Days of remembering our ancestors お盆

In Buddhism, now are the days of remembering our ancestors and the deceased. This time is called “Obon”. I, too, from Vienna give lots of thought towards my ancestors with my hands folded together saying “Namu Amida Butsu”.

I think of my ancestors as far back as I can remember, like my grandfather and grandmothers and also those ancestors I never got to meet in person. Especially strong is my memory of my mother, she always was such a positive influence on me and she was my idol and aspiration. How much I love her! I think as a child that was very fortunate. There are also those people without contact to their mothers or having a bad relationship with them. Sadly my mother passed away in 2011 but my memories of her are still so clear and present.

It is so interesting, recently I am surprised how similar my talkníng voice is to my mother’s. Not always but sometimes I really think that way. Also when I am at home in Japan picking up the phone, sometimes the callers were surprised saying “Is that really you, Yuka? Your voice is so similar to your mother’s and I thought she might be alive again”. I also noticed that my cough is similar to hers. Genetics is interesting.




Picture by Dieter Pasching, July 2018 at Mito Kairakuen.

Presentation by Mr. Hideo Okamoto on the occasion of Japan-Austria 150 years of diplomatic relations at Japanese Embassy in Vienna 岡本英夫先生のご講演 オーストリア.日本友好150年を祝して

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.

毎年、作陽音楽大学(現.くらしき作陽大学)の恩師、岡本英夫先生が、ウィーンの日本大使館で「日本文化と宗教」という講演会をなさっています。今年はその5回目で、日本とオーストリアが国として友好関係を築いて150年の記念の年でもあります。そのため、先生はそれにふさわしい内容のご講演をしてくださいました。非常にたくさんのお客様がいらしてくださって、熱心にご講義を受けていらっしゃいました。先生の冗談も伝わり、笑い声もあがり、とてもなごやかな雰囲気でした。自分の知らないことについてお話しくださった、面白かった、と、皆様、大変満足のご様子でした。今年のご講義のテーマは次の4つでした。1、両国が国交を樹立して以来の歩みの概観。2、樹立後すぐに行われたウィーン万国博覧会について。3、キリスト教と仏教の出遇い。4、オーストリアの人にとって、日本人とはどんな人か。  毎年、先生の書かれたご講義内容を、予め、私の主人と私でドイツ語に訳し、講演会では、先生の傍で主人がそれを読みながらご講義を進めます。おかげさまで私たちもそれを通してたくさん学ぶことができます。また、私も毎年、ご講義の内容に合う日本の歌を数曲、演奏させていただいています。選曲のため、知らなかった曲を見つけたり、作曲者や作詞家や、その曲のできた背景などについて学ぶことができ、ありがたいです。 今年は、次の3曲を演奏させていただきました。1、本居長世作曲「関の夕ざれ」 2、三木露風作詞、坂本良隆作曲 長崎5曲より「パライソ」 3、平井康三郎編曲 上州地方の手毬歌「あの山の」  会場にピアノがないため、日本でピアニストに頼んでカラオケを作ってもらっています。今年は大野日菜さんにお願いしました。 主催は「月刊ウィーン」。日本大使館、墺日協会協力 。