I left the statistical institute in Tokyo in 1979, after almost five years. The driver, mr. Kuzuhara, gave me as memento a handmade mini umbrella. He made this umbrella whilst waiting for his boss and when there was no work for the administrative department.
The umbrella was made of packing papers of cigarettes, matches, threads, chopstick and glue. The brand of the cigarettes was “Peace” and this brand appeared on the umbrella.
At the farewell party Kuzuhara-san presented two mini umbrellas one of which with the sign Peace and said “may peace be always with you”. I was very moved by his wish and present.
I regularly invited my colleagues including Kuzuhara-san for a drink and dinner after office hour as it was customary in Japan. We went to a typical Japanese restaurant where officials of other companies and ministries also organized their usual after office drink-and-dinner. The Japanese dishes were delicious and accompanied by sake. Everybody was relaxed, teasing each other whilst joking and singing. At around 22.00 we went home as most of them still had to travel by train to another city. This get-together was very pleasant and is unforgettable.
I cherish these mini umbrellas which are on the tansu in the living room.