Thursday, June 11, 2015

Japan Bound: Time Capsule Opening

The plaque that commemorates the location of the time capsule.
Kate, known to me as Grandma Kate, arrived in Sendai, Japan on Tuesday and was greeted at the airport by a rare rain, her homestay family from 17 years ago and myself. After slurping through mountains of cold soba (buckwheat noodles) we returned to home base, where we recharged. Jetlagged brain + inundation of the Japanese language = rest required.

The homestay family: Chizuko and Kouichi, and their daughter, Maiko, with Kate and me.
But there’s no moss growing on this baachan (grandma). Amidst the jetlag and exhaustion, we planned and gathered thoughts for a meeting at Tohoku International School (TIS) and “Grape City” – a playfully named company that is connected to many of the project partners.

Her first night here we were treated to an impromptu performance by a lively neighbor who stopped by. She specializes in Japanese kids songs and didn’t hold back when we requested a demonstration. I recognized the classics and joined in.

While we were singing and chatting, Chizuko’s husband, Koichi, worked on dinner. 

Stir-frying up a storm.
Over the past few days we’ve connected with school staff who will help to connect current students to the project, as well as corporate partners who are helping to orchestrate the time capsule opening ceremony. We finally got everything settled for the ceremony, so now it’s time to invite people who contributed artwork 17 years ago and spread the word!

Connecting with Tohoku International (TIS) staff in person and remotely.

Chizuko, Kate and the headmaster’s assistant, Kawaguchi san, at TIS.

Talking in the shade of the HIMEGURI sculpture with Mitsubishi project partners.

Kate and Chizuko admiring the rocks that lead to the sundial.

Angela Robins lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and you can learn about her work building a traditional boat in Japan at: