It’s a Japanese Thing

It’s a Japanese Thing

There’s a thread of my life that has tracked along a Japanese path. My Grandfather left his sweetheart behind in 1944 like a whole lot of other farm boys. He was late enough in the process that the war was over by the time he was ready to deploy, but there were plenty of missions to clean up and restore what the world had collectively really messed up. My grandfather went off to Occupied Japan for his tour of duty as a truck driver and returned with a set of memories I wish now I had better tapped into. I wish I could ask him if he fished there.

What he did do was collect an assortment of beautiful silk scarves and raw fabrics for his fiancé Lillian, his little sister Shirley, and his mother Helen. In the fall of 1946 while he was preparing to head home for his December wedding, he sent Lil a package of white silk, which he always referred to as parachute silk. From that she had a friend make her simple, but elegant and special wedding dress and honeymoon blouses. Lillian looked stunning on their wedding day and Japanese silk has always been part of my treasures from my grandparents. Two handkerchiefs featuring Mt. Fuji and beautifully dressed women are proudly displayed on my wall.

Photo Sep 08, 11 58 47On the top of one of those framed silks now sits my latest Japanese acquisition. Stephen surprised me this weekend with a new Tenkara rod, this one a Nissin made in Japan. The gold and scarlet script on its thin assembly is gorgeous and the Japanese instructions with catchy cartoons amuse me. It shimmers out in the sunshine and the fly presents in a most stunning fashion. It is every bit as glamorous as Grandma in her wedding dress. I am sure Grandpa never saw Tenkara fishing while hauling troops between work sites, but I like that he saw the beauty of Japan despite the destruction and made the appreciation thereof a part of my life. And I adore the fact that each time I attach my line to my rod I get a little wink from Lillian. Someday I hope I can go visit this place and do a little fishing.


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