Well I'm back from the Ballet Parent Teacher Conference. I got there just in time at 3:30. There was a long line of Japanese women winding their way upstairs to the second floor. I got in line with everybody else and finally got to my seat. There were easily 2oo women in the room.
Ken had written a note to the school earlier in the week asking if someone might be able to interpret for me, but I didn't want to impose, so I just sat in my seat and waited for the program to begin. No sooner had I sat down then a beautiful young woman dressed in one of the teacher's outfits knelt at my side and said "Kono San?" I said yes and she said she would be happy to interpret for me, but said her english was not very good. (Her english was great.) A few minutes later, the program began. The woman president of the school said a few welcoming words, then the famous dancer of the school, Yoko Morishita said a few words. Then her husband, Tetsutaro Shimizu, also a ballet dancer and son of the founder of the school, got up to the microphone and spoke for the next forty-five minutes. I couldn't understand a word he said, but he was dramatic and quite animated, banging his hand on the lectern a few times, pointing to various portraits of famous ballet dancers hung around the room, drawing figures of moms and dads and kids on the blackboard, taking his warm up jacket on and off a few times revealing his well toned, if not a bit aging body. My interpreter listened intently and about once every fifteen minutes would just briefly tell me what he was saying. The audience was totally enthralled.
The gist of the entire talk was that the Matsyama Ballet school wants to teach its young students to be honest, balanced, caring and full of goodness. It does not matter if they are good dancers. If they are good and loving inside, they will grow into strong, beautiful human beings. His motto was Shin - Zen - Bi ----- Truth - Goodness - Beauty. I loved it - and got a little tear in my eye.
So Japanese - so good for Yumiko.