It started as an innocuous Facebook invite from Ken Takeda, a Japanese American friend who is very involved with the Japanese American community in SF. The vividly pictured post with half-naked, laboring masses seemed to say, “Come help us carry the mikoshi shrine at the Cherry Blossom Parade in Japantown!” I felt a twinge of gratitude swell within, as I always feel when I am invited to something. Then, with a smile like I had finished a relaxing cigar (I don’t smoke), I closed my laptop to go to sleep. Yeah, that would seem fun, but I was in a basketball league that Sunday. AND WE WERE GOING TO WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP.
It’s been how many years since I’ve lived in my dear city of Nichinan? Almost six years! The memory of it has faded to the point where I cannot recall it at will. All I can recall are vague tidbits of the streets and riding my scooter by myself along the countryside. Very occasionally, a student or teacher’s face pops up in my head only to get washed away. It makes me wonder whether there’s something wrong.