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My Heart Lies in Japan

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My Heart Lies in Japan
By: Philip James Hanan

A Lulu.com Publication Experience Entertainment Books Lexington, KY

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including the right to reproduce this book or any portions thereof. www.This is a work of fiction. in any form.com/idamannowdog Cover Design © Philip Hanan 4 .com All rights reserved. All characters and events portrayed in this novel are either ficticious or used fictitously.myspace.geocities.com/philhanan www. My Heart Lies in Japan Copyright 2006 through Lulu.

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a. my brother Sam. who inspired me to write it. to my best friend. to my fellow writing cousin. to my mother Leslie and my Grandmother. who believe in my talent. and to all those with a deep passion for Japanese culture.k. Tuck. Christian. 6 . Patricia a.Dedication I dedicate this book to God. Matthew who also believed in me.

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© I can only hope to eventually have half the talent they do. and The Last Samurai. 8 .Acknowledgements I just wanted to note how deeply inspired I was by God to write this novel and by many famous Japanese tales including Memoirs of a Geisha ©. Tales of the Otori ©.

facts. but is not intended to be completely factual. The early part of the story is written through a child’s eyes and memory while the rest written through an adult’s. etc. will not be noted as this is a work of fiction. The story is intended to take place in early modernized Japan. 9 .Explanation The following novel is a fictional story based upon a journal written by a fictional character. Any complaints about timelines.

very used to an easy. a young British boy of 11. My wife and I keep it in our hearts everyday as we live out our lives in the freest country in the world. tranquil life. and to love. There. spent 30 years in Japan.Introduction My name is Samuel Higgins. Although I no longer live there. These writings are based upon entries from my journal from the years 1912-1942. to not favor anyone. America. I learned to take life more slowly. I appreciate my time in Japan more than anywhere I have lived. to appreciate life more. I. 10 . a land still a mystery to most of the world.

Chapter 1 Death Favors No One 11 .

but we paid him well. She was with my father at the time. who was a famous world traveler and college professor at Cambridge University. and he got to wear a fancy tuxedo everyday. He dragged her around to many locations while I stayed at home in London. Livingston kept watch over me carefully. 12 .I never knew my mother personally. I developed my earliest memories at around 4 and a half. My father decided to put a hault to the travels for a while after my mother passed away. Our butler. My parents would never be gone for more than 3 months and tried not to take more than one or two trips a year. I don’t even know if he enjoyed his job. My father sighed and patted my head as I stared at a woman with no memory of her. I can’t even remember my mother or the funeral. They cared for me very much and tried to be at home as much as possible as long as they had time to get away every now and then. She passed away from a disease she had caught while overseas in Africa when I was 3. The first thing I remember is looking at a photograph of my mother with my father standing beside me. but was not fond of young children. Mr.

My father was a little less charming. for she didn’t care much of what people thought of her style. she would only wear a petticoat.He told me a bit about my mother every few months or so. but she hated not seeing me once more before she died. but tried his best with me. In the summer. He learned to cook meals every now 13 . she would often go barefoot in the garden and when it was hot. She knew I was strong and would grow up fine without her. but I wish I had some recollection of her. I want something tangible. but I fear I’ll never be able to touch her until we meet again in Heaven. When she died. my father said that she was happy in Africa. She said that I was the jewel of her eyes and she hated leaving me. I know she was kind. She wore a lot of bright colors. The community liked her as a whole. She spent a lot of time gardening and would never think of hiring a servant to help her for it would take away her fun and her position in the household. especially white even in wintertime. and respectful. but my father always charmed her into seeing the world. My father called her a “free spirit” and that was why he married her. I feel like I’m reaching for a ghost whenever I think of her.

Sometimes we’d even try rugby. Tanaka to travel with him for 2 years in order to share more information about the world before he went back to teaching the schools there. Tanaka was one of the few Japanese to leave Japan and travel. My father thought the long plains of green grass looked beautiful. Mr. My father’s best friend. Most of my father’s friends didn’t have any children and we didn’t live near anyone as we owned so much land that was empty. You had to warm up to him to be able to look at him without a bit of fear. dirty. When my father first visited Japan.and then like mother use to. 14 . we would receive a visitor. Every now and then. Mr. and stained. His eyes appeared very tight and his thick eyebrows appeared to have a scorn upon them. Mr. Tanaka from Japan would come to visit and swap stories. but I was a little too weak for it at age 8. but you couldn’t tell from his face. he invited Mr. He tried to teach me baseball and football. way before I was born. I didn’t have too many friends. Tanaka was very friendly. but I longed to see houses. even if they were old. I wanted to be with people.

Livingston. Mr. Livingston had stepped back in for a moment as I kept walking towards the backdoor. Tanaka to join. He said. “Samuel. I would kick as hard and straight as I could until my feet felt numb. Mr. I felt a blister upon my kicking toe from the work. Livingston kept watch over me from the backyard where he slowly sipped his Raspberry tea. My father was invited to a polo game outside of town. but agreed to watch. Mr. They appeared to be chatting with a not-so-plesant tone. I’m………sorry to be the one to 15 . I stayed at home that day and practiced some football kicks in our massive backyard. The grass was a vibrant green due to the April showers and the flowers started to bloom. but it seemed doubtful I could shoot better overnight. so I removed my shoes and walked barefoot through the grass as I headed back towards the house. I approached them with puzzlement in my mind. Mr. Tanaka declined. Tanaka had stepped out with Mr. Tanaka bent over to speak to me. My father needed a break from raising me and invited Mr. I had hoped to improve to impress my father who was never satisfied with my athletic skills.He happened to visit in May when the weather was extremely nice. Mr.

and cried. “Yes. he replied. though?”.trampled.. I just dropped my shoes and socks.never happen to anyone……Your father………he had an accident today……” “An accident?”.” A stunned look came upon my face. His lungs were collapsed.”.” I just stood there for a moment. “Uh……no……. I slowly asked him. I couldn’t believe I was hearing this. “At the polo match. He……. slammed my door. ran up stairs. Mr. “He’s going to be alright.he………was……. 16 . The injuries were already too much for him.tell you this……This should……. There was nothing we could do for him. Tanaka tried to put his hand upon me.fell off his horse. I asked.

” I looked up at him in puzzlement. “It’s true that your father had never chosen a godfather.Mr. Just then.” “He asked me to take care of you if anything should ever happen to him. It must have been almost 2 hours. I stopped crying for a while as I started to think what would become of me. Mr. Tanaka gently opened my door and spoke. He cared for you very much and we had discussed what would happen if something would ever happen to him. and I had no friends. “I am very sorry. He liked to distance himself from his friends and would never ask them to every do anything for him. I agree as respected your father very much and was honored to help if 17 . He was my inspiration and my enlightenment in this world and I know the world was a better place with him in it. I had no godfather. Livingston let me alone for a while. Tanaka and Mr. my grandparents were already deceased. He never truly believed he was would pass away before you were grown. He did however speak to me on a train once in Europe. I loved your father very much.

pay off the debt. You understand. Your father was fairly wealthy. but I wouldn’t wish that life upon you. but always desired a son. You may keep your things. but the house is not quite paid for and I cannot afford to pay the remaining debt. and I also have a family waiting for me at home.I was ever needed. “Yes.” Weepingly. “No. and would be very happy if I ever had to take a father-son position. I have a daughter. I answered. I am legally entitled to the house. and I won’t sell any belongings of your mother or father you wish to keep. I don’t have the proper papers to apply for a citizenship.” 18 . I asked him.” “So………in Japan?”. and then use the money to go back to Japan. “Yes. so I will be forced to sell it. All we can do is sell the house. we found your father’s will and once the funeral is over.” “Where would we live? Here?”. but we must try to depart with some. sell off some belongings. I asked him. I could legally let you stay at an orphanage.

black casket and said my goodbye. We waited 5. It was a closed casket. I looked down at the cold. We had to sell the house in 7 days. We spent the next week looking for buyers of the house. who would no longer be with us after that day. Those 5 days were frustrating as we waited for someone who would pay full price and would agree to buy most of the furniture. but father would have wanted it that way. Tanaka knew the same God I did. The weather was slightly chilly and damp that day. God would. I didn’t know if Mr.We held the funeral two days later. The price was a bit stiff. but I couldn’t smile even if it was warm and fair. Tanaka and Mr. so I haven’t seen my father since he left to play in the polo match. Tanaka spoke “May God be benefited by your assencion and may you guard over the son of one of the world’s greatest gifts. The funeral was simple. Livingston. I was glad that most of my family’s possessions would remain in that house where they belonged. We held both the memorial and the burial outside. but I had faith that my God would still help him out. 19 . A few of his closest friends attended as well as Mr.” I knew if no one else would be there for me. Mr.

and some rare vases that Mr. I would have sold my clothes and laid naked in the grass just to be near the garden my mother grew and the house our butler kept tidy. I wanted to make certain the exact same garden would continue to exist no matter where we lived.We only took the family photographs. we prepared to leave the house where I remembered my father raising me and teaching me to be a man and where memories of my mother existed. I only cared for the photos and some seed my mother still had from the garden she grew. Tanaka had his eye on. a portrait. Two days later. 20 . At that moment. I would have given up everything to stay there. clothing.

Chapter 2 Department 21 .

In fact. I know it will be quite difficult to follow biscuit and tea time without Big Ben sounding off. but I wondered if I would be missing out on something by leaving. It will take weeks to reach Japan and we’ll have to make many stops. but contained rust and water marks from its many voyages.We set sail for Japan Monday. I began to think about the land I left. I didn’t have many friends there. I’m so use to its sound every day that any quiet period over an hour will certainly feel strange. but didn’t feel I was ready for it yet. Big Ben was so helpful. I never needed a watch. I suppose in a way I’m getting the chance to see the world like my parents did before I find my new permanent destination. The ship we were on was quite magnificent. I would probably never see England’s greenery again or the Atlantic Ocean’s beauty again. I’m certain it was fancy back it is hey-day. I guess I need to start getting used to a life without so many fancies. I brought my father’s pocket watch with me. but now only its massive size was appealing. although you usually must be old enough to be responsible to carry a watch where I come from. I didn’t 22 . In fact. As we sailed for a while. I probably need to get use to this ship.

want to take it just because he could no longer hold it. I wanted to earn it and I wanted to take it when I was the right age and it was the right time. The sunlight’s position helped tell me the time and was interesting to watch, but we had many days of dark weather and rain, which disorientated me a bit. We sailed for a while without docking anywhere for fuel and food supplies, so there was no land to see. I was pretty bored at that point, but Mr. Tanaka entertained me with stories and card games. Our first docking was a northern point in Africa. Mr. Tanaka and I stepped outside for an hour or two while waiting for the ship to be refueled. The British had much control of the land there and reminded me of the docks at home. I expected to see some African countryside, but we weren’t near true Safari land. I longed to see new faces, but we weren’t allowed to go any farther than the port. Our ship was fueled, the passengers were restless, and the captain had a time to keep, so we departed. We continued to sail down the western coast of Africa without seeing anything. We were literally passing a different world while blindfolded to it. I longed to see the land where my mother had
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passed away, even at the risk of catching a disease myself. We did eventually stop again. This time we were in South Africa, a land owned by the British. I surprised to see mostly Caucasian people at the port. I had never seen a Negro up close, but I did happen to see in South Africa, which I heard was a bit rare. The man appeared to be rather poor and probably worked for someone in England. The ship needed some quick repairs while we were there, so we got to see more of Africa this time around. South Africa was more like home than I thought, but I knew that there must be a land mostly of negros and not much of our kind there. Maybe it was savage like I heard, or maybe we just didn’t understand their way of life. I know my mother liked it there and that was enough for me. Mr. Tanaka took me outside of town once to see the countryside. It was plain and dusty, but amazing at sunset. I only saw a few small animals which I couldn’t even recognize, but was glad to see something different all the same. The ship was repaired the day after Mr. Tanaka took me outside, so we boarded again. We sailed around Africa’s tip and East coast until we reached China. China was a civilized
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society like our own, but seemed to be more of a mirror to ours. The people were darker and had small eyes. They wore pajama-like outfits instead of straight suits, and ate from bowls more often than plates. Mr. Tanaka and I sampled some food while we waited to depart. I loved the rice, but Mr. Tanaka complained that it would never be as tasty as the noodle dishes from his home country. I hardly sampled noodle dishes myself so anything different sounded appetizing to me. Time grew on as we sailed toward Japan. I grew tired of card games and being locked up in our cabin due to rain. The band continued to play the same tunes and I believe even the adults were tired of dancing and listening to the music. Shuffleboard could only entertain for a while and was not the most entertaining sporting event. I started to dream of the day we left the ship for good, even if the land was strange and not fitting for a British chap of 11. We walked down the stairs toward the dock with anticipation in our hearts. I felt a sensation of exploration and had new dreams in my head. I started to feel a pull on my shoulder. Then it happened again. And again, until I awoke. Mr. Tanaka told me we arrived. It was 9:30 a.m. My dreams had come true.

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The port we arrived at was fairly simple. Tanaka smiled and grabbed a heavy suitcase from me. especially with their slits for eyes and their pale yellow skin. a small Japanese port town which usually just received visitors looking for a true Japanese experience or people simply looking for a good vacation spot. they would do it themselves. The houses in the port area were very close together and the people all seemed to bob around in the streets trying to show their goods first. The people I saw were trying to sell food and other items to customers just arriving in town. I guess they needed someone to sell their fish. I knew he was happy to return home again. 26 . I took a look from the top of the boat and saw a nestle of roofs in the distance. The dock was worn from the rain and the sun and the buildings seemed weathered from the rain. Mr. He didn’t expect to have stayed in England as long as he thought and the boat trip must have really taken away time from his family. The fishermen seemed annoyed by the people in the market. Mr. I’ve never seen so many people in one area outdoors before.I hurriedly got dressed and started grabbing our luggage. Tanaka told me we were in “ “. but I’m sure if they had time.

27 .Mr. Tanaka held my hand as we walked down the plank. I started to come to the realization that I was truly in a new world in which I might never leave. I picked at my collar and continued walking with him.

Chapter 3 A New World 28 .

I had brought 3. We weighed down the cart with our luggage and sat on top of the suitcases as we rode to the nearest town of Gaiku En. I’ll show you where the good products are for a good price. Mr. Mr. Tanaka helped me carry one after he noticed I was struggling to carry them.” We waited a bit longer until our luggage was finally delivered. Mr. They don’t expect foreigners to know what a good price is for anything here in Japan. After leaving the port area. Sam. “They’ll just cheat you here. we found a Japanese taxi very similar to the ones I had heard about in China. I brought bags half my size with me not thinking of the strain I would have transporting all my possessions from England.We waited at the port for our luggage to be picked up. even though he had stayed quite a while with us in England. Tanaka only had one suitcase with him. Tanaka held me back as I tried to look over the strange foods I saw. which meant “Town of Salt” 29 . Many vendors eyed us hoping that we would deliver another sum of money into their hands.

Originally. the town where he grew up and worked as one of the newest school teachers in the area. Tanaka grew up and it looked much different than some of the more modern areas being built in Japan. we reached the end of a small hill. 30 . I couldn’t wait to get to it. I wondered to myself what I might see in my life as we grew nearer our destination. The house was very typical of what I had seen in Japan. all while picking up our luggage. Tanaka started to tell me about Gaiku En. but seemed to be in better condition than most of the houses. Mr. Tanaka tried to comfort me with more stories. The cart stopped and we got out. The cart bumped along and I felt sick to my stomach as we traveled along the bumpy road. where a small house stood looking like a dessert at the end of the meal. Eventually. Gaiku En was a town full of fishermen and people with hopes and dreams of prosperity.Mr. but turned to a rocky mess as we neared the end of our journey. He mentioned the sea where he used to fish as a child and the massive trees he use to climb. I kept looking around at the passing view as I saw other travelers on the road. the road was paved. It was there he met his first love and his current wife. We began to approach the town where Mr.

Tanaka stepped in first. We were exhausted from our trip. Tanaka knocked on his door. Mr. the door began to loosen. I studied the aged cherry wood outside the door and the rice paper sidings.Mr. A middle-aged woman with skin still young as a 20 year old looked outside my door. He reminded me a bit of my mother which made me feel like I might finally have a chance to get to know her spirit more. Her smile was like sunshine rising in the morning after a storm. Mr. Mr. Tanaka said he took great pride in his home and although most houses were slightly worn from the weather. “A warm welcome” in English. Tanaka stepped ahead of me in order to introduce me to his wife. After a few seconds. I had never seen architecture like this in England and it amused me. having left the key with his wife. He set his luggage by the 31 . I set my luggage down for a moment as I waited for the door to open. She said “Daikangei” which I later learned meant. We struggled to drag our luggage across the rocky path leading to his house. he took constant care of his place no matter how much caretaking it took. even though we had been sitting most of the time as anxiety took over us and the cart trip disturbed us.

I asked what kind of floor he had. Tanaka explained that I would have to listen to him mainly from now on as his wife didn’t know the English language as well as he did. He would explain what she was saying to me and hoped that I might eventually learn some Japanese. He said it was soft and sturdy enough to walk on at the same time. He signaled me to come inside. His wife was to fix a proper lunch for us. I stared at the strange floor below me as he put our suitcases away.door and sat down upon a bench of some sort. As we finished. He said we would unpack later. He told me to remove my shoes as well and pointed to a cubby hole in which to store them. He said it was his storage room. It was made from bamboo shoots. He told me tatami. He grabbed the luggage and took it to a large empty room with just a closet. but could easily be damaged from the soles of shoes. That was why we left our shoes in the cubby holes. Tanaka said she announced the food was ready. Mr. It showed respect for the home and we would remove our shoes anytime we stepped into someone else’s home. and the look of 32 . his wife called us into a small room with a coffee table. I watched him remove his shoes and stick them inside a cubby hole. He also hoped his wife would pick up on my English. Mr.

I don’t know if it was pork. It took me some time to show my appreciate to Mr. but some small wooden sticks.excitement grew upon my face. I asked Mr. I looked around for a fork and couldn’t find anything. It was a struggle. I again tried to use them but found myself dumbfounded by the contraption. I now know everything there is to know about the food. I recognized the rice. but I continued to fill my stomach as I dropped small portions upon my lap. which 33 . I was extremely hungry after hauling the luggage and riding in that unwieldy cart. I probably left 1/3 of my rice upon my lap. I clasped the sticks between two fingers and dropped them on my lap. but it tasted the same nonetheless. I was clueless when it came to understanding the Japanese diet. I tried some of the meat that was served before me and was pleased. but other than that. Tanaka’s wife. I knelt down as well and glanced upon the strange dishes. They picked up some rice from a dish with ease just by pressing the two sticks together. then he knelt down on a pillow on the floor and waited for his wife to set down the delicacies. Tanaka where the dining room was located. but it took me sometime to even try some foods. I eventually held them together with both hands and even stabbed at the rice clumps. He told me that was the room.

My legs felt cramped up as I was not use to kneeling like such. I quickly climbed down. His wife delivered the dishes to the kitchen and I began to stretch. but when Mr. He also said he didn’t want me marking up the tree with my rubber soles. Tanaka saw this. He said the tree was very old and should be respected and not used just to see other sights. It looked as if it was some hand of the earth. I was so intrigued that I began to climb it. That was my first view of true Japanese beauty. The blossoms reminded me of pink shooting stars trying to touch the earth and fill it with beauty. but I’ll remember the view of the distant ocean and the sun’s reflection bouncing off the crystal clear water for the rest of my life. Tanaka said I could hold the bowl up to my chin. Mr. I arose. with a full belly and a smile. so Mr. Tanaka asked me to take a look around outside to stretch them out. Eventually. I slipped my shoes on and walked around the house.I scooped up in my hands and ate. I saw a large Cherry Tree in the backyard and was amazed. reaching up to grasp the light of the sun. he was displeased. admiring the simplicity of the paper windows and the dark finish of the cherry wood. 34 . but such mannerism felt strange to me and I couldn’t seem to nail holding the bowl and the chopsticks at the same time.

Chapter 4 Getting to Know the Family 35 .

“Hello. Mr.” 36 . I took care of business and went to see what he was up to. She waved and looked at me. but I didn’t know where. I was a bit nervous. Tanaka saw something that caught his eye and went around the front. so I looked around from behind a bush.Mr. A girl of 12 was walking down the street toward his house wearing a beautiful white robe with pink cherry blossoms printed on it. Feeling less nervous. I just smiled and stood there like my brain had dropped out of my head. She stopped at the front porch and said. He told me the house didn’t have indoor plumbing yet. never have gone camping with my father. Mr. wearing tall. I knew I had to use the restroom. so I was told to go in the bushes outside. Tanaka smiled at her as she continued to walk nearer. Tanaka was about to bring me inside when I felt a tingling in my body. She stood taller than me. wooden sandals like I had never seen.

Unlike my wife. When I finally looked up. she just smiled again. Tanaka was lucky to be able to afford such a nice gift for his daughter. After 5 minutes after standing outside. Tanaka took her inside and she began to remove her sandals. “Samuel.” “It’s good to meet you. but she knows many phrases and common words in English.Being shy around girls. Mr. so she was all dressed up in her fanciest kimono. my daughter found it both fascinating and challenging. She must have thought I liked girls’ feet or had a neck problem.”. I just clinched my hands behind my back and said. I kept looking down the whole time because I was too shy to look her in the eyes. She doesn’t know all the words. He didn’t earn a lot of 37 . Kimiko. Mr. Mr. She had just been to a party close to town. Tanaka introduced me. “Hi. who is too stubborn to try to learn English. I was told Kimiko was in her room changing. she said as she wiggled her toes in her sandals.”. This is my daughter. I finally went back in.

living in 2 story. I was use to more extravagance. we went inside and talked. That afternoon. but I believed I could learn to like such a place.money teaching. Kimiko and I sat outside and watched the clouds and enjoyed the weather. but in Japan. I understood why she did in Japan. She said she loved nature and being outdoors a lot. 10 acre estate. her parents room. Everything was quite bare. I saw her room. but received grants from the government every now and then and gifts from traveling Americans who wished to invest in his journeys. Mr. and the storage room again. Tanaka had to translate a number of words for 38 . She wore a simple. In England. I waited in the dining room a while until she came out. As dusk grew. but beautiful in its simplicity. She smiled and told me she would show me around the house. every ornament on Mother Nature’s eastern island was naturally beautiful and alive. sky blue robe which still looked stunning to me. nature was constantly being sculpted in order to make in beautiful. Every room looked the same except for a few knick knacks which gave each room a small impression of who used it.

Tanaka. Mr. but I think she actually started to pick up on a few English words. She fixed us dinner later and I feasted again. 39 . but she seemed rather polite about it. I was so exhausted that day that I simply fell on the floor of the storage room and passed out before I could answer. She even tried eating like I did with my chopsticks in both hands and laughed as we both dropped our rice clumps. Tanaka seemed a little disturbed we were playing during dinner. I woke up with a blanket over me. He later asked me if I wanted to take a bath.Mrs. I embarrassed myself in front of Kimiko. but he let us go on that night without any warning. so he must have tended to me that night.

Chapter 5 Dawn of New Life 40 .

Mr. Tanaka and his wife entered the small room leading to the bathroom. It moved slower. Mr. Most of the families had lived together for generations and a number of them actually founded the town. most people headed inside.Breakfast was wonderful that morning. Kimiko said she’ll stay with me. The birds looked different. As time grew late. I spent more time outdoors that day just wondering around a bit and trying to get the cramps out of my stomach. 41 . I was told not all Japanese people were like this. I didn’t how to answer that statement. I didn’t know how Japanese people ate so much rice. but the rice was starting to cramp up my stomach a bit. He said that the family was taking a bath again. I felt I was in a dream. but the families in “ “ were all very caring for each other and close. but it seemed to be the side dish for any meal. Life just seemed different here. Tanaka asked me to head inside as well. The world was so unique there. but seemed richer. I wasn’t use to so much grain and had trouble dumping it off in the bushes. the blossoms were brighter and the people seemed more genuine and caring than in England.

That’s where everyone would change clothes before their bath. Tanaka and his wife came out wearing matching blue robes with white tree prints. The water was already poured for me and it was hot. I heard her behind me ask if I needed my back scrubbed. I was startled and tried to cover myself the best I could while sitting in that tub. I undressed in the room before the bathroom and stepped into the room. It was like the entire room was made for bathing. I said. I enjoyed the relaxing soak. Kimiko and I talked for 30 minutes or so. “That would help. A small spout stuck out of the wall which confused me. but I couldn’t tell time too much anymore as I had left my father’s pocket watch in the luggage. As I sat. a door slid open and I heard Kimiko walked in. thinking about the day. They headed to their bedroom after saying goodnight in Japanese. Eventually. but nonetheless.” 42 . Two wooden buckets lay by it. Mr. I didn’t understand how when the tub didn’t even have a spout. Kimiko told me to go on and get my bath. Tile completely covered the floor as to protect every corner. I turned to the bath tub and got in.

Kimiko left the tub area. not counting the savage countries of the south Pacific my father use to tell me stories about. soaped it up. She then sat down on a small wooden stool with her back turned to me. my father simply told me to take a bath.” I wasn’t one to be naked in front of others and by the time my mother passed away. but wasn’t comfortable exposing myself. I continued to feel nervous about the situation. so I began to feel secure before I had to move. and poured more. I wanted to leave the tub. He said that “naked people had no morals or class. I glanced for a moment and saw that she was naked as a jay bird. I didn’t realize I was to bathe before I soaked. He wouldn’t even 43 .” “A man that took no pride in morality or decency had no reason to live. I still felt uncomfortable. She hummed while she poured the water down her head. and tried to decide whether to scoot back in the tub to cover my posterior or scoot forward to cover my private parts. however. I took it and began to scrub.She handed me a back brush which appeared in front of my face. No one was this free physically in England or any other country that I knew of.

but planned on getting one soon. she dashed out the door. The family didn’t have a mattress for me. still dripping on the floor. She said goodnight and I headed to the storage room where I lie down under a blanket again. She was very caring and seemed to love life.draw it for me. I was appreciative of what Kimiko had done for me. so I’ve always been alone in the bathroom. She helped wrap it around me and I felt better. She had brought me a sky blue colored robe to dress in. returning in just a minute. so I climbed out backwards. Kimiko opened the door. I dried off and looked around. She continued to bathe with her back turned. She dried off and stared at me as I stood there naked. even if she was going to be my new sister after all. I decided to get out before she finished. Suddenly. but I learned to sleep soundly. hardly knowing her. I had forgotten to unpack my pajamas. exposing my posterior and headed back to the changing room. but I felt strange. Kimiko didn’t seem “savage” or anything. 44 . Just then. putting her robe on. not being so exposed anymore. The floor was a bit hard for my back. She couldn’t understand why I wasn’t dressed as she stood there.

45 .That night. I didn’t know for sure what was in store for me. I dreamt of what might await a young British kid of 11 as he was about to live life in a completely different and opposite setting. but I was ready to endure new adventures like my father.

Chapter 6 Relaxation 46 .

but the natural surroundings alone put my mother’s garden to shame. I guess she did a lot of walking for fun. Kimiko suggested that we see some of the countryside. Our backyard in England was at least a quarter mile as well. I agreed. so we left that morning wearing just our robes. Her wooden sandals weren’t proper for walking on the hills and my leather shoes would have been weathered by the bright sun and ocean spray. It might have been a quarter of a mile to a half. Kimiko said that this particular part of the beach was empty because the fishermen couldn’t find big 47 . With school not starting yet and curiosity still in my mind. we reached the shoreline. but it seemed like a journey. but Kimiko seemed to be used to it. The beauty continued to amaze me and couldn’t believe that these people did not stop and appreciate their surroundings every day. after breakfast.The next morning. We didn’t really walk all that long. but I also hated to remove them from the scenery. We passed lush green hills and more Cherry trees along our path. The gravel roads we walked across hurt my feet. I felt tempted to pick some flowers. I hate to say it. After climbing some hills and passing through some brush. but it was so flat and empty that I didn’t seem to get lost in it as I did that day with Kimiko.

The water sent chills up my body at first. I felt rather nervous. She then asked if I wanted to go for a swim. She lay her robe upon the ground and headed toward the sea. She laughed for a moment and then started to disrobe. We played until our bodies pruned. I couldn’t swim. so I carefully placed my robe near hers and headed toward the water. She helped break up the gray clouds in my mind. Kimiko seemed to be a real happy type and I was glad because after what I went through. She started splashing around like she was in a bathtub. Kimiko looked like she was heading out. 48 . but I could wade a bit. but wanted a chance to swim in an ocean I had never swam in before. After that. but I quickly got use to it. I told her. and partly because I was naked. She dipped a toe in and shook for a second due to the slightly chilly temp. partly because I hardly knew her and she I was going to be living with her. We lied down on the sand and watched the clouds roll by for an hour or so. it was hard not to focus on the past at some point during the day. She signaled me to come in. we wrapped ourselves in our robes and walked toward the house. then set foot back upon the beach. I had never been naked outdoors before.enough fish here.

Tanaka was a caring man who reinforced rules WAY more than my father. especially when there was so much sand in the village. We continued talking throughout the night and after some time with the family. I spent time trying to learn more about my new family and they tried to learn more about me. even if I was a stranger to everyone outside my own family. His wife reminded me of the tales of my own mother which made me cry in a way. Tanaka had some treats waiting for us. I tried discussing my interests and hobbies. I dreamt of what might await me in the days ahead. We munched on several and talked about life that day. My new sister. I felt more relaxed with them. Straight. That night.When we got back to the house. but we now call them Japanese donuts. They were fried and tasted sweet. but comforted at the same time. I wasn’t certain what they were at the time. Still. eating rice. Kimiko. and sipping Japanese tea? 49 . was fun to be with and made me feel comfortable to be here in Japan. level ground. I knew I would learn some new hobbies and activities and maybe some Japanese sport would be a new favorite of mine. Mrs. Who knew a young British boy would wind up running around Japan in a robe. I realized Mr. but I found that it would be hard to get people to play football with me. hard kicks can only be delivered on firm.

Chapter 7 Summer Time 50 .

Still. Tanaka was very strict when someone would question his teaching methods and he showed his anger toward one person that summer 51 . I’d even practice a few Japanese characters I saw by drawing in the sand. Since I was no longer in England. Tanaka and Kimiko who spoke both Japanese and English. Tanaka told me I could wait on that. I was proud to be doing something. Of course. I spent mornings with him and then Kimiko and I would take breaks and either garden or walk through the forest or beach.That summer was all about learning the Japanese way. By staying close to Mr. Kimiko said she would teach me some characters. it meant nothing to me. Sometimes. I had no idea how to write. but she didn’t want to interfere with her father’s teaching plan. but since I hadn’t been taught their meanings yet. however. Mr. I was able to start learning all the words I needed to converse with. but he was very well educated in the subject. it would be difficult to finish my English studies. During the summer. he did teach me some more things about the English language. but Mr.

Tanaka was furious about his daughter’s exposure as he did believe in some of the Japanese westernism and thought she should have more modesty. She was often undressed at the beach and would go naked in the rain if she wanted to cool off. the Japanese didn’t even have underwear originally. Whenever I wasn’t learning Japanese or playing. it was much easier to wear simple robes and such than western style wear because 52 . Never before had a Japanese woman outside of a Geisha had to wear some many layers of clothing. She found our eating style interesting. so if they were unclothed. I had plenty of western outfits from England. In our village. but thought the clothing styles were over the top. I helped teach Kimiko more about England and the worlds I knew of. Kimiko said that basically. Mr.who wanted to talk to him about the classroom 2 months before school would start up. I found that a bit disturbing. but I knew it would be a matter of time before they no longer fit Kimiko said. they were naked. of course. There was no state of being half-naked. I understood Kimiko and I learned patience that day for sure. but she didn’t seem to mind nudity that much.

I enjoyed the comfort of the wear and learned to appreciate all the small things in Japanese life such as the food. and the times you spend with family.fishermen needed something easy to wear and divers needed something easy to remove. 53 . the weather.

Chapter 8 One Last Adventure 54 .

Afterwards. Tanaka decided to gather up the village’s children for school.A few days before Mr. I laughed at most of them. we threw off our robes and plunged in. we tossed some pillows down to make the camp site complete. where Kimiko introduced me to several fishermen and other villagers. She laughed at some. so we walked along the entire shoreline. We played for two hours or so. but I think she was a bit offended. then told stories around our campsite. We both grew sweaty walking around town for so long. but I laughed at almost everyone. 55 . Kimiko told some ancient Japanese folktales which were fascinating. We gathered together some sheets and pitched them up like a tent in a green area near the beach under some trees. Kimiko and I decided to camp out near the beach before we needed to start getting serious about our education. We still had plenty of daylight left. so near the beach. They helped tell the history of Japan and explained some of the strange beliefs.

She turned her back to me and I went off into the woods for a stroll. I acted like I wasn’t afraid of anything. I was glad to have a relative I could spend time with and Kimiko became my constant companion. I tried to keep away from Kimiko. but she eventually came after me. but my sister snuck right up and spooked me. The stars were easy to see from our spot and were actually easier to see in Japan than in England. I thank her for teaching me most of what I really know about Japan. The wind felt good as it blew the remaining drops of water off my body. 56 . We dressed back at camp and watched the stars over the sky that night. She startled me pretty badly so I felt embarrassed after laughing at such stories of gods and such.

Chapter 9 Education 57 .

Of course. he taught in one single room. but my brown hair certainly didn’t make me look any more Japanese. I was behind in my studies. so much like the schools I had heard about it America. My skin did turn a nice golden brown during the summer and I had to squint a lot during the bright sunny days. I was already enough of an outcast with my British accent and poor writing skills.It was time for Mr. but no student was too far ahead of me. Tanaka told me that hardly any Japanese students knew enough Japanese writing even their age. you would be forced to learn a more adult style and a non-cursive style similar to our English cursive letters. but after a young student learned all the characters. not everyone made fun 58 . and they were all about the same age. It was there I finally had the chance to meet other children my age. but I still had a way to go in Japanese education. Tanaka to start teaching again. with Mr. but Mr. Tanaka being a teacher and being my foster father. I had learned enough Japanese to communicate with them thanks to Mr. The Japanese alphabet has thousands of characters so no one person could ever master writing them all. There weren’t very many children in the village. Tanaka and Kimiko. Still. I had all day to learn the material I needed and I certainly took the time to learn. Not only that. I only knew a bit of Japanese writing.

Some were just interested in my background. Goji wasn’t able to swim. I kept working on my handwriting even during the days off in order to catch up to the other students. Goji was pleasant to be around and loved food. Sometimes. so Ryo made fun of 59 . The school schedule gave us days off every few weeks so it’s like we had Spring Break once a month or so. Although he was the largest student in our school room. he was shy and had trouble talking to Kimiko even after knowing her 5 years. Ryo was a class clown. but he didn’t like fighting of any kind and wanted to get an education. I think he wants to be a teacher someday. His parents wanted him to become a Sumo one day. but I think he liked the cool breeze. I’d even bring some paper and a pen and practice while the others swam.of me. and Goji and I would spend the time being lazy and swimming until the weather grew cold. He didn’t like removing his robe even to go swimming. Kimiko. but a good student at the same time. Technically. Two of those students were Ryo and Goji. Ryo.

Everyone around me seemed to know answers for why life seemed more pleasant or how to catch the biggest fish or what berries you could make 60 . I don’t think I would have swam naked. Samurai. it was common for many to take strolls naked because nudity was just a common form in Japan. Tanaka seemed happy I was getting along with the neighbors. When the weather cooled off. Mr. Kimiko felt pretty comfortable in her skin. I had more freedom to visit the villagers and they eventually got use to my curiosity. though. I didn’t really care whether I was a ninja. Kimiko was very nice about the whole matter. but I worried about that because Ryo was such a pervert. and peasant. I had fun just being with my friends. We all felt like ninjas there and enjoyed our adventures. Ryo always tried to be the Warlord. we stopped going to the beach and started building a fort in the forest out of fallen branches and such. If I had known it was alright to get my robe wet.him for it. but on hot days. I asked more questions about life there than anyone I knew because I felt like I had missed out on a decade of learning. but I always thought Goji would have made a better one.

paint out of. I really wanted to know more about my surroundings. I turned 12. 61 . and our group of adventurers also aged and prepared for the summer. Tanaka would let us be free. As Spring came again. We were glad to get out of school for a month and counted down the days until Mr.

Chapter 9 New Goals 62 .

I didn’t really understand what diving could be used for. but I wished him the best of luck. but the village didn’t have any kind of standing water outside of a bathtub which were not large enough to float in. There were times when I would get knocked over by a wave. I admit the ocean was not as good of a place to swim as a pool. The only 63 . but I continued to sink. and Goji would actually try to lose weight. I spent many days in the ocean trying to swim against the waves. I really doubted Goji could stop overeating. so I had to learn to hold my breath for a few seconds. I was able to hold my breath for sixty seconds and that impressed Kimiko. I actually become pretty skilled at diving. He said it was rumored that pearls lie below in the sea and he was going to get them. Kimiko would watch sometimes and try to life me up. Ryo would try to get rich. Kimiko would try to learn more about gardening. My goal? I would learn to swim.We all had goals that summer. Eventually. I was naked outdoors 2/3 of the day just trying to keep afloat. until Ryo invited the the two of us to another stretch of beach where he heard he could get rich.

Somehow. but many of their wives were out diving in their natural skin. there were already divers. I thought I should get 75% profits since he was only going to find a buyer. The fishermen were too busy to take time to search for what could just be a dream.problem was that he couldn’t stay under water very long and he was only an average swimmer. He laughed and couldn’t believe I wouldn’t take this opportunity. The area was supposed to be restricted to these divers for their were supposed to be professionals and they didn’t want any drownings or anyone taking away their business. even if he really wasn’t. he’d always make himself out smarter than you. but didn’t feel like arguing with Ryo. The first day at the beach. I told Ryo I wasn’t comfortable wading through water with a group of nude women. He asked me for help and said we could split the profits if I found a pearl. I wasn’t one to stare at women and 64 . Maybe they dived nude to keep men away like the men in Greek Olympics or maybe they felt comfortable enough that no one would stare. but Ryo certainly got his share of memory snapshots. hoping for just one pearl to make them a nice profit.

Tanaka opened the door to see his daughter. but she said he had to leave.didn’t feel comfortable invading their territory. and took home some shells and her robe in order so she wouldn’t have to watch it. holding a pearl in her hand. Mr. but I couldn’t stand not knowing what had happened. She told me she checked every clam she could that day until she found one. Suddenly. Dinner passed and we all grew worried. her feet dirty. but she walked with a smile. and dirty. I didn’t know if she was just obsessed with trying to prove herself to Ryo. He agreed. Kimiko told him she would dive with the other women if he only accepted 40% of the profits. She held the 65 . trying to get rich. I saw what looked like Kimiko coming toward me. Ryo got a little frustrated. as the sun began to go down. We didn’t see Kimiko for hours and Ryo and I began to worry. naked. We waited until Ryo had to go home in the evening. tired. or might have been hurt. He decided it wasn’t worth it to have Kimiko gone for so long just to get rich. There she was. Kimiko had never stayed away from home like this before. Her skin was a bit red. We agreed. but since he wasn’t a good diver. there wasn’t much he could do.

Tanaka for dealing with Kimiko so harshly. He snatched the pearl from her and told her to take a bath. “His son tried to ride a horse once and he got thrown off of it which broke his neck and killed him. I got angry with Mr. She explained that he took his 15 year old son on a journey with him to see the fine horses of Japan that once belonged to Samurai. He took the pearl and put it in a drawer. He took her possessions which were meager and told her to stay in her room for a week. Tanaka could be so harsh. Tanaka felt he had betrayed his own son by letting him act wreckless. Tanaka looked furious. she knelt to eat it before choosing to dress. he already lost a son. never to be opened. She dragged me in her room and explained that he was desperately worried about his daughter because indeed.pearl with a smile. He told her he didn’t want her to leave the family like this for anything. He was worried that 66 . I had her robe in her room. Tanaka told her she was grounded. Mr. Dinner was waiting for her. I never knew Mr. Kimiko came out of the bath still naked. When she got finished. Mr. but Kimiko told me just to stop. It’s like he lost another daughter or son before. but Mr. and being hungry as she was.

I know I must have worried him. but he didn’t believe Kimiko found a pearl since Mr. I was willing to keep my mouth shut. He exercised there and had the Master hide food from him while he learned to focus on life without munchies. The next day. but we were shocked when we all got back to school. We all thought he went to a sumo training camp. he might lose her. Goji never did show up that summer. He explained he had gone to a dojo for a few weeks. He had lost half the fat he had on him and we were proud. but I thought I could make him proud. Tanaka had the proof and he put it away. but I still didn’t approve how he handled things. Still. He didn’t hang around much after that. easier way to get rich. I saw Ryo. and I didn’t feel like leaving my sister alone in her room after being stripped of her personals and even her robe.if his daughter wasn’t nearby.” I understood why he was so harsh. He said he originally did it to avoid 67 . He just laughed and said he would find another. I tried to explain the situation. He doesn’t like me to be gone for more than 2 hours and doesn’t really like it when I go diving.

It seems life will never treat him fair. they want him to finish losing the weight and try to become a martial arts instructor. Now. but did appreciate their son being leaner and stronger.having to become a Sumo. He also said his parents were upset over not having a future sumo champion in the future. 68 . Poor Goji.

Chapter 10 Life 69 .

I had a few items from England sitting out such as some English novels. I was able to finally catch up to the other students in handwriting and made a few calligraphy pieces for the storage room which became my room. and wore 70 . learned to paint. Time passed and I started to feel more Japanese than English. slept on the floor. Tanaka was very nice and after just a year. I learned her first name was Kasumi. I became skilled with chopsticks. I never thought a woman should ever have to be afraid of a woman. They reminded me of home and what I had to give up. Tanaka. I hoped to change things as I grew older. I knew that I could only make a new life from now on and I’d never be happy living in the past. I was able to carry out conversations with his wife. She was very humble and sometimes afraid of Mr. Overall. and some photographs. my father’s pocketwatch. Mr.The four of us continued to be friends for the year. but I wasn’t too sad. Mr. women were always very respectful of men no matter how they were treated. Tanaka had saved up for a mattress and several robes as I had outgrown my English style clothes. but in Japan.

wonderful robes or kimonos as I tried to start calling them. This year I learned to appreciate growing up. geishas did not come to our village. loved to throw a party for her friends which were numbered few. Normally. determination. 71 . I don’t think I would have even been invited if I wasn’t Kimiko’s brother. I was pleased to be treated more like a man. Kimiko took me to a party with her where I had an attempt to prove I was a gentlemen. but once a year. It was there I learned about the geishas. We had a big celebration at my house with Japanese cake and had an outdoor party at the beach. some gentleman I didn’t know was there. and Kimiko and I. and learning to appreciate the smallest things. the village leader’s daughter. It was focus. I received a gentlemen’s formal kimono and some very formal chopsticks. I turned 13 as did my friends. Her parents were there. Nanako. but maybe they just wanted to finally sit down with a British chap. It wasn’t just physical appearances that made one Japanese.

but she performed quite well in my opinion. but I told them no matter how beautiful the servant. As beautiful as the geisha was.Nanako went on about her family history and how they started the village as if they did it by themselves. she tried not to overshadow Nanako. Nanako was rude to the geisha whenever she would spill any tea or miss a chord on an instrument. I didn’t know how she 72 . uncaring. but it seemed to me that she was under a lot of stress and that she did not enjoy herself at the party. ungiving person she was. She seemed very arrogant at times which disturbed me. I felt sorry for these women and the fact they had to simply watch others enjoy better lives in front of them. I finally got up and told Nanako what a rude. the geisha was entertaining. it doesn’t mean her life is more beautiful. It was hard to believe that a woman dressed in a exquisite scarlet kimono with a bright face and silky hair was a slave to her. Indeed. I could tell she was new. Kimiko told me that it was a dream to become a servant of that level to many Japanese women.

I planned on leaving anyway. 73 . I learned some judo chops and throws almost immediately. Not just in my mass. but I could tell puberty was setting in. I didn’t care for the way the geisha’s feelings were hurt and decided to learn to protect others and myself if I was going to stand up for people. My muscles tightened and I noticed changes about me. she followed me out of the house. She was absolutely shocked and asked us to leave. but I didn’t think Kimiko needed to hang around such a person.could talk about herself when she did nothing for others. but I think Kimiko didn’t want to leave in such a manner. Tanaka and he paid a local dojo owner to teach me some basic martial arts. Still. She didn’t seem to want me to approach Nanako that way. but I would rather dig in my own dirt than live in Nanako’s best room. I think I finally proved my manhood that day and began to realize it. Perhaps she thought she might land a great job someday with the family if she hung around Nanako long enough. I spoke to Mr.

so I would have less knicks and cuts. She became better at healing the land while I became better at killing man. but they were so thin. I spent more time in the dojo while she began to work more in the garden outside. 74 . but I didn’t feel comfortable bathing with Kimoko anymore as we were both blossoming together. She might have been my sister. in my mind I was. I cut myself several times shaving until I mastered its use. I became self-conscious of my body as I got older and stopped letting myself be so free. I did it alone so I could be naked without onlookers.I started to blossom and was given my first razor blade. they didn’t look quite right on me yet. I was proud to have the blonde hairs growing on my chin. Well. but we weren’t blood relation and I felt uncomfortable bathing with someone starting to develop “distracting” parts. I knew that families including even grandparents sometimes would enjoy hot springs or large bathrooms together. If I swam. Kimiko understood and we separated ourselves a bit. I used some kind of soap to keep my skin soft.

I didn’t realize how much work it would be. Many of the students at school were impressed when they learned I was doing so well. My master expected me to earn my black at age 15 or so. My master said I rose quickly through the ranks. but felt I pushed myself too hard for one who picks up on things so quickly. It was a time when a lot of students were starting to focus on their future. I didn’t know for sure. Most would remain in the village. The time I spent at the dojo my 13th year helped. I had gone through 3 or 4 belts that year. supporting the fishing industry. I guess I just wanted to start mastering something foreign to me and I thought being able to defend myself would be great. Maybe I would remain here or maybe I would travel like my father. Personally. I studied judo and a bit of Karate there. but I decided I needed to be by myself. 75 . Only the next few years could tell me where I would end up. I couldn’t have my foster sister always there supporting me. but I knew some who wanted more in life than fish. as a young man. I didn’t have anywhere to go.We still spent time at the house. but I liked it anyway.

Chapter 11 Growing Up 76 .

I could read and write like any other person by then as well as fight like a true martial artist. My master told me I could earn 9 more degrees in my ranking as a black belt. however. Even with my Japanese language training. life carried on like usual.” I decided not to enter the fishing industry. I didn’t need anyone keeping their eye on me or hating the fact I might be taking away Japanese business. but I wasn’t too concerned about it.For the next 2 years. I continued to practice once a week. but I had a feeling a few had their eye on me. Still. I felt I had earned enough respect and learned enough about fighting for one lifetime. Our family was quite popular among the town and people were always interested in my stories of England. It seemed to me that these people should be more worried about its leaders and their plans. I became accepted in the community like anyone else. Both my father and my master were very proud. I had earned my black belt by my 15th birthday. Maybe they didn’t like the fact I came in their small town and was suddenly “one of them. 77 . I carried out an accent that they had never heard before.

Japan needed much more than its own natural resources now and that became a problem. The country had just experienced the first World War and things were starting to change. Japan had helped our Europe and proved itself to be a modern country, but our town was anything but. I had heard plans to start changing the town. There was supposed to be a new paved road around the port outside leading into town. Many were used to the soft road which had lost most of its gravel during small floods. A man didn’t need to wear shoes if he didn’t desire, but somehow, I don’t think the Japanese government wanted to see any more barefoot Japanese fishermen walking around any more. Many were upset that the government were making changes without speaking to the village leaders. The most upset was Nanako. She had planned on running the village at age 18, but by the time she was old enough to rule, her throne was going to be pulled out underneath her. She had a hard time trying to accept she would have less purpose in her village and if she remained, she didn’t want to be used like a puppet. Therefore, she decided to try to educate herself more and learn some kind of task.
78

Nanako became friendly with me and spoke to me about the incident. She began to realize how easily control could slip away and began to realize how truly held the power in Japan. She knew that the fishermen were truly supporting the village and aimed to keep the industry going, even in a small town that hardly drew in the amount of fish the larger coastal cities did. That year, Nanako had changed. She lost her selfishness and became stronger for it. 3 years ago, I can’t say I would ever befriend a person like her, but somehow, we became connected. I began to spend more time with her than with my sister. My sister looked out for me behind my back still, and began to judge Nanako. She didn’t trust her so quickly, but I made certain Kimiko wouldn’t stick her nose in our affairs. She stopped talking to me for a while. I was surprised as Kimiko and Nanako were friends, but I think Kimiko began to reject Nanako’s life after a while. Suddenly, I was better friends with her than Kimiko was. I didn’t know how to connect the two. A year went by as they never spoke and Kimiko hardly spoke to me. Then, during the summer of my 16th
79

year, as I really began to mature, the two decided to get a summer job. Little did each other know, they chose the same job. The fish began to fade as the town grew into a more civilized society, but there were still rumors of wealth in the small bay. Both my sister and Nanako decided to spend the summer gathering pearls in order to have some backup funds in case the town was taken over or if we needed to move. Kimiko was surprised to see Nanako at the beach, walking in the nude, without one of her fancy kimonos on. They started to talk and knew they both had a plan for the city in common. They spent hours outside diving for pearls and talking. As their bodies matured more, I definitely had to keep away from them. I wondered how friendly they got to be. Nanako took a day off and was excited because her friendship with Kimiko was back. They both were on the same page and I think I enjoyed it more than they did.

80

Chapter 12 A Working Man 81 .

For now. 82 . Nanako stopped the diving and sought what she saw as a “real job. a mining facility. and began to decide what to do with our lives. The leaders of Japan could have turned the port into a military base. but kept it the way it was for a while. he would be a puppet. so she helped manage the port. where his daughter could drown and would be naked in front of others. yet gave new opportunities. where she would dive and enjoy being free.” She wanted to spread some of Japan’s influence around. Japan was still being modernized which took away some of old Japan. but he couldn’t control his daughter any longer and he began to realize she had to make her own decisions in life. Kimiko decided to keep her job at the beach. and decided to stay settled. I suppose they had more important places to tend to. I enjoyed being in the village. Her father didn’t care for such a job. She knew her job as a village leader was numbered and even if the government brought in a new leader.We finished up our education over the next two years. or a storehouse for weapons.

They wanted her to marry someone higher up in Japan and they wanted her to marry a Japanese man so their land would be inherited to a native. I did pretty well for myself. but Nanako’s parents didn’t even come to the marriage ceremony. She felt abandoned by them. and I wanted to make certain it was permanent.”. but her parents seems disturbed. I enjoyed managing the little store and talking to both native Japanese and outsiders. She immediately answered “Yes. The old man who used to work there passed away and with no children bestowed to him. They expected me to be honest as I was a foreigner myself. his wife decided to let me run the business. which helped make a sell. 83 .I sought out a job selling Japanese goods at the port. selling items mainly to foreigners for more than they were worth. so we stayed at our parents place for a few weeks. We had been together off and on. After saving up some money for a couple of years. My parents welcomed Nanako and were very accepting of her. I decided it was time to ask Nanako the big question. I asked her to marry me at my parent’s house.

The wife of the man who passed away told us. so I continued working at the shop while Nanako tended to her. 84 . but I believe it made a jewel even brighter to my eye. We agreed to the deal. She had never tended to someone before like this. we would inherit her house as the couple never bore children. if we would help take care of her during her last few years.

Chapter 13 The Passing 85 .

I asked her why she left her and Nanako told me that it was her will that we both be by her side. I closed up shop early that day. She said that “ “. and went straight home. Nanako was a bit relieved now that we owned a house. her body was taken away. “ “ was extremely week. She didn’t want us to have it simply from her passing away. We were both pleased at the bittersweet moment. but held on to officially proclaim that her house was now officially ours. She wanted to give it to us while she was alive. still making enough of a profit. I would as well for she felt like a grandmother to me which I didn’t have as both mine died from disease when I was around two years of age. It was within minutes that she passed away. and the fact that she could really get into a career.I had worked at the store for 5 years when Nanako came to see me. the lady that housed us was dying. rushing toward me as if she wouldn’t see me again in years. We called the coroner in town and after examination. 86 . but she said she would miss all the meals together with “ “.

Kimiko continued to dive. but a pearl provided enough money to last for a while. Japan was working on exports. so making it a comfortable house was fairly easy. We sold a few pieces and donated any clothing. but was still dependent on imports at the same time. She took time to head to different areas of our village where she had heard pearls were found. Japan’s largest cities were as modern as any 1st world country. The imports I sold certainly weren’t necessities. 87 . but were mostly pleased to be surrounded by the items that she cared for. but pleasing to travelers. but we were all going to enjoy it until its change. In 1932. but the government wouldn’t allow it. The village wanted a simple life too. Each day was pretty pleasant. We didn’t know how much our quaint town would change. We led a simple life running the store and watching the village change every year. so it didn’t matter.We were left with many pieces of furniture and other valuables by the family. You couldn’t find one everyday.

Chapter 14 Port Life 88 .

I could move up in it and have better financial backing. 89 . Mr. Nanako and I truly made the house ours and after some success. Kasumi was aging as well. Lately. All projects. part of it. as well as head of the village. as a merchant. except for the fishing company. there was no real company. Unfortunately. etc. Tanaka proud of her. They felt it was a good time to discuss all of our plans in life. The government wanted to use the land in “ “ pretty badly and they were beginning to force their way in even if the people living here didn’t approve. We all gathered together one evening to discuss times and such. If I worked at a company of sorts. I had been happy at the port. It was 1935. Kimiko finally made Mr. Nanako had been fed up with the way things were run. went through her unless the head government wanted something done. but I did want to provide more for the family. Nanako was of course. Tanaka was beginning to realize that age was catching up with him.A few years passed by. Of course. Life was pretty plain for us.

All of the family was sad to see the free life they had been living taken away by big business and westernization. Most of the old houses were being torn down and I believe the government wanted to do away with Nanako’s family as they still represented “old royalty” in the country. I had hoped that Nanako and I could try to start another life for ourselves soon and while I hated the control the government was using. I also had hoped that Nanako would someday give up her role in the village. There was to be only one leader. She discussed signing over her rights to the fishing company to my sister. Tanaka had saved up enough funds that he could retire from teaching. Kimiko. Mr. for a small fee and she would give up her role as head of the village in return for 90 . The Japanese government wanted new western ideas taught and Mr. so I wasn’t bothered as much as some members of the village. We knew it would only be time before all of our positions would be taken away. so we chose to lead a new life by ourselves. she did. and that was the Emperor. Tanaka didn’t completely agree with changing the Japanese education system even though he did admire the characteristics of the various countries around the world. just for my own desires and to my surprise. I was certainly used to western ideas and idealisms.

91 . I didn’t know what he would think of our abandoning the village. We spent a month carrying out the ideas and tasks. but we both knew we needed change in our life. As the month went by. Kimiko kept the fishermen happy and continued to make certain the women of the village dived for the pearls once a week at least. Nanako completely retired at the end of the month as did I. She was excellent at it and she still dived once a month. because I knew not many men in the village had enough to purchase a building. I finally found someone to take over the store. I continued to work. One evening.small financial benefits to be given to her by the Japanese government for life. we both went to Mr. Nanako backed down from her work and introduced Kimiko as the new head of the fishing company. I only sold the store to make enough money to pay for travel expenses. The men were overwhelmed to have a female over them who felt free enough to be nude at the beach and still feel powerful. Tanaka’s house and discussed our plans. but looked for a replacement merchant without telling Mr. Tanaka.

Kasumi seemed pleased to see her daughter taking a leading role in the family. we also broke news to the family of our plans. Tanaka would have been happy to let us have the house. It would probably be ten years or more before Mr. so we sought out buyers from outside the village. 92 . Tanaka would pass away. Although Mr.My sister was there and backed us up. Therefore. That evening. Kimiko already bought a house of her own and we needed the funds to purchase a new one. He gave us quite a sum of money up front which would more than pay for our new home. and after several complications. We mentioned that we would sell the house in one more month. She put up with her husband a lot. but I think she always wanted to see him keep quiet for once. I felt it would be best to keep it in a Japanese family and I felt Kimiko earned the right to own it. we found a businessmen preparing to retire. We saw several people. but she made plans right away. Mostly. the only people interested were developers or retirees. her father allowed her to run the household once he passed away.

93 . and if every town was to become more modernized and eventually more like Tokyo. and the company of the fishermen who grew to like me over the 2 decades or so I spent there. When we were both satisfied by our time. family. We spent one last week on town enjoying the beach. Nanako and I left aboard a train outside the town and headed toward Tokyo.Nanako and I thought about the best place to move to. we might as well move there.

Chapter 15 The Big City 94 .

Nanako read to herself and tried to keep busy. I felt like I betrayed him in someway. but I haven’t spoken an English word out loud in years. and where I met the love of my life.I sat in my seat quietly the whole trip to Tokyo. I reminisced for hours upon the train about the life I’ve lead so far. 95 . I had left the Western world when I was but a kid. I spoke English. we made it to Tokyo. a brash woman who realized the meaning of strength in life. After we departed the train station. Kimiko needed to take a larger role in his life and Nanako and I needed to live where we weren’t under his control. My parents never threw huge parties and there were only small gatherings in Gaiku En. enjoying the scenery and culture. Mr. we were surrounded by a group of people. but now the whole world was changing that. Tanaka took me in as his own child and now I was leaving him before I had to. so I was not use to so many people. I might still be in Japan. My life as I knew it was in Japan where I led a simple life. but I couldn’t keep my mind off anything but home. but Tokyo was not going to be the same as “ “. After I relieved some stress and Nanako finished her book. In my mind. but I knew it was for the best.

we spoke to a couple living in the city. I agreed. “Let’s look for a hotel room tonight. but we were still happy. I looked for a simple job that didn’t take too much skill. while waiting for the family to move out. only seeing a British man speaking Japanese and trying to act like he knew what he was doing. The next day. she said.”. it wasn’t much to look at and lacked the charm of traditional Japanese homes. The houses were crowded together and the property was a bit pricey. but paid well.I started to sweat among the hustle and bustle of the crowd as Nanako and I walked through downtown. and after enjoying some city food. we checked in. Granted. That week. We had to stay in a hotel for a week. I went to several places and most looked at me strangely. but we had made enough from selling ours. I bet 96 . We skimmed through a newspaper looking for houses we could afford. We conserved the rest of our money and tried not to tempt ourselves with shopping downtown.

I ran across a factory job which involved wielding metal parts together for military equipment. Granted. I was always a quick learner. being my first time. He was surprised by my story and found it most interesting. Finally. because the foremen who was interviewing me seemed impressed. He took me into one section of the factory where he had me test my cutting skills. but I watched a few employees do it. I was Japanese as the rest of them. He asked me about my background and I told him a small portion of my life. 97 .it was hard enough for a Japanese country boy to get a job in Tokyo. but in my mind. but I must have done better than I thought. I had never actually cut metal before. It sounded interesting and it paid well and the Japanese government definitely needed as many employees as it could get in order to build up its empire. I was off. so I took up the torch and attempted to cut straight through the metal. I went in that week for an interview. He must have thought why would a foreigner be looking for common Japanese work. An older Japanese man looked at me strangely.

but I think they wanted some foreign help. I worked hard as I could for 3 years straight. but she was very resourceful. Nanako grew bored at home and shopped with the little extra money we had. I had ideas and such about speeding up the process and I looked into part buying. She knew so much about designer kimonos and was so eloquent that everyone in the shop was charmed by her. It was the idea of 98 . a man was told just to do his job. Luckily. She was able to replace a store manager at a fine retail shop. Nanako didn’t have a job yet.I was hired almost immediately and took an early morning shift. I should thank her for one of those shopping sprees. My fellow employees seemed to respect me and even my foremen invited me to a few dinners every month or so. I quickly learned how to cut metal for airplane wings for the Japanese Air Force and made enough money to support the two of us. for she happened to see a help wanted sign at a department store downtown. I started out in training which lasted a couple of weeks. Normally. so I figured it wouldn’t be long before she was able to bring money to the household.

” “Yes. sir. One day. I replied. I answered. As Japanese as I felt. he called me into his office and spoke the following words which I have translated to English. so I worked hard to show my loyalty to my home. He was fairly elderly and I understood he would want to stop this manual labor job soon.”. my foremen told me he was ready to retire. I was surprised and found myself in a strange position caught between normal factory work and running a business.”. “Sam. “I just want to see that the company prospers. You’ve been anxious to share ideas with the company without expectation or the promise of a new position. 99 .Japan to compete against the west by becoming the west. I didn’t mind going against my homeland too much. It was like fighting fire with fire. I was being asked for advice as often as twice a week. Soon. I have been impressed with your will power and hard work since day one. Soon.

We ate the finest fish and talked about times.”. I said to him. “Just say that you’ll honor my wishes. how I met Nanako. 100 . I was granted a foreman position. He was delighted to meet her and said his wife shopped at her store before.” That month. I don’t know what to say. I took Nanako and a few factory friends out to a nice dining restaurant. The day I started my new job. My foreman was quite pleased with me and went on about my skills. That’s why. I want you to take over for me. “Of course.” “Me? Sir.”. he told me.“As do I. I had less physical labor and was able to spread my ideas with everyone. I told him more about my background and of course. I’ll make certain we make the best airplanes in the world.

Japan was producing more airplanes than ever before and finally. I was quite proud of my work and had learned a lot of mechanical skills working there. I realized Japan was indeed growing. I was quickly invited to meetings about the company and we were discussing the future of the Japanese airlines. Each day. I felt like I had accomplished more in my life. I was pretty excited about moving up in life and couldn’t wait to go to work again. I helped a culture become independent and although I didn’t like the way the government controlled all the territories and such.The night went well as we went on and on about our lives. Although being an engineer was more time-consuming than a merchant. so I decided I might as well help. the Japanese could visit other cultures and spread their culture around the world. We discussed American airplanes and our competition. My fellow employees seemed to think so as well. I personally thought it was great that the world could reach out to each other more 101 .

often and faster. and they told me that this was the worst time to ask. so I continued to work long hours without trying to change things. I hoped that maybe one 102 . you can’t move forward if you backtrack. I liked being useful and felt powerful linking the world together. These “modifications” including adding machine guns. Perhaps it was a mistake not to think about my work schedule or the nights I spent away from Nanako. I understood the Japanese military wasn’t completely modernized yet. Well. They needed to start making modifications to the planes our company was building. I spoke to management a few years of earning my newest job title. but I didn’t get into this business to manufacture military planes. and bomb bays. he would have taken airplanes instead and could have even been home faster from his travels. Perhaps I could have journied with him if he hadn’t died. She was upset that we didn’t have time to have children together and she seemed to think I had married my work. I wanted to continue to build planes for transporation. If my father had been alive. but she was right.

day I would visit England again in one of the planes I helped build. oil. One day. so I talked to Nanako and told her to give me just 3 more years or so. Japan was still not a major recognized country to the world and many citizens seem to be upset over such. I didn’t want to give up my position. I didn’t like where the business was headed. but at the time. The men seemed to enjoy building these new planes more than regular transportation planes and that worried me. She relunctantly agreed and I told my bosses that I would help make the parts. I continued to work while guiding employees on how to construct some of the new models and such. It was like a job boom. and other supplies were becoming a rarity to them. England and 103 . metal. a lot of people were getting military jobs. They said that because of the war going on in Europe. I was at a meeting when my fellow employees were complaining about supplies and such. many countries had economic problems. At a time of boom in everyone’s lives.

would keep taking. but Japan seemed upset about it. I hadn’t build a normal 104 . I felt sick when I first heard the news.other European countries had been invaded by Germany due to their lust for power. Japan didn’t seem to think too much of it which surprised me. In World War I. It seemed the U. Now. stood between Germany and world conquest. war raged harder than ever. only the U. I wanted Japan. some of the men from the village left to help the major powers of the United States when they were in trouble.S. and the men at the factory grew angrier. Sometimes I would hear employees complain about the lack of oil that we needed for our factories and how much the U. Nanako and I both grew scared of the government ideas. but I didn’t want them taking power from other countries. In 1942. the land that raised me to be strong. My bosses forced me to work more hours to produce more military planes. was indeed winning.S. They demanded more things from other nations during the time of their nation building.S. I couldn’t believe England was about ready to submit to such lust.

airplane in ages and I felt the joy of my job being drained away from me with each “war” plane I built. I didn’t like where things were headed and Nanako agreed. They wanted direct management over the manufacturing process and although I was able to keep my position. It was nearing the end of 1942. One day. you could hear about the military action all of the time. and because of her democratic ideals. 105 . Women no longer shopped at her store due to both saving money back. I knew it would be too difficult to resign from my position in a time of such turmoil. Perhaps some agreed with her. The military was taking over a number of businesses including ours. my opinion was valued little. so Nanako and I planned to leave without any indication. Nanako and I discussed leaving Japan. but they were too afraid to speak out about it. Eventually. but we realized it was not a place for our ideas or morals. Hardly any Japanese ever left their society and I hadn’t traveled in ages.

106 . When the government found out I helped produce military planes. but we explained our situation and America understood. I knew we had to make a new home that neither one of us truly had experience in. Within a week. They seemed to be fearful of my wife. helping them develop better planes as well as divulge Japanese secrets I had learned. who was true Japanese. We found a place in San Francisco to live where we tried to enjoy ourselves for several months. but decided to use me to their advantage. we found a boat leaving for America. we arrived upon California’s coastline. There were hardly any boats still traveling between Japan and other countries and since England was in such danger. We didn’t have proper papers. there was hardly any reason to speak it with her. but were glad to see an ally’s face. Nanako knew some English. they were miffed. I made a deal with them and would work 5 years. but I didn’t feel as Japanese as I once did either. but not as much as my sister as my sister learned it to teach me Japanese and since I already spoke it well when I met Nanako.Winter. I didn’t exactly feel British any longer.

Japan showed its true nature. My employees back in Japan just sneered when I tried to back the U. needed the oil and hoped Japan would understand that a country fighting for the world would need it the most. I was shocked to see a peaceful society I had been living in turn to utter chaos. It was strange that it took 40 years or so for them to realize I wasn’t one of them.S. who could not release any oil to Japan.S. I felt like the U. I was quickly becoming an outcast there. It was extremely difficult to send and receive messages in wartime and I 107 .” She was depressed for a month. by attacking Pearl Harbor. In order to keep their society modernized. The telegram read: “We regret to inform you that all of your relatives had been slaughtered by the Japanese military due to their lack of actions in convincing more citizens to join the military. I worried about mine back home. Nanako was extremely fearful and one day received a telegram confirming her right to be afraid.S. they struck back against the U.In 1943. but they never backed down. knowing that she had no family to go back home to.

his wife Kasumi. They sent a message with our names on it which was finally delivered to our home. Nanako was also grateful to hear from her in-laws. They didn’ t know our address. I was good at my job and I made quite a bit extra percentages. a boy and a girl. and Kimiko knew we had fled to America thanks to a secret informant. We had 2 children in 1947. I worked as an electronics merchant selling radios and other things so I could keep up with the news around the world. but Mr. I never signed back on. government. Nanako cared for them both while I finished my airplane duty for the U. I eventually got sick of manufacturing weapons so as soon as my 5 year contract was up. We were still afraid to head back home and had started a life in America that we had enjoyed.didn’t hear from them until 2 years after the war finally ended. Tanaka. Not being of critical importance to the government. I was pleased beyond belief to hear from them. Sometimes Nanako would bring the children down to the shop where they 108 . my family back home was alive.S.

I liked selling pieces of the world. Japan respected certain aspects of its own culture and it wanted to spread branches of peace. Now.would entertain customers while they waited for my attention. It was like a dream to see Japan at peace again and although independent. especially televisions. manufacturing cars and even television sets.S. I hoped the world would focus on things like talking and discussions and to my disbelief. I was good an engineering and I had some know-how of televisions. I know many Americans were still frustrated with them. Some are just mislead or misunderstood. I would be making tools of communication instead of weapons like I had always wanted. I was finally successful in what I wanted to do and I got to see images of the world without ever leaving my chair. in the late 50s Japan was actually turning away from war and began a great companionship with the U. In 1955.. 109 . I think my father would be proud. when the children turned seven. Citizens had more rights. but human beings aren’t always that different. I sold the store after being hired by a television manufacturing company. they started to mimic America in many ways. so I was a perfect fit with the company.

was no spring chicken. and Nanako as well. fifty years of age. She said I would have be proud. He had passed away two years before we came. I. He knew his son lived through me and I felt honored to be such a strong link to my foster father. She said he longed to see me again and called me his son on his deathbed. I reminded him of his son who was brash and a quick learned and would have stood his ground and left home if he had to. Kimiko still had some trouble contacting me. and where feelings can be the strongest force in one’s self. my wife and I decided to visit home again. wasn’t either.In 1961. We found it hard to find. except Mr. but we found the family still there. where patience can be a virtue. It was nice to see the place where I learned family can be more than just people with the same blood type. We spent two weeks there using up my company’s vacation time. Kasumi cooked us more fancy meals while we were there. but she would never know that for I would never tell it to her face. but Kimiko tried to help as much as possible with her getting up in her years. 110 . having its name changed. Tanaka.

Nanako took longer to learn that. Indeed. but deep inside………. I love the freedom democracy had spread during the war and my eyes tear up on the 4th. Our lives were still in America. THE END 111 . I still drink tea and eat biscuits regularly and carry an old fashioned pocket watch with an image of Big Ben inside. where we would raise our children in a free country and where they could grow up to make any decision they wanted.My heart………lies in Japan. but I fell in love with her just the same.

112 .

IN. and cousin nearby in Lexington as well as an aunt and cousin in Ft. Previous Publications: “Living in Shadows”. © A poem listed in “Immortal Verses” © Poetry. grandmother. Editors Award for “Living in Shadows” © 113 . Wayne.com. “Sounds of Poetry” © Poetry. now living in Lexington. He has been fascinated by Japanese culture and anime for years and decided to make his debut by writing about Japanese life. He has a mother. Also available on Compact Disk. My Heart Lies in Japan is his debut fiction novel.About the Author Philip James Hanan is a 24 year old author originally from Bartlesville. KY. brother. OK.com Awards: Director’s Award for “Drive Me Crazy” © Song Lyrics Contest for Paramount Group.

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