Mrs N. has gone back to Japan for her yearly (or so) visit, thus Airlie and I are looking after the naginata classes. I must admit, I got something of a warm and fuzzy feeling when Mrs Nagae reminded us a few months ago that we had very important duties as "stewards of the dojo". I can't really explain to you what this actually means, because it is more a translation from a Japanese concept of which I cannot find the english words to describe, but it made me feel... I don't know. It's hard to explain.
Mr Nagae is from one of the old samurai families, and Mrs Nagae was as well (before they were married). There is something deeply respectful in the very core of their beings, something which commands respect as much as they give it to others. I've known them for about six and a half years now, and I have tried very hard to... I don't know, live up to their ideals or something.
Their honourable natures are contagious, I suppose.
I know that all sounds a bit hokey. It always strikes me as just a tad tragic when white folk strive to be more like other highly different social or ethnic groups - white guys trying to be like african american rappers (I'm looking at you, Eminem), or those creepy guys who find buddism or martial arts (I'm looking at you, Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Dam). Hipocritical much? Yeah, maybe.
I picked up some "Sugar and Spice" lip balm from the Body Shop yesterday - it's really very nice. Get some if you can!