Today marked yet another national holiday in the Japanese calendar: ‘Health and Sports Day’, and whilst I was unable to partake in any mass participation sporting event, I was kept extremely active by the four small children that seemed to have descended on the house and been left to their own devices. This mainly involved them trying to climb on my shoulders, whilst treating me to several rounds of the delightful Japanese game of Kancho (which basically involves trying to impale your opponent where the sun don’t shine). At one point two of the children burst into tears for no apparent reason, and were swiftly joined by the other two, so as not to be left out. I settled on a ‘solution’ of asking the children to ‘once again become the friends that you once were’, and it certainly had an effect, if only because they all stopped crying to laugh at my pitiful attempts at Japanese.
This evening we all went to the Onsen, and as I was the only male adult available I had to look after a couple of the younger boys. As my instructive Japanese basically extends to ‘stop that immediately you cur!’, and ‘try your best to be a little bit quieter if you would me dear’, it was difficult to get a balance. Still, at least there were no more tears, and less than five people left on account of out behaviour, so everyone was a winner.