To my students, although I have departed from Japan I must say I feel so connected. Each morning, I open my front door and I realize, oops! I cannot run down to Nishi Okita’s, Saint Germain bakery, to pick up my favorite black sesame bread, but life goes on. So you see, on either side of our great oceans, life is not bad. My friends can never be replaced, they are a precious treasure I leave behind (I love you internet!). Here’s a few I really want to thank, no doubt i’ll miss a few, what with moving and the weather here in New York, please understand.

Mark Gleason, Tabasco president; the great gentlemen from Annapolis. Joseph LeStage, Vashdev Rupani, one of my best new years was at his home, his wife betty is really lucky. The Sakakibara’s for the ‘Labo experience’. Nishi-machi International School, late Tane Matsukata, for her faith in me, the late Cindy Hawkins. A sharing teacher and a great friend. From Seisen International School, my fantastic boss, sister Asuncion and sister Manuella, her food was so great, thank you sister. The Weekender’s Corky, we all miss him. Bill, a gift to all who know him, a heart so deep. From St Mary’s school, brother Andrew Voisvert, brother Isador and the later brother Lessard.

On the music side, there is my great mentor Miyako Nishimuro. Sisters in music and much more; Eiko Kitazumi and Riyoko Yasui, i’ll truly miss you both. Then there was my adopted Mom; Annie Dinken, and her legendary old style Kosher restaurant, a rough diamond, but a golden heart. From the JCC Rabbi Roan Noah, and from the Chapel center my ‘father’ Bede, my many Filipino friends including Ed and Amia Piamonte, Irwin, Daisy and Tim Garde, Elda DeGuzman, Macrina Prado and dear Glenn Parino; No words  are good enough (I owe you).

My oldest and truest friends, Sandra Mori and her great husband Seichan. Sandy and I should write “The Book” (Just a joke). Domo Arigatou to Antonio Inoki, the professional wrestler, we were always just too busy, wish I had more time with that great man. Thanks to Yosuke Yamashita. Our struggling days were great. The wonderful political Kami family what a blessing for Japan they are. Thanks for the super support always for the Shinjuku Hilton hotel group, you were always there when I needed you i’ll really miss you. Feel the same way about the National Azabu supermarket, so hard leaving you people, Dale Toriyumi is not only a great manager but a humble and true humanitarian, what a special man.
Can’t forget Dr Eugene Aksenoff, no words can express the privilege of knowing him. Eugene keep up the good work. Also thanks to the people at Asian Tigers, they made my monumental move easy. Amy and Jin, Takahashi love you both, to Andrew and Minami Olea, your care helped me so much, to Unryu Hakyu, your friendship was an honor, my prayers always for your son Arthur.

Thank you all, during my 47 years in Tokyo, you gave me patience and a wonderful learning experience. I love what I leave behind (good friends) and I love what I take with me (Kimochi) and finally my thanks to governor Ishihara, for making Tokyo one of the safest cities in the world. — Regina