Taking the Narrative Turn
“We are the storytellers, and we are the stories we tell.”
(McAdams, D., Josselson, R., & Lieblich, A., 2006, p. 3)
After the last bite of salad, Dana suggested we take a walk to help digest our huge reunion dinner (it had been a year since we had last met; I was living in the States working on my PhD) and I’m so glad she did! Kyoto was a familiar city of serendipitous encounters and this night would prove to be no different.
We had both eaten so much tofu and daikon that we needed to get our bodies moving, otherwise that 20 minute train ride home would be agony as I stood squashed amongst drunk college students and businessmen, my food sitting in my stomach like a boulder. So, we paid our bill, thanked the restaurant owner with gochi so sama deshita and descended the small spiral staircase leading back to the street.
Kyoto was a city I knew fairly well, having both worked and lived just minutes from the famed, one-time capital. I liked to stroll the streets around Kawaramachi admiring the various examples of architecture, browsing modern stores like Benetton and The Body Shop and enjoying ocha or ame in centuries-old, traditional kisaten and confectionaries. My favorite streets in the city, where I often brought visitors to look for geisha and maiko , were just minutes east towards Gion and the Kyoto hills. If lucky, we could catch a glimpse of the lavishly dressed women scurrying between restaurants and bars or being whisked away to parties on the Kamo river in Kyoto’s shiny black taxicabs – powdered, white faces and flowing, embroidered robes a reminder of how traditions live on in Nihon. (more…)