29.6.09

OKINAWAVILLE

If you haven't been following the twitter stream or the face book posts, I am in receipt of orders to Okinawa.

Which means I have a lot of work to do, explain the moving process to the kids, Try to get the wife to maintain a positive mental outlook on the move to somewhere she has an aversion to, get the house prepped up to sell, pets vaccinated, Schools signed up for, Turnover with my replacement (as if anyone could replace me, HA!) and eventually cars sold and family and pets transported overseas.

I will be back on a MEU, this time the command element though. Which I know will be different than my last experience. Bigger ship, better chow, maybe even working air conditioning.

Anyway I am a little excited about the adventure, while trying to maintain my sights on the many tasks at hand leading up to it.

I am also really curious to find out what the com Zazen community is like over there.



17 comments:

LT Jeanette Shin, CHC, USN said...

Wow, you are going to Okinawa! Lucky you!!
My best tour when I was in the Marines was at Camp Butler. Even though the usually port/starboard schedule sucked, I really had a good time. I was there from 91-92, so I'm sure alot has changed since then.
I do not know about the Zen temples there, but there were at least 9 Shinshu temples; I visited the one in Okinawa City. Okinawa has its own unique ethnic culture, separate from mainland Japan, and there is also a strong Chinese influence, as the Ryukyus were once claimed by China.

oxeye said...

Jordan, Awesome! I am glad you are excited.. I'm looking forward to reading about the move and the settling in.

Mike Hinsley said...

I guess the army likes you

Jordan said...

Chaplain,
I have been looking for Zen temples in Okinawa a little bit already but have not found much. I think there is one in Naha but I am not sure where that is in relation to the MEU CP. Like I said, an adventure!

Jeff,
I'm sure there will be much to write about.

Mike,
I don't know anything about the army liking or disliking me.

Barry said...

It's no small thing to move your family around the world. My dad (career Air Force) was moved every year or three years, depending. So I have some sense of the turmoil involved. And also some sense of the excitement of a new place. I hope it goes smoothly. And I'm trying to figure out how to get down to Vancouver before the summer is out.

LT Jeanette Shin, CHC, USN said...

Gunny,

Don't forget you can always inquire at the base chapel, that's what they ought to have is info on different places of worship available.

If all else fails, what you can do is inquire from any local Okinawans working on base. That's how I found the Shinshu community (but you might not find fluent English speakers).

Molly said...

Holy Cow Jordan! Best wishes for smooth sailing. And PLEASE keep us posted, when you have time. Would love to know how it all shakes down.

Big changes. but I guess that is all we really have isn't it? Change.

Jordan said...

Barry,
Yeah I got a beak spending the last four years in Portland. I am grateful for that time as I think I really needed it. But I have to say I am ready to get back to the Fleet Marine Forces.

Definitely come down to visit. it might give me the motivation to finnish a project I have been procrastinating on.

Chaplain,
Thanks! A day early on "Gunny though. Tomorrow is the big day.

Thanks for the tip on using the base chapel too. I will be looking into that.

My big concern with the temples out there is the rumor that they are only there to provide funeral services, I hope I find that one to be wrong.

Molly,
Don't worry, I do not have any intention to stop blogging anytime soon. Yes, change and nirvana are the only constants.

Mumon said...

Good luck on all this. I've never been to Okinawa, always wanted to go.

Then again, I've only not been on Honshu once when I was in Japan.

Lauren said...

Wow, Jordan. What a jump! I've been to Japan much, but never Okinawa. It has such a rich and varied history.

I do hope your wife warms up to the idea more, 'cause I know it can often feel like "when mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."

Don't the bases pretty much feel like really isolated parts of America rather than 'foreign' locations?

Anyway, good luck with all the heavy lifting.

Jordan said...

Mumon,
I will try and document my stay there well enough so you can live vicariously through me!

Lauren,

I don't know much about Okinawa aside from what I have read and heard from other Marines.

Thanks to all for the well wishes!

Mumon said...

Jordan,
Thanks. I've been to Japan something like 20 or 25 times, and only once was I in Fukuoka's airport.

Though I might make it to Miyazaki (Kyushu, if I recall correctly) in the Fall.

Anyway, if you're in town after I get back from China (leave next week, until the 16th ), if you're not outrageously busy planning the move it'd be great if you could meet either for service at the Zendo I attend in Stevenson (Osho should be back in town around then) or at my slightly refurbished home Zendo (very very small, but "sits 4").

Jordan said...

Mumom,
Sounds wonderful, I think I would enjoy the service in Stevenson. i will try and get a liberty pass from the wife.

Anonymous said...

Jordan,

I was stationed on Oki in the late 1970's-1976 to 1980. I have used Google Earth to locate the small temple I sat at; cannot find it. It was in Shuri, just SW by 300 meters from the Castle. It was approximately 200 meters West of a large Soto Temple in Shuri. So much has changed in the area. It may not even exist anymore. As I said, that was approximately 30 years ago......and my japanese has gotten very rusty....can only partially read the signs now....

As the Lt said, ask the local Okinawan's who work on the base. They should be able to help you. If you do find it or one similar, be prepared to sit for the first sitting in seizan, sitting with your calves folded under your thighs, butt on your feet. My first consisted of 3 30 minute sessions of zazen seperated by 5 minutes of kinhin...the last session ended with 15 minutes of chanting. Needless to say, I needed assistance standing up each time, but it is worth it.

And be persistent. It is very unusual for an American GI to be interested in something that is as esoteric as Zen; it is not a common religion amongst the Japanese, much less Okinawans...

Good luck. Email me and I will add to this as my memory recalls specifics.

Charlie (charst46@treeleaf.org)

Jordan said...

Charlie,
Thanks for the tips. I am still full of wonder at this point. I am trying to appreciate that.

Curator said...

Wow, Just read up on some of the posts Ive missed, seems like theres allot going on for you! congratulations on the promotion! and I hope the move goes smoothly!

Jordan said...

Curator,
Allot going on, yes!
Thanks for the kind word s of congratulations.

The move, I am a bit ruffled about. I guess I thought I was going to put down some roots. Ah well, a few more years of being a floating weed I guess. I enjoy that too though.

Thanks for looking!