Tag Archives: family

Diary: Closing Circles with Stones ~ Grandmother to the Ohaka

Buddhist monk (handsome!) and me, Father-in-law Takushi, Mother-in-law Junkyo and wife Ryoko with baby Ichiro at Grandfather Ichiro’s ohaka / grave, now with Grandmother Tomiko

Aug 19th was 49 days after Ryoko’s Grandmother Tomiko passed away at 94 years old, 6 days after baby Ichiro was born, and the night he was registered on the generational family register (koseki tohon) at city office with the same name (but different kanji characters) as her husband – Ichiro.

As such, in the Buddhist tradition, her ashes were put into the ohaka (crypt) with dashing Grandfather Ichiro who died at 49 years old, many decades ago.

Note: Throughout the pregnancy, we often visited grandpa Ichiro‘s ohaka (grave) as going to a cemetery it was easy to reduce risk while having a pleasant walk and while there, clean his grave, light incense and have a conversation.

Buddhist monk offering prayers/chants at family alcove/altar before taking ashes to ohaka

In early July were four days of various funeral ritual/ceremonies at the house (adjusted for current health protocols) before she was cremated, and since then, her ashes sat at the family altar with daily incense, prayers and so on. 

this smouldering incense was part of the ceremony at the house, pinch, put to forehead couple of times…

So as it goes, the remarkably handsome monk offered more incense and chants and led family in scripted prayers and incantations. Baby Ichiro rolled with it all.

the cemetery man opens up the ohaka crypt for first time tis century… (Father and Monk look on)

Following, we took her ashes to the cemetery where a kindly tall specialist removed the capstone of the freshly cleaned ohaka allowing us to briefly see grandpa‘s urn, before adding the new jar & gently sealing back up.

 

the sealing sealing removed by hand…

Then we burned more incense, gave regards to other graves and left a lovely lunch to take her into the next journey.

special lunch to take Grandmother Tomiko onto the next part of journey

Note: of course there’s more to share of the story (eventually, perhaps), and if you’re curious, see the wedding picture of grandpa Ichiro and grandma Tomiko, plus notes from Ichiro’s first month and an Ichiro card with her casket and his basket.

wonderful mother in law at the cemetery, what a huge couple of months she’s had!

The circle is complete, the family continues, I’m very proud to be part of this clan. We’ve had seven weeks of birth, death, (re)birthdays, and so much transition in real time. i’m privileged to be a participant.

So very gratefully,
daveo/UW

for a brief moment only, we could see Grandfather Ichiro and Grandmother Tomiko reunited in their urns, then was sealed back up… what a treasured experience!

Diary: Introducing Ichiro to maternal great-grandfather Fujii at Ohaka

photo on the ohaka (grave) of maternal great-grandfather Fujii

Ryoko’s mother’s family name is Fujii, not to be confused with Father’s family name Fujita.

Recently, paternal grandmother passed away, paternal grandfathers are both long passed.

In this case we visited Ohaka (grave) of Ichiro’s maternal great-grandfather (Ryoko’s grandfather obv) with the in-laws/parents to wash and clean, offer a prayer and introduce Ichi. 

I don’t know much of his backstory – enough to riff at least – i’ll connect some more pieces for a later update for curiosity seekers. 

Note: there is a panorama of the epically endless cemetery and massive crematorium (under expansion) plus family photos to include > this is a reminder to add at some point for posterity and whatnot. 

Introducing Baby Ichiro’s Name: Japan Cottage Musings

A riff about (son born June 23rd 2020) Ichiro Stanley Thorvald Olson’s name including the kanji meaning and katakana writing plus inspirations behind each of the monikers and anecdotes about grandparents, teachers, parks, brothers and ice hockey by proud parents Dave and Ryoko in front of the family altar in Tsuchida, Okayama, Japan, August 2020 (Reiwa 2).

#daveo50 ~ 16.8.2020 (4 variations) #fini

#daveo50 ~ 16.8.2020 / solo / with hat, 1
#daveo50 ~ 16.8.2020 /solo /  with hat, 2

Project: Upon turning 50 years old on August 16, 2020, Dave Olson (me, hello) is posting a photo (or maybe photos) a day / per year – starting with 1970 and ending with this dispatch.

Thank you for your perceived interest and erstwhile support.

Fondly, dvo/UW, Tsuchida Cottage. 

#daveo50 ~ 16.8.2020 / family / with spectacles
#daveo50 ~ 16.8.2020 / family / no spectacles

Ichiro: 1 Month / 23.7.2020 (shrine, grave and various annotations)

July 23, 2020 Ichiro Stanley Thorvald Olson hit the one month mark since birth.

For the record: born June 23, 2020 (Reiwa 2), 16:24, Sun Clinic, Okayama, Japan, 3064 grams. 

As is tradition in Japan, we visited a Shinto shrine – though due to various safety concerns, we did not go to the originally planned shrine (Kibitsu jinja – map – we visited back in January before he was born) or Munetada jinja (where we were married which was our back up plan) – instead just stayed in the neighbourhood and went to the big Torii gate of Tenshin jinja with the parents (but did not climb the endless stairs to the top). Then… Clap clap bow bow say a few words to the kami and (of course) snap a few snaps (10 of which are compiled below). 

Then, as was the tradition throughout the pregnancy, we visited grandpa Ichiro’s grave to give it a clean, light incense, and have a conversation to him including introducing his a little namesake. This providing the opportunity to see 4 generations of the family legacy all at once (in a manner of speaking). PS Grandma Tomiko will be interred her on Aug. 19th. 

To be thorough, Ichiro’s name comes from a combination of his grandpa, Ryoko’s best university sensei (Hongo-sensei), and the desire to have a name which is familiar to western minds and emulates the cross-cultural excellence of the noted baseball player.

Then, my best pal and the fellow who made all of this possible by introducing Ryoko and I, the goat farmer Mac Kobayashi came over for a big sushi dinner and then hang out in the barn studio to listen to records (Built to Spill, Mudhoney, “Father” John Misty, Dan Mangan, Chet Baker…) which is a whole other story.

Anyhow, what follows are a few general notes about our wonderful little dude, basically annotations and observations from his first month. Continue reading Ichiro: 1 Month / 23.7.2020 (shrine, grave and various annotations)

Diary: Tie dyes for Ichiro + Deadhead treats from Brother/Uncle Dan

{Catching up with…} Leading up to Ichiro’s birth, another wonderful package arrived – this one from brother Dan (with postal assist by brother Bob) containing an assortment of handmade treats and other related goods.

Most noteworthy were a variety of tie-dye t-shirts including one for papa (hello!), mama and the forthcoming-at-the-time baby in our “family tartan“ which he also made for various brothers and nieces and nephews. Will make a splendid family photo one day. 

In the meantime, here’s two of us, and the tie-dyes on standby for little Ichi-Stan.

Also in the mix there’s a few gifts of soccer scarves for some friends Dan met during his last visit and, a variety of Grateful Dead socks for us and the notable Deadhead/goat farmer Mac.

Ichiro being extra special got an additional tie-dye which, paired with his various bibs and hats would be extra cool.

Thanks brother/in-law-uncle Dan for being so thoughtful and we’ll soon I’ll put on our tie-dyes for a photo with the young nephew.

Note: Dan learned his tie-dye trade, well perfected it anyway, from Lance who along with Leslie were proprietors of Aaron’s Tie-Dyes for many years. Dan and I were able to assist – in my case, purely as a “road trip logistical assistant”, and indeed, it was the tie-dye is that introduced me to Lance and his cohorts other then-new ISP (OlyWa.net) in a totally life-changing coincidence of asking for change for laundry machine.

 

 

Diary: sewing things for Ichiro + tie-dyes and pee-caps

Diary: Sewing Things for Ichiro / assortment – card, hat, bib, tie-dye and “pee cap”

{Catching up with…} Scant days before our adorable baby came into the world, my remarkable wife fired up her mom’s sewing machine and decided to start with making so many thing… Then we busied ourselves with a few photo collages combining these handmade items with custom tie-dye shirts received from brother/uncle Dan and card from Kim, Brad, Ben, April (among other delights to be documented later). 

Started with cloth diapers (not pictured) / easy right? So Then moved on to these incredibly handy “pee caps” (meaning little cloth “cones” to put over his willie when changing diapers…

– as it turns out, lil fellas in general often use the sweet freedom of a diaper change to let loose with their venting)…

Then made a completely cute soft cotton hat with “io” initials (which i want to make into a rubber stamp as well).

Then came bibs! oh the bibs! using Aloha print cloth i’ve had in my stash since 1996 or so, these hav a velcro tab for easy (and safe) on and off and style points to spare.

Continue reading Diary: sewing things for Ichiro + tie-dyes and pee-caps

Folio: “Sounding Board” family newsletter (guest edited), 1985

Artifact: “Sounding Board” family newsletter, 1985 / masthead

My dear ole grandfather, Robert “Bob” Stevenson (rip), (one of many Bob/Roberts in our extended family), fired up a family newsletter for various extended cousins and uncles and aunts et al… Of course, this sort of project requires a lot of wrangling of assignments to generate content which he then dutifully typed, laid out, re-produced and distributed (yes i come from all this honestly). When he was expressing frustration about lack of input from various family members, brother Bob and I volunteered to guest edit an issue. Of course, we put our own style to the dispatch with mail bombs, clipped cartoons, corny jokes, plagiarized punk rock lyrics along with the various “scene reports” from extended family units.

Artifact: “Sounding Board” family newsletter, 1985 / (mildly condescending passive aggressive) letter from editor, Gramps

I’ve shared a few pages here – with some minor crops – to provide a flavour of the publication while retaining some semblance of discretion as to not shock or offend any family members (any further).

Artifact: “Sounding Board” family newsletter, 1985 / punk rock lyrics (stolen from Massacre Guys), corny jokes, a remixed punk rock sticker and possibly made up letter from Robby
Artifact: “Sounding Board” family newsletter, 1985 / “scene report” from our segment of the family including Andy’s love of He-Man and our choice for “2nd place” of the family crest (shown elsewhere in the newsletter but not in this review)
Artifact: “Sounding Board” family newsletter, 1985 / fun page with sports items including instructions for a piledriver
Artifact: “Sounding Board” family newsletter, 1985 / i guess this is really the masthead, is the masthead the part which tells who contributed? i should know this. Anyhow…

Artifact: “Bonanza Book” from CJ81 (Canadian Jamboree, 1981)

Artifact: “Bonanza Book” Trading Post Catalog from CJ81 (Canadian Jamboree, 1981)

Letter: postcard from Canadian Jamboree, 1981 (CJ81, Kananaskis Country, AB)

Artifact: postcard from Canadian Jamboree, 1981 (CJ81, Kananaskis Country, AB), front
Artifact: postcard from Canadian Jamboree, 1981 (CJ81, Kananaskis Country, AB) back