What is a snafkin you ask yourself, since I am not there. Ahh I Reply, because I can read your thoughts. Well you will fnd out later. However before that, lets back up to before the word Snafkin existed in my mind.
I went to Kyudo, first day of practice since the shinsa. Not many there today , I found that a bit surprising. But no concern of mine. I set about working. I sempai was there, and getting ready to leave. He also did not pass the Yondan, he aked if I was going to the next shinsa. Hai, I replied. He then set about correcting, adjusting my tenouchi power points. He was trying to help me to not have the bottom on my Yumi swing out after hanare. I took it in and added that into my practice for the day. Clock is ticking on the next Shinsa. I told my Sensei in the states I did not pass. He said it took him 4yrs to pass. I am guessing that based on testing in the states @ once a year. For that would be 4 attempts. If in Japan it mean 12 times! Well, I am focusing on doing it on my second attempt. Even though I do not feel really on “it”, right now…ayway..Yosh!
It was the worse day ever as far as hits. I think I got two out of 18. I generally put in two hours min at the dojo. Today I only did 1.5. Two of my sempai, the one that plays, classical guitar and the Shakuhachi player asked me if I would like to go to some coffee-house they played at and talk with the owner. If I was free today we could go at 4:00 pm. So all this was said in Japanese, so it took me a while to figure it all out. This is what it all meant. So I was leaving early today.
I was given a ride to this coffee-house not to far from Aoki Sensei’s house, right on the Bay, next to a marine. Small but homie. I was introduced to the owners, they are about my age, and also my sempais with me share the age bracket. Turns out I am the youngest of us, by a year or less. Anyway the wife of the couple is an ex-English teacher, she has been to San Francisco, we can talk. The husband also speaks English a little, he says. He finds out I am a musician from my sempai. The husband and I end up jamming a little together. Him on Guitar, me on Bass. It was nice ! Acoustic Guitar, listenable Bass volume, a nice duo.
I played some with my Sempai, had tea, hung out. The owner also played shamisen. I learned there is a difference between Okinawan and Japanese style, and to messed around with Okinawan Shamisen. Not a cheap one, so this guy is a real player. I checked out the club, misc instruments, couple seating chairs, sofa, coach, etc, food included snack, sweets, drinks, curries, fresh made coffee and tea. There was also a great Bay view. This place was cool, and comfy. The owners nice, laid back, spoke limited English. I can see me hanging put here on occasion. Much better than going all the way to Kobe for me, to jam and met folks. Here, I can meet some local to me musicians, try out some musical ideas with the owner or others. The owners says mostly amateurs come in. That is fine with me. I have heard some good amateurs. Less ego to deal with also if one wants to do something together. This was a great find! I am grateful to my Sempais for taking me there.
I was hopping to reboot my musical life here in Japan. So far it is working. I am slowly making steps. The band was a good start, and I want to keep it going, but I also want to play other than blues. This club call Sanfkin, and the Shakuhachi lessons are a big step into expanding beyond the blues.

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