A lot has happened in the last few days, and I’ll break it all down into chunks:
1. The House:
Demolition work has begun in earnest after the full extent of the Termite problem was discovered. I had to completely tear out the kitchen. Probably a good thing because the kitchen floor was thoroughly infested with termites. Fortunately I had the help of a neighbor, Mr. H, who was extremely handy with a crowbar. Together with my self and BIL we made pretty good progress.
Three of the main floor supports and part of one column need to be replaced in the kitchen/dining area. They basically crumble at the touch and I am surprised the house isn’t tilting badly. But I also have to address the roof, which is leaking badly in one are of the house (near the toilet).
2. The Kabosu Orchard:
Since the orchard has been left alone and not looked after for two seasons, the owners agreed to let me use it free for a full year. Sort of a trial period, both for me and for them I suppose. But I start on it tomorrow and the whole family is helping. They seem pretty excited about the whole thing.
3. Community Ties:
Yesterday I took the kids to the House and they played in the fields and around the hamlet while I was demolishing the kitchen. A neighbor informed us that everyone was gathering to clean the shrine in preparation for a spring festival the next day. So I took the kids and we walked to the shrine with our buckets and rags and helped clean. Today was the festival, where the Shinto priest came to offer prayers to the Kami that watches over the hamlet. After which was much talking and a lot of sake… at 10:00 in the morning…
I was drunk before lunch.
But at least I got to know the neighbors much better. One of them was impressed that I was taking on a kabosu orchard, and he offered to teach me all about kabosu, as he grows them as well, and in addition he offered the free use of two open rice fields for the next year. All I have to do is pay him a visit with “Isshobin” – a bottle of sake in hand.