Sunday, January 27, 2013


My Sino-American Relations class took a field trip to visit the Koreshige Anami family in a suburb of Tokyo.  He is the former Japanese ambassador to China (2001-2006) and she is a former New Orleans debutante who married him 42 years ago after meeting in Chinese language school on Taiwan.  She is also a former student of my instructor, Dr. John Israel.  Our class is co-taught by Professor Tao Xie from a Shanghai University and there are about eight Chinese students in the class. 

We took a train (two transfers) to their neighborhood and were met at the subway by the ambassador.  We walked about ten minutes to his house, then enjoyed a buffet dinner of Japanese goodies, conversation, and the end of the sumo wrestling match finals on TV.  Finally we had a "paper, rock scissors" contest to see who would win the four chocolate sumo wrestlers she had bought.  We were there about four hours and it took about an hour and a half each way on the train.

Mosaic murals at the Yokohama subway station

Chinese, Peruvian and American students around Professor Israel at subway station

Snow on the ground
 The Anamis had postings in Atlanta, Georgia, Australia, Pakistan, and China.  His father, Korechika Anami, was a general in China before and during WWII, and was the last war minister in 1945.  He disagreed with the surrender, but signed the papers at the behest of the Emperor.  The next day he committed harakiri.  I had not realized before how much enmity remains on the part of the Chinese toward the Japanese, especially for war crimes during WWII.  They have demonstrations and boycotts of Japanese products, and are currently negotiating who owns some uninhabited but resource rich islands in the China Sea.  Everyone in our group seemed open minded about the problems.  Japan apparently needs the Chinese market and wants friendly relations.
Pakistani shoes

Pakistani matrimonial chairs

Ginny Anami and I
Ambassador Anami, me,and ProfessorTao Xie.  The amassador noted that I am between China and Japan, hopefully a bridge to friendship

Students listening to Anami stories

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