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"Well, I did jus' what the book said to do. Look at it. It says: Take an egg. Conceal it in the pocket. Well, I took an egg an' I concealed it in the pocket. Seems to me," he said bitterly, "seems to me this book isn't Things a Boy Can Do. It's Things a Boy Can't Do."
More William by Richmal Crompton
two hours later
you know where I was found
smokin' in the boys room
stand on my head and say
I was just a boy
giving it all away
I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
this is the dawning of the rest of our lives
this is our lives on holiday
Some martial artists don't like holidays. It's just less time to train. In Japan there are three long holidays. There is the bon holiday in August when Japanese people visit their family graves. There are holidays for the new year. And there is golden week.
Golden Week is four public holidays at the end of April and the beginning of May. The name wasn't given by ordinary people happy about a "golden week" of holidays. It was a name given by a movie company executive happy about all the tickets sold. Anyway the name stuck. Japanese love abbreviations and it is often shortened to GW.
Before golden week even starts the Aikikai hombu dojo in Tokyo cancels the last class on 26 April. It's the anniversary of the death of the founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba. Instead of aikido training old movies of O Sensei are shown instead. Now you can find videos of O Sensei on the internet but years ago the movies were rare and precious. I translated for Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba on that day.
29 April is Showa Day for the Showa Emperor, Hirohito. After death an emperor is known by the name of the era. It's a strange system because the name of the era is rapidly chosen by politicians after the death of the previous emperor. When the name of the next era was announced in January 1989 people immediately rushed to register new companies with Heisei in the name. 29 April used to be Green Day (now 4 May is Green Day). In Japan the most famous martial arts event on this day is the All-Japan Judo Championship at the Nippon Budokan. But for aikidoka 29 April is the day of the Iwama Shrine Festival at the Aiki Shrine in Iwama in Ibaragi prefecture. I remember going there years ago with my teacher, Kinjo Asoh sensei. We caught a train from Ueno station in north-east Tokyo early in the morning. The manager of the dojo came to see us off and gave us bento boxed food and cans of beer for our breakfast. Really. This year the ceremony was cancelled because of the Tohoku earthquake.
3 May is called Constitution Memorial Day. The post-war constitution drafted by General Douglas MacArthur and his staff after World War II came into law on 3 May 1947. The Potsdam Declaration had decreed that "the Japanese government shall remove all obstacles to the revival and strengthening of democratic tendencies among the Japanese people. Freedom of speech, of religion, and of thought, as well as respect for the fundamental human rights shall be established." I'm from the UK and we don't even have a written constitution. So I would like to say way to go Japan and I hope we catch up with you one day. A national holiday to commemorate it would be cool too.
4 May is a bridge day between two holidays and it is now Green Day.
5 May is called Children's Day now but traditionally it is Boy's day. As I said in my blog article about Girl's day (3/3) odd numbers are considered lucky in Japan and so boys day is 5/5. Oh yes. Boy's day is a national holiday and Girl's day is not. No surprises there.
e-book from project gutenberg of More William by Richmal Crompton http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/17125
When I was a young boy I was given a pile of second-hand William books tied with string. Perhaps they came from a local fête. They all had faded red hardcovers.