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>> 2018.7.8 [ Mailing List ]

Happy Birthday, Mino. I am now 51 years old, so of course, you would be 47. The thought of you being 47 is disconcerting for me, though, since in your photographs you’re still only in your ’30s. At 47, you would’ve had gray hair and little wrinkles at the corners of your eyes. I bet you would’ve been gorgeous with silver-gray-hair.

The new paperback version of Radical Oral History has been working really hard to reach even more readers — with the help of Mr. Fuchigami, the editor at Iwanami Shoten and the tremendous support of readers who have been waiting for this. Can you believe it’s being described as “a legendary masterpiece”?!

I am happy to report that I’ve received many responses to my message in May.

Kohei-kun, who told us that he was assigning Radical Oral History as required reading in his seminars at Fukushima University, is to start teaching at Tsuda University next April. Those neighborhoods of Kokubunji and Kodaira that were once ours, where you and I and Noguchi-san roamed during the same period -- they will become home to Kohei-kun and his family.

Hisamatsu-san says that she has had occasion to visit the Australian embassy in helping to lay the groundwork for a new project being launched as part of the “lifesaving” (monitoring beaches to prevent accidents) work she has been volunteering for these 30 years. “Australia Now,” a program designed to introduce modern Australia to the world, is being held in Japan this year, so you have been much in her thoughts.

Mihoko-san, who always looks forward to my emails, says she read Radical Oral History “less as a book about history than as a book about how to interact with people, a guide to how to live one’s life.” She continued: “I think it’s wonderful that someone somewhere on Earth is always thinking about Hokari-san…. Reading his writing, with that distinctive style, it’s as if he’s right there, and I feel close to him and miss him both at the same time. I can’t help wondering: How do people who didn’t know him read his writing? Would I read his work differently if I hadn’t known him?”

Prof. Shimizu, now busy as a professional chanson and Latin singer, says that a paperback edition of the book he wrote while thinking of you was also published under the Iwanami Gendai Bunko imprint, just ahead of yours. Along with Tessa’s book, all three will grace bookstore shelves together.

Ann and Karen have always been just an email away. Their support for us have been amazing; keeping me up to date about your memorial scholarship. People at ANU have been adoring the tree that Tessa planted for your memory.

Chantal reached out to me and let me know that she still enjoys your stereo every day.

Ray replied to me, like always:

“Because you appear to be able to do more, you will do more. If you were to list what you have done, it would show what ‘one woman can do in the memory of a loved one’. You have thrown many petals, and there have been many bangs. ‘Enough’ can only be said later I think, much later, if the time ever comes when you can do no more. Until then it sounds as if you intend to keep working. When you can work no longer there will remain a legacy with a number of aspects, including ‘what you did, and what happened as a result’, as well as the ongoing research projects, knitting and other matters. This means that even at the time when you can do no more, your work will still be having ongoing outcomes. ‘What Yuki did’ can become a best-seller too, I suspect.”

Even though you are not here with us any more, thanks to everyone’s love and support, your book — and I as well — can keep going. As you know, this is because you asked them to stay connected with you. I believe it is the best birthday gift for you, letting you know that we are all still with you.