30 years with an English Kenshi (part 3 - 'no training' nights) - by Ozawa Hiroshi sensei
Updated: Nov 15, 2020
The first accommodation I was assigned was a spacious two-story house with one
bedroom on the ground floor and three bedrooms on the first floor, with a bathroom on
each floor. The new accommodation room was comfortable for me because it was
divided into four sections: dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom.
As we had a training session on the first day and had no session on the next day, I was
unpacking my stuff and tidying up my room in the evening when Mr. Barlow, Mr.
Cannington, and Trevor came over with a lot of beer cans. We started a drinking session and had a great time together.
They said that they had seen programmes about Japan on TV and asked me if the morning rush hour to work was real, had seen the cherry blossoms in bloom on TV, and so on. They said that they wanted to ask these questions to me. I made conversation in poor English and it was great fun. From then on, someone was in my room every night when we didn't have
practice. Trevor was always there. There was no TV and there was nothing to do, so it
was fun to pass the time without getting bored.
Sometimes he would come in with a book on Zen translated into English. "What does
this mean?" he asked me, but it was difficult for me to answer because I had no
knowledge of Zen. Today I could email someone I know to find out, but that was 30
years ago, so I couldn't do that. It's so convenient these days.
It was usually past ten o'clock when everyone left after chatting for two to three hours.
Whether we had practice or not, I think the time of coming home was close to 11
o'clock. I was worried that his wife would say something.
This is the third in a series of eight articles written by Ozawa Hiroshi sensei (Kyoshi 8 Dan). Kindly translated by Matsuda Kazuyo sensei (Renshi 7 Dan).