Obaasan (Grandma in Japanese) takes care of a shrine near the artist residence where I currently live in Itoshima. I have attempted to paint there three times with no luck, since she wanted to talk each time. With my limited command of the Japanese language, I only understand every third sentence that she says. But that hasn’t stopped her – she kept talking 😃.
The first time I was there, I brought my materials and a stool to sit on. She wanted to talk so I had no chance to painting. When we parted, she gave me a bottle of drink. I thank her and said my goodbye.
The second time I went to the shrine was this morning. She was there again, so I didn’t get a chance to paint the shrine. But I asked if I could sketch her and even though she let me, she was a bit shy about it (so I will not be uploading any sketch of her). She invited me to sit and chat, and gave me another drink and a packet of food from the altar of the shrine (she said that they have been blessed). I was not going to take the drink as I still have the one she gave me earlier, but she insisted that I take both. Before we parted, she said that if I ever felt sad, please come to the shrine 😊
I tried again to paint the shrine. I thought that since she was there in the morning, she might not be there in the afternoon – I was so wrong as she was there again! And she offered me another drink – this time I declined.
Next time I go there (which will be the forth time), I will be bringing something to give to Obaasan.
Update: A few days later, at a community meeting, I was introduced to Obaasan’s grandson and his family. I was told that they are farmers, and I showed him my painting of their barn(I didn’t know that it was their’s at the time). I had taken some photos with Obaasan earlier which I was able to airdrop to his phone for Obaasan. 😊