At Aguascalientes in Central Mexico (B)

Mexican Customs: Catching the Dead Soul Positively nov. 23

New York, N.Y. By the way, this “Third World Onnestu Congress” was held in a town called Aguascalientes in the Midwest of Mexico. The name of this town means “warm water,” and as its name suggests, it used to have a very hot hot spring.

When the city was built in the 1500s, it was named like this due to its abundant amount of hot water, and I wish they had managed it well like Japan, but they did not do it, and it did not develop as a hot spring resort.

Now, the government is involved in trying to make it a hot spring resort like Japan, and trying to build a new hot spring facility in the suburbs. The town also has old hot spring facilities.

If you go to Ojo Caliente Onsen, you can take an old bath at a place that has been operating as a hot spring facility since the late 19th century. You can experience a private bath and some shared hot springs. But it is not the best.

The northern part of Mexico is a very dangerous area where drugs are prevalent. The southern part is a very poor area, and the central part is rich and well-educated. The climate in this central part is mild, and it is in the highlands of about 1,900 meters, but it seems that the temperature is always comfortable.

Since there are many factories of Japanese companies such as car manufacturers in the surrounding area, the town is actually full of Japanese residents. There are places where Japanese translations are written when you enter the shop, so I think that it is a city where Japanese people can easily go sightseeing.

In the center, the old townscapes of the Spanish rule still remain and colonial architecture can be seen, making it a popular tourist spot. If you go to Patria Square in the center of the city, you can see many historic buildings around it. The cathedral, famous for its beautiful tower, is also located on this square.

I visited this town for a meeting the other day, but Dr. Shimotsumura of O-ring and Mr. Miyashita, who developed the thermotherapy device together, were new to Aguascalientes, so we went sightseeing together.

A popular tourist spot is the Marcos area. This is the site of the San Marcos Festival, which is one of the most famous festivals in the world, and there are many fun things to do just by strolling around, such as the old bullring, San Marcos Gardens, and San Marcos Temple. The illumination at night is also beautiful.

In addition to the San Marcos Festival, there are actually other famous festivals in Aguascalientes. This “skeleton festival” was exactly on our tournament schedule, so I was wondering if it would have any impact on my event, but I’m relieved that the tournament was over safely PEACEFULLY. In Mexico, it seems that skeletons are considered as symbol of death and life, and there are figurine and souvenirs with skelitin motifs everywhere in the city.

For us, I was surprised at first because I had the image of skeleton = death, an IN THE BEGINNING IT WAS SACRY ominous thing, but I did not consider death to be a scary thing, I thought that it was connected to life, MEXICANS THINK that life and death together, SOMETHING positive. I felt something that was common to Obon in Japan, such as treating people with DEATH and positively grasping the return of the souls of the dead.

This festival that sends out the deceased is a very bright festival, with colorful fireworks and visits to grave, orange flowers overflow the town, and many decorations are added to the city to make it beautiful.

After a person has died, there is a habit of living with them by keeping their skeleton at home for a long time. It seems that there was already a lot of fuss at this festival during the tournament around downtown. SO MUCH ACTIVITIES

There are various recommendations, but what I would particularly like to recommend is the food from this region, which I introduced a while ago, and there is the world’s most special guava in this area. This small yellow guava fruit is boiled for a long time, and meat or fish is put in the sauce to make a stew, which is sweet and sour and has a deep taste. The cuisine using guava in this region is the best in the world. If there is a place to eat, I would like to eat in New York.

Originally published as Vol. X in Weekly Biz, January x, 201x; translated by Jim Luce.

See: Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura Column in Japan’s Weekly Biz



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About Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura

View all posts by Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura
Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura
Dr. Kazuko was born into a distinguished old family in Kyoto, Japan, and graduated from Toho conservatory of Music in Tokyo. In 1961 she came to U.S. as a pianist sponsored by the Boston Symphony. She studied at Boston University, New York University, and received her Ph.D. in Oriental Medicine from New York State University and the International Academy of Education in Tokyo. From 1968 to 1992, she promoted cultural exchanges from East to West and vice versa, and became a world famous impresario, producing 2,000 events each year all over the world encompassing over 140 countries. In this connection, in 1972, she went to Dharamsala to find the lost Tibetan Folk Opera, and met His Holiness the Dalai Lama, with whom she remains a lifelong friend. In 1973 and 1991 she arranged and funded personally the tours of the Folk Opera of Tibet to the West. She has received many medals and honors from different countries. Her tireless life long work in Philanthropic field is vast and well known ranging from Save the Beacon Theater, Save the Boat People, Help the Homeless, natural disasters of earthquakes and tsunamis, as well as relief to AIDS and HIV positive children in Africa. She has been a dedicated Board Member to both the J. Luce Foundation and Orphans International for years. Her work focuses on the Tibetan people; Tibetan children remain especially strong in her heart. She raised fund for the new academic building for Manjushree Orphanage in Tawang, India and supported many aspects of the school. See HuffPo pieces entitled Japanese Holistic Healer in NYC to Build School for Tibetan Orphans in India, A Japanese Dinner with Raul Castro’s Daughter, and NYC Gala in Support of Tibetan Orphans Set for January.

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