And what a day! He showed up at the hotel this afternoon at about four, but with bad news: he hadn't been able to find the signature seals that I laboriously had custom made by a person in California earlier this year.
These were to have been the stamps he put on the shodou (Japanese calligraphy) -- his personal, hand-carved square signatures that were al much a part of his creations as Picasso's signature on HIS creations.
Needless to say, I went ballistic. If I left Japan without his personal stamps on all these calligraphy paintings he's done, I din't want any one of them . . . without his stamp they were nothing.
So I'm afraid I boiled over a tad. He said he had last seen them at his grandmother's; upon the basis of a quick phone call it was established that she had no idea where they were and had *no* interest in going looking for them.
Strike one for the the Nipponese!
I, however, was not going to back down. Okay, I said, we're getting on the train now (now? asked a disturbed Tai-chan -- yes NOW, was my reply) and this we did.
I made it clear that I was not angry with Tai-chan, although if you know the history of these seals I think you would probably take my side.
SO . . . we went on a hysterical unwanted rush-hour ride of which you have the benefit -- here it is in all its glory: rush hour from Somewhere in Nara to Somewhere else in Nara.