Saturday, May 8, 2010

Our Last Night in Matsuyama City

Two days before our scheduled departure from Matsuyama City in Ehime Prefecture, the members of the Ehime Overseas Cooperative Association (EOCA) threw a farewell party at Ana Hotel, our home away from home for the past 9 days. Check this hotel out right here.


Ana Hotel Matsuyama

It was a lovely chance to reconnect with my foster parents and their beautiful daughter who spent most of the night just running around the spacious ballroom.


With my super kind Foster Parents

As a token of our appreciation for their unbelievable hospitality, we performed a special song and dance number especially for them. Actually, we've rehearsed this piece countless times already. So we felt that we could actually do this in our sleep.

Dancing an array of Philippine Folk Dances
during our Farewell Party

Great friends, good food... What more could you possibly ask for?

I did find out the answer to this just minutes later when I was practically thrown onto the stage by my co-delegates to perform this Japanese ritual. It was just for show, but I tell you, pounding a make-believe rice cake with that hammer-shaped pestle and a drum shaped mortar was no joke.

Just imagine doing the pounding for at least a minute! I could almost hear my biceps and triceps screaming for me to stop. I just couldn't understand why my soon-to-be-hubby still managed to smile in this picture. Let me guess... Clearly, it's just a photo-op during one of his trips in Japan.


Soon after performing that ritual, I learned that Japanese farmers considered the mortar and pestle as their most prized possessions until about the introduction of the rotary quern during the 18th century. They used this piece of equipment not only for milling but also to make delicious rice cakes for ceremonial purposes.




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