Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An Old Man's Tears

Today's work is salvaging Mr Asano's old storage house before it gets torn down due to the damages from the earthquake. It was a dirty and mouldy job! That storage house contains family artifect and all kinds of living utility that Mr Asano has inherited. He hasn't moved it for years and many things he only saw it for the first time! O_O Browsing through dust and sweat, it was like going through a japanese family history. Mr Asano at times told us story about certain things, like the gigantic barrel used to make miso. There was STILL miso in there. Yes, you've read it right. After 60+ years. The miso looks like brown jelly, or the turtle jelly if you are chinese. Goosebumps are growing as I thought of it. There is also old fashion sewing machine, beautiful kimono belts, Mr Asano's high school uniform, japanese traditional wooden chest and cupboard filled with personal artifects, china dishes and cups, japanese trad small eating table, grandpa's 乓amboo reclining chair...... it's more than I can fill the page. Even included a samurai armor set, with Mr Asano's grandpa's name on the box. When I was handed the armor, I wonder where has it gone to war for.

During break time, Mr Asano told me about his 25+ years friend, Takashi, who was a carpenter. Takashi was the one who built the house that we were clearing out today. He also helped Mr Asano to fix his house, store, and storage house in previous earthquakes. Just that this time, Takashi won't be here to help anymore. He escaped the tsunami when it hit, but went back for his dog even though his wife pleaded with him not to. This time, the wave took him. Mr Asano's eyes were misted with tears as he stared into space, and wiped his eyes when the silence fell. He quietly said that if Takashi is still alive, perhaps he can fix this house.
You must be sad and lonely, I said.
He nodded and said, yes, sad and lonely. And wiped more tears away.
My heart breaks as I listened to his story. There must be many stories like Mr Asano's in the area. How I wish I can listen to all of them, and wish they know that there are people who care to come.

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