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Kaneko's story - Epilogue

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1 Kaneko's story - Epilogue on Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:42 pm

In an excerpt from an article titled "The Hospitality of the Ikeda family"

When Mrs Ikeda says something, Mr Ikeda playfully taps her shoulder and says, "I dont mind, I dont mind." Another comment, another tap. "Its OK, It's OK," he says. Tap. "Dont worry, don't worry." She does the same to him. "I know, I know." And the playful tapping goes on.

In each tap, Mr Kodama sensed the secret of why such an astoundingly large number of people refer to Mr Ikeda as "Sensei," or "Teacher."

Mr Kodama writes: The act of saying 'I know' while tapping his wife on the shoulder may express a shyness typical of Japanese men. Those who consider themselves cultured or count themselves among the intelligentsia may either envy or look condescendingly upon such honest and unaffected behavior."

Without the trappings of culture or refinement, when a person is stripped down to the most essential core of human existence, an ultimate essence of humanity remains, as it does with Daisaku Ikeda. As his dialogue (1972-73) with Professor Arnold Toynebee illustrate, Mr Ikeda is a versatile and discerning person clothed in many different layers of accomplishment and eminence.

Mr Ikeda's habitual light shoulder tapping, which I observed before, was a superb gesture. Now, when he opens the sliding doors of the Japanese-style room wile fastening the cord of his haori jacket, and when his wife enters, say, "It's been a long time since I saw you last," I smell a whiff of incense.

Mr Ikeda hosts a tea ceremony for me, then stands up, saying, "Oh no, my legs have fallen asleep, and I have to perform my evenng prayers."

I ask, "Are you burning incense in the room?"
"No," he answers, surprised.
"Is it potpourri packets?"
"No. I am not the pot pourri type."
Still pursuing the scent, I continue,"Does your wife wear perfume?"
He calls out to Mrs Ikeda: "Are you wearing perfume?"
"No," she answers.
"I know," he says, "it must be the room. We burn incense in here for the morning and evening prayers, and the scent permeates the room."

"That must be it,"says Mrs Ikeda."We dont notice it because we've grown used to it."
With that, Mr Ikeda begins to clown around. He taps his wife's shoulder and jokes, "Mrs Ikeda, please wear perfume sometimes."

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2 So funny! on Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:56 pm

先生、so playful & love to joke with his wife. This is really so sweet!
He loves his wife so much!


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