National Geographic : 1962 Jul
owned boats, nets, drying racks, and cleaning tools-that can win better harvests from Ja pan's other major treasure house of food, the sea. The Japanese eat almost everything that swims, crawls, or grows in the sea, and we adopted the habit. We learned to enjoy raw fish, sea urchins, cuttlefish, king crabs, octo puses, eels-even seaweed. Our visits to the ancient cities of Kama kura, Kyoto, and Nara, with their castles, palaces, and shrines, gave new meaning to our history lectures. A topic in social sciences was the anti American riots of June, 1960. We discussed the riots in an interview with Douglas Mac Arthur III, then U. S. Ambassador to Japan. "Besides suggesting what we think the Jap anese should do," the Ambassador urged, "let's try to see their side of the story." We took the Ambassador's advice to heart. What, we wondered, was the viewpoint of Japanese students who took part in the riots? Friends arranged for us to meet twelve members of the radical Zengakuren student organization. They came from Tokyo Uni versity and met us in a big classroom at Keio University. One or two spoke English; we talked with the others through translation by our Keio classmates. "We did not want to harm President Eisen- Differences of political philosophy spark a lively exchange between John Hendry and two members of a radical student group from Tokyo University. Japanese and American students later discovered areas of agreement in religion, art, and music. 100 hower's press secretary, Mr. Hagerty." "Our purpose was not to cancel the President's trip-we only wanted to protest the treaty signed by our own government." "No, I did not myself take part in the riots, but my friends...." The discussion was noisy, animated, al most an uproar. It lasted a serious hour and a half. Then we all had tea and cakes. What impressed us most, I think, about the Japanese outlook was the common love for beauty, subtlety, balance. We found that the traditional home, with its panel walls, stark simplicity, and uniform, almost drab, hues, is planned to be an unobtrusive setting for peo ple, people often wearing colorful kimonos, people busy with their ceremonial arts. When the time came to leave Japan, some real tears were shed both by ISA students and by our hosts. We had become enchanted with a land where flowers decorate even bus es and public lavatories.... Where you can dabble in the stock market in any department store, or pick out a swimming fish dangling its own price tag.... Where coffeehouses play "Back home again in Indiana" at the sight of an American customer; and where they serve soup for breakfast-and you like it.* * See "Japan, the Exquisite Enigma," by Franc Shor, in the December, 1960, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. HS EKTACHROME(OPPOSITE) © N.G .S . Reclining on a futon, Fred Rawe (foreground) bids goodnight to his "foster" family in Kobe. Painting of masks worn in No plays decorates the doorway. Rawe, like most ISA students, won high school academic and leadership honors.