Tampa “Deai”


Oshima Tsumugi 1

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

A brief weekend trip took me to Tampa for a visit with my younger brother and his family. I keep returning there, but it was my father’s birthplace, my grandmother’s home where I lived during my college years and is now home for both my mother and brother. In many respects, it’s not just a place for visiting family, but a revisiting of family history and the stories my grandmother and dad used to tell.

This time, it was also a deai (meeting) with the young woman (Kaori) who generously made contact with our old friends in Kagoshima over the New Year’s holiday. Needless to say, it was a momentous occasion with getting acquainted, stories, gift and generous (お土産・おみやげ・omiyage)souvenir exchanges – examples of Oshima Tsumugi. The weavers in my neighborhood produced this kind of cloth. Some of the pieces I received are from Kaori’s grandmother who also lives in Kagoshima. So, these are very heartfelt and meaningful gifts.

After our all too brief gathering at Bella’s on Friday night, I spent the rest of the weekend visiting with family, re-watching 5 episodes of Atsuhime which featured Kagoshima and its local dialect, tasting that familiar Tampa/Ybor cuisine and learning more about Floridian and Tampa culture at the history museum.


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4 Responses to “Tampa “Deai””

  1. Diane Wright Says:

    I got shivers. Kagoshima. I lived in Hakata and Fukuoka as a kid and visited Kagoshima many times. Just this week I was invited to participate in a challenge along with 14 other American art quilters by the Kagoshima Quilters Association. Heck, I’m actually considering attending the exhibit in Dec. My son lives in Osaka and I think he’d go with me…a great chance to visit with him and have him translating for me. A two-fer. I haven’t heard the word “Kagoshima” in years…now this week it seems to be everywhere. Thanks!

    • Susan Says:

      Oh, I’m so glad I’m not the only one with shivers! It happens every time I write about it, get a communique from there or…anything related. Funny how that happens. One day…I’m really going to get back. And thank you so much for your comment!

  2. neki rivera Says:

    beautifully understated tsumugi. and so full of significance.

    • Susan Says:

      It definitely is that (understated) and apparently a long-lasting, high quality thread. I was very surprised and so pleased to receive it (also very touched).

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