Wednesday, July 22, 2009


It is amazing how time flies, maybe you aren't always necessarily having fun while it flies by, but it does.

Remember I talked about loving rainbows? It is true that they are very scarce where I live, I think out of the 8 years of living in Japan, I've seen it ONCE in Osaka and that was for 5 seconds.

Okay, maybe 5 seconds is exaggerating (but not by much), I didn't even have time to take out my camera to take a shot at it.

Rainbows are also special to me because it reminds me of an uncle, my Uncle Ronald.

It was 19 years ago today that he died in a fishing accident. I still remember driving over to my Aunty's tears in my eyes, being careful not to get into an accident myself.

I'm not sure if it was the day of his funeral or maybe some time afterwards, but everytime I would think of him, a rainbow would appear. To me, it was his way of letting me know that he was there, watching from above.

Though Satoshi never got to meet Uncle Ronald, we talk about him, especially when I tell Satoshi little stories about my childhood.

Uncle Ronald was the "yell first ask questions later" type of guy when something went wrong, but if you were "in the good" with him, he really took good care of you. I was honored to be considered one of his "friends" (he said money was his other friend, so you know it was an honor to be friends with him). He loved to fish, hunt and if I am not mistaken, loved to eat!

I think he would dry fish inside the rear window of his car and once dug an imu (pit) in his yard to roast pig for a birthday party. As a kid, I remember watching all the adults in our family make lau lau and smoked char siu in a huge, used oil drum.

They would also peel pounds and pounds of green mango to make pickled mango. He loved making pork togan (at least I think he made it), though as a kid, I was finicky and usually would give it away to the dog (sorry Uncle!).

Now, whenever I see togan (winter melon) in the store, I pick up a little to make some pork togan. (Interestingly that post for pork togan was also on his memorial day.)

He would make a dish using leftover sashimi (sliced raw fish), marinating it in shoyu and ginger, sandwiching it between rice in a deep bowl, then poured hot barley tea over the whole thing and put a cover on it to steep. Though I never tasted this dish, my cousins (his children) loved this.

Oh, growing up, sashimi in our house was maguro (tuna), nothing more, and only eaten on special occasions. So, you can imagine my surprise when someone asked me in Japan if I eat sashimi and I said "yes", then this whole platter of assorted raw fish came out. At first, I freaked but now can eat almost any type.

It is hard to believe that 19 years has passed, but I think by talking about him, it is a good way to keep his memory alive. (We miss you Uncle!)


KirkK said...

Hi Kat - Those are some very nice memories.....thanks for sharing!

Debinhawaii said...

Beautiful post--it's nice you have such great memories of your Uncle.

2kamuela47 said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

Mikuru Hirai said...

Spotting a rainbow in Japan is rare? Wow, I never knew that. Maybe that explains why anime characters are very much overjoyed when they see one. You have a really nice shot there, Kat.

Suze said...

Thanks for sharing about your uncle. I remember going to his funeral. I hope you can get your fill or rainbows here. We get them quite often...they're everywhere. :)

Rowena... said...

The part about drying fish inside the rear window of his car...for some reason that sounds so familiar! This must be the uncle that you had mentioned via email or in a comment somewhere. So nice that rainbows remind you of him - such a sweet post Kat!

Deb said...

i loved reading this. . .memories of my aunties and uncles are some of my strongest growing up. in hawaii they are like second parents, aren't they?

K and S said...

Thanks Kirkk, Debinhawaii, Laura :)

Interesting Mikuru, didn't know that about anime.

Thanks Suze, I've seen quite a number of them on this trip home.

I think you did a post on drying fish once and I did comment, Rowena :)

Yup, aunties and uncles are 2nd parents, Deb, and they aren't scared to discipline either :)

Take care everyone!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

What a beautiful tribute to your uncle!

Anonymous said...

Special-sounding guy. I'm glad the rainbow appears for you.


K and S said...

Thanks JennDZ & Paz :)

Take care.