Yesterday was wonderful. We took a long time to
get going. Masa was ill from drinking with Hirayama-san until 2am. They
headed off at 9am.

Hanako drove the rest of us to Hiroshima – it was
a public holiday, but Junko was working at the shop, because it was
sale season.

I bought shinkansen tickets to Tokyo, with
Hanako’s help at Yokogawa station. It was more difficult than expected,
but we got them. Hanako dropped us at Sogo. Helen was very impressed,
so I went for a walk while she spent an hour there. Out in the street,
I thought that it would be very difficult recognising the few people I
knew in the city, after 20 years. Less than 5 minutes later a woman
walked towards me, and I said “Miyumi!”. Miyumi Yingling had worked at
Hiroshima International School with me, and had attempted to teach me
Japanese. She said that HIS, like Bali IS, had experienced an “ethnic
cleansing” by an American principal, and, despite winning the ensuing
legal battle, she had moved on.

Helen and I then walked down the Hondori, and on
to Peace Park. The museum was, again, an experience that made me angry
and frustrated – politicians have learned nothing from WW II and
Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The senseless killing goes on, although they
know enough not to use nuclear weapons on each other.

We walked back up to the Shukkien gardens, but it
was nearly closing time. We caught a nuber 6 bus to Ushita. When we got
to the park, where HIS used to be, we discovered that it had returned,
as the Ushita annexe. The young Japanese woman we spoke to indicated
that they were struggling for numbers.

We walked up the hill to Hanako’s house, but she
wasn’t there. We walked back to the grog shop, and sat by the rice
paddy, drinking a “cruiser” each.

When Hanako arrived, we caught a taxi back to the
Hondori, and went to La Mission restaurant, where Masa works. The food
was wonderful. We had a seafood salad entree, duck in red wine sauce,
and a plate of little pieces of various sweets, washed down with a
bottle of red wine.  Masa was very excited and a bit too
conscientious. He is so Japanese.

From the restaurant, we went to another
bar/restaurant, owned by a friend of Hanako, and had a drink.We walked
a bit through Nagerekawa, and then caught a taxi home. We slept like
logs in the tatami room.

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