May, 2003 

This page is written monthly by Harumi Okochi,
and sometimes Harumi's friends join.
We'd be happy if you look at ou
r previous issues.


The First and the Last meeting
\"Ichigo Ichie" with flowers\

Yoko Shoji, the Green Thumb of Yoyokaku

Nobody knows this little Rose
by Emily Dickinson
  Nobody knows this little Rose --
  It might a pilgrim be
  Did I not take it from the ways
  And lift it up to thee.
  Only a Bee will miss it --
  Only a Butterfly,
  Hastening from far journey --
  On its breast to lie --
  Only a Bird will wonder --
  Only a Breeze will sigh --
  Ah Little Rose -- how easy
  For such as thee to die!

The month of flowers!
The small flowers in the fields, and the blossoms in the mountains.
And young leaves are also beautiful.

This month, I would like to introduce you Yoko Shoji.
Yoko has been working in Yoyokaku for 15 years. She is the chief of the front clerks, but also she is the one who arranges flowers in each room and corner of Yoyokaku. She is the one who has magic fingers to grow flowers in our garden. She has a green thumb, I imagine. Because the flowers she grows grow most vividly. Because she makes the flowers look most beautiful in her special way of arranging.

Have you ever heard a Japanese saying 'Ichigo Ichie'?
It means 'This meeting might be the first and the last meeting. We may never meet again. So, let us make this moment best.' The word is often used when we have a tea ceremony. The guests and the host. This meeting at this special moment will never be again.

When Yoko meets flowers, she always feels 'Ichigo Ichie' Next year, she might not see this flower again. This is the first and at the same time the last meeting with this tiny life. This idea makes Yoko do her best when she picks and arranges flowers.

I hope you will enjoy meeting Yoko and her flowers!

Arranging the Welcome Flower
at the entrance of Yoyokaku
Antique Japanese floor candle stand
as a vase for camellia flowers

Early Autumn

Seven Autumn Flowers
Late Autumn

Maple leaves
Early Spring

Peach blossoms and white camellia
Mid Spring

Fallen camellia flowers
Early summer

Magnolia grandiflora
Mid spring

This is Yoko, not a monkey,
climbing a big camellia tree
with her grandson Shuma (8 months old)
April, 2003

Thank you very much for visiting this page.
I hope you will return next month.
Yours, Harumi Okochi

Proprietress of Ryokan Yoyokaku

  Mail to Harumi Okochi