Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mikans and washi

So this will be a somewhat abreiviated blog entry due to the fact that I am writing it in my Japanese literature class. Which, if I haven't mentioned alread, is somewhat terrible. The poor teacher is trying - but I think this is his first literature class, which he was told about two weeks before classes started. So I guess it is understandably terrible.

Anyway- Mikans and Washi. That was the agenda this week for JSP's who elected to participated. Mikans are clementines - which Japanese people do not connect with any english words. Mikans are mikans. But they taste and look like clementines (maybe a little bigger) and on wednesday we got to visit an orchard out in the country and got to pick mikans. We also got to make traditional japanese paper (washi) which is the paper they use to make shoji screens. The two places we visited were out in the country and it took us about two hours to get there on a bus. But both places were surrounded by these hills that were full of koyo or fall colors - which are a big deal in Japan since they have tons of maple trees here so the colors are gorgeous.

First we made Washi which just means that the women that worked there prepared to ten pieces sections of pulp that we were allowed to decorate with maple leaves and flower petals. I was happy because I am always happy when I do crafts. And I impressed people with my asymetrical designs. After that we had lunch in the pretty garden next to the paper

Then another bus trip to the mikan orchard where we hiked up a hill and then got to eat as many oranges we wanted and also filled a bag to bring home with us. It was awesome. My friend Daniel loves picking his own fruit and his giddy energy made us all happy. It was a beutiful combination - making designs for paper and then wandering around an orchard eating delicious tangerines.

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