Spring has been quickly morphing into summer, but not before the entire Kanto area will bee drenched during the rainy month of June. On this early June day I found myself on the narrow backstreets behind Funabashi station. The dingy streets were lined with the Japanese greasy spoons. Bars, tontaksu, teishoku (lunch plates or set menu meals), and ramen most busy, while others were empty with the owner sitting on a beer crate outside their establishment. People of all ages hustled about for lunch in the strong Friday afternoon light.
There was the occasion ultra tight alleyway where signs had been posted that no one under 18 were allowed to pass through because of the sleazy drinking establishments that overflowed these tiny pedestrian walkways. They are there to trap the thirsty businessman in a web alcoholic persuasion scented with female fantasies.
These are some of the same streets that the teenagers have to travel to get from their homes to crowded Funabashi station. The young guys in their blazer styled uniforms, and the girls in their sailor uniforms. The teenagers have to navigate these alleyways so that they can attend classes. They too needed to pass the streets where I stood. I stumbled upon evidence that they had too traveled these same streets for they had scribbled their mark on a banged up street sign.
The tradition of the aiaigasa (love love umbrella) where teenagers draw an umbrella and inscribe the the names of the two in love under the protecting the shade of an umbrella. Sometimes the lovers draw the aiaigasa together, other times a Japanese youth draws one for the love of the one that they desire. They hope that their love will be eternal as it has been inscribed and placed in the public view.
Does any young love last forever? Do the chains of the love our youth blur our our vision? Do we need to break childhood love fantasies in order that we can mature and allow love to flow from our hearts to all?
Unshackling our own unguided desires and focusing our energies on the possible higher love is a needed step towards becoming an adult. Someone who is able to share love not just for the opposite sex, but love that knows no bounds. A love that is free and welcoming to all who encounter the the human with love emanating from their heart.
Unshackle our hearts that are bound by earthly desires. Let our hearts soar to the highest of heights. Then we can truly come to a full soul reaching understanding of love.