Sunday, January 25, 2009

Good Deed for the Day

By the day, I mean one day three weeks ago. Sorry, I know how behind I am on my posts.

Shino Kataoka is one of my favorite reoccurring characters in this blog. The circumstances of our first meeting were truly uncanny and it still boggles my mind that we discovered that we have a mutual friend, Ayano Kataoka (no relation). As I wrote back in early November:

So what are the chances that I travel thousands of miles to a foreign country, head to a hole-in-the wall dive bar in the biggest city on earth with literally 12 million people, and then meet a woman who knows well one of my close Japanese friends from Yale? I don't even want to think about it.

When I wrote to Ayano about the experience, she emailed me back and said she would be in Japan over New Years. When she came three weeks ago, I made arrangements for all of us to meet.

It was quite the reunion. Shino and Ayano were classmates at Tokyo Arts University but hadn't seen each other or corresponded in over a decade.

(Counterclockwise from the right, Tamao, Ayano, myself, Shino, and Mari.)

And talk about musical head power in the room. Both Tamao and Ayano are premier professional percussionists and Shino plays harp in the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. Little guitarist/percussionist/wannabe me is stuck in the middle.

Being the catalyst that brought the two together after so many years apart was a welcome feeling. Whether I sink or swim in Japan, whether I secure a path for myself here or am forced to return home, I can rest assured that my travels in this land have had an underlying purpose guided by fate.

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