Later that morning, we strolled around the small fishing village of Esumi, searching for the old moss-covered wall where I dreamt of having an ancestral walk. We found the tiny street tucked away near the railroad tracks.
The ancestral walk took place at about 9:15 a.m. The street was so small and secluded that there were no townspeople around to walk with us. The solemn feeling of reverence was almost missing because everyone was having such a great time laughing and lining up along the wall, waiting to join the procession. I still felt I was living in a dream as my family was honoring and being honored in this unusual way.
The thirteenth anniversary memorial service of my Uncle Akio’s death was held after the ancestral procession. The Buddhist priest’s chanting was soothing. I loved the feeling of wholeness from being present with all of these important people in my life. I can still hear my relatives rhythmically chanting in unison, with the drum-like sound coming from the priest’s hitting the huge carved gourd.