Often, when I see an elderly Japanese man on the street or on the train, I’m reminded of the fact that somewhere in this country there may be an old retired sailor who first crossed my path over fifty years ago. I was three or four years old at the time, too young to actually remember the incident but I remember being told about it and I have the evidence that it happened in a storage trunk back home in Canada. At that time, we lived in a waterfront house in Powell River on the coast of British Columbia. It wasn’t unusual for crew members from boats in the harbour to be seen walking along our street. One day as I was playing in the yard, my mother, who was watching from the kitchen window, saw a Japanese sailor enter the yard and give me something. Concerned about what it might be, she came out to check and found me holding a tiny blue and white cigarette lighter in the shape of an oriental man. It was out of fuel but my mother deemed it an inappropriate plaything for a little child so she took it away from me. Realizing, however, that the gentleman meant it as a gift of kindness, she kept it for me and gave it to me when I was older telling me at that time where it had come from. I have kept it ever since and have always appreciated the fact that my mother didn’t simply throw it out and allow the incident to be forgotten. Who knows what impression that moment of generosity on the part of a sailor far from home and family had on the mind of a child and whether or not my interest in and love for Japan goes back, in some small way, to that incident?