Yukio and the Flying Plum Tree

Yukio and the Flying Plum Tree

It happens every time I introduce students to the ill-fated 9th-century exile, Sugawara no Michizane. In the midst of describing the wrongs he incurred, his heart-broken ox, and the flying plum tree, I nearly burst out laughing. It’s not that I relish Michizane’s...
Watching Sumo with my Father

Watching Sumo with my Father

“Watch, he’s going to salt his hams!” my father called out to me. He had the sumo match on the TV in our Fukuoka living room. It was November 1976. We’d been in the house on Torikai for several months now. Occasionally we’d watch reruns of “Bonanza” together. It was...
Curried Memories

Curried Memories

Yesterday was a day for curry rice. By “curry rice,” of course, I mean “karee raisu,” the delicious Japanese concoction made from curry bullion paste. The paste blends with the ingredients of your choice to create a thick aromatic stew at once sweet and savory. I’ve...
It’s Just a Cup of Tea

It’s Just a Cup of Tea

For part one of this story, see previous post, My first—and only—Omiai. And you thought omiai were just for fictional characters in Japanese novels! It was April 1977.  I had a dance recital in the large auditorium of a fancy hotel across from Hakata Station.  I had...