1985

In the Spring of 1985, I went on an overseas factory inspection trip to Japan.  I took Lorna with me as I visited factories (Rinnai, Paloma, Matsushita, et al.) across the country for three weeks.  The cherry blossoms were in full bloom.  The country was beautiful and clean.  The people were so nice although somewhat repressed.  The country was not yet westernized.  Most of the women wore kimonos every day.  Many times I saw a Japanese woman walking three paces behind her husband.  In some of the factories, the restrooms were shared by men and women.  At the airport, the men's restroom was being cleaned by a woman when I was in it.  We traveled by train from city to city (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Niigata, etc.).  At each stop, a representative would meet us for breakfast and then a lady from the company would take Lorna sight-seeing for the day.  And, they wanted to take us out for dinner and entertainment every night.  They also took us to tourists spots on the weekends - mostly temples and shrines.  At one temple, we had to take off our shoes and climb several flights of wooden stairs.  When we came back down, there were several rosy-cheeked Japanese children surrounding my shoes waiting to see what giant fit into them.  Our last stop was for a small factory outside of Niigata.  However, Lorna was sick and had to stay at the hotel.  After the inspection, I had some very tight train connections to get back to the Niigata hotel and then to Narita for our flight home.  Somehow, with the help of people we had met, we made all of the connections.  [JAM 3/23/2010]