26
MARRIAGE AND FATHER'S DEATH

In April of 1985, we got married.
After marriage, I changed my ways and got square. I quit
cigarettes, gambling. I told my wife about the bad things I
had done. I owe it to my wife that I was able to quit my bad
habits.
The wedding was at a shrine in the neighbourhood of where
both my wife and I lived. After the wedding, we had a reception
at an eel restaurant in Candy-Street. I wanted to do a cherry
blossom watching party after the reception, but some of my
relatives suggested otherwise. Usually, there were lots of fights
among drunk people and danger at the good watching places.
There were fights to occupy the good places.
Our honeymoon was to Hawaii, where many married
Japanese go.
After the one week vacation, we came back to Japan and I
went to China again on a business trip.
I went to Yentai, close to Tsingtao, to teach processing of
soy sauce pickles of capelin and sardines. At Yentai, I came
across Fuji Marine that was picking out roe from Dutch herring.
The roe-spent fish were skinny, so no one found any value in
it in Japan, but in China, people seemed to favour it.
I was given a room at the plant of Yentai and I stayed there.
5 or 6 days passed, and early in the morning at about 6
o'clock, Mr. Honda called me on an international phone line.
He told me that my father had died.
My retired father died when he was on a small domestic
trip with my mother.
I told the plant people what had happened, and they made
me a reservation for a train to Bejing. Airflights were not
available that soon.
I got on the train that would take me to Bejing in 24 hours.
I was looking from the window at the sight of the big lands of
China, when three birds like swallows came flying after. The
swallows kept on following the train for a while. I thought
that they looked very much like the feeling I had towards my
father, who had gone not saying goodbye.
I got a seat on a jetliner to Tokyo at Bejing.
When I was back to Japan, my father had already been
turned to ashes.

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