Autumn (Tokyo Studio)

Hakuro: Flocks of birds gather grain/ swallows leave (5 of 5)

September 24th, 2008

Hakuro 15 of 15It’s the last day of Hakuro and I am afraid I haven’t been up early enough to observe whether there has been any white dew (hakuro). Nevertheless, the heat that we experienced when we first arrived in Tokyo has definetly gone. Autumn is in the air. (I have also just realised that the calculation I made is slightly misaligned with the Japanese offical calendar. My almanac has tomorrow as the Autumn equinox (Shuubun means sense of Autumn) … no matter.)

It has been a tradition for over 18 years for the Australia Council Tokyo Studio artist-in-residence to participate in an English club ‘conversational hour’ organised for the Tokyo Metropolitan government office workers in Shinjuku. I am the 72nd partipant and I go to the Tokyo Metropolitan buidling No. 1 every Wednesday to chat with club members (who all work for the Tokyo city government) in English. Tamio Fukushima has been organising the club for the past few years and as a welcome gesture, he organised a welcoming party パ – テ for us. The legendary Japanese hospitality soon became evident with when the biru tawa ビ-ル- タ-ワ- (beer tower) made its appearance against the city of Tokyo at night. What a wonderful way to end the first 20 days of being in Tokyo.

2 Responses to “Hakuro: Flocks of birds gather grain/ swallows leave (5 of 5)”

  1. 1 Lucas
    September 28th, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    what happens next with the beer? tell us more!

  2. 2 redmond
    September 28th, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    The tower was smartly drained. Our hosts become quite drunk, particularly the most senior member of the group, Fukushima san. We all then started on Shochu (like Sake but made from any grain – and until the end of the Edo period used as a medical disinfectant) – ladled from small barrels wheeled around by the canteen ladies. Everybody seemed to be smoking and very very cheery. This was taking place in the canteen, on 32nd floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building Number One, on a Wednesday night. At the end of the evening, in the plush foyer, Fukushima san, with the help of several assistants, and encouraged by us, enthusiastically unveiled a large anti-militarism banner he made earlier in the day. Stern faced salary men studiously ignored our party as they headed off to their favorite izakaya for some serious drinking.