by Mary Ann Mok ( Mui & Cowboy Mum )
Acknowledgement to Mikihiro Miyano and Sam Wong
GO GO GO…..pursue your dream my child. Japanese son, Kensei Ikeda (left) picture with Mui & Cowboy Mum (right) at home.
Windsurfing to me is something more than mere exercise. It is a representative of a number of things: a healthy life balance, harmony between nature, a life philosophy….It enables me to live my life to the fullest.
The sport provides me priceless experiences and great opportunities to meet fascinating people around the world. These are the wonderful things that I wish to share with you in my blog.
Many years ago, San San (Lee Lai San , Hong Kong’s first Olympic gold medalist), Sam Wong (also well-known Hong Kong windsurfer; husband of San San) together with Mikihiro Miyano (well-known sailor, now Japanese Sailing Team Coach) were windsurfing athletes and later became buddies. During that time, Mikihiro always came to Hong Kong and stayed at San San’s house at Cheung Chau, the beautiful island where San San grew up and got her training.
San San’s family was incredibly hospitable. They opened their home and hearts to accept Mikihiro as if he was one of the family members.
Having a great feast and chill out after intensive training/competition is the most enjoyable time for athletes. Kensei (fourth left), Mui (third right), Cowboy (second right), Mikihiro (extreme right) enjoying hotpot at a Chinese restaurant.
Ken, dad of Mui & Cowboy (extreme left), Mikihiro (second left), Kensei (centre), Cowboy (extreme right) having a great feast with Hong Kong and Japan windsurfing team athletes at a Chiuchow restaurant in Hong Kong.
Being captivated by Chinese culture and the long term intimacy with San San’s family, Mikihiro has become an old China hand. When I first met Mikihiro, I was much surprised by his in-depth knowledge about the Chinese tradition and custom. He has vast knowledge about Chinese cuisine and can order his favourite food such as Char Siu Bao (Chinese barbeque pork bun) in fluent Cantonese.
Mikihiro is a real funny guy. His Cantonese dialect is so good that he will amuse you by telling you that San San is now a “po” (woman) and no more a “mui” (girl) to indicate time flies. Besides, you never could have imagined him being such a skilful mahjong (a Chinese gambling game) player.
Years ago, I think it was more “fate” than a well-planned homestay cultural exchange programme between Sam and Mikihiro that Kensei Ikeda started being a guest at our house.
At the beginning, both Kensei and our family members were a bit uptight. As time went by, it is amazing that despite language barrier, kinship has been built up by our simple gestures and funny drawings. Kensei had come to Hong Kong for training a few times and we all look forward to Kensei’s homecoming.
Picture shows the souvenirs that Kensei bought for Mui & Cowboy. After several visits to Hong Kong, his English and Cantonese made remarkable progress.
Kensei was very generous. Every time he visited us, he brought us our favourite Japanese sweets and snacks.
Shinjirarenai (the Japanese word that Kensei taught me, meaning unbelievable) windsurfing brought me a precious little “angel”. What a blessing from Heaven that Kensei becomes my Japanese son!
Through interaction with people from different countries, we begin to learn more about each other’s culture and custom. For a windsurfing athlete, he can learn to move away from his comfort zone to gain maturity, independence and confidence.
Kensei cooked his first Chinese dish… Fried Choy Sum…. oishii! This young guy has all the potential to become a great chef!
Kensei was extremely curious about the creation of his Hong Kong Mum and can’t wait to try them on.
Olympics is every athlete‘s dream. However, every successful athlete would have gone through tough times. Last time before Kensei flew back to Japan, I assured him my fullest support to pursue his dream through a CURVO mirror and a cross, I told him,
”In times of despair, just hold the cross in your hand and look into this magic mirror.....it will give you all the strength you need.”
“TRUST YOURSELF ”.
“Kensei, wherever you go, whatever you do, mum will always be with you.”
Kensei has a special preference for the cross design. Picture shows the CURVO mirror and cross (middle) to support Kensei’s Olympic Dream.
Hong Kong Mum keeps regular contact with Kensei and always reminds him to love what he is doing, enjoy the process and never give up.
Hong Kong Mum (right) paid a visit to Japanese Mum (left) at Kanagawa. The delicious dinner that Masami Ikeda cooked for me plus the earthquake that I first encountered during my stay at their home was so unforgettable.
Hong Kong Mum find a T-shirt bearing same sail number (JPN 5) of Kensei among thousands of items at a second hand antique shop in Tokyo.....Shinjirarenai!
Mui (left), Cowboy (middle), met Japanese brother Kensei (right) at the 2017 RS:X Windsurfing Asian Championships dinner held at Penghu. Windsurfing has led them to an extraordinary life. Hope that they all strive hard to achieve their dream and treasure this valuable kinship.