Yesterday we drove in to downtown Los Angeles to Little Tokyo. Marcy has been wanting me to come to a little Japanese restaurant there since I got here. The food was great!
As a child my father would plan Sunday afternoon as the time when the family went out somewhere together and every couple of months or so we'd hit Little Tokyo. I remember it being bigger back then! And more exciting. There used to me lots of little shops with Japanese dolls dressed in kimono, elegant looking chopsticks and paper balloons. We could challenge our taste buds by sampling the fancy bean paste sweets and we'd wonder about how the Japanese deciphered the strange Japanese writing we found in the book stores. Yesterday there were lots of hole-in-the-wall eating places but not as many shops and the ones that were there had dragon embellished T-shirts for sale. Not too authentic.
LA is a slightly scary place for me. A bit run down in places and some homeless sitting on the street corners. I suppose it depends on where you are walking because some of the glass buildings in the distance give it a futuristic air.
Quite a few months ago I wrote about Ninomiya-san who was a great educator and economist in Japan in the 1700's. There is a statue of him in front of almost any school and in the parks in Japan. Well, guess who I came across hiking through the outback of Los Angeles! Mr. Ninomiya!
"Hey, who's that over there?" my 10 year old nephew piped-up. And I was able to give him a mini Japanese history lesson. I wonder where else in the world Mr. Ninomiya is exploring today.