Sie können meine Kinder bei einer Weihnachtswerkstatt kennenlernen！Sie sind alle meine Wunschkinder, ganz spontan zur Welt gekommen. Manchmal war es eine schwere, manchmal leichtere Geburt, aber ich liebe alle gleichermassen. Wir sind Gerti Hopf sehr dankbar, dass sie uns diese wunderbare Gelegenheit gibt.
In the garden of our house in Kochi, there used to be a Kaki tree. When I was a teenager, I used to lie on the couch listening to music and looking at the kaki tree outside. The leaves were such a beautiful green and they gave me a lot of pleasure. In Japan there is a saying that it takes about 8 years for a Kaki tree to bear fruit. This seemed about right concerning our Kaki tree. When I was about the age of University student, our tree started bearing fruits and they were sweet, juicy and quite delicious. Since I attended university in a different city, I always missed the fruit bearing seasons. After graduating from music university, only the could I see the Kaki tree full with fruits, which was quite spectacular. There was a tool in the shape of a rod, which made it possible to remotely and carefully cut off the fruits and harvest them. My parents asked me to harvest Kaki with that tool, but I was not a big help, because I used to laugh a lot. I felt it strange, that some grippping motion occured far away from my hand and I could not stop laughing. Therefore my parents called a boy from the neighbourhood to do it and so he helped my parents every year as long as he was living with his parents. He was a tender boy who loved music and I heard he eventually he went to Kobe to manufacture guitars. About fifteen years ago, my father told me that he was still in his twenties when he died in a car accident. Because he was an only child, I presume that his parents’ pain was surely without limit. Later, they moved away. The Kaki tree grew to be immensely tall and some years ago I has to cut him down in size. It is still alive and always new fresh branches appear from it. I heard that Kaki is an Asian tree. When I came to Vienna for the first time, there were no Kaki sold anywhere. Starting about twenty years ago, Kaki began to be sold in autumn. Also in Italy in supermarkets, I often see Kaki fruits and I see that Italians like to eat ripe Kaki. In Italy there is often Kaki sorbet sold in Ice Cream stores. When I go to Italy in autumn and winter, I look forward to eating that kind of sorbet. There is another memory of Kaki fruits. My Buddhist teacher, Mr. Okamoto, when he was a professor at Sakuyo Music University one time in his room there was a small bowl with Kaki fruits inside. Every time I used to visit his room, there was still one Kaki left in the bowl. One day I worked up courage and said to him “Sensei, you should eat this Kaki or else it will spoil”. Then my teacher said “I will watch that happening”. Maybe he was being philosophical about this Kaki. I remember that this Kaki was in the bowl so long that it could no longer be identified as such. Yet another memory is when my parents were still alive, that although they had harvested all the fruit, the next day there were again fruits on the tree. I doubted my eyes and thought that I must have been dreaming. I asked them where the fruits came from and whether that was at all possible. So they said that they put some Kaki back on the tree as bird food. I thought that was quite funny.
Once a year Mr. Okamoto gives a presentation at the Japanese embassy about Japanese culture and religion. Yesterday there was a he gave a presentation on the occasion of the anniversary of 150 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and Austria and he spoke about contents relating to this anniversary. Numerous guests attended and listened with focus and so there was a very agreeable atmosphere. The audience reacted well to Mr. Okamoto’s jokes and there really was a relaxed and friendly mood. He spoke about four main themes. “Steps taken from the initiation of the bilateral relations”, “Vienna Expo 1873 (Japan’s first participation as country)”, “Encounter of Christianity and Buddhism”, and “Austrians’ view on Japanese people”. Many Austrian guests said it was very interesting and they heard about historic events who had been unknown to them before. Every year my husband and I translate Mr. Okamoto’s presentation and he will read the German translation to the audience. This is also very interesting for us and we can learn a lot. Usually I sing some Japanese songs and so I could discover new songs which has also been quite interesting and instructive for me. Since there is no piano at the embassy, every year I have a piano recording made to which I later sing to. This year Mrs. Hina Oono made the piano recording for this presentation. The three pieces performed were “Seki no yuzare” (Nagayo Motoori), “Paraiso” from the Zyklus Nagasaki 5 Songs (Composed by Yoshitaka Sakamoto, Lycris by Rofu Miki), “Ano Yamano” Bouncing ball song from the Joshu region (Arranged by Kozaburo Hirai). Event organized every year by Gekkan Wien and supported by the Japanese Embassy in Austria and the Japanese-Austrian Association.