Sunday, September 04, 2011

oya-kou-ko

mccully I had written most of this post before all the "chaos"...In Japanese, there is something called oya-kou-ko (oh-ya-koh-ko).

It is sometimes translated as "filial piety" or "love for the family". It is a way of showing gratitude to one's parents, "giving back" for everything they've done for you.

In most Japanese families, most of the responsibility falls on the eldest child to take care of their aging parents.

But, with work, families of their own, and sometimes even being many miles away, most times oya-kou-ko is a very hard thing to do.

Maybe you can't physically come home to "do" things for your parents, but keeping in touch is much easier with the internet these days.

And sadly, some never make the time to do anything for their parents while their parents are alive.

Every year, I am lucky to be able to do a little oya-kou-ko, with my parents and my grandma.

Whether it is driving them to appointments or errands, cleaning around the house or just being their sounding board.

Sure, it is "work" that I normally do as a housewife in Japan and I am neglecting Satoshi when I do come to Hawaii.

But, I am glad he lets me come for the two or sometimes three months because it is quality time I probably wouldn't have been able to spend with my parents or grandma had I been working full-time or if we had children.

And, when I come to Hawaii there is also lots of playing (and eating), re-connecting with friends and other family, but I really appreciate the lifestyle I have.

The week before I was to go back to Japan, a medical emergency sent me to the ER!

Thank goodness my parents, friends (virtual ones too) and family were there and I wasn't mid-flight or in Japan when it happened...eep!

While I am not ready to exactly say what happened, I will tell you that it was painful, traumatic, and a little sad.

On a side note, getting your flights changed due to a medical emergency then getting info squared away for Japanese insurance and worrying about whether you will fly out because a typhoon is headed towards Japan (namely Osaka) is very stressful...

If I even did a teensy bit of oya-kou-ko on this trip for my parents...I now owe them even more for all of their support through this experience!

Thanks Mom & Dad! And thanks to everyone who emailed while I was recuperating it really brightened my day!

Talk to you again from the other side of the world (if I am able to fly out)...

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of you.

I am so glad you are okay again. Although I am a little bit curious what happened to you, there are sometimes things we want to stay private, and do not want to share with other people.

Sandy

Dennis K. said...

Glad you are OK! I somehow missed this whole ER thing. Good to see you back, but also that you are fine. And thanks for reminding me I should be doing more Oyakoukou myself... :)

Su-Lin said...

Eeks! Hope you're alright now! Looking forward to your posts again but I don't want to stress you more!

Anonymous said...

Hi kat, I have been out of touch and just saw your post. I tried to email but couldnt find your addy.

Sure hope you are okay. So sorry to hear the news.

Could you email me when you have the time ?

take care
shar

blukats said...

Glad you are okay! I was starting to wonder if something had happened since I hadn't seen any posts on my reader for a bit. It is great you are there for your family and they are for you. Have a safe flight home!

Lindsay-Jean said...

Happy you're back. Sending positive thoughts and healing wishes.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Glad you are OK and back. I have missed you and have been thinking about you a lot. Stay safe and dry there. ;-)

Kris said...

glad you're feeling better

genkitummy said...

Kat, I'm glad to hear that you are doing okay.
I really enjoyed reading this post. You sound like such a good daughter and granddaughter!

KirkK said...

Hey Kat! I was really worried about you.... I'm hoping you're ok?

Jenster said...

Kat, I hope you have a speedy recovery! Whatever your emergency entailed, I'm glad you were surrounded by loved ones to care for you when it happened.

I look forward to reading your posts again when you're feeling better. Take care!

Japan Australia said...

Glad to hear you are OK and welcome back :)

Japan Australia

sarah said...

glad you're ok kat

K and S said...

Thanks Sandy! good to be back :)

Thanks Dennis, no prob, hope you do more oyakouko :)

Thanks Su-Lin, good to be back :)

No prob Shar, I'm doing fine.

Thanks Blukats!

Thanks LJ! good to be back :)

Thanks Deb, sorry I couldn't make our last get together, next year for sure!

Thanks Kris!

I try Genki :)

Sorry to worry you Kirk!

Thanks Jenster!

Thanks J-A!

Take care everyone!
Kat

K and S said...

thanks Sarah!

Take care.
Kat

moshi mooch said...

Hi Kat,

I'm so glad that you are feeling better. i was worried about you. Please take care of yourself. Hugs!

K said...

I'm glad you are doing better!

jalna said...

WELCOME BACK!!!

Jean said...

Welcome back Kat. I hope you get plenty of rest and heal quickly. Our body's is the only thing we truly possess in this world.

-Jean

Kathy YL Chan said...

Hi Kat! So glad you are ok!!! Wasn't sure what happened but I can say that the "blog world" wasn't the same without you and your beautiful posts. Sending over lots of positive wishes and happy energy from new york :)

K and S said...

Thanks Moshi!

Thanks K!

good to be back Jalna :)

Thanks Jean!

aw thanks Kathy!

Take care everyone!
Kat

Barbara said...

Glad you are back safely Kat.

K and S said...

Thank you Barbara!

Take care.
Kat

Rick said...

I'm just catching up on your blog and read this! I'm very late, but I hope you're recovering well!

K and S said...

Thanks Rick, doing fine!

Take care.
Kat