When I first saw Sensei at the beach-side tea hut, he was just disrobing in preparation for a swim. I, myself, was doing the reverse, having just returned from the water, the breeze cooling my wet body. There were numerous dark heads in motion between us, obstructing our line of sight. Under normal circumstances I would never have noticed Sensei. However, in spite of the crowd, and in spite of my own wandering mind, I did notice him. The reason I did was a Westerner in his company.
The skin of this Westerner was conspicuously fair, and it caught my attention as soon as I entered the tea hut. He'd been dressed in an authentic Japanese yukata, which he'd dropped neatly onto his stool. He then stood there with arms folded, surveying the sea. He wore his undershorts, the same kind we wore, and nothing else. This struck me as curious. Two days before I'd ventured to Yuigahama. I'd crouched on the sand for a long while and watched the Westerners bathe. My spot was slightly elevated and close to the hotel's rear entrance. As I'd crouched there, numerous men had emerged and headed for the surf. All had covered torsos, covered thighs, and covered arms. The ladies concealed their flesh even more so. Most wore rubber swim caps of maroon, navy, or indigo that bobbed distinctly in the waves. After witnessing such a scene, this Westerner standing here before us, in nothing but his undershorts, was truly novel.
He finally turned round and spoke a few words to a Japanese man who was stooping nearby. The Japanese man was picking up a towel that had fallen in the sand. As soon as he had it, he tied it around his head and proceeded toward the sea. This man was Sensei.