(1) Kakizakai Sensei's mother, Emi, Megumi, Sensei [wickedly holding up the last challenge in Japanese culinary delights - a deliberate test I am sure], Haruka, Takashi (2) Kirsty, Megumi, Emi, Takashi, Kakizakai Sensei's mother, Haruka, Kakizakai Sensei.
Naturally, it was tinged with some regret that I had to pack up, clean out the caravan and organise to return to Australia but the Kakizakai family helped me feel very appreciative of the nice time I have had in Japan in the beautiful 'city' of Chichibu where I have made some deep friendships and had plenty of time to think, compose, practice. Their family has helped me and always made me feel very welcome and integrated. Megumi and I perhaps share an adventurous, independent spirit and enjoyed very much our excursions together and Kakizakai Sensei is so much more than my shakuhachi teacher. Many times they welcomed me to their dinner table and shared knowledge and friendship. I am glad Sensei is coming soon to Australia and wonder how next I can escape to Japan. Haruka, Emi and Takashi - Kakizakai Sensei's three hyperkinetic children - are also really cool with the stream of International visitors permeating their household. I hope they will maintain their eagerness to speak English and travel.
On our final evening, Megumi prepared wonderful shabu shabu ingredients for us to collaboratively cook in a huge gas-fired urn at the table, accompanied by salads and other idiomatic dishes. Their hospitality extended to a final Shika no tone lesson on the morning of my departure, lunch and a book of photo memories summarising our time together.