For the remainder of the service, we all walked over to the cemetery, where my father’s brother, Akio, and our ancestors were buried. I was surprised and honored that the Obo-san (priest) asked me to wear the kimono at the gravesite. I was so deeply touched that tears kept streaming down my face while I wore the kimono. I stood next to the 400-year-old headstones and bowed to all of my ancestors. During this most profound moment, I felt an honored connection and overwhelming appreciation for those ancestors and for my father, my mother, Aunt Fumiko, my family, all of my other relatives, my friends, and the rest of humanity. I felt a deep connection to myself.
There was hardly time to wipe away my tears, for directly after the ceremony Pat and I had to hurry down the street to the only beauty parlor in Esumi. My hair was expertly put up and red lipstick and face powder applied. Aunt Fumiko, her cousin, Mrs. Ogura, and I were finally going to do the performance with the Glass Ancestral Kimono at the luncheon honoring Uncle Akio.