Fulfilled in Jesus

Our pilgrimage with our Beloved in Japan -- Yoko & Ramone on the journey with Jesus!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Hosokawa Gracia 1563-1600

Lady Gracia (Grace) Hosokawa

"Let not yours be the outward adorning... but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. So once the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves... Do right and let nothing terrify you."

- Letter from Peter the Apostle (1st Peter 3:3-6)

Perhaps one of the two most famous Japanese Christians in Japanese history is Lady Gracia Hosokawa ("Hosokawa Garasha" in Japanese). Not only did she serve Christ, but her sacrificial death struck a chord in Japan's Confucian, Buddhist and Bushido principles so that the whole nation was impressed and moved.

It was the Sengoku-jidai, the warring-states era of Japanese history. One powerful warlord after another would wrestle for control of an area. The emperor had little or no power and even the shogun was on the run. Loyalty to your family (the clan) meant everything. Loyalty to your lord was also important, but there was much betrayal. Often lords would order their allies to give 'hostages' -- usually family members -- while they were off in battle, just to ensure that their allies didn't suddenly change sides. Might made right, and into this fray walked Oda Nobunaga, a cunning warlord whose power grew quickly and soon encompassed most of Japan.

Gracia Hosokawa was born as Tama Akechi to a wise father who would later become a general and daimyo under Oda Nobunaga. Tama's beauty was legendary. She was married early in life to Tadaoki Hosokawa, the son of another daimyo and general. She began hearing about Christianity from one of her maids named Kayo Kiyohara, whose baptismal name was Maria and had been influenced much by the Christian lord Takayama Ukon.

However, Tama's life with the Hosokawa family was nearly brought to an end when her father suddenly betrayed and killed Lord Nobunaga...

(To be continued)

Lady Gracia & the House of Hosokawa by Hiroaki Sasaki
Nagaokakyo Garasha Matsuri (Nagaokakyo Gracia Festival)
Hosokawa Gracia at Sengoku-expo.net
Hosokawa Gracia by Yoshimura Naohiro
The Tragedy of Lady Gracia by Wayne Muromoto

Monday, July 11, 2005

Our New Book

In the family for-eh-vaaah!!! God, it's such a joy to read! Thank You for stamping Your presence into Lewis' heart and guiding his pen. Thank You for creating us with eternity -- love and joy -- in our hearts so that we could enjoy such adventures, and so that we could become children to enter Your kingdom, to see wonder of wonders and You above them all, our Lion & Lamb.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Love Everlasting, Reigning On High

I want to see Your glory, Lord!
I want to see how the One who died on the tree rules!
I want to see the glory of the reign of the One who is Love, the One who showed us who He is and what His Kingdom is all about by dying to purchase us!
Such a kingdom -- a Kingdom of Agape Love -- we have never known before!
Your love is bigger and more awesome than I can understand!
I want to see the reign of the Lamb and the Lion!

Come, Lord! Come, Love!
Reign in Your way as You are for who You are!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Picture Rotation

Here are our changing seasonal pictures! I thought I'd make a separate page here for them. I originally kept the updates for the pictures here. These aren't always current pictures, mind you, but carefully & deviously selected to fit the season. Or my mood. Or both, hehe.

Autumn Love! - November 26, 2008

Autumn Timo & Daddy

From a very nice trip we took to Kyoto in November. We decided to walk along the Kamo river to escape the perplexingly persistent pollution of car/bus exhaust in Kyoto. And it was indeed lovely. Want to go again!

Summer Timo! - July 1, 2008

It's summerrrr!

It's hot! We took Timo up to the roof where Yoko is building up a cute little garden, and hung out there for awhile teaching Timo how to sit in his little chair. It was a new experience for him, and I think he got a kick out of it. Click here to see the bigger picture, hehe.

Spring Timo! - March 21, 2008

It's really warm, but just that odd colder day so Mommy & Daddy are making me wear my coat. Boo!  But I'm pointing them where to go... they know who's REALLY in charge!

The day after Timo's first birthday (see post & pictures), we went for a walk and ended up going by the park where some early blossoms had come out. It's gotten much warmer, which is nice.

Winter Timo! - November 21, 2007

You know you dig my hat!

He has some of the cutest winter clothes, hehe. But he usually rips his hats off. Unless he's got so much clothing on that he just gives up and goes to sleep. Or screams. (^_^)

Spring Baby! - March 22, 2007

Welcome, Timothy Tsuyoshi Romero, God loves you!

CLICK THIS LINK to see more pictures and read about our baby boy, Timothy Tsuyoshi! This picture is from Day 3. Unfortunately it's a little fuzzy, but I like it better than the other ones available. God is SOOO awesome. I can't wait to see Timothy & Yoko again (they're still at the hospital).

Evidence of a new season! - October 10, 2006 (Posted Nov.8)

And this particular 'season' won't end until Spring next year!

Well, in answer to my friend Eric's question in the comments section below, the baby is now on the way & kicking! But, cute little punk that he is, he decides to often stop moving the moment Daddy puts his hand on Mommy's belly. Mommy tells Daddy, "He's moving" and she puts Daddy's hand on her belly, and young fetal warrior Laughing-At-Father instantly stops moving. Hmm. If we could get one of those new "3D" ultrasounds, I would bet heavily that he's grinning or laughing. Hehe.

We can't wait... (^_^)

Where did summer go? - August 20, 2006

Well, actually we had enough of the hot Osaka summer! We're happy autumn is here!

Yep, I missed another season again, oh well. But we did spend most of the summer indoors... it was hot & humid and, well, you should visit us in Osaka during the summer, mwahahaha. Around mid-August it started to show little signs of cooling, and now that September is here, it's cooling more. Yaay, autumn! Thank You, God!

This picture is from Trattoria I'Porcini, a great Italian restuarant near our home with a real Italian chef! Yaay! The occasion was Michi's birthday! (Michi is Yoko's sister, in case you didn't know).

Spring buds... - April 4, 2006

Sakura couple

Well, I missed posting a picture for winter! Spring has come! Yaay! This winter was crazy cold in Japan! This is a picture of when Yoko and I got a chance to go out and see the sakura (cherry blossoms). It's very cliche to like spring and say it's your favorite season. It's not my favorite, but I'm beginning to appreciate it and love it as I grow older. I can't help but add this beautiful scripture:

My lover spoke and said to me,
"Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, and come with me.

See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.

The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.

My dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the hiding places on the mountainside,
show me your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely."

- Song of Songs 2:10-14


Bundling time approacheth... - December 6, 2005

Chief & Chieftess

It's getting cold here! We spent Thanksgiving in Maryland with my mom, and it was even colder there! While we were there we visited the newest Smithsonian museum in Washington D.C. There I ate buffalo steak and some cool wild rice salad. Mmmm, maybe I should post the food pictures...

Still summer, but we're cool! - August 21, 2005

Yaki-tori never looked so cool as when we were eating it, hahaha!

Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of Yoko's sister, Michi. We also went to see the Yamatogawa fireworks near their parents' home, which meant we got another chance to wear our yukatas! However, I opted for a "jimbe" this year because, well, shoot, it's easier to wear and mor guy-ish. But next year maybe I'll try the yukata again. The back of it says "meh" (pronounced like "may") in Japanese, which is short for "me-gumi", the name of a fire-fighting team in old Japan, I think. But I like the way it sounds because the word "megumi" (but with a different character) means "grace"! It's also a very cute name for a girl, I think, but Yoko thinks there are too many Christian girls in Japan with that name. But should we have a girl someday (no, none on the way yet, Eric, but thanks for asking!), I'll do my best to give her that name, hahaha.

Summer love! - July 5, 2005

The uppercut of love!

This was taken outside of Roy Rantung's house-dorm in Riverside, California, during Golden Week, 2003. He'd given us these two cute hats which I decided to paw Yoko with, to which she promptly smiled and showed her appreciation...

Welcome Springtime! - April 09, 2005

Spring fools!

This is outside of Yoko's parents' home in Kashiwara City (Osaka prefecture), as we were getting ready to go visit her grandmother in Higashi (East) Osaka City, on April 13, 2003.

In winter, hide in a cafe! - December 25, 2004

...and drink English tea!

It was my birthday! Yoko & Michi took me to have steak & tea at this little "French Cafe" near Jesus Family Center, which is a beautiful little church (not the building, mind you, the people and their gathering!). We love 'em.

Yukata family! - September, 2004

Yoko, Ramo, Rakko & Jimbeizou!

The original picture! We're each wearing a "yukata", which is kind of like a summer kimono, but made of cotton and a lot lighter. Still, with the humidity it gets crazy hot here, even at night, like this night when we went to go see the fireworks at the Yamatogawa river (Kashiwara City). I think I'll wear a "jimbe" this year...