When we arrived at the reception for my Uncle Akio's 13th year anniversary of his passing, the kimono was quickly placed on my shoulders and arms, and I immediately went to the room where everyone was waiting. As I walked in, the glass gently struck together, sounding like wind chimes.
I held back my tears when Aunt Fumiko started to sing her favorite Japanese song, which reminded her of her late husband, Akio. It was touching to hear her lovely voice accompanied by the singing of her cousin and Mrs. Ogura playing the koto-like instrument.
After the performance and having eaten from the delicious array of assorted sushi, I sat down near the Obo-san to let him know how much I appreciated being invited to wear the glass kimono in the cemetery. Through the words of my father, who was the translator, the Obo-san told me how special it was for the ancestors to be honored in this way. He felt that young people were turning away from the tradition of honoring their past relatives. This was perhaps a contemporary way for them to remember their ancestors.