Thursday, November 8, 2012

September 22 - 25, 1953 Beautiful Moon, Quick Visit to Kobe, The First Japanese Bath and Typhoon Tess

Diary Entry:  Sept. 22, 1953

"Hope to get a maid soon.  Living room gradually taking shape--got curtains up today.  Mrs. Bray took Bobby again today.  They walked to the river.  Mrs. Stubbs brought us meat today & we finally have refrigerator going.  The moon is beautiful tonight.  Tomorrow is the equinox & a legal holiday.

Mrs. Outerbridge told us interesting story about locality--after quake in '23 gov't. selected the exact site of Kwansei Gakuin as a place to move the capital.  Safest spot in Japan." 

Diary Entry:  Sept. 23, 1953

"Went into Kobe for first time & just for a short time.  Couldn't find sheets nor much of anything.  Had dinner with Brays.  Jimmy Bray Bobby's age."

"Kobe has large ship building plants.  The Japanese have always been builders of boats and ships. Today the ship building plants in Kobe are turning out ships for foreign countries as well as Japan.  Most of them are tankers and freighters but fishing boats are also built for their own people."

(Dragon-fly Land:  Japan, by Bonnie Belshe, 1955.)

Diary Entry:  Sept. 24, 1953

"House about in order.  Rain all day so didn't do much.  Brays came in after dinner & had a good chat with them.  First real Japanese bath.  Couldn't get in tub first time--too hot.  This was wonderful.  B met with University Committee to plan classes--2 classes of 2 hrs. each per week.  One class for Education students--one for anyone."

"Bathing is a special event to the Japanese whether it is done at home or at a resort.  The body is washed clean before one gets into the bathtub.  Then the bather gets into the water and soaks for a long time.  It is a way of relaxing the body as well as a way of getting warm since Japanese homes have very little heat even in the winter."
(Dragon-fly Land: Japan, by Bonnie Belshe, 1955).

Diary Entry:  Sept. 25, 1953

"Typhoon Tess going strong.  Strong wind & rain.  No electricity.  Tree limbs everywhere.  Wind & rain gradually increased to howling proportions.  Rain came in north windows.  Moved children's bed to south bedroom.  Neighbors started coming to see if we had everything.  No water in pipes.  Kita-san had filled everything so got along.  Cooked swiss steak on pot-bellied stove in study.  Luckily had candles.  In bed at 8:00  Wind still howling but rain has stopped."

Tatami mats out to dry
Flood after typhoon

NOTE:  I would like to thank Mrs. Yuko Ikeda,  archivist at Kwansei Gakuin for locating the University Bulletin which listed B's classes and providing it for us, seen above.  In addition, Yuko had our home, #7 Campus House, photographed.  I am grateful for this kindness and happy to share the photos below. 

Back view

Front view
Thank you, Yuko!

1 comment:

  1. Japanese hot tubs are great in the winter. A long hot soak and you are warm all evening.

    I remember the typhoon. We filled a bathtub in the western style bathroom so we would have water. A big, big red pine tree came down in the yard. When the storm passed the university gardeners came and pruned it extensively and stood it back up. They propped it up with long boards on 3 sides to keep it from falling again. It recovered nicely.


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