AISF2016 New Year's Party

2016 New Year's Party of Atsumi International Foundation was held on January 16 (Sat.) at a hall of the Foundation. Many Raccoons from all over the world, including Japan came together for the party. There were a variety of foods, like annual gyoza (Chinese dumplings) and spring rolls, both of which we have enjoyed in preparing together with guest Raccoons. Other foods, such as "shish kabab". BBQ, Russian handmade desserts, Turkish dishes and handmade Kimuch (Korean pickles) were presented. We had a ceremonial "kagami-biraki" (cracked opening of a wooden cask filled with Japanese "sake") and then made a toast with the "sake". We also enjoyed "mochi-tuki". (pounding rice cake) and bingo-game. The party was really very lively.

The special program for the day was celebrating the 88th birthday of the Executive Director. 2016 Raccoons presented a special birthday cake which was shaped forming the letters "88" by four small cakes, flowery bouquet made from 88 roses and an album which includes photos from her early childhood to her wedding. The hall was filled with celebration atmosphere. She told us about her life up to her wedding while looking at the photos in this album together with us. It seems to me that each photo and her talk were a history and culture itself. We, as the inexperienced young, learned a lot, like history of fashion, history of education at school and history of the New Building of Kajima. She also explained that her "uchi-kake" (special garment - kimono and obi - for a bride) was inherited from generation to generation. It is a history itself !

According to her, she fled to Karuisawa after her Tokyo home burned down during the war period. I had a feeling of history-laden. This year marks the 71st anniversary of the end of World War II. During the period following the end of the war, each country of the world made progress and changes. Thanks to people and groups, like our Executive Director and Atsumi International Foundation who have contributed to international exchange of ideas, we, across the borders, could celebrate this New Year's Party together today. However, it is the reality that there are occurrences by which we cannot necessarily say that the world is going forward to peace and stability.

At the beginning of the year 2016, I hope that international friendly relations among each country and peace and stability would be inherited from generation to generation like the "uchikake" of the Executive Director.

We could hear her story and see photos up to her wedding only this time, and she told us to continue to do this next year and the year after as "Part-2" and "Part-3". Everybody, not only myself, will eagerly wait for the next celebration. We do wish her everlasting health and hope that there would be a lot of discoveries and challenges in the Foundation this year.

(Written by Yan, Shuran / 2015 Raccoon)

Translated by Kazuo Kawamura
English checked by Mac Maquito

Photos of the Day

Japanese Version