So on to the blogpoint and first things first!
I'm fresh out of my now over kendo tournament and HYPED to the unbelievable max!!! Still!!! And it's already 7 hours since my match. (I show no signs of cooling down and I have school tomorrow... whaaat?!)
All the feelings I experienced these last two days were like sum ups of everything through my life through a veil of a Japanese spirit. Yesterday were the team matches, which our girls won, but there were some mishaps, dissatisfaction and other more personal (team) emotions piled up, which made it almost 'magically' human. And it was my first time experiencing such atmosphere, also being part of that sphere. I can't really put it into words (the counter for this saying is running high). It was just so. Human. Without all the negative. Just that.
And so today was my first kendo match! During the singles.
I lost! :D And I'm proud of it. Why? Because I didn't lose in the first couple of seconds or even minutes! One match lasts for 4, just so you know. And I can tell that my opponent didn't have it easy with me either, though our experiences were 5 months against at least 5 years (probably more, but for literary reasons, let's keep it that way). Anyway, I feel greatly awesomely magnificently hyperly human! Just almost exploding! But the part I'm most proud of is that I really gave it my all. Whilst dueling I experienced the real kiai spirit, the Real, real thing. I couldn't stay put after the face-off until the end of the day about 5 o'clock. (I got a banana cake from the mother gang, or the usual cheerleaders of Japan after that :) )
I was and still am and will be really touched by everyone's almost feverish support they showed my during my match. I didn't see anyone besides my opponent, but everyone's voice and advice reached me like a stainless steel filet cutter. Only focus on what you need, let your body do the thinking and just 'dance' with your opponent, eyes and senses wide open. That's kiai for you. I definitely have a new addiction now, so all of you beware! Adrenaline kiai rush, woohoo!
Even our usually extremely harsh teacher looked proud after my duel, even though I didn't make it out of the first rounds. And he's the type of person who doesn't tolerate losing. I'm really grateful for his kind words and understanding before and after that too. :)
Also my host mum and sister with her friends came to watch too. I tried to search for them in the balconies, but with no result. But they said that they saw me, so I'm happy. Having got home we had a little feast to celebrate my memorable day. :) Just so, so sweet of a life! Everything seems so simple and clear and possible now for some reason. Maybe it's KIAI!!! :D
So tomorrow, I'm going to the dojo to return my tournament gear and give everyone some 'thank you' doughnuts (sounds... strange. Simply put). Then I'm on 1 month vacation to study in depth for my Japanese exam in December. After that I'm going back to kendo till the end of my exchange year. You can't believe how painful it is to write these two words.
And speaking of endings, my friends today were in a near panic and some asking with tears welling up 'You aren't leaving for good, are you?!' When I succeeded explaining them my situation the next thing was 'After returning you must come everyday until you're too tired to go home (country).' What a persistent bunch. But that's the reason why I love them to death. And the reason I'm not feeling like going home. Where I 'belong', because I feel currently that I must have belonged here all the time. There are many upsides and downsides in leading double lives (which necessarily doesn't mean a spy. Every exchange student would know what I'm talking about. The meaning of the feeling changes with the time spent in your destination country. Been there, still doing that.)
But besides kendo, over the past blog apsent month I've been slowly but steadily preparing for my exam, going to school diligently, also traveling around Akita pref with my mum and sister (as you might have seen in my photos on FB) and enjoyed the changing seasons. Autumn really is the best. One whiff of that cool earthern damp air made me feel like I was reborn, literally. Just one day, PUFF!, a different person. Just cleared up the clouds in my head. Not to mention the Japanese shun (seasonal) cuisine. Currently chestnuts, potatoes, fresh rice, delicious fish and fruits. I'm living in a treasure chest! :D
So how's autumn over there? Still curious about the outside world, because believe it or not Japan still is quite a closed society outside the metropolis. :)
For now, toodles! I'm going to sing my lungs out before bed, so I could sleep soundly tonight. Even when just for an hour. Anyone care to share some really efficient ways to cure temporary hyper activity? (shivers)
Love you all :)
PS If anyone wants to see my kendo match, send me an e-mail and I'll post you the video.