Ayako Sato, who hosted us at Meiji-Gakuin University last Friday; Brent Edwards a smart young professor from Columbia, who gave a very interesting paper on the future of the term “diaspora”, and a Langston Hughes poem “Letter from Spain,” in which the speaker encounters a dying Moorish soldier who was fighting for Franco’s army; and Chieko Mulhern, a professor emeritus who taught in the US for 17 years and now lives in Tokyo. This photo was taken in a one-room restaurant that specializes in soba (buckwheat). The husband and wife who run it live upstairs. It is part of movement in Japanese cooking that jazzes up traditionally “low status” dishes. The food was amazing– smoked duck, buckwheat sprout salad, grilled miso with chopped walnuts, thick omelet, tempura, cold soba noodles, and some very potent buckwheat shochu. One-hoofing up the steep narrow stairs was hard work, but worth it.

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