The photo above shows approximately the areas we passed through during the Peace March – from Tokyo to Nara. This is not complete though, since I also took photos from a different camera. The blank space between Hamamatsu and Nagoya is the time when I went back to the Philippines for visa change. At far left is Hiroshima – the goal for August 4.
The Peace March is currently in Nara Prefecture. They will continue to walk through Osaka, Hyogo, Okayama and finally reach Hiroshima. Today is the 54th day. So there’s still approximately 36 days to go. Hayai! Time travels fast!
Today is the second day I am officially off the Peace March. I am currently in a hotel in Nara Prefecture. It is sad, but I believe this is the best option considering the state of my knee. Aichan from Nihon Gensuikyo will meet me this afternoon and together we will go to Kyoto. We will consult the next day with a knee specialist highly recommended by MIN-IREN. I was told that they would do a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of my right knee. Yuki san will also join us. She knows about my condition more than I do and would be very helpful in asking the more questions from the doctor.
The previous doctor from Kyoto said there is a big possibility that my right knee has lateral meniscus injury. He recommended 4 weeks complete rest for the tissues to grow back. He also recommended that I have an MRI for a more accurate assessment.
With the intention to keep people from worrying, I will describe my current physical state. Please take note that I am generally alright and in a cheerful disposition. I can walk almost normally except for a hint of limp as I try to avoid putting weight on my right knee. I try to keep still (which is proving to be very challenging) as much as I can. The pain in the knee goes on and off. I usually experience it when I alight or get down from a vehicle, take the stairs, sit down very low, walk on uneven surface and when I have walked very far. The main concern for medical supervision is to avoid the injury from getting worse and actually healing my knee.
Even though, I am no longer physically marching, I would still like to write about the Peace March until they reach Hiroshima. The next few days will be spent on posting back log posts and hopefully I could also get updates from Murata san and other through peace marchers. My intention to join the peace march was three ways: to experience it for myself, to support the peace movement in Japan, and to share the story of the Peace March outside of Japan. Although I cannot pursue the first intent right now, I know I can still do the other two. 🙂
I sure will miss the Peace March, though. I will surely miss walking. Murata san and the rest of the peace activists must be visiting town offices of Ikaruga and Odera today – based on the inital translated schedule I have. I will miss the break time where you talk to new people and have a laugh. I will miss waving to people on the streets and see their face light up. I will miss meeting municipal officers who smile warmly when you greet them you greet them in Nihongo and that surprised look when you give a serious request (like not allowing x-band radar in their area) between your sweet smile.
I will miss Murata san. He has been my constant companion from day 1. He has stayed strong, warm, and funny. I think he is the one whom I can have the longest sensible Nihongo conversation with – with the least use of Google Translate. Somehow, he knows the range of my vocabulary and uses the words he thinks I know so I can understand him.
I also observed that his speeches have been sounding more and more passionate as we progressed with the march. I wanted to refer to him as my father in the Peace March, but he is too young for that. I tried to consider him as an elder brother, but then he might be too old to be my brother. So I decided to simply refer to him as simply Murata san – the steadfast and courageous Toshi Koshin (Through Marcher).
The Please-do-not-worry Collage.
Clockwise from top left:
1. Showing off a temporary bye-bye gift from Murata san. He gave this to me in the morning before he left the hotel. The wooden block says Imadeshoo (It’s now!). He painted it last night and infused my name in katakana with the colourful pattern. We will see each other again in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The World Conference will welcome him and the rest of the Peace Marchers at the big meeting. Murata san, honto ni arigatou gozaimashita soshite gambaroo! (Thank you very much and ~fight on!)
2. The food I am trying to finish since yesterday. I am still trying now. Extra note: there’s still a bag full of food waiting to be finished. Visitors came and gave me food!
3. Tomato snacks from Murata san.
4. Teriyaki flavoured pork ears from Sato Yuki san. She says it’s a good source of collagen for my knee cartilage. I was surprised to see them in Japan.