again, I am no expert on this. But this at least gives you a general idea. So what does that translate in the modern world when most kids wear western style clothes? You sure, got me, I was curious too. : ) Well, we phoned a month ago saying, yes, Noah would be there. You were asked to inform them if you were showing or a no show. So, last week, Noah and Sera had to be absent from our yochien. While the rest of their classmates went to yochien as usual. At 9:30am, we all drove ourselves to the Plaza in our town it was to start at 10am on the nose, but we had to sign in first. Sera was there and his mom. Kaito and his mom. 4 yochien kids total and then the hoikuen kiddos arrived. Again they are making lots of effort to chat and talk with the 4 yochien kids and vice versa. I was sitting way at the back in a chair with the 3 other yochien mothers. The hoikuen kids were brought by their sensei's. I could hear from that far away. A little boy from the hoikuen, after staring at Noah's face for a minute, he asked Noah..."how old are you?" In Japanese. Noah, said, I'm 6, how about you? I'm 6 too. Then they chatted a bit more. And that was it. These kids all really want to be friends, I can really tell.
The town leaders came into the room, all 9 of them. 5 gave speeches. And the rest just stood and said...congratulations to the kids. Then they whipped out a basket of presents for the kids. Crayons and Chitose Ame. You can see Noah's yellow sweatshirt on the left of this pic but more towards the front of the class. He was sitting with Sera. It was a fairly short ceremony. Just listening to speeches and then presenting candy and crayons and then done.
After that, all the future first graders all took pictures together. All the yochien kids took a picture together, just the 4 of them. Ha ha ha. Then, the hoikun kids started taking pics, they moved us yochien mom and kids to another area...to go and watch the puppet show by now. And the hoikuen kids came in after they finished with their group photo. The puppet show was open for anyone who lives in the town. So many mother's who have 1-3 year old kids, brought in their toddlers to watch this as well. Sera's grandma came during the puppet show and brought Sera's younger brother. That's what this picture is of. Noah and Sera laughing and talking and Sera's little brother joining them. His little brother will be starting yochien this coming April. Sera's mom and I talked off and on during the puppet show, but the puppet show was actually fun to watch. They're going to Malaysia during the Christmas holiday, since her husband works for Malaysian airline. She asked about our plans, I told her. And she said, we'll both be leaving during the Christmas holiday, and I shook my head. We also talked about the shaon kai, since we're both members and the upcoming Christmas recital.
Noah's treats from the town.
Says, Himotoki Iwai
Very cool crayons. In plastic and they twist up. We have some of these, but Crayola brand. These are good crayons. And Fujiya brand Chitose Ame.
PS, just now Noboru told me, historically the Himotoki was for girls, that were 7 years old. It was a time for them to switch to an obi. My question is then....So, then, why are boys doing this now days? And why are the future ichinensei's celebrating this, when they're all clearly new/just turned 6 year olds? Again, you sure got me. : ) In anycase....this is what Noah participated in last week. : )