On the first Saturday of October, just before noon as promised, Ryohei
Tsubune arrived at Eriko's residence from JR Ofuna station by taxi.
Elderly Suga, his senior, is absorbed in taking care of bonsai in the garden.
The sunshine is strong. Potted plants are turning into beautiful colors.
This two-story house with a wide garden on the hill in the suburbs of Kamakura
City is where Suga and his son's family lived until the fall last year.
Tsubune says to himself, "The senior is at ease here more than at
his home in the new condominium."
The elderly, coming to the age of 85 next month, smiled to his junior with
scissors in hand, wearing a Tyrolean hat and a sweater of red turtle neck.
Eriko also smiles and welcomes him, apparently busy in the preparation
Mari Nomizo is with Eriko helping her. Tsubune knows she is making the
most of Eriko's painting school under the excuse to the managing work for
She greets him putting palms together in Cambodian style and smiling with
a long face and large pupils.
The light green dress with a krama scarf of Cambodian culture is eye-catching.
It is surely her boyfriend's choice.
Tsubune gets out to the garden and gazes at the elderly taking care of
the bonsai. The sound trimming twigs reflects off the grass in the clear
It is a fine autumn weather with no wind. Mt. Fuji is invisible blocked
by high roofs in the neighborhood, but the view of Hakone mountains is
"Here you are, sushi-gozen!"
A delivery man's voice at the entrance.
Mari is receiving him.
Suga cuts short the bonsai and goes to the bathroom.
After a while, Eriko calls, "To the table, please."
The rectanglar table is set up in the middle of the Western-style room
of 12 jo (40 square meters).
The sushi-gozen dishes by which Suga usually treats guests are before four
Tsubune has paid attention to the audio system before the meal.
"May I...?" He is already going there. There are hundreds of
CDs on the rack by the audio, most of which are classical music.
He notices the speakers and his expression changes. YAMAHA-NS1000, all
the same with his own. This system used to be popular. He bought it about
20 years ago under the strong advice of his friend of classical music.
One speaker weighs over 30 kgs, which is the main cause of his backache.
He chose Gustav Marler's Symphony No. 7, which consists of 2 CDs. It is played by Czech Philharmonic Orchestra with Vaclav Neumann, a conductor, and the total playing time is a little over 80 minutes.
Tsubune, might have some expectation, puts the second CD on the tray. The
beginning is the 4th movement "the Song of the Night" leading
to the last movement "the Dawn".
Weak sound of strings and a flute is played at the beginning, which reminds
him of the daybreak on the peak of Mt. Naeba several years ago.
He says, "I like this part of this symphony."
Eriko also seems to be deeply impressed and says, "I do, too. It's
the song of the night. I listened to it often when staying in Florence."
While eating the dish, Tsubune watches a hanging scroll on the wall of
|We are at Ijo.
Thanks to the morning rain
The dust on the road got moist
And willow trees are green around the inn.
Take another cup, Ansei
When you leave Yokan on the west,
You will have no friend to drink with.
Suga smiles looking at Tsubune's appearance and says,
"It is a very famous poem of Ohi. I got it at Xi'an long time ago."
Eriko looks satisfied with his talk giving a hint that the scroll is fit well with this room. She says,
"I asked him to leave it here. And this, too," pointing out the upper chandelier made of Bohemian crystal.
Returning her eyes to the scroll, she seeks Tsubune's agreement.
"You already listened to Marler's music 'Das Lied von der Erde' (The
Song of the Earth), didn't you?"
"Do you know Ohi's another poem of Farewell is sung in it? The contents are different from the scroll, but the meaning behind is the same. I listen to Marler while watching the scroll."
"The earth, friend and sake," Tsubune pretends understandable.
The elderly grins at Eriko's proud expression.
Their talk is far from the main subject after lunch for a while listening
to Marler on the background.
When it comes to the talk on the painting class, Mari brings her works
from another room. For Tsubune's comment with compliment, she answers pleased
and explains in detail. The Cambodian boyfriend now seems to be out of
The cool wind is carried from the clear garden through the open window.
The grass in the garden is bright and green, which made Suga enjoyable
and much more troublesome for 30 years until last year.
The maintenance work was his own job, so he could not always ask his family
for help. In spite of his trouble, all of his guests wanted to admire the
grass more than anything else. It had to be his daily work on Saturdays
and Sundays, but he neglected often because of some indispensable business.
Especially in recent years, it was a depressed load to the elderly. Therefore
it was mostly left to a dealer.
Eriko's maintenance is so perfect that the elderly is surprised and impressed.
The long lunch finished with the dessert of pears.