Okusan did not propose to go alone. She insisted that I come with. She also wanted her daughter along. To those like myself, brought up in earlier times, it was not a student's place to walk in public in the company of a young lady. I was much more a slave to custom then than I am now, and I wavered a bit before mustering the courage to acquiesce.
The daughter was dressed in her best. She'd applied a generous layer of powder over her already fair skin, making her quite the sight. She caught the eye of all who passed us by. After looking at her, they would next direct their gaze toward me. I found it disquieting.
The three of us bought what we needed at Nihonbashi. It took longer than expected, as we were slow to decide. Okusan would call out my name and ask my opinion of things. Sometimes she would drape fabric down from her daughter's shoulders and ask me to step back and look. I would signal my approval or distaste. To my credit, I always managed some decent manner of reply.
We took our time in this way, and it was already dinnertime when we left for home. Okusan offered to treat me somewhere, and she led us into a narrow lane. There was a theater there called Kiharadana. The lane was narrow, and its eating establishments were likewise confined. The area was completely unfamiliar to me, and I was impressed how Okusan knew where to go.
We returned home late in the evening. The next day was Sunday, and I spent the day holed up in my room. On Monday morning I went to class and was chided first thing by a classmate. He made a point of asking when I'd taken a wife. He then went on to praise her as a rare beauty. He'd seen the three of us, no doubt, during our outing in Nihonbashi.