Yesterday was another incredibly full day - our last Wednesday in Japan. It began with a trip to Musashi-Kosugi where my photographer friend Katsuko Nakamata lives. She invited Yumiko and me to come to her house for the day. She wanted to photograph both of us in full kimono. We took the train in the rain, visited her beautiful house and garden, had tea and fruit with her and her daughter-in-law. Then she drove us to lunch in a sushi restaurant with a revolving Lazy Susan. We went back to her house where she dressed us in layer after layer after layer of beautiful material that makes up a full kimono and we got our pictures taken. We said good bye to Nakamata San and rushed back home.
Wednesday was also Ken's last Chinese language class. Ken has taken lessons in Chinese every Wednesday evening since we've been in Japan. He has had the same wonderful, beautiful, funny Chinese teacher - Miss Chen - and the same group of three Japanese women in his class all year. They adore Ken. The problem with this last class, however, was that he could not make it in time. Another dear friend of Ken's was here at our apartment all afternoon while Yumiko and I were having our pictures taken. He invited her to stay for dinner and by the time she left, the Chinese class was just about over. But Ken wanted to go and say good bye. So at 8:30 p.m. after dinner, Ken and I ventured out to the language school. We took a taxi and got there just as the class was ending. We walked down the hall and all of a sudden I could hear Miss Chen shout out, "Kono San!!!" Then there was a flurry of activity and doors opening and Miss Chen and the three Japanese ladies rushed out into the hall and lovingly ushered Ken and me into the class. They pulled up chairs for us to sit in and then all just chatted away in Japanese and Chinese. We brought some cookies and Miss Chen ran and got cold bottled water and milk tea and cups. We had a little impromptu party and toasted Ken's last class.
After a few minutes we all got up and said good bye. They walked us to the door. We all had tears in our eyes. We made them promise to come to our house in St. Davids or we will never speak to them again. They all promised.