Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

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Re: Yokohama Navy Exchange was where? 2022/2/27 07:49
Hello everyone,

My mom Nobuko, was born in Manchuria, and her parents, my grandparents returned to Japan with Nobuko before the war. They lived in the neighborhood of the old castle ruins of Morioka, Iwate. Mom graduated from high school and was looking for a job at Yokohama. She got a job as a babysitter for Caltex's Japan branch president. And a few years later, when the branch president returning to the US, my mom was suggested to go to the US with them. At that time, mom had a Japanese boyfriend, so she declined wonderful plan. That boyfriend was my dad. He worked for the Yamate Police Department nearby YONEX in Area 2. I was born in October 1959. My parents who loved me so much were passed few years ago.

My mom was Miss Kamakura once.

by Kaoru (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Miss Kamakura 2022/3/1 23:32
That is a big deal to be Miss Kamakura. So many pretty women live there. After living in Honmoku for 17 years, we moved to Zushi and went to Kamakura often. Beaches mostly. A schoolmate operated a summer beach shack at Inamuragasaki; another one has a German restaurant (Sea Castle). Roland becomes Santa Claus for Christmas in Kamakura. My nephew was a lifeguard at the beach.
Someone mentioned the Great Daibutsu: our boy scout troop once camped just behind it. I was amazed to hear that the enormous statue moved several meters when the tsunami hit Kamakura back in 1923. It was housed inside a temple before but was destroyed and never rebuilt.
In a few weeks I will walk along the cherry blossom road towards the landmark temple of Hachiman. Hope they've grown in size. They were replanted back about four years ago. And the gingko tree below the steps leading to the orange-red shrine. The famous ancient tree fell after being there for a thousand years and its offspring now grows. It was the very spot where Shogun Yoritomo's son was assassinated. There is such an abundance of stories about the ancient capital. The novelist Yasunari Kawabata and the movie director Yasujiro Ozu, two of my favorites, lived in Kamakura. And the movie actress Setsuko Hara. Legends, all.
by Honmokujin (guest) rate this post as useful

Kamakura 2022/3/3 06:52
I liked visiting the Great Buddha and other shrines in Kamakura when my folks visited Mr Lang.
There were usually Japanese soldiers in starched white uniforms playing musical instruments, begging for a few yen. It was a sad experience for me...
by Eric (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Yokohama Navy Exchange was where? 2022/3/4 19:14
Hey Honmokujin and Eric san,

I studied at Zushi's private junior boys junior school and high school. I still drive to Kamakura, Zushi, Hayama, Yokosuka several times a week.

Btw, we hope the invasion to end as soon as possible. And I want to give a big punishment to the president of that country.
by Kaoru (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Yokohama Navy Exchange was where? 2022/3/4 19:24
by Kaoru (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Zushi and Kamakura 2022/3/6 05:35
So you went to Kaisei school. The JR Zushi station plays that melody every hour (?) about the snow-capped Mt. Fuji and the boys of Kaisei drowned in the sea off Kamakura Imamuragasaki Beach, with a view of Enoshima island. Many years ago, in a small cafe in Greenwich Village in New York City, I heard an American folksinger sing this sad song in Japanese. Small world.
by Honmokujin (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Yokohama Navy Exchange was where? 2022/3/6 06:29
Hello Honmokujin,

Thanks again for your answer.

This song is a threnody of the caused by the capsizing of a boat by Kaisei students in 1810. Kaisei School is the oldest private school for boys in Kanagawa prefecture. Before the war, the children of Navy officers learned there. And the principals at that time were retired generals or lieutenant generals.
And most of the students who graduated there entered the Navel Academy. The original song may be a hymn.

The song and its English translation.

The white-capped summit of Mt. Fuji and the green-shrouded Enoshima Island
Looking up at them until the tears stand in our eyes
To the twelve brave spirits who would never return
We offer our deepest feelings, soul and heart 

Their boats sunk fathoms to the bottomless depths of the sea
They were helpless before the stormy winds and the waves
They turned to their mothers and fathers for help but none was proffered
Holding back tears of regret we mourn at Shichiriga-hama

Hear the sobbing snow and the whistling wind
Tonight the moon and the stars have all disappeared
To what place have those lost souls gone to roam, we wonder?
As we pray for them a sound sleep at their mother’s warm breast

Yesterday’s moon has disappeared behind the clouds
Alone in this place, no one else to be seen for miles
In my sleepless nights I dive fathoms to find their souls
And awaken to hear the sound of the weltering waves

Whistling plovers wing alone across the sea
All those spirits we knew who are not to return forever
Holding back tears of deepest regret we remember
Today, tomorrow and then forever                                              
by Kaoru (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Yokohama Navy Exchange was where? 2022/3/6 06:41
It is a correction. The accident happened in 1910.
by Kaoru (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Zushi and Kamakura 2022/3/10 02:20
In April, I plan to visit all those places: the beaches of Zushi, Kamakura, Hayama, Enoshima. I'll go up the hill near the pagoda in Sankeien and imagine the Bay of Tokyo the way it was when i was a boy. I will probably be able to see the snow-capped Mt. Fuji from one of those spots. Probably from the beach where those boys perished long ago.
by Honmokujin (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Yokohama Navy Exchange was where? 2022/3/14 23:29
I envy your proposed visit to Japan next month. In looking at today's news regarding more covod outbreaks I wonder if this is the best time to travel. Perhaps you and Kaoru san could get together?
A group photo would be great.
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Yokohama Navy Exchange was where? 2022/3/15 00:41
Thank you Peter-san, Hello Honmokujin,

Do you come to Japan? It is wonderful. I had a few American friends invited to my house and enjoyed dinner and they stayed. Then I went to Bluff, Kamakura, Sankeien garden with them. My guest room now has my aged stepfather, so I can't invite you to stay, I can guide you some places. This email address is a one-time ID. I may get junk mail now, so for the time being I want to get in touch with you. Send me a reply if you like.


Good luck
by Kaoru (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Yokohama Visit 2022/3/17 03:26
Thank you, Kaoru-san. I still have family in Yokohama so I have places to stay. I am not sure of my plans. I have to be able to enter the country first. There are many hurdles such as staying in your hotel room for three days before you can wander freely. You have to confirm you don't have Omicron/Covid three dsys after arrival. The rules keep changing.
by Honmokujin (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Yokohama Navy Exchange was where? 2022/3/21 08:06
I join Peter in his concern about travel at this time. Please make sure to check the flight path, in view of the ongoing war as well as the status of covid rules, which change daily according to what is happening with the pandemic and where you are.

My personal totally unqualified opinion regarding safety is: it all comes down to masks. Wear a tightly fitting n95 mask in all situations where you are in close contact with people you don't know, and you should be fine. Many people wear non-medical masks which may not fit properly.

Planes I read are now well aerated, so that is good.

I would love to go to Japan and regret not going in years past. Have a great time!
by Steffi (guest) rate this post as useful

Better yet 2022/3/21 09:15
Honmukujin san
You could rent a private jet for me, Steffi, Wally and Eric.
I'll bring the beer!
Just tell me when.
Sounds like a party!
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Great idea.... 2022/3/22 09:11
And I'll bring a platter of delicious sushi for everyone for the trip......And we should
be able to get a group rate with hotels and stuff...
by Steffi (guest) rate this post as useful

Cold evening in Yokohama 2022/3/23 22:39
Hello friends,

Yesterday 22nd was Japanese metropolitan area ,others getting cold. And last week's strong earthquake in the northeast prevented the thermal power plants from producing full. There was a forced power outage in the town next door where I live. Fortunately my house was okay. The power plants will be restored soon. AC is a common air conditioning system in Japan. Also, the cold winter areas are combined use kerosene heaters.

I sometimes recall Honnmoku's steam heater stainless steel pipelines for navy housing. But I can't find those pictures.

Best wishes
by Kaoru (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Yokohama Navy Exchange was where? 2022/4/17 11:24
I'm in Yokohama near Uchikipan with Takagawa Kuniko san. Just below the Foreign Cemetery. She has flowers for your father's grave. I will go with her to pay our respects to your father. This is an amazing coincidence.
by Honmokujin (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Steffi's father's grave 2022/4/17 15:22
This is one of the unusual coincidences of life: I bought a book that Steffi mentioned earlier on our website by Kuniko Takagawa, a history of Karuizawa and the foreign residents there. We arranged to meet in Motomachi. So, while we were drinking coffee a few hours ago, Kuniko-san said she planned to visit a grave at the nearby Foreign Cemetery. I asked whose grave. She mentioned a name I didn't recognize. Then I mentioned and showed Steffi's chat on our website, Yokohama Navy Exchange Was Where., in which Steffi mentioned Kuniko Takagawa's "Outsiders" book. Then Kuniko-san said, "i am visiting Steffi's father's grave since she lives so far away and unable to visit Japan. " The coffee shop where we met is located less than 50 yards from Steffi's father's grave. So, together, we paid our respects to Steffi's father, pulled some weeds and left bouquets of flowers. This is Easter Sunday and Passover, a day made more special because of this amazing coincidence.
by Honmokujin (guest) rate this post as useful

My father 's grave...... 2022/4/18 08:00

What can I say? I am profoundly moved by you and Kuniko-san going together to visit my father'grave, and it is indeed Easter and Passover here today...thank you so much. ..and it is wonderful that she and you met at all!!!

I am glad you read her book and contacted her. I met her coincidentally through a mutual friend in Japan, and have gotten to know her through multiple emails I have exchanged with her since then. She has visited the grave before, and sent me pictures of it. Kuniko is a rare and special person. I assume she has told you about her own family background.

Have a great time in your visit....stay safe and be well!!! And thank you again....

I should mention that this thread/conversation has wide readership, apparently, and is also responsible for my connecting with several other childhood friends, and others who also shared my experience of living in Karuizawa and Yokohama, and who have contacted me these past few years. The internet is truly an amazing phenomenon!
by Steffi (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Yokohama and Karuizawa 2022/4/18 19:20
I read the chapter in Kuniko Takagawa's book (in Japanese) and found the music connection fascinating. Steffi's father was a violinist who was a friend of Sirota, the famous pianist and were friends of C. Shapiro, the cellist. And Steffi 's father worked with Mr. Suzuki who is now known throughout the world for the Suzuki Method of teaching children how to play the violin. And they all spent the war years in Karuizawa. And my daughter Karin wrote a novel, "The Diplomat's Daughter," about those wartime years in Karuizawa.
by honmokujin rate this post as useful

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