Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Goodbye Dear Friend!

I know I've been a real slacker at updating the blog. And promise that when my class ends next week to give Japan a proper farewell via the blog but until then...another farewell.....

We lost our dear friend Yasujiro Okajima this past Sunday evening. We met him in 2001 when we lived in Shonan Takatori. He was a great neighbor and friend. He had a lovely Japanese Buddhist service this past Wednesday. Truly different from anything Jeff or I had attended prior but very moving. I think the thing that struck me the most was that in their greatest sorrow the Japanese are still "so Japanese". Hard to explain unless you have experienced the Japanese way. His wife Shegeiko couldn't thank us enough for attending and mentioned how honored she was that we would attend and that Jeff would come in his dress blues. She kept thanking us for our friendship. When we're the ones that were so proud and honored to call him our friend.

Okajima-san was 84 and had been battling esophageal and tongue cancer for the past year. He and Shegeiko were married for over 50 years.

We will miss his friendship. And his coffee! He made great coffee!!! (using an old percolator!)