Excerpt from February 1970:

Letters From Japan PhotoOn a typical day I get up (ashamed to say it) around 9:30am.  It’s so cold I hate to leave the warmth of my futon. Fold up the futon and bedding and store it in the floor-level cupboards.  Get dressed, light the heater and hibachi (A large blue ceramic pot half-filled with sand), cook breakfast, sweep, dust, and straighten up.  Mrs. Nakatsu (my landlady) washes her porch down every day no matter how cold the temperature is.  My porch is lucky if it sees a damp rag once a week.  Of course, she also polishes the mailbox, airs the family bedding, does the wash, mends, shops, cleans, cooks, lights the evening fire under the family’s bathtub, etc. etc. ad infinitum. 

Dusting my little tea house is time-consuming.  There are 528 panes of paper in theshoji screens (yes, I counted them), each with its dusty little sill.  Every week or so I blow in their direction.  Actually, I have to keep things pretty neat.  Can’t be losing face as a slob.  (Note: That year in Japan was the inspiration for writing Tokaido Road 20 years later)

Please be sure to visit the Letters From Japan page as well as The Tokaido Road book page.

Pin It on Pinterest