Atsumi Foundation 2008 New Year’s Party

On January 12, 2008 (Saturday) from 12 noon to 4:30 PM, the New Year’s party for the Atsumi International Scholarship Foundation was held at the foundation’s hall, and was attended to by 40 people, consisting of current scholarship recipients, Raccoonkai members, and their families. The guests were treated to delicious dishes such as osechi ryouri, mochi, yakitori, and Chinese dumplings, which made everyone feel the warmth of homes amidst the cold rainy weather. Wuliangye, which was brought over from China (with 52% alcohol), was a rare treat and exuded a peculiarly strong odor.

After the partaking of osechi ryouri and Rijicho’s greetings, a special program was prepared. There was a performance of famous Morin khuur (Mongolian “horse-head fiddle”) musicians Ti Buruguddo and wife Saigo Mieko with a pianist Norioka Toru. This was the first time in my life that I saw a Morin khuur performance, so I was really moved. Ti Buruguddo’s rendition of “Eastern Sky”, which was composed by himself and is going to be performed in this year’s opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, particularly caught my fancy. I would like to listen to it once again, should I have the chance.

After personal introductions of the guests, the yearly BINGO game was held. This year, Shin-kun (2nd year Economics student at Keio University), who is the son of Wang Libin (1995 Racoon), was in charged. Even though everyone had already hit a BINGO, Surabu-san, one of the current recipients, could not seem to hit the mark, but eventually he could. It was really adorable to see the faces of the children lit with joy upon completion of the BINGO game. Next year, I will be sure to bring my child.

On January 25th of this year, Atsumi Rijicho will be celebrating her 80th birthday. Despite the abrupt announcement, Jeon Jin Hwan (2001 Raccoon) with the help of Lee Jea Woo and Yang Myung Ok (both 2004 Raccoon) came prepared with a birthday cake and a bouquet of flowers, which were lovingly given to Rijicho. With champagne, we sang the birthday song in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese, Uyghur, Russian, and Spanish, as we wished good health and success to everyone’s mother, our very own Rijicho.

by Li Chengri, trans. By F. Maquito

Photos taken by Tanihara san