Duck ducks in Inokashira Park

At lunchtime today I found myself wandering down to Inokashira Park again.  Unemployed people seem to drift to parks naturally.  The tree-lined lake in the park acts like a magnet.  In the same way my belly guides me to the bakery, my lungs and legs drag me down to the park.

The park was full of the usual suspects:  screaming kids, shy young couples, wannabe-artists, wannabe-musicians and wannaget-drunkers.

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Unbalanced from a combination of too much caffeine and not enough sleep, I undertook a bold experiment –  I sat down.  My eyes demanded something to focus on.  Two ducks, they`ll do, they were zigzagging across the lake, never drifting far away from each other.

I remembered Senbako lake in Mito and a Korean girl telling me that wooden ducks are a traditional wedding gift in her country.  Apparently ducks are a symbol of fidelity – they don`t divorce.

Several mixed race couples were also wandering around the lake.  In all cases, the male was western, the Japanese female.  Instinctively I listened to hear what language they are speaking.  If the language is Japanese, the standard may be better than mine; if it`s English, it definitely is – this August I somehow failed the English section on a Tour Guide exam (yet passed Japanese history).

My circuit of the lake concluded at the small, strawberry-coloured Benzaiten temple.  The Benzaiten Goddess is a foreigner, she comes from Hinduism, but she been in Japan for over a 1,000 years – she must have a good visa.

Benzaiten is the bully of the lake.  Her jealousy is notorious, the source of an urban legend.  Supposedly she can curse courting couples (although she can`t split-up ducks).

And with these trivial thoughts,  I realised why I had come to the park – to take my mind off the trauma of job-hunting.  It worked a treat.  Now all I wanted to be was a duck.

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2 Responses to Duck ducks in Inokashira Park

  1. Blimey – what on earth did they put in the English exam, then? English with a dash of calculus? English plus string theory? Combined English and medieval philosophy?!

  2. tomointokyo says:

    Thank you for the comment Muzuhashi, I am enjoying reading your blogposts on the cycling trip – makes me quite nostalgic.
    The English exam was heavy on written translation of some obscure words from both Japanese to English and English to Japanese. Also, I spent 3 months reading up on the history and geography sections and only 5 days preparing for the English exam. I had forgotten that typing Japanese characters is 100 times easier than writing them all out with a pen. I have taken 5 days to respond to your question and those are the best excuses I can come up with. Pretty feeble.

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