The very first time I was interviewed by a newspaper reporter here, I was asked how I felt about being bowed to by the students.   A vestige of Japan’s occupation, student’s bow to the teacher before and after class.  At the end of class the students thank the teacher.  How does this make me feel?  Humble.  It makes me feel quite humble.  It makes me ask myself if I did indeed give the students a lesson for which they should thank me and if I treasured their time and their selves enough to earn a bow.

Last Monday, walking to Carrefour, I approached a cart I had never seen before.  It was slowly progressing down the street, in fact I initially thought it wasn’t even moving.  As I approached the cart, I could hear music coming from it and I could see a statue of Buddha inside, protected by curtains.  As I proceeded to overtake the cart, I saw that it was being pulled through the streets by a Buddhist priest (I could identify him by his dress).

On his knees.

I saw him again on my way home from the store that evening.  And I saw him again Friday with his cart, on his knees, making his way down the street where I live.   No, he had no pads on his knees.  Would it have mattered if he did?  Why? How long?  I don’t know.  I couldn’t even look at him.