It was the family of a military man, or rather the surviving family members, who lived in the house. The husband, the proprietress told me, was said to have perished in the time of the Sino-Japanese War. Up until the prior year, the family had remained near the military academy in Ichigaya. The grounds were too large, though, with a stable and such, so they'd sold the place and moved. However, they now found their new surroundings lonesome, so they'd put out a request for introduction of a suitable lodger. I learned from the proprietress that there were only the widow, her daughter, and a maidservant residing there. I thought to myself that this could be ideal - a quiet setting. I was also concerned, though, that if one like myself suddenly appeared on their doorstep, they'd regard me as just some unknown student and reject me outright. I thought about giving it up. On the other hand, for a student my appearance was hardly shabby, and I was sporting my university cap. You may find it amusing, the idea that this cap would mean anything. Unlike the present, however, university students in those days were greatly respected. In this situation, I drew confidence from my four-cornered cap. Following the instructions of the sweets shop proprietress, I called on the family cold, with no introduction.
I met the widow and explained my reason for coming. She questioned me about my background, the school, my area of study. Seemingly satisfied with the exchange, she responded on the spot that I was welcome to move in at any time. The widow was a proper woman, candid in her manner. If all military wives were like this, then I counted myself impressed. I was impressed, but also surprised. Nowhere in her temperament, I thought, was there any suggestion of loneliness.