woensdag 3 december 2014

Nagoya: sightseeing before the first lecture



The Sir Winston Hotel has some artistic qualities. I wrote already about their wedding chapel. Below you find the beginning of their breakfast: not much to eat (you may take refills!), but nice to be seen.
After breakfast we had a first morning walk this Wednesday 22 October. Our neighbour was a quite new Buddhist temple, with a large graveyard, a communal morning prayer, attended by some twenty people, a quite new statue of Kannon Buddha, some seven meter high. There is always some kind of attraction in Japanese temples: they mix fun with seriousness. Although this place looked quite serious, there was a facility to make a picture and so we were put on the photo by a willing japanese.

After breakfast and this morning walk and prayer, Yasuko Kobayashi took us to the Yokiso compound, a combination of a grand old Japanese house, with a combination of various western and eastern styles, built in the 1930s by Ito Jirozaemon Suketami, a rich owner of department stores.
First some picture of Yasuko:

We went first to the Japanese house: nice small rooms. Modesty, discipline, neatness, close to natural resources, these are Japanese virtues. The Western style near-Austrian villa was quite different!

The rich man himself lived in a nice graden, an austere nearly empty house, with a tea-house looking on a nice pond.

From the outside there was an Austrian villa, but inside it was eclectic, here with Buddhist/Indian girls singing and offering entertainment for the guests who came from various regions.

We had lunch with Prof. Mina Hattori, a specialist in Indonesian education and we have been in contact through our common interest in pesantren. She was about to leave for a trip to Turkey to see the G├╝len deducational institutions: this may become a new connection. Hattori is from Nagoya University, while Yasuko is from Nanzan, but Yasuko takes care of her good network!
Later that afternoon I gave my first talk in Nagoya, in Indonesia! Quite a few of Yasuko's students have been in Indonesia for 6 month or even a full year and they manage to speak Indonesian in a fluent way. So, I gave an autobiographical talk reflecting through my personal experiences living in Indonesia among Muslim communities, from pesantren to the IAIN and UIN, the academic institutions for Islamic Studies. The tall man on the left is SVD priest Henri Daros. He remembered that he had guided us in 1997 in Ende and to Ndona, also to buy the volumes of Muskens, Sejarah Gereja Katolik di Indonesia. It is a small world, where people can meet again!

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