January 21-26, 2001: The first anniversary of my father's death
I visited my mother's home in Tatsuno to celebrate the first anniversary of my father's death. On the ferryboat, a waitress in the dinning hall called me. She said that she often visits my homepage. I was surprised and delighted to find my fan in an unexpected place. She was a graduate of Oita Art and Culture Junior College.
On January 22nd, the boat arrived Rokko Terminal of Kobe port in the down.
The sun rose while I was driving through Kobe City.
My mother, 82, lives alone in the old house in Tatsuno. She welcomed me with delight and soon we went out for shopping. We bought a beautiful bouquet for my dead father.
I entered my father's room. On the shelves are photo albums and cassette tapes of Noh songs, he loved them very much. On the desk were many articles of stationery and cameras. I felt as if he were talking to me right now.

January 23, 2001: Lay his ashes to rest
In the afternoon, the Buddhist priest came in and recite a sutra. He then gave us a lecture on the dead father and how to keep the heart of thanks saying, "We should become those people who can accept every things in hard or delightful times with gratitude." It is not easy to accept the hard time with gratitude, but I want to be so.
We then visited the cemetery in Hayashida in Himeji City, my dead father's birthplace some 20 minutes drive from Tatsuno, to lay his ashes to rest. We rest the cinerary urn in the newly built grave with a tombstone on which the names of us, his four children, were carved as the builder.
The priest recited the last farewell sutra; we also said good-bye to the dead father.
Please rest in peace, my father.

From left, Kiyoshi Matsui, Michiko Matsui, Shigeko, Souhei and Toyo of Fujii family, Mieko Nagano, Akihiko Fujii, and Kenichi Nagano.
All of us then visited nearby Red Dragonfly, a people's hotel, to have a simple dinner with recalling the departed.

January 24, 2001: The memory of the departed
The view from the 7th floor of the hotel in the morning. In the front rises Keirou Peak from the flow of Ibo River. Old roof tiled houses make a beautiful atmosphere sometimes called "Small Kyoto." On the edge of the bush in the left is my mother's house.
The cousins came up today and I again visited the graveyard. We took a picture in front of the birth house of the departed.

The old mansion was already divided into fraction and a half of the land was presented to a junior high school. The tall camphor tree looks down the history.
The ancestors of Fujii will be glad by the repeated visits of the descendants.
The Naganos.

From Left: Mieko, Kenichi, Takehito, and Yasuyo.
We 17 people in total, came back to the hotel to have a meal together in commemorating the deceased.
My mother put the picture of the deceased and made a few words in the beginning saying, "My husband had a very happy life. Thank you very much today for seeing my husband off. I hope you reminisce about the good old days with the deceased."
I met the cousins after a long time. Mr. Murahara proposed the toast.
Four families enjoy the meeting after a long time.
Thanks to the deceased, the Naganos could see each other after a long time.
Pleasant chatting go on in the other room. My son Takehito was eager to investigate the family tree of his mother side. My mother explained him a long history of the tree. I recorded her talk on a computer. Beside Yasuyo, my daughter-in-law, sits the picture of the deceased.

January 25, 2001: Journey visiting the root
After seeing off the cousins, we came back home.

Root finding journey continues by looking old pictures, writings, and newspapers.
Two family trees of Fujii (left) and Sotani (right) tell the history.

Our names will be added on those family trees.

Five families have left one by another.
We drove up to Kobe through the beautiful night view to catch the return ferryboat to Oita.

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