Book One - Sensei and I
I always called him Sensei. Herein, therefore, I will write of him as Sensei and not use his true name. It's not so much that I fear how the world may judge him, but rather that it feels to me more natural. Whenever I think of him, the word "Sensei" immediately forms on my lips. As I take up my pen, the same feeling arises. To use an initial, or some such detached term, would be to make him a stranger.
It was in Kamakura that I first met Sensei. I was a student then, still in my youth. I'd received a postcard from a friend who was at the seaside for the summer. He invited me to come join him, so I scraped together some money and departed. It took me several days to secure my funds. Then, not three days after my arrival in Kamakura, the friend who'd invited me was suddenly summoned home by telegram. According to the telegram, his mother was ill. My friend, however, doubted this. He'd been pressured for some time, by his parents back home in the country, toward a marriage match in which he took little interest. In this modern day, he was too young for marriage. On top of this, the all-important other party was not to his liking. This was why he was summering outside of Tōkyō, instead of returning home as usual. He showed me the telegram and asked my advice. I didn't know what to tell him, other than that if his mother really were ill then he must, by all means, go to her. In the end, he decided to go. As a result, I was left on my own.