This is how it is going down in Ikeda this summer:
It is not much, but is as much porch as anyone is going to get in Japan. Japanese people do not appreciate porches the way Americans do and especially not the way North Carolinians do. When my sister came to North Carolina to visit me in May of last year we walked around my neighborhood and admired the wrap around porches, second floor porches, and the porch swings that line the streets of Greensboro.
The side porch of my home on 105 Inglewood Drive is the setting of romantic, adolescent, late night, kisses. And it is a place where I could always find my mother sitting quietly, drinking coffee on warm mornings when no one else was around.
For now I have put those tires to use that have annoyed me for the past nine months. And I like to think that this porch is like the small concrete porch that I spent Canadian summer vacations on. The porch that I would sit on in my childhood when I would let chipmunks climb up my legs as I fed them peanuts. And where I posted up reading The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Tests when I was 16 because I knew everyone else would spend their afternoons closer to the water.
The month of June is tsuyu or rainy season but in between the days of rain shower everyone in Japan is getting outside and enjoying the sunshine in the unique ways that Japanese people do.