May 8th, 2024 – Japan- Sailed all day

March 23- Sadly we have left Kagoshima tonight and are sailing on to Tokyo.

There are several ides where the name Kagoshima came from. One says the name came from a boat used by the mythical Hoori that was built in Kagoyama Mountain, with Hoori Himself later enshrined on Kagoshima. Another says that “Kodashima” comes from Sakurajima, a mountain encirceled by cliffs. One also suggests that “Kogashima” means Kami (island) mountain, or an island where Kami live. I think that clears it up nicely.

We read most of the morning, had lunch and read some more. We love days at sea. The wind is very strong and coming from the north. The sea is filled with rolling waves topped with white caps.

The ship is a small one and rolling more than usual. It’s getting colder as we travel north. The sky is low and filled with grey smears of clouds. Remember, we have only 600 people or so on board. This is not a mega ship.

We are on an Oceana Cruise. Our ship is the Insignia. She was built in 1999 and refurbished in 2018. She is 30,277 tons and 593.7 feet long with a beam of 83.5 feet. She carries 670 passengers. The crew consists of 400 crew members and staff. She has a top speed of 18 knots.

There is a casino, pool and jacuzzi with several restaurants on board. She has been rated at 4.5 out of 5.0. It is a quiet ship for the most part that is filled with mostly older adults.

There was a lot of sniffling going on in Bali and I caught what ever was going around. Just another souvenir. I was sick for five days, but modern science helped. We always bring everything with us that one might need on a trip or voyage.

We are two hundred yards behind another ship at the moment and gaining on it. This ship does move right along. There are two more ships off in the distance to the right of us. This is the most ships that I have seen since coming on board.

We just passed a marker of the channel.

As I may have mentioned earlier, there is a lot of drama on the cruise. Some people wanted to throw their bedding over board. They are not happy for several reasons. Some valid, some perhaps not.

We are fine and anticipating our arrival in Japan for the third time. We have long time friends in Osaka who lived with my mother and father in law thirty years ago in America as exchange students. They are long time family members now.

The sister went back to Japan but didn’t stay. She came back and spent a few decades in America before coming home to Japan and helping her brother with their aging parents.

Her brother wanted to stay but couldn’t since he was the only son and responsible for the care of his parents and the father of his wife.

Here’s a fun story about the brother.

He was invited along with his wife to come on my wife’s parents 50th Anniversary cruise through the Panama Canal. He asked for the time off, but no one got back to him from work with a yes or no. Few “salary men” take vacations after starting their careers. He didn’t hear back but came anyway.

My in laws were like parents to him and his sister when they came to America. they were both in their early 20’s when they came over. Their parents treat us in the same way when we come to visit them in Japan.

Anyway, The sister was in America but didn’t have her green card yet, so she was afraid to leave on the trip for fear that she couldn’t get back into America. The brother and his wife came on the trip and we all had a wonderful time cruising from Florida and through the Canal.

One day on the cruise, my Japanese brother told me the story about not having permission to come on the trip from work. He had no idea if he would have a job when he arrived home after he cruise was over. The Japanese culture is very different from ours. But my in laws had such an impact on his life that he had to come.

He had always wanted too learn about America and meet Americans. He stayed over a year and went to college and met many Americans while he was here. He also went to work with me and was in many private homes watching me work.

When he built his home in Japan, he built it with in American style as far as size and he also had a garage built as well. Not many homes in Japan have garages. Homeowners have to pay property taxes on square footage. So usually a carport is used and is not counted as part of the home’s foot print and thus the taxes are lower. He also put in some grass. My father in law had taught him how to cut grass and care for it.

His garage has many items from my father in law’s garage, including peg board for his tools. The upstairs of the house is American style with a bed and a large bathroom and walk in closet. The downstairs is Japanese style and he and his wife sleep on the bottom floor on their tatami mats, Japanese style. My 97 year old mother in law has here own room in there home and has recently gone to visit them on her own. He also has grass in his back yard. His neighbor put in grass after seeing our brothers yard.

Never underestimate your power to help, inform, change, improve or damage the lives of others coming into your home. It’s all up to you.