Returned and back. Straight back into work and study. Bearly time to catch my breath before continuing, but that’s the way I like it. There was of course the 12 hour ‘rest’ on the flight, complete with champagne. A celebratory drink that Kumi promised me at the start of our project, and of course delivered.
And then of course time to reflect on the experience (hiccup). As a volunteer this experience was particularly special as numerous gifts were exchanged, physical and metaphorically. There were times when the ‘omiyage’ became over bearing (http://www.besudesuabroad.com/2014/03/omiyage-culture-japan/ will fill you in) but the gifts and kindness in return made the pressure disappear.
The second lingering memory is that of presentation and precision. I will carry this forward in my MA research and work. It runs through the culture in Japan and dominates daily life, simultaneously creating beauty and anxiety.
There have been many great outcomes from this trip. Translating my practice was great, reconnecting with Japan, spending time with Kyoko and gaining inspiration for the research project. The trip has also resulted in the start of a monthly intergenerational dance workshop in Koriyama. This will be supported by the local council and Fukusima University. I will offer support when I can, in terms of emails and Skype mentoring. So between this and my own research for my MA, linking participants in Tokyo and Croydon, the exchange will continue.
After an 11 year pause it was great to be back in Japan and the next chapter is going to be just as exciting.