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OHAYO Bom dia

Chapter 3: My First Ofuro

It was my 12th summer
My first time visiting my grandma’s home
My first time seeing a large coffee field
My first time stepping foot on red dirt
My first time meeting my uncles
My first time playing with my cousins

And my first time in an ofuro (Japanese-style bath)
You go first, says grandma
Mom is chatting on the balcony
Her first trip home in decades

My first time seeing an oil drum
Is it safe to go inside?
What if it’s to hot?
Hey, if I drown…

Outside the small window is Mr. Moon
Ahh~ it feels so good

Shortly after I got out
A scream is heard ‘round the house

Everyone gathered in front of the ofuro
Their jaws dropped in awe

The oil drum was a sea of foam
Swaying back and forth like tiny ships
The bubbles were floating around

My first ofuro was
My first big embarrassment

© 2011 Laura Honda-Hasegawa

culture ofuro poem

About this series

My grandfather immigrated to Brazil from Japan about 100 years ago, and I was born in Brazil. That is why I strive to become a ‘bridge’ between Brazil and Japan. I treasure the ‘Japan’ rooted deep in my heart, and I want to keep that part of me protected in my homeland of Brazil. This series was composed with those feelings in mind. (“Bom Dia” is “Good morning” in Portuguese)