Old names, horses, and Doctor-san


During one of today’s classes, the upcoming holiday came up: Tuesday, the 23rd will be Respect for the Elderly Day. “I’m senile,” declared a male student, suddenly.

This weekend’s festival is to celebrate Morioka Castle taking leadership over the neighboring 23 towns (including my neighborhood, Chabatake, and my school’s, Osawakawara) about 300 years ago, with the Nambu han (clan) at the top.

Old names for Morioka:
Hanayacho (many flowershop town)
Kajicho (swordsmith town)
One student mentioned that her hometown’s old name is “ginger selling place.”

They discussed horseback archery, and chattered in Japanese until someone said “hospital,” and everyone laughed. There was a “ritual” that involves horseback archery at Hachimangu shrine on Tuesday, but I doubt I’ll be able to attend.

Doctor-san’s lesson began at 6pm, and this is what I learned:
-Alexis Carrel, a 1894 Nobel Prize winner for inventing how to cut a vein and rejoin it using a 3-point method (assistant holds 2 points while the doctor sews the seams between the two points, which is then repeated twice more).
Types of transplants, in order of success:
-Autotransplantation- self to self
-Homotransplantation- human to human
-Heterotransplantation- animal to human
A Russian doctor transplanted a dog’s head to another dog’s chest, and the head survived for “several days.” Yikes.

Doctor-san said, “Rabbit is more conventional experiment. More gentle, not violent.” Double yikes.


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