Monday, August 9, 2010

A Cautionary Tale

Yesterday we were working on cleaning out our basement and the Lady Wife took it upon herself to inventory a load of old Christmas cards. She found one that I will never forget...

Many years ago the Lady Wife and I had the good fortune to live and work in Japan. We lived in the far North of Aomori Prefecture (Shimokita Peninsula) in the little backwater of Mutsu. While we had many Japanese friends we were guilty as most expatiates of some degree of gentle mocking of the local culture and the occasional bout of sarcasm. Our chief of Sarcasm was one, Steve Wilkenson. Steve, hailing from England was quite adept at mocking both friend and foe alike.

One year at Christmas time Steve sent the following card to his friends and relatives around the globe. We thought it was pretty hilarious, some others according to Steve did not share the humor.
The Tomb of Christ as described on the sign is in the village of Shingo (formerly Herai) in Aomori Prefecture. The locals (at least some of them) actually believe that Jesus brother Iskiri died on the cross and Jesus himself lived in Herai to the age of 106. For a great deal more information on Herai and its heretical heritage click on the photo above.

A number of years later Steve died in a sky diving accident in Oregon. Apparently he packed his own chute and it failed to open at all. I learned of this accident while watching the evening news on television. To add more woe to this tale, the Lady Wife and I while visiting Japan stayed a few days with Steve's widow, Erico. Within a year of our visit Erico had sucumbed to cancer and left their son an orphan at boarding school in Tokyo.

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