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1/13 – New Year’s and Seiji-no-Hi

New Year’s celebration with the girl’s from Nichidai
Hello All,
Here’s another update on what’s going on for the past couple of days.
On Sunday, we were scheduled to go back to the Kodokan for day 3 of the camp, but our bodies were too tired to make it to the 7:30 session so we took that one off (with Konno Sensei’s permission). Instead we went to Konno Sensei’s dojo for their New Years celebration and Seiji-no-Hi celebrations. (Seiji-no-Hi is a coming of age celebration that occurs when people turn 20.) It was funny and interesting too. We got to the dojo as they were making moch, and we got to taste test. YUMMY!  After that the celebration began. In the dojo there were a dozen or so long tables where we sat. There was a ton of food on those tables. After a few speeches we got to eat.  While we were eating, the older boys were preparing the Seiji-no-Hi boys for their speeches with toasts. By the time it was time for them to make their speeches which was an introduction: name, rank, goal for the year and judo goal for the year, they were drunk. A few had already run out the dojo!
After the celebration, we came home so I could chat with the family online. Then, we met Michael at the grocery store so that he could come hang out with us. After doing a little food shopping, we all came back to the house to play Monopoly which Sayaka won.
On Monday, we went to the Kodokan for the last 2 sessions of the camp, 10-12 am and 3-5 pm. During the break, we decided not to come back to the house because it was too much trouble for such little time to rest. During the break, Moriwaki sensei (The sensei from Kokushikan who leads the exchange team every year) took us out to lunch. After lunch we walked around Tokyo for another hour and then went back to the dojo for practice. After judo we came back home and ate dinner while playing Monopoly. Michael came over and hung out with us for awhile. Then around 9 or 10 we all called it a night. 
The Kodokan camp went really well. There weren’t as many girls as there were a few days ago but it was still good because there were a ton of girls my size. I had a few intense rounds with this girl that we nicknamed "boy". Mostly because it’s so hard to keep track of who the girls are when there are 100 of them on the mat and they all look the same! When I worked out with her she would shove me off the mat, or into the mat once we were down. But yesterday, I got a really good throw off, and slammed her really hard, which was very satisfying. Yesterday was probably the best practice I’ve had since I’ve been here. I felt like a lot more of the things I’m working on is working for me.