Sunday, October 30, 2011

Birthday Gift from the Earth 母なる大地からの誕生日プレゼント

My dear friend April brought these beautiful vegetables and fruits as a birthday gift! She grew them and harvested them...

Wow, what a nice gift from the mother earth delivered through my friend!



Friday, October 28, 2011

Diwali Festival & My Birthday ディワリ・フェスティバルと私の誕生日

It was an honor to be invited again to dance Odissi at the Haleakala Waldorf School's Diwali Festival yesterday. (Here is the last year's blog entry.)

This year it fell on my birthday (in Japan time; since I was born in Japan, I feel like the Japan time birthday is more genuine than the U.S. time birthday).

Diwali is an important festival known as the "festival of lights" in Indian culture. According to Wikipedia, "the name 'Diwali' is a contraction of 'Deepavali' which translates into 'row of lamps.'" "While the story behind Deepavali and the manner of celebration varies from region to region, the essence is the same – to rejoice in the Inner Light."

My name Akari means "light" in Japanese. In Japanese, there are two words to describe "light" - hikari and akari.  I think that akari is softer light than hikari, not so bright. According to my parents, they named me Akari in the hope that I would grow into a person who could provide comfort and inspiration like how candle lights do. Aside from whether I am fulfilling their hope or not :), I love my name and appreciate them for naming me so.

Come to think of it, I thought that it was quite an interesting and auspicious coincidence to perform Odissi dance at Diwali - Festival of Lights on my birthday as I am stepping into the path of Odissi more seriously.

Last night was the very first time I performed Odissi dance by myself. I had performed alone many times in different dance forms but not in Odissi until last night. I look back my performance and have lots of constructive criticism from the technical aspect, but from the spiritual aspect, I fully put my heart into it; I dedicated it to light within each person who was there...

-------------------- Japanese -------------------




日本語を話される方はご存知でしょうが、私の名前「あかり」は光を意味しますよね。日本語には英語でいうlight(光)を表す言葉が主に二つあると思います。「ひかり」と「あかり。」個人的にはあかりの方が柔らかいイメージがあります。ひかりは力強く眩い感じ。両親曰く、「将来人々に安堵と希望を与えるロウソクのあかりのような人になってほしい」という願いを込めて名付けたそうです。果たしてそのような人になっていけているかは別として :)、私は自分の名前が大好きで、そのような素晴らしい願いと共に名付けてくれた両親に感謝しています。



Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sheetal Gandhi's Bahu-Beti-Biwi シータル・ガンディーのパフォーマンス

This past Thursday, my dance teacher, Sarala, her mom who was visiting from the mainland, and I went to see Sheetal Gandhi's performance called "Bahu-Beti-Biwi" at Maui Arts & Cultural Center. 

Her unique background and creativity were brilliantly sparkling, and I enjoyed the evening very much. It was her solo show on the big castle theater stage, but she completely and confidently filled the space with her existence.

Since Sarala knew Sheetal, we briefly visited her after the performance, and I was surprised how petite she was off the stage. I know many people say that to me, too, and I am aware that people look larger on the stage, but in her case, it was significant difference :)

It was inspiring to see another female dancer working hard to give birth to new creations and sharing them with the world.


彼女のユニークなバックグランドと創造性が見事に発揮されていました。とても見応えのあるものでした。 彼女が全てソロでパフォームしていたのですが、あの大きなキャッスルシアターのステージに呑まれることなく、空間を彼女のエネルギーで満たしていました。



Sunday, October 9, 2011

Paia Bay Coffee パイアベイ コーヒー

When I was driving through Paia, I found a new coffee shop!
I don't drink coffee (just because it tastes bitter to me, and when I was a child, my parents told me that I would not grow taller if I drink coffee), but I like coffee shops because they have a nice atmosphere to just sit, relax and have a cup of tea or to bring a laptop in and work, work, and work.



It was a very cute coffee house. 

It even has a free Wi-Fi.
The owners were nice, too. When I walked in, they were quite busy trying to serve a group order, but they had friendly smiles :)


You can eat outside, too.

It's right next to the bead store.
Address: 43 Hana Highway, Paia, HI 96779
Tel: (808)-579-3111

Check them out!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The First Week of October 10月の第一週

One morning, I was presented with these generous gifts left in front of my door - a car and a motorbike. How lucky!!!

ある朝玄関の前に、車とバイクのプレゼントが・・・ 何てありがたいんでしょう!

It's actually my landlord's almost-2-year-old son's :) If you see me driving around with these vehicles in town, please honk at me ;)


The first week of October was fall break. (In Hawaii, public schools have a shorter summer break than other mainland schools but has a fall break. There are pros and cons.) I have been running since the school started on August 1st, but I could finally catch a breath. On the first day of fall break, I went to the beach for the first time in two months! Yes, that can happen. Living on Maui does not mean that you get to go to beach all the time. I went there with Sarala and her two kids. It was fun to swim with them!


And I surfed, too! The waves were small, but they were fun waves. I felt so great!!!!!


One of my favorite fruits in Hawaii - Lilikoi (Passion Fruit)
ハワイでの大好きな果物の一つ リリコイ(パッションフルーツ)
The inside looks like this.
I was washing dishes one morning, and I liked this composition.
The black shadow of water running against the blue kitchen counter.
Leaf bug.
I visited the farm where Shaun is staying now, and I experienced milking a goat for the first time.
It was a touching experience, feeling the warmth of animals and blessings of life force given to us.
Shaun and goats friends
A beautiful vegetable garden
The beautiful sunset

Thursday, October 6, 2011

89th Maui County Fair 第89回マウイカウンティフェア

It has come!
Yes, at the end of every September, the Maui County Fair is held in Wailuku (almost Kahului). This year, it was the 89th year. Wow. It's a quite historical! It is a 4-day event which begins on Thursday evening and ends on Sunday evening. Portable amusement park is set up, many interesting local merchandises are sold, children's art work are presented, and many more happens. Last year, Ty and I went together, but this year, he was touring Japan at that time, so Ty's son Shaun and our mutual friend April, and I checked it out.


April trying a hula hoop (although it is hard to see in this photo).
We waited in a long line to get on one ride.
And the next day, I went back there again with my dance teacher's daughter (7 years old). Her parents were planning to take her there, but they were under the weather, so I wanted to take her there for another fun memory for two of us.


Maui does not have a man-made amusement park as we have so many wonderful nature-made ones, but I like to see sparkles in the eyes of the children at a fair. Something about s fair has the magic power to let both kids and grown ups to dream again like little children!


We tried a ride that goes around slowly, and we could have such a nice view!
The white cruise ship is at the Kahului Harbor.
"The Fair"

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Last Bit of September 9月の末のこと

The last bit of September was quite busy since there were parent-teacher conferences at school. I had to complete all the report cards, to organize supporting documents, and to work longer hours than usual (since I lost the prep time due to the conferences), but it was very nice to meet with each parent. I enjoyed getting to know how each child is at home. It's indeed teamwork to raise a child!


The photo above was Black Bear Chili I cooked. Well, I cooked but maybe I should not say I "cooked" because the entire ingredient was already packaged together, and all I had to do was to cook the beans for a little while and add a canned diced tomato. Ty sent me this package (below) from Boulder, CO. Thank you, honey for this easy meal for a busy bee like me :)


I have not read "Be Here Now" in English yet, but I came across with this Japanese translated version of "Be Here Now" written by Ram Dass (as most of you know, he is a resident of Maui, so I occasionally see him around.) It was translated very well, and I read it thorough like a zip! What an honest, adorably curious, and open-minded person Ram Dass is, and I am grateful for his sharing and dedication to seek the "truth".

アメリカのヒッピーなら誰でも知っているであろう、ラム・ダスの「ビー ヒア ナウ」。英語でもともと書かれたものですが、日本語でに訳された本にたまたま出会ったので、読んでみました。とても上手に訳されているなと思いました。読み出したら止まらなくて最後まで一気に読んでしまいました。(ちなみにラム・ダスはマウイ在住なので、時々みかけます。)何て正直で、憎めない好奇心にあふれ、オープンな考え方を持った人でしょう。彼の大っぴらに自身の経験をシェアしてくれる心意気と、真実を追い求めるその努力に感謝。

Below, I will post some views I saw in September.

Baldwin Avenue
ボルドウィン アベニュー
Ho`okipa Beach
ホオキパ ビーチ
Haleakala Highway
You can see West Maui mountains clearly.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Aloha Peace Festival アロハピースフェスティバル

On Saturday, 9/17, I had a privilege to perform both Izanai Yosakoi and Odissi at the Aloha Peace Festival 2011 which was held at Maui Arts & Cultural Center's McCoy Theater.

I enjoyed performing for peace and for the next generation's art education.

9月17日(土)にはマウイ アーツ アンド カルチャー センターのマッコイシアターにてアロハピースフェスティバルというイベントがあり、そこでオディッシとイザナイよさこいの両方を踊らせて頂きました。


From left: Yako, me, Sarala

Maui Izanai Dancers (of the day)
From left: me, Yako, Mayumi, Azusa, Mika, Naoko
We danced Odissi first. Sarala, Yako, and I did one piece called Bottu (or Batu) together.  It's always an honor to dance with my own teacher because it gives me a healthy pressure, and it also teaches me a lot.  Then my friend Yako and I did a quickly changed into Izanai Yosakoi's costumes. Then, I did a solo piece called Musuhi first and then we did a group piece called Over Unity. Between Musuhi and Over Unity, there was a time for Q&A, so I could catch some breath. The audience had many good questions, and I enjoyed answering them.


After the performance, my friends, Chimiko and Kyoko (she is one of my Maui moms) came to visit us at the green room. Kyoko even brought this beautiful blue leis (it's rare) which you can see in the photo above. How nice!


Actually, only a week prior to this event (on 9/8), Kyoko's dear husband, Jun passed away. His funeral service was held on 9/12, and I took a day off from work to attend. I met Kyoko and Jun right after I came to Maui (when I was 18 or 19 years old).  They were the Japanese people who spoke Japanese and made me feel like home. I occasionally visited their home and was served with delicious meals and yummy snacks. Whenever I moved, Kyoko helped me. Whenever I had a car trouble, Jun was there for me. The very first car I owned on Maui was actually bought from them at a very reasonable price (almost given to me). Whenever I caught a cold, they worried and brought some food. They also attended my graduation ceremony. Kyoko is also a shamisen teacher (it's a Japanese traditional musical instrument). She and I have performed together, too. (You can read about it here.) I also remember doing the "Terumi" (a Japanese healing art) on Jun. Losing someone so dear to me let me feel really down, especially since the grief of losing Grandma Elsie and Suga was still fairy new at that point. For a couple of days, my heart was down. I knew that I was going to be okay, but sadness was sadness. Loss was loss. I allowed myself to fully feel it without rejecting or ignoring it. I thought that it was one of the privileges of being born as a human to feel all those raw emotions. So, it meant a lot to me what she was there. I could immediately tell where she was sitting from the stage. She said that our dance gave her comfort and energy. I was so happy to hear that.


This is the video from taped at the event. This is the group piece we did. I must tell you. I made a couple of obvious mistakes :D I am sorry. Please enjoy those mistakes.