Treasures found on Japan Spring Tour
On the Japan spring tour from which I have just returned, we had one of those serendipitous events which so often occur on my tours. Looking for a coffee, we stumbled upon an antique shop which had a sign suggesting it was also a cafe. There we met this extraordinary trio – father and two sons – who competed for our attention with demonstrations of ancient swords and deep philosophical discussion. We were taught the etymology of the word for thanks in Japanese, liked the coffee, and bought a few highly discounted bargains. We all had a visceral experience of the Japanese Zen philosophy of “ichi-go ichi-e” “One time, one meeting” which emphasizes the unique opportunity presented by each interaction.