First impressions[June 2014]

Fuden-An: Leaves from a Tea-Journal

First impressions[June 2014]

KOBORI Sojitsu (the 13th Grand Master of the Enshu Sado School )

The first half of the year is already coming to a close. Depending on the person's perception of time, it has gone by either very quickly or very slowly. This seems to vary depending on age.

I was watching a sports program on TV the other day and the host said to a teenage figure skater 'The four years until the next Olympics will probably just fly by won't they', to which the skater replied 'It actually feels like a long way away for us'. This was funny for me as it is so true from both their points of view.

Continuing on from the theme from last month, I would like to write about movies. I wrote previously that I always went to the movies with my father. If you ask me what movie did we watch together for the first time, there is one movie that always comes to mind. I'm not completely certain, however, that it was in fact the first one. It was "The Way West", Hollywood's greatest western film. It was made in 1967 so I was around 11-12 years old, an age old enough to have a thoughtful conversation with one's father about the movie afterwards. This is a famous story in the western movies about the building of the "Oregon trail".

The story is as follows. In 1843, when there was a recession across the East of the US, one thousand pioneers from the state of Missouri in the Midwest organized wagon trains to move to the state of Oregon, known as an uncultivated land with abundant natural resources. It is a story of families who take all their worldly possessions on this exodus, a human drama of people who started with their hearts filled with hope on a journey of anxiety, infighting, suffering of conflict.

I remember this movie mostly due to the actors. The main role was played by Kirk Douglas, one of the leading actors in Hollywood. Perhaps he would be better known among the younger generation for being the father of Michael Douglas. Once you see him, you will never forget his face particularly because of a dimple in the middle of his chin as well as his unique mask. Since then, that chin guy had become both my father's and my favorite star.

And so when I became older, naturally I watched his older movies such as "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" and "Spartacus". After all, he still is my favorite movie star and I was delighted to see him commentating with good humor at ninety four years of age at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony as the presenter of the best supporting actress award.

Kirk would often play tough guys so I might have seen him as I did my father. By the way there were also two stars acting in "the road to the great west", Robert Mitchum and Richard Widmark who both also became some of my favorite actors.

People tend to hold on to their first impression of someone, especially if it's good. So I think it's important that we give good first impressions to others.