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YAMASHITA PARK, YOKOHAMA 1963

MANY HOURS OF ROMANTIC CONVERSATION AND ARTISTIC ENDEAVORS WERE ENJOYED IN THIS PARK. THIS WAS TAKEN ONE EARLY DAWN WHEN I WAS ALONE. THE PARK WAS FULL OF LIFE IN ALL OF ITS CONVENTIONAL WAYS DURING WEEKENDS. STUDENTS WERE STUDYING THEIR ENGLISH AND I WAS A WILLING TUTOR. ONE VERY BEAUTIFUL YOUNG LADY SMILED AND TOLD ME THAT SHE LOVED MY SKETCHES. SHE TOLD ME THAT LEARNING ENGLISH WAS SO MUCH EASIER THAN LEARNING JAPANESE. "I WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE ENGLISH," SHE TOLD ME. I REPLIED THAT I WOULD TRY VERY HARD TO TEACH HER SOME ENGLISH IF SHE WOULD PROMISE TO TRY AND TEACH ME HOW TO SPEAK ENOUGH JAPANESE TO GET AROUND YOKOHAMA. OUR FRIENDSHIP BEGAN AND LATER, WE SHARED WINE AND COFFEE AT AN ESTABLISHMENT CALLED THE "WEIN COFFEE SHOP" SOMEWHERE NEAR THE MOTOMACHI AREA OF YOKOHAMA. AS TIME WENT BY, I LEARNED THAT HER FATHER WAS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY IN BURMA. SHE HAD NO MEMORY OF HIM. NEITHER OF US HAD ANY HARD FEELINGS ABOUT THE WAR THAT WAS ONLY SIXTEEN YEARS DISTANT FROM OUR PRESENCE. IT WAS A SUBJECT WE NEVER HAD TO DISCUSS AGAIN.

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Taken on January 5, 2007