Earlier in the week my Odori Sensei had bestowed upon me (via Mrs. Sasaki) a new Obi, as well as a pair of ankle length white cotton pants to wear below my Yukata. Whilst I was exceptionally grateful for these gifts, the Obi in particular is beautiful, I can’t help but think that it was more than my sartorial decency that was behind Sensei’s benevolence. Whilst the bestowment of the new belt made perfect sense, my previous one not being long enough to wrap in any decorative pattern, the pants hinted at the fact that I had been a walking charge of public indecency waiting to happen. Oh the shame.
Sadly, today was my final Odori lesson, but I was at least grateful for the fact that I was able to have one session fully, and correctly, clothed. Over the last week I had put in literally tens of minutes of practice, and to my great surprise I had actually managed to memorize the entire routine. Sensei was visibly impressed, and all of my fellow classmates told me how skillful I was. Whilst this is a complete fabrication, I was nevertheless ecstatic that my hard work had not gone to waste, although I must confess that during my performance I was concentrating far more on how to thank Sensei for his time and patience without accidentally cursing his generational line, than I was on the actual dance. At the end of the session there followed a long debate between everyone involving the length of my Yukata, and from the pearls of laughter that kept perforating the conversation I gleaned that it was probably a little short for me, but I just smiled wistfully and let the words flow over me like ripples in a babbling brook.