Kanai (my wife)

1. Introduction

Hi to all,
With the help of my good friend Tony Padgett, I have recently uploaded to various sites, a thirty minute video on Anger Management that Tony and I created a few years ago.

If you go to You Tube, http://www.youtube.com
Type in Seishindo Anger Management in the search box, and you should find three videos, each about ten minutes long. The three videos together make up the entire presentation.
If you go to You Tube, please give us a rating.

Facebook
You can go to the Seishindo “fan” page on Facebook, and you will find the video segmented into two parts.
http://www.facebook.com/Seishindo

On Facebook, I would love to have you comment on the video, and share your experience with others.

Twitter
I have been “tweeting” some lately. Mostly quotes that I find insightful or inspirational.
Have a look if you like by going to:
http://twitter.com/Seishindo

2. “Kanai”

I saw Okada-san on the street yesterday, and she invited me for lunch the next day at my favorite afternoon restaurant. She made it clear the treat was on her, because she wanted to show her thanks “for all my kindness”. I gladly accepted, and continued on my way to the train station.

When I arrived the next day, Okada-san was already there and she had brought along Ishida-san, the lady she was trying out my Italian recipes with. I was touched to see the two of them, with radiant eyes and big smiles on their faces. Looking to me, like two of Japan’s national treasures!

It didn’t take long after our introduction and ordering a meal, for Ishida-san to ask about the writing I was doing. She wondered out loud if perhaps she might have something “small” to contribute. The simple fact that she suggested this, let me know she definitely had some stories she wanted to share. And I must say, once she got going she had some powerful experiences and insights!

“Okada-san told me she talked to you some about her marriage. Her marriage was perhaps better than mine, and I’d like to tell you a little bit about my own experience.”

“Being married taught me a lot about myself, and a lot about Japanese culture.” she said.
“You might think it strange that I say I learned about Japanese culture, but being a young girl and watching my mom, did not prepare me for what I eventually went through.”

“As you probably know” she said, “When talking to others, a Japanese man refers to his wife as ‘ka nai’, the meaning for which is ‘inside the house’ Nothing more. If one could read kanji but not know what this term means, there’s no indication these two kanji are referring to a woman, or even a human being for that matter.”

“The wife on the other hand, when talking to others, refers to her husband as “shu-jin” which means ‘master’ or ‘the person in charge’.”
“I must say, to this very day I wonder why this is so. Are we meant to understand there’s something inferior about women, or that men are just somehow more important? Frankly, I think this is one aspect of Japanese culture that could stand some further scrutiny.”

“From my husband’s point of view, I feel I was meant to make life convenient for him. While for me, I felt left on my own and abandoned. I lived in the same house as him, and did everything I could to serve him, but at the same time we lived separately. He came and went as he pleased, and I was meant to always be prepared to serve him when he did come home.”

“One of the strangest experiences life can offer a Japanese woman is the cycle of life involved with being a mother.”
“I use the term ‘strange’ because most wives have sex with their master, even though they have very little in the way of a truly personal relationship with their master. In my marriage, the only time we had sex is after my husband had done a good deal of drinking and smoking. He smelled terrible, and I used to literally hold my breath, hoping he would finish as quickly as possible.”

“But the strange beauty of all this is that I got pregnant three times, and raised three children that I was, and still am very close to.”
“So, out of a relationship that had a complete lack of intimacy and sharing, came three relationships that offered me deep levels of intimacy and sharing. Strange, isn’t it?” she said.

“I’m sorry to have gone on for so long.” She said. “Let’s finish eating and talk about something more pleasant. Perhaps Okada-san has some new pictures of her great-grandchildren!”

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