After my test back in March, Shihan gave me a plain black belt to wear.
My real black belt had to be ordered from Okinawa, you see. Which takes a while — and then I vanished for three months, on account of house-buying and travel and house-moving and the dojo’s annual summer break. But tonight I went back, for the first time since early May, and this was waiting for me:
Mind you, the really real symbol of my achievement won’t come until the dojo party this Christmas. As Shihan has pointed out, anybody can go online and buy a black belt — even one with their name embroidered on it in Japanese. But you can’t buy an enormous diploma signed by a ninth-degree black belt in your style, which is what I’ll get in a few months.
Still and all . . . it’s good to have the belt. 🙂