What we're about
毎日（まいにち everyday）暑い（あつい hot）ですね。
中国（ちゅうごく China）の詩（し poem）を日本では漢詩（かんし）と言いますが、今（いま）の時期（じき）にふさわしい漢詩があります。
12世紀（せいき Century ）の宋（そう）の時代の詩人（しじん poet）楊万里（ようばんり）の作（さく written by)です。以下（いか following）のサイト（さいと site）より：
夏 （なつ、Natsu = Summer)
(From Japanese Wikipedia)
「竹林を走る人力車」 by たかさん 7-6-2008
Kanji for "Ryu" "Tatsu" (Dragon)
Kanji for Tatsu (mainly for the year of dragon)
(Samples of Nengajyo = New Year Card)
2012 is the year of Dragon!! It's called "Tatsu-doshi" (Tatsu = Dragon, Toshi = Year)
Dragon is an imaginary animal in Chinese zodiac and represents energy and strength.
"People born in the year of the dragon are full of vitality and strength. To them, life is a colorful leaping flame. Though assuming airs of self-importance, being prejudiced, making arbitrary decisions, and indulging in some of the wildest fantasies, these people are always adored. They are proud, aloof and frank. They establish lofty ideals at an early age, and require others to have same ideals.
In China the dragon symbolizes an emperor and power. It is said that people born in the year of the dragon are powerful. A child born in this year enjoys shouldering heavy loads, even if he is the youngest one in the family, while an older child born in this year often shoulders the responsibility of bringing up his brothers or sisters.
Persons born in the year of the dragon are quite energetic, and their anxiety, yearning, and enthusiasm can be almost as passionate as religious fervor, like the burning fire sprayed by a dragon in legends. They have the potential of achieving great accomplishments, and like to act boldly and resolutely, always putting on a great show as they do so. Although often successful, they are likely to be destroyed and to become self conceited or mad about power if they are unable to control their enthusiasm.
Sometimes such a person will believe that he is greatly restricted by society, tenderness and honeyed words. When he flies into a rage, he can become extraordinarily rude and inconsiderate.
Though his emotion can be as fierce as a volcano, he does not always give himself over to blind emotions. He may act stubbornly and arbitrarily and lose his reason when he flares up. But he will forgive you afterwards and wishes to be forgiven. Sometimes he may forget to apologize. In fact he can become so busy with his work that he will have no time to explain himself. Though hot-tempered and arbitrary, he is respectful to elders. No matter what differences he may have with his family, he will offer his help resolutely and generously, leaving differences behind if his family needs his help."
Thank you for finding my group!
I'd like to share my love of Japan where I originally came from, and hopefully it will help you to acquire knowledge about (and familiarize yourself with) the things Japanese.
I'd like you to discover my "Furusato" (hometown, home land, home country...) Japan through this group and on your own, and it gives me so much pleasure if I could be of any help in your discovery.
Thank you and enjoy!
You know I once decided to completely close this group. The reason why was that I had promised to go to Japan together with some members for the first time, but I couldn't keep it because of various reasons and caused problem and trouble to them. I felt so bad about it and I thought I should no longer organize or keep this group.
According to Meetup.com instruction, for me to completely close this Meetup group I needed to ask members to remove themselves from the group. Once everyone is removed I intended to ask Meetup.com to complete the closing process instead of stepping down as an organizer as I was feeling very ashamed of the inconvenience and trouble I have caused and felt that this group should not even exist anymore.
However, many members have shown support, encouragement and desire to see this group keep going. Thank you so very much. While I was deeply hurt by some of the members' remarks, it was very nice to hear from majority of people who tried to cheer me up and give advice and suggestions. They were very understanding, forgiving, and supportive and I was really consoled. I truly appreciate their kindness. And that's why I was kind of dilly-dallying about closing it, without doing anything further, just waiting to see members gradually leave.
I organize another group with 500+ members and that's about food doing all kinds of food-related events including cooking lessons, dining events and recipe exchanges etc.
Last year I hosted an event for Thanksgiving. An opportunity for so-called "Thanksgiving orphans" like myself who don't have families here in LA to gather and cook together traditional thanksgiving food. That was a very special event that I'd wanted to host for a long time so that we have one less lonely person on Thanksgiving day. 24 of us cooked 16 dishes and dined together and it was such a memorable night we all had together.
It took too much work and time and I was really burned out and with the venue we used last year is not available anymore, I decided not to do it again this year. However, many members have asked me about it, and luckily another member who has a huge house in the Valley generously gave me permission to use his house on Thanksgiving night.
This time I can invite 50 people (!), and I thought of invite many of my fellow Japanese (and non-Japanese) people living in LA alone, far away from their families. And thought of posting the event on this group too as I have a feeling that many members can benefit from the event.
So, I have decided to keep this group active, under a different name with the different scheme. It's no longer just a travel group planning to go to Japan together one day. Although that's still my biggest dream, I would like this place to be somewhere we can get together and talk about many things Japanese. I would like to help members learn Japanese language and culture as well, and of course have Japanese food together as it's my most favorite thing in the world! lol I can also have a series of Japanese cooking lessons too in hopefully Japanese language to give you unique way to hear native speakers talk and learn the language, which really makes me happy just to think about it.
I still don't have really clear and definite picture of which way this once abandoned ship will take us to, but for the time being, I hope you can enjoy some ride with me in your pursuit of the culture and studies of Japan. It was earlier this year when I made the decision to give up the ship. Since then I have further made more useful connections mainly through my food group, and with renewed vow, I'd like to devote my time once more to create opportunities for local LA people to explore Japanese culture, customs, language, food, connections, and whatever Japanese.
Thank you for reading, and let's see how it goes, starting with Thanksgiving feast together.