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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Tokyo Twins – Chapters 17, 18 and 19

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Chapter 17 – Things unthinkable and carpe diem.

Mieko and Henry O’Brien, hoods returned to their heads, continued in kneeling positions after the broadcast.

Well done.” she said. Whoever she was, known only by the name of ‘A’ her partner, ‘B’, would call her. Mieko and Henry O’Brien had yet to see her face.

Mieko and Henry had been taken by a small band of gun toting thieves, or so they thought, fifteen days before driving alone along the border of Jammu and Kashmir.

I found this in your belongings.” she said and walked behind Henry and Mieko. She looked to her partner and handed him a photograph.

‘B’, remove their hoods please. And you two, do not turn around.”

‘B’ removed the hoods. They are yours I presume?” ‘A’ said.

Henry and Mieko had difficulty adjusting their eyes. Then at once broke into sobbing.

These twin girls must be, what, six months old here. Hmm?” ‘A’ said.

No response.

And by the date on the photo? Hmm.” ‘A’ continued.

Now fourteen.”

The sobbing continued.

Almost as old as mine would have…” and ‘A’ stopped herself, and pursed her lips and stood still. “Do you know how many children like this,” she continued, “have been killed savagely, and willfully, without remorse, without remembrance, without the barest awareness of the crimes by the citizens – virtually every single one of them – of the wealthy and perpetrating nations of these crimes? Namely your country, Henry O’Brien, for the last sixty years. And for sixty years prior, yours, Mieko Mori O’Brien. The Japanese wanted to colonize India!

Imagine that – just as they had the rest of Asia. But now what, Mrs. O’Brien? You hide behind their flag. And why…? This.”

She pulled a fifty dollar bill from her pocket then a yen note of five thousand and tossed them from behind and over the heads and faces of Mieko and Henry and the bills fluttered to their knees.

That’s why we’re here,” said Henry.

‘A’ shook her head, got up and walked around the room.

Heroes, huh?”

No.” said Henry.

Quiet.” ‘A’ said and continued,

Tell me what is here?!” her arms were waving now, “in this part of the world. Couple of warring people? Hindus. Muslims.”

The two kneeling were silent now of their sobbing and breathing heavily and remaining quiet, too, of words.

Guess what isn’t here?” ‘A’ continued. “Inanimate finite resources. To claim, to hoard, to waste and most importantly of all, to convert into another form of an inanimate finite resource.”

And she threw another few bills of currency over their heads and faces.

And why? to make the world safe for freedom and democracy? No! to make things better for the few who say they alone have earned it.”

That’s why we are here.” Mieko said.

We are here to help.” said Henry.

I don’t think so.” ‘A’ rebutted, “you think people who have fought a thousand years are going to stop fighting because you show up with your handshakes, your calling cards and your smiles? How can you help? How can you even begin to solve a problem you can’t even put into words. You have no idea why you are here, Mieko and Henry O’Brien.”

She had her hands on her hips now, and stood straight.

And neither do you know why I am here.”

May I ask a question, ‘A’-san?” Mieko O’Brien said.

‘A’ paused a few moments and gathered herself. “Yes.” she responded.

Well, I am sorry, I have two questions.” said Mieko.

Go ahead.”

May we sit please to take the weight off our knees?” said Mieko.

‘A’ stood silent and folded her fingers together like an awning of grief over her head and exhaled. “’B’. Help them to sit.”

‘A’ tilted her head back and was staring at the ceiling now. “What is your second question?” she continued staring at the ceiling.

Would you be so kind to tell us your story, ‘A’-san?” There was a knock on the door. and ‘B’ looked at ‘A’ who gave him a nod. “It’s our food, ‘A’.”

Bring it in please.” said ‘A’.

An old man wearing a torn and filthy cloak and a head-covering entered the room.

Why isn’t the child delivering our food?” ‘A’ said sharply. “How did you get past our guards?”

The old man walked to a table. and rested the large board he carried and removed slowly dishes of curry and bread and glasses of tea and set forth two bowls and filled them with steaming curry and placed the bread on top and turned and handed them to ‘A’ and ‘B’.

Her mother sent her on an errand. I am a friend and neighbor.”

He then prepared two more bowls and walked toward Henry and Mieko O’Brien, and knelt and set the bowls before them and Mieko, using Japanese out of habit for thanking one who brings you food said, “gouchisou-sama deshita.” [“I thank God within you, who feed me.]

And the old man pulled his head covering away from his face a bit, and bowed slightly

and smiled and Mieko’s eyes grew suddenly big and the old man mumbled in a whisper in her language, “o somatsu-sama deshita.” [I thank God within you thanking me.]

? ? ? ? ?

Katie and Susan O’Brien after hearing the broadcast continued sitting on the bench they suddenly found empty on the commuter platform headed toward Shinjuku and paid no attention to the trains coming and going every few minutes, and paid no attention to the old man who sat quietly beside them with his eyes closed and with a half smile upon his face.

Katie-Susan-chan! Katie-Susan-chan!”

They did, however, turn their heads when they heard Obá-chan’s voice and suddenly became aware of Satchitananda sitting beside them. The girls stood and hugged their grandmother and she put a hand on her youngest brother’s shoulder.

I am sorry.” she said.

I am sorry.” he said.

Girls, I’m so happy I found you, let’s go home, I’ll telephone your school.”

The girls looked at Obá-chan and Satchitananda and shook their heads together.

We’re going to school.” the one said.

We’ll be okay.” said the other.

We’ll see you after practice tonight.” the one said.

We’ll be okay.” said the other.

Another train packed with commuters was approaching.

The girls hugged their grandmother again, and waved goodbye to Satchitananda, and after taking several steps toward the train door now opening, the girls at once ran back and grabbed the hands of Satchitananda.

Can we go down to the river tonight?” the one said.

And do that thing with the moon and the stars?” said the other.

Kenji stood and softly smiled.

And Obá-chan nodded her head in approval.

Chapter 18 – The magic flute.

Katie and Susan O’Brien slid between the closing doors of the Keio Line Train, and went to school for the usual three hours on Saturday, their minds, emotions and senses shifting and tied up, occupied and elsewhere, claustrophobic and vaporous.

Each felt a new texture of fear, more real. Neither would tell the other.

Their teachers, friends, other students – none really understood why they showed up.

Nobody said anything. The discomfort laid siege to the school, and it somehow made the girls feel a little better.

The girls left school and walked by themselves to the station, jumped on the Keio Line to Shimotakaido Station and transferred to the Setagaya Line.

They talked for the first time in hours along the way.

You know what?” Katie said.

Hmm.” said Susan.

I wanna change the music for my routine.”

Hmm. I think I know what you’re saying.” Susan said.

They stepped off the train at Wakabayashi, and once again ran into their coach walking to the gym.

There were the usual greetings and bows and smiles, too, nearly took form, but surfaced anyway through their eyes.

They continued the three minute walk to the gym.

I wanna do something different for my music,” Susan said to her.

Me too,” Katie said.

I don’t understand, girls.” said the coach.

Susan explained that she wants to use her grand father’s lullaby for her routine.

Katie explained she wants to use Kenji’s companion melody.

Inga Godotnova stopped walking.

It’s way too late for doing anything like that!” the coach said.

The girls objected.

They explained the music is not that much different from what they were already using… it was beautiful… it was balletic… and it wouldn’t change their routine except for a few steps here and there.

Inga Godotnova objected now. “This is simply not how things are done, girls. It’ll take your focus away… we choose the music at the beginning so that you concentrate on your routine… not the music.”

But we know this music already… at least the lullaby…” Susan said.

Katie explained that Kenji’s melody already felt as though it had always been with her.

Inga objected again, “but there is nothing recorded! “I have to submit these recordings, along with your planned routines Monday morning!”

We’ll record them…” Katie said. “We have a good microphone at home… I’ll hook it to my sound card… and record it… our house is very quiet…”

Susan said, “Yeah! and our friend Kenji can record his flute melody too… we’ll do it tomorrow morning!

The coach objected again, “This is simply not how things are done, girls! I understand what you are saying and there are other meets coming up soon. You know that. Why not use this music for the meets in September?

Please! Please! Please!” the girls begged together.

It may even help our performance!” Susan said.

Yeah, make us feel more relaxed! Please!” Katie said.

Inga stood shaking her head for several moments.

Let me think about it… I’m going to lose my job.” Inga mumbled to herself. “Go and practice now!”

Yea!” the girls said together smiling and running off…”

I didn’t say yes.” Inga said, over her shoulder walking away.

Yea!” Susan says again… “I mean, okay!, we understand!”

And Susan dove onto the floor next to the five and six year old girls playing… And Katie dove onto the floor too.

Warm-up began, practice started, an hour passed, and the girls sat together during a break and held towels and water in their hands.

One of their longtime teammates approached them. She wasn’t a friend, nor an enemy either. But she looked tense, and holding fast to some deep upset. The coach discreetly watched and listened in.

My mother says your parents have no business in that part of the world.”


What did you say?”

My mother says your parents don’t have any business trying to solve problems so far away. She’s not surprised about what happened.” The girls faces drained of blood in shock.

Can you believe this?” Katie said out loud to no one. “I’m gonna knock the crap outta you.”

And Katie jumped up and lunged for the girl who quickly moved away.

Girls! Stop! Come over here right away, you.”

The coach stood staring down the teammate now.

My routines are slipping away as it is.” Katie shook her head and was talking to Susan now.

I know. I’m not hitting anything today. Feels like I’m two years behind.” Susan said.

Why would anyone say something like that?” Katie said.

Come on.” Susan said. “Let’s finish training and get outta here.”

The girls didn’t even wipe off at the end of practice.

They dressed, packed-up and made a bee-line for the door.

Katie and Susan!” Inga Godotnova yelled out.

The girls stopped with their hands on the door.

The coach ran to them and knelt down.

I am worried…” the coach paused… “…that you are deciding this music change because of the tremendous stress on you right now.”

This is not about stress, Sensei.”

Katie was nodding her head a bit and slowly in affirmation.

Okay. Then do it.” the coach responded.

Bring me the recordings tomorrow afternoon. At practice.”

And eye contact all around sealed the deal.

? ? ? ? ?

Thank you, Satchitananda-san, for letting us bring your flute.”

They were walking to the river under a gloaming sky and late rising moon.

They didn’t feel like eating when they had arrived home, and told Obá-chan so, and retired to their room in silence and sat upon the floor.

An hour or so passed and both began hearing the soft tones of the flute.

I think we’re being called.” said Susan.

And off they went, outside their bedroom window.

How long have you had it?” said Susan.

It looks old.” Katie said, and examined the flute more closely with her hands and eyes.

Somebody said this once belonged to Mohandas Gandhi.” Kenji explained. “It was given to me by my first teacher at Gandhi’s ashram near Ahmadabad. It was my sixteenth birthday.”

It must be very special to you,” the girls said.

He smiled. “I enjoy playing it.”

You play it well.”

Thank you. How was your training today?” Kenji said.

The girls began talking rapidly about what their teammate had told them about what her mother had said.

They were crying loudly now, half screaming, half trying to talk. They arrived at the top of the river levy, the girls paying little attention to where they were.

Kenji continued listening until the girls settled down a bit. And he quietly and slowly began to talk. “Perhaps your teammate, too, is afraid. Hmmm? If she didn’t care, she’d be feeling nothing about your situation, like some stranger standing next to you on the train.”

But it’s mean!” Katie said.

Yes, it is.” said Kenji.

It’s not fair.” Katie continued.

No, it’s not.” said Kenji.

And Katie swung her arms up in frustration and out of her hand flew Kenji’s flute high into the air and into the river.

Katie made a bending motion with her knees to dive in and fetch it.

Kenji grabbed her shoulder.

No. I’ll get it.” he said.

And like that, Kenji dove straight into the water. The girls watched with mouths wide open and were screaming and wringing their hands.

And they watched.

And watched.

And watched.

Bubbles were coming up and off the moonlight.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh…” the girls were screaming…

where did he go!”


I’m going in,” Katie cried.

Susan grabbed her from behind in a bear hug.

No… wait a second… just wait…” Susan insisted.

No! We have to get him.”

Wait. Please.. just a few more seconds…

I can’t wait.” Katie said.

Susan held onto Katie.

Katie’s hands were still wringing, eyes lasered to the river where Kenji dove in.

They suddenly heard the sound of Kenji’s flute.

Huh?” they said together, and spun themselves around.

There was Kenji sitting down at the bottom of the river levy behind them playing their grandfather’s lullaby on the flute.

The girls at once fell to the ground out of breath. And sat a moment and continued hearing the flute, got up, and ran down the hill.

That was not nice!” Katie yelled.

How did you do that!” Susan was excited now.

Do what?” Kenji paused his playing.

We didn’t see you get out of the water!” Katie said.

Kenji continued playing then paused again.

I didn’t do anything.” he said and continued playing.

How did you get back here?” the one said.

We would have seen you.” said the other.

Once again, he paused. “I dove into the water. And… now I’m here.” Kenji said smiling and laughing and continued his playing.

The girls began laughing now too.

you’re a magician!” Susan cried.

No, I’m not.”

You scared us!” cried Katie.

I am sorry, Susan and Katie… Are you okay now?”

Yeah… we’re okay.” they said together, still trying to catch their breaths.

How do you feel about what happened today?

What?” the girls said.

With your teammate?” said Kenji.

Huh?” the girls said.

Oh…” they were laughing again…

I almost forgot.” said Susan.

Me too.” Katie said, still laughing a bit

The girls sat down on either side of Kenji.

And they all rested a moment or two.

Good. good. good.” Kenji then said. “Let’s go back up the hill.”

You hold onto the flute.” Katie said smiling at Kenji.

Kenji laughed.

Can we do that thing with the moon and the stars?” Susan said as they climbed the hill.

Sure.” said Kenji as they reached the top.

Let’s sit down… and close our eyes.”

And take a couple of deep breaths.

That won’t be hard to do.” Katie said laughing.

Let’s easily close our eyes.” said Kenji.

And he guided them in similar meditation

as before by the river.

At the end of meditation Kenji said, “Let’s take a few minutes and slowly, when you are ready, open the eyes. “It was nice?” Kenji asked.

Yes.” the girls said.

Good. That’s something you can do anytime. Together. Alone. Anytime.”

I still wanna know how you did that.” said Susan.

Did what?” smiled Kenji.

Kenji pulled a long piece of grass from the ground and put the end of it between his lips and teeth.

You know!” Katie said.

Kenji sat a moment or two, slowly working the stalk of grass in his mouth… then began to talk. “When you meditate, and feel yourself expanded into the earth, into the sky beyond the moon, through out the heavens…”

Yes…” the girls responded, following his sentence.

Who is it…” Kenji continued, “who is it… that is expanded. Hmmm?”

The girls just looked at each other.

I don’t get it.” Katie said.

Susan was shaking her head slightly.

Hmmm?” Kenji continued, “who is expanded? Who are you feeling is expanded?”

The girls just sat. Relaxed. Puzzled a bit. But no answer.

Hmmm?” Kenji removed the grass now and worked it… massaging it, between the pads of his fingers. “Is it your coach who is expanded? your grandmother? your mother?… he paused… father?” asked Kenji.

No. No.” said Susan.

Kenji continued taking time between comments. Continued with the stalk of grass. “Then who are you feeling is expanded?” he asked again.

Oh!” Katie said.

Me?” Susan said.

Oh yeah. I guess I am!” Katie said.

Unaware the girls also picked stalks of grass and held them between their lips and teeth.

Kenji looked at the girls.

Do you mean I really am this feeling? I really am where ever it is I am expanded?” Katie asked.

Kenji laid the blade of grass down and began getting up. “This question, Susan and Katie, is your food to chew… allow yourself to experience this feeling whenever you like… look into it… don’t let me, or anyone, chew your own food for you. hmmm?”

The girls laughed, looked at each other, pulled the stalks from their own mouths and compared the chewed up ends.

Let’s eat!” said Kenji.

Yeah!” the girls said together.

Oh.” Katie interrupted the moment.

Would you help us tomorrow morning?”

Yes, what is it?”

We have to record new music for our routines.” Susan said.

And give the recordings to our teacher tomorrow afternoon at training.” said Katie.

We need you to play your flute… and we’ll record it…”

Hmmm?” Kenji responded.

You know, that melody you play when Susan or I

play our grandfather’s lullaby on the piano?”

Is that what it is? Your grandfather wrote that?”

yes… our American grandfather.” the one said.

In Des Moines, Iowa.” said the other.

It’s beautiful.” Kenji said.

It’s our favorite song.” the girls responded.

Especially now… with your melody.” said Susan.

The melody you play along with it.” Katie said.

Oh..! Very nice. Does your Grandfather’s melody have lyrics?

I guess not.” Susan said. “I’ve never really thought about that.”

Somehow… It doesn’t need lyrics.” Katie added.

Ah… I see. The melody speaks it’s own message?

Yeah. Yeah.” the girls said smiling.

Well then, mine too, I guess.” Kenji said.

I guess so! Let’s go eat!” the girls said together.

Chapter 19 – The unseen route.

A stray cat took to stalking Kenji and the girls from the night on their brief hike home to finally eat dinner.

Armies of frogs were tuning up.

A rice paddy on a Tokyo night in Spring…” Kenji began saying in mock formality, “…plays host to a misplaced Alabama yearning.”

But not misguided.” Katie extended the mock.

Excellent point Katie. It does serve the purpose of life.” said Kenji.

The cat raced in front of the three and stopped.

And Mr. Cat, how are you doing this evening?”

The girls laughed. Kenji crouched down and scratched under the cat’s chin. “You don’t say? Adventure awaits us at home? Is that it?”

Kenji turned his face to the girls. “He is warning us… in a friendly way. Is there cause for alarm, Mr. Cat?” Kenji said.

Hmmm. I see.” he responded to the cat. “No cause for alarm, girls. Well Mr. Cat, you’ve been most helpful. Is there anything we can do for you this evening?”

Kenji looked at the cat.

I see.” he said. Then to the girls, “He says he’s hungry now, but under present circumstances, he can wait a couple hours. Come to my hut this evening, Mr. Cat. And we’ll dine together. About ten-ish then? Good. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention, Mr. Cat. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

The three continued walking and the cat ran off.

Were you really talking to that cat, Satchitananda-san?” the one said.

I don’t think so”, said the other.

Mr. Cat was talking to me more than I was talking to him.”

I’m hungry,” said Katie.

And all three stepped up their pace. From a distance they could see Obá-chan standing outside with the two Foreign Ministry agents. Another car then stopped in front, its lights turning off, and another two men got out.

The walkers could hear one of the them.

Who are these men, Oné-san… and who is that man ahead walking with Katie-Susan-chan…”

Obá-chan spoke up. “Taya-san, Kaneko-san, these are my younger brothers.

Takunosuke Mori, president of Jifu Television Network and Tetsuo Mori, president of Jifu Sports Television.

Bows and name cards were quickly exchanged.

Takunosuke examined the cards of the agents. “What’s the Foreign Ministry doing here at night?” he said.

Obá-chan grabbed the forearms of the agents and walked them away from her brothers.

Gentlemen, may I have a word with you for a moment… in private… My brothers are here, and they haven’t seen their cousin from Guam in decades. Would you be so kind postponing your questioning of Sachinosuke Mori-san for just one hour?”

We merely want to check his passport, ma’am. It’s an order from our Ministry’s highest level.” Taya-san said.

We have no questions for him, and no further interest.” Kaneko-san added.

Gentleman. I appreciate your situation, but please understand mine as well. This is a delicate and emotional family situation that is presently upon us. Please. Give us an hour. And then you can spend the rest of the evening with our cousin if that’s what you’d like.”

And Obá-chan stepped away suddenly from the agents.

The girls were running now to greet their uncles.

Hello Oooji” they both repeated.

Cousin, welcome home,” said Obá-chan to Kenji, “Thank you for entertaining Katie and Susan this evening.”

The brothers in suits stood silent and still while an unforeseen recognition hit them like a tsunami.

The girls hugged their great uncles and pulled them by the hands inside. And Obá-chan wrapped her arms around Kenji walking with him and speaking in a whisper,

The agents want to see your passport, Kenji-san, I’ve bought us an hour delay. Your brothers are here.”

I see. Thank you, Oné-san.”

Obá-chan, her three brothers, and Katie and Susan gathered standing up in the living room.

Younger brothers?” she said looking at the two in suits. “This is your younger brother.”

The older brothers kept looking at the floor.

Huh?!” Katie cried out, “We have never heard his name, Obá-chan! Why?

His name is Kenji.” Obá-chan barely whispered.

His name is Satchitananda!” Susan cried.

Why has this been a secret for so many years?” said Katie.

Do Mom and Dad know about Kenji-san? Susan said.

Obá-chan shook her head a bit.

He is your younger brother? And your younger brother? And your younger brother?” Susan said. And with an arm and hand extended, she pointed impolitely.

Did you all think he was dead?” said Susan.

Well aren’t you happy to see each other, you brothers?!” Katie said.

The middle brother broke into weeping and Kenji walked to him and hugged him…

The oldest brother said, “I don’t see why we are having to go through this now and under these difficult circumstances.”

Obá-chan cut in, “Just a moment please… brother…”

Why would you come here now,” the older brother continued…

this family buried this suffering about our brother Kenji long, long ago.

… and today your timing is not good.”

Kenji stood quietly and listened, relaxed and aware.

The girls leaned nervously on each other.

Obá-chan held back her tears.

Excuse me,” older brother continued, “I’m leaving. My apologies, Kenji-san, perhaps some other time.”

Some other time.” said Kenji.

Brother, are you coming?”

I’ll call a taxi later… older brother… thank you.”

And Takunosuke Mori walked to his car

and drove away unaware of an extra dose of eye contact from the agents.

I’ll start some tea,” said Susan.

Me too.” Katie said.

I am sorry, my brothers, I am sorry. I did not know any other way to do this. But I felt it necessary.”

Tetsuo Mori was still breathing heavily from his now dissipating weep, and he spoke, “I don’t know what got into older brother…”

Obá-chan was shaking her head and staring at the floor, and she then spoke, “Younger brother, please hear Kenji’s story and how he came here to help us.”

And with Obá-chan’s urging and leading and filling-in here and there…Kenji related his story to his brother.

? ? ? ? ?

When he finished, the three sat in silence a few moments.

And you’re here without a passport?” became older brother’s words.

Yes.” Kenji said.

How did you get in?”

I cannot explain that to you right now.”

But right now,” Obá-chan said, “Kenji needs to go into hiding somehow… Kenji? I’m sorry. Or would it be easier to turn yourself over right now. I am sorry.”

With your permission, Oné-san, it is not quite time for me to be taken into custody.” Kenji said.

I’ll go away from the neighborhood… Oh!..” He looked at his watch.

Right after my dinner appointment commencing a few moments from now.”

What’s he talking about?” Obá-chan said.

He has a dinner appointment.” the one said.

He does?” said the other.

Who on earth with?” said Obá-chan.

Kenji stepped into the conversation. “With Mr. Cat from the neighborhood, who was kind enough to make himself useful this evening, now if you’ll excuse me sister, brother, Katie and Susan… I’ll just mosey-on to the back of the house and depart.”

Wait, Otóto-san, I have a question. You left out part of your story…You know…” Her pace slowed now. “…About the night of the bombing? When someone else in the family… also suffered and continues to suffer today.”

Middle brother looked away .

Yes.” said Kenji.

Could that other person be… ?” but her voice deleted with the changing of her breath, the name she intended to say. And now she switched gears, “… be connected to why your eldest brother just now stormed away… and is there something you’d like to tell us about that?”

Oné-san, you are a brilliant sister. And you ask a good question… but…” Kenji was interrupted.

Remember, you promised you’d explain?. . . Maybe now is a perfect time?”

I am sorry, I cannot relate the story at this time, Oné-san. “But you will know it. And soon.” said Kenji.”

You are still insufferable!” Obá-chan said.

What about tomorrow morning Satchitananda-san!”

The girls stood ready – not to be left out.

We have to record your flute tomorrow morning.”

Oh, that’s right. Don’t worry. I’ll meet you in your room at 9:00a.m. sharp.”

I think I’ll just disappear somewhere.” said Obá-chan and rolled her eyes at hopelessness.

We’ll have everything ready.” said Susan.

Good. Until then?”

Oyasuminasai, Kenji-Oooji-san.” said Katie.

Out of bows and hugs, Kenji left the room, and snatched a can of tuna fish from a cupboard along the way.

My apologies gentleman… this is highly embarrassing to me I assure you,” Obá-chan had stepped out to speak to the agents, “…but our cousin seems to have disappeared. And we’re not sure why. Perhaps there is some problem he has that we are not aware of?”

You let him escape?” said Kaneko-san.

Certainly not! He was here a moment ago… and now he’s gone… what else can I tell you?!”

We’re in trouble.” said Taya-san, “We’ll have to report it now…”

He must be in the forest. where else could he hide?” said Kaneko-san and added, “Is there a photo of this guy?”

Taya-san said nothing.

No?” continued Kaneko-san. “No record of entry, no passport?”

No we didn’t photograph him… how were we supposed to know! We’re in big trouble.” said Taya-san and stepped back into the driver’s seat of the government car.

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Tommy Schmitz is a writer in Des Moines, Iowa. He Grew up in Cincinnati's west side, spent nine years in the corporate world, then seventeen years running his own consultancy, mostly to automobile machinery makers in Japan, China and the US. He lived in Tokyo from 1992 to 1999. Besides serving auto industry clients (Toyota, Honda, Denso, Robert Bosch, Mitsubishi) he was the first non-Japanese accepted by the government as a paid advisor to Japanese small and medium sized companies. (Chushokigyochou, Division of JETRO and MITI).
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