For those who have not seen our house in Japan, here it is. Our neighborhood is quiet and peaceful and the neighbors, although most do not speak English, are kind and considerate. It is a nice big drafty house with wood floors and lots of rooms. It gets very cold in the inside, in the winter. There is one large tatami room divided in two by sliding doors. It is the one where the shutters are closed over the windows. We dumb gaijin don't use that room much because the floor isn't practical for our heavy furniture. Our dog isn't allowed in there either, on strict instructions from the landlady who lives next door! There is a very high likelihood that he would pee on the tatami mats and rip them up a bit with his claws. I might also mention that our two darling sons have gone in there and played with swords, puncturing one of the lovely shoji screens. A small mountain rises up in the back, more of a hill and covered with bamboo trees. In a good storm you can hear them swaying, knocking and cracking. Imagine the hum of cicadas and the summer and the shriek of brown hawks circling all around.
Home Sweet Home, for now.