Chapter 3: Spring: Among Showers of Blossoms
on a Spring Festival day 5
On the third day of the festival the weather was warm,
the sunlight gently shone on a row of cherry blossom trees.
Fresh green color of willows which has just sprouted out contrasted with pink color of the cherry blossom trees.
Takashi did his last drum performance at noon.
His gallant young figure and the way he beat the drums was completely different from what Keigo saw half a year ago.
Yuri and her parents together with Ta-kun cheered him on the roadside.
Tsubasa was a little bit lonely as if he was a sideliner of the festival. All the residents including children and old people fully enjoyed the festival. Even small baby like Ta-kun shook their bodies to the rhythm of the drums and music. Tsubasa thought people who had enjoyed festivals since their childhood surly returned to their home town from cities during festivals.
Tsubasa saw his parents. He saw his grandparents who were already residents of the town greeted by many people and had friendly and long conversation with them. They were going to send information from their websites
"Kohei's Japanese Sake Lecture" and "Nobuko's recommendation for today's Japanese sweets" in English and Chinese. Their world has expanded since they came to live in the town. His parents had much time to converse with each other since they visited here. They started buying locally and organically grown vegetables from the town's site. They paid attention to water and air too. They tried to make their lives more ecological and natural. His father began to think about his retirement or resigning from his post as a general manager. He preferred to develop human resource, rather than recommending retirement of employees. His mother took an active part in supporting foreign students from Asian countries and had a future plan for staying abroad for long time after her retirement. She tried to make acquaintances here and there.
Mr. Araki was going to quit his job and planned to repay the town by using his personal network made during his work in Shanghai. There were many things in town that he could do, and because there were an increasing number of tourists from China, he planned to translate Tsubasa's grandparents' website, "Kohei's Japanese Sake Lecture" and "Nobuko's recommendation for today's Japanese sweets", into Chinese. Quitting his job, his income would reduce, however, with his new life in Takafu-cho he would receive thank tickets and enjoy local vegetables, rice and sake. Compensation for technical services would not be necessarily money, but also fresh food. People could be happy if live decently. If they demand more, they will suffer.
"What about me? I was going to take a doctorate program without aim, however, after that what would I do?"
Tsubasa has not yet gotten an answer.
He saw Ryoko wearing the costume at the foot of the bridge, he tried to wave at her but stopped, she was facing Kanalu.
Ryoko usually walked gently behind people, Tsubasa wondered why she was facing Kanalu.
Kanalu called Ryoko when she finished the votive dancing. At first he thought of contacting her by the number Oharu gave him, but he called the usual number. He was not sure about what Oharu told him. Ryoko has trusted Kanalu since he moved into the town. She introduced him to many people in the town and supported him modestly. She has kept a little distance from Kanalu. Kunalu wondered whether Ryoko composed those passionate love haikes for him.
Ryoko trotted to him from the precincts of the shrine. She flashed after carrying out an important role. As she normally wore no makeup, her beauty stood out this time with her makeup.