Thursday, February 21, 2013

April 3, 1954 Spring Comes to Japan, Flowers Bloom, Bonnie Sews and Plans for Visits to Kyoto and Tokyo

Dear Mother & Daddy,

"Spring is really here, I guess.  At least we have pulled off the kids' long underwear.  Bobby insists that he should wear short pants but it isn't that warm yet.  I had really wondered how different things would look when spring came for it stayed so green all winter.  It is a different green now, though--a real fresh green.

And the cherry trees are out and they are truly magnificent.  They are everywhere you look--in yards, along streets, along the railroad tracks, and on the mountain sides.  I wish you could see them.  The tragic part is that they bear no fruit in this land of teeming millions where food is needed so badly.  The Japanese don't think of that, though, for they love anything beautiful and the trains are jammed now with people going sakura (cherry) blossom viewing.  They take their lunch and spend the day under the trees.  The paper lists the public places where they can be seen and when.

Our yard is a source of constant surprises.  Almost every day some new flowering bush comes out.  We are trying to get color pictures of them but it is hard to keep up with them.  The camellias have been a real joy to me all winter.  Now the white ones and baby pink ones are out.  I'm going to miss the flowers next year.

The children are playing outside with neighbor children.  They all have such a good time together.  Bobby talks of coming home but he is very happy here.  Ann talks about things we used to have to eat or things we used to do but is happy too.  Toni is planning a bang-up birthday party for all of us when we get there and the children are excited about it.  We haven't been told yet about our ship or when it will sail.  Fulbright will arrange it so we have stopped worrying about it.

You may remember that we bought a set of dishes a long time ago but we bought only service for 8 so we have ordered enough to complete it for 12.  The pattern is a scene and I couldn't resist it when I saw it although I had sworn that I would not buy china here.  I don't think I'll ever regret buying them.

I have accomplished quite a bit of sewing.  I borrowed a portable machine and since I had things all cut and ready to sew I really got a lot done.  I made a kindergarten smock for Ann, two dresses for her and a dress for myself.  Teruko-san makes beautiful button holes so I let her make them.  I have a pongee dress cut but haven't done anything else on it.  Then I bought a piece of brown linen for a dress.

Last Sunday we took the children to see Dumbo.  The soundtrack was in Japanese but it was a wonderful picture.  The theatre was jammed of course and the people were rude.  That is the strangest thing.  People are so very, very polite in their homes.  But the minute a train door opens they start shoving to get on instead of waiting for people to get off.  They dash for a seat and there seems to be no concern for anyone except the guy who wants the seat.  The missionaries say this has developed only since the war.

We spent Thursday in a Japanese home and had a wonderful time.  The woman is a teacher and she told us a lot about the school system here.  A missionary and her children took us and there was another Japanese teacher there too.  The woman, her husband, who works for the telephone company, & their two children live with her mother.  They are in the country and have a lot of land.  The house was part matted where we sat on the floor and part western with chairs.  We had a real Japanese dinner of sukiyaki, salad and fruit.  It was late when we got home and the kids played so hard they were exhausted.

We plan to go to Kyoto tomorrow for two days and then next week we are going to Tokyo for a few days.  This will probably be our last time in Tokyo except for the time when we board ship there.  We are making plans to go to Hiroshima the last of the month.  There is a Fulbright family there and we want to stay with them.

B will teach only two classes again next semester and they will begin April 21 so we are planning the long trips now since his classes will be on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  That cuts the week in two so we can't travel far but intend to get in lots of short trips.  They say it rains most of June and if it does we couldn't do much then.  Our time is going so fast we are going to plan carefully so we can make the most of it.

Have a good birthday, Mother.  The children send you hugs and kisses and we all send you both heaps of love, "


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