Here are some photos from when Takeshi's family and relatives came together, before we left Japan, to have yakiniku one evening. My FIL's younger brother and older sister came. Takeshi's uncle and wife have three small girls. I think they had, conception after conception, been trying to have a boy, but to no avail! And Takeshi's uncle, I hear, got married later in life - when he was in his forties. Their three girls are very cute (as I think almost all Japanese kids are!) and seemed to not shy away from me, the gaijin new-comer, too much. I had been used to Japanese kids being more than a little wary of me, while living in Suzuka. So it was nice to be around kids again, who weren't afraid of me!
Takehi's aunt came with her husband and daughter, who is about my age; in her early twenties. She was soooo nice, even though she had only met me twice, including that very day. All of them were so wonderful and warm to me, that it really brought home the idea of "family". That, for family, you reach out to them and take care of each other and accept each other, even though you may be from different cultures.
My FIL was pushing almost everyone (in this case, all of the men present) to make a little speech of some sort. Haha. Takeshi's uncle made a really touching speech about marriage and relationships; the need to support each other, you will be there for each other so that you can get through anything, etc.
He also mentioned (I was told later by TK) something along the lines of, "You should have kids as soon as you can..." Which I was thinking, "Uhh...not right away, thanks!" I think he just wanted to bring that particular tip home, because he himself had had children fairly late. Kind of like a "Don't do what I did" tip. But I don't think we're in any danger of waiting that long! Yikes.
Here are some photos from the day!