Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ken-Bun-Ki "Thanksgiving"

Note: "Russell's Ken-Bun-Ki" is a series of articles I wrote for my Japanese City Hall newsletter back in 1996-97. They were articles about life in America or life in Japan as experienced by an American.
This one is from November 21, 1996. 


In America, the fourth Thursday of November is "Thanksgiving" (in Japanese, literally "Festival of Thanks"). It began in 1621. English religious immigrants called Pilgrims survived a terrible winter, and with the help of Native Americans they had been blessed with a healthy crop. In a town called Plymouth, close to Boston, they held a 3-day banquet. The main foods at Thanksgiving is turkey or ham, corn, potatoes, vegetables, and cranberry jelly. Dessert is pumpkin pie, apple pie, or pecan pie.

While I was a student I didn't ever really feel any gratitude for anything. I looked on Thanksgiving as an All You Can Eat holiday. Recently, however, I have a lot of things to be thankful for. For example, all of my family is healthy. I have many friends. I'm busy everyday at a job I like. And not just personally; I'm very thankful that the world is a much more peaceful place than it used to be.

November 23 is Workers' Thanksgiving Day in Japan. How are you spending your holiday? I will be hosting a House Party for five foreign families to celebrate Thanksgiving.


Sorry the original Japanese is hard to read. This article took up the whole bottom of the page (two columns) when it was printed in the newsletter. Now it takes up too much space here. I thought that if I put it on the bottom of the page it would enlarge enough to be able to read, but the icons on the right column block it off no matter how I try to arrange this. 

So as an added bonus, this is my daughter Anna and I at a Thanksgiving party in 1994, two years before I wrote the above article. All of us were ex-patriot Americans or Japanese. And yes, we played Trivial Pursuit. ;-) 

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