National Geographic : 1964 Oct
between her sobs, he learned the trouble she had just read in the afternoon newspaper that William Faulkner was dead. I don't know if the story is true, but I did meet a nightclub hostess who had a passion for George Shearing and Rachmaninoff; she had a dozen of their recordings at home. I met her at Hanabasha, one of Tokyo's big gest nightclubs. I never learned her real name. Her professional name was Reiko. In Tokyo nightclub slang, Reiko is what is known as a toranshista garu-"transistor girl"-one who, as the name suggests, is small, compact, and full of energy. The dance floor resembled the platform at Shinjuku Station in rush hour, so Reiko and I settled for a napkin-size table in a corner. 482 We talked of Tokyo's reija boomu-the "lei- sure boom"-and the city's fantastic wealth. "This year, most richest one," Reiko be gan. "Japanese call this Year of Tatsu-Year of Dragon. Dragon stand for rich." I asked about the year before. With two fingers Reiko imitated a pair of legs hopping across the table. "Last year Tokyo move fast -Year of Usagi, Rabbit." And next year? She wrinkled her nose in distaste. "Next year not so good. Year of Mi-Snake." She brightened. "Next year after"-four fingers drummed a faint thunder on the tablecloth-"very friend ly year. Year of Uma, Horse." An hour slipped by, and I stood up reluc tantly. Reiko followed me outside, although there was a chill in the air. We bowed politely to each other. "You know sayonara,Japanese goodbye?"