Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Earliest Christmas Cards from Two Ladies

Last week I already received two Christmas cards. The senders of these were Eugenia and Jola.

Eugenia is a professor of physics at Moscow State University, and Jola is the late Stan's wife living in London. Eugenia's husband, Volodya, was also a professor of physics, and had been working jointly with her. However, he died some years ago (she wrote me then, "It is so difficult [for] me [to live] without Volodya"). So both Eugenia and Jola happen to be widows. (Don't think that I become friends with widows only!)

Eugenia wrote nothing new in her card. The card were decorated with bright powders, many of which were pealed off from the card on my opening the envelope and dropped on the desk and the floor. I do not like this type of card, so that I trashed hers instantly. Sorry Eugenia, but don't send me such a kind!

Jola's card usually comes first, but was the second this year. Her husband was the head of the radiation section at the London Hospital, and his research was closely related to mine.

Jola wrote in her card the followings: She retired from dentistry and now travels a lot. She was in Thailand the week before and may be in Japan in the future. Four years ago she got a degree at the London University in Egyptology. Her son and his wife retired last year at 48 and live in Spain. -- They live such interesting lives as are rare in our country. --

God bless the two ladies!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The Girl of Masculine Spirit

I made a search of the name H. I. at the Google Web site to learn her recent activity. She was a classmate of mine at an elementary school in Kanazawa, and now works at the University of California, Santa Barbara, U.S.A. I have not heard from her these years. There were a considerable number of hits for the search. Among them I found a review [1] of John Nathan's book [2]. Under the title of the review, the Editor writes this note:
Associate professor of Japanese H. I. was incorrectly referred to as "he." H. I. is a woman.
This note refers to the following passage of the review (italics by the present author):
H. I., UCSB associate professor of Japanese, has been a colleague of Nathan for 30 years, and he said the book offers a unique and much needed insight into the culture itself.
Which was this "he," a typos or the reviewer's actual impression of her? I believe that the latter is the case. H. I. was a girl of masculine spirit, as she always admitted herself. She had even a masculine look when I met her five years ago. Thus the Editor did not correct the reviewer's text, but wrote a note instead. Humorous treatment!
  1. K. Richer, "Book Probes Japan's History, Culture" Daily Nexus Online (February 18, 2004). [Note added later: The page became unavailable.]
  2. J. Nathan, "Japan Unbound: A Volatile Nation's Quest for Pride and Purpose" (Houghton Mifflin, 2004).