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Photographer's Note

In Japan they have people that are designated "national treasures" by the government. My understanding was that these people are not allowed to have their incomes taxed, held in great reverence, and are usually artists of some sort. I had the good fortune to meet two of them. One of them even came to visit me at my apartment near Tokyo after I met him. I was a sergeant in the Air Force at the time so his visit was all the more unusual. We had Japanese guards at the front desk and they were astounded this person would come to visit some GI. No Japanese would dare be so presumptuous as to do much more than bow to these people but I got to talk to them through a friend who translated for me.

This statue was made by an angry artist. Nevertheless, he allowed me to take his picture, which I may post tomorrow. Why he bothered to do as I asked him [I had him pose next to this statue and take me around his studio and shoot portraits of him], is a mystery to me. He did seem quite annoyed by my presence. Anyway, as I said before, being a gaijin [foreigner and sort of uncouth because you weren't Japanese]allowed me great latitude, which I took full advanatage of.

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