Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nagoya, who'd you ever know in such a big City?

(Gratituous snapshot of Nagoya Castle - Proud of this photo, Mine Host had it blown up to poster size, printed on photographic paper & kept it on his wall for years.)

Dinner hour has come & gone. The bar is full of Japanese youth. A most unusual sight in these parts. They seem to be a group, led by a well built fit & burly Australian.

Mine Host engages the Australian in conversation, who reveals that the group is a Rugby Union tour, from a university in the city of Nagoya.

Conversation with the Australian coach/tour leader is peppered with bursts of Japanese language as the coach answers queries from team members, or gives running commentaries/explanations to the group at large.

It transpires the Australian is a lecturer at the university in Nagoya, has been there many years, & has made a life there.

Mine Host remembers Nagoya, scene of some of his youthful exploits. The Australian-teaching-at-uni-in-Nagoya is garrolous, cheerful, & good conversation, though Mine Host is tempted to mention his own visit to Nagoya.

... Particularly the most culturally memorable part. He visited (at the invitation of the Headmaster) to a private school, Shukutoku girls high school. The visit was accompanied by much surprised gasping by the students & staff.

Apparently boys never visit to Shukutoku. Mine Host has never been (before or since) the object of such unbridled curiosity, or treated as such an honoured guest.
A demonstration of baton twirling was bunged on, & a student detailed to escort Mine Host around the school.

Mine Host, who had never seen (before or since) an inner city school, marvelled at the dearth of open space, dirt (where do the girls play?) & the high rise buildings. The final photo is of the adjacent Shukutoku University.

Ahh... finally people who would be able to appreciate what it meant for a boy to enter a Private Girls School in Japan. ("So What? You visited a High School, is that supposed to impress someone?" is the response most Australians give)

However Mine Host did not regale the tale, fearing it would get some polite nods & feigned interest. Nagoya is a big city. The group finished their drinks & went to bed, their bus left early in the morning.

Two days later an article in the local paper caught Mine Host's eye:

Rugby Union team visits from Japan. Overnighting in town recently, from Nagoya in Japan, was the Rugby Union team of Shukutoku University......... (etc etc)


Kay said...

We were there last year and saw Nagoya castle. It's pretty awesome.

What fun to know you'd been there too. They must have treated you like a movie star.

Mine Host said...

I beat you to Nagoya Castle by some Thirty years!

Don't know about movie star treatment, but boys in a private girls high school was apparently an event that turned the known world upside down for the students & some staff.

I'm now at an age where I wouldn't mind the girls putting on another baton twirling show for me though!