A SPECIAL THANKS....
Our visit to Japan was one in which every day was special. This remarkable circumstance was due only to the kindness and generosity of several people, most notably our friend, Dr. Masanori Hata (or "Mutsuguro" as he is affectionately known), and Mr. Satoru Ogata of Fuji television. Dr. Hata's special studies and television programs makes him one of the world's leaders in animal studies, and a very busy man. And yet he found time in his packed schedule to extend the most astounding hospitality to all of us. We hadn't seen each other for years, but our friendship has always been deep, instant, and "of the heart."
We must also thank the people at Dr. Hata's farms, beginning with his gracious wife, Junko Hata, his daughter Asumi and her family, his right-hand-woman Etsuko who was our constant guide, Mr. Ishikawa and his family who put up Samantha, and all the others who shared their lives and passions with us. It would be very remiss of us to not mention Grandmother Hata, whose sweet presence was always a delight, and Chabba, the owl that lives in his house and who would watch morning cartoons with Cassidy, passing along his hooting comments.
We must also thank our old friend, Satoru Ogata, a Fuji Television producer of great note, who took time from his busy schedule to visit with us and made sure that his staff had us well in hand. He also had special gifts for the girls as we left. Also not to be missed are the film crew of Fuji Television, including Koh Yabuki and the others.
And not to be forgotten is our dear friend Jeremy Angel, his wife Chiyoko and their family, who not only tolerated our weird "gaijin" ways, but took us to make soba-noodles and made us feel so at home during our stay in their restored, 100-year old Japanese farm house.
Our stays in Tokyo were greatly heightened by the kindness of Shoji Yamazaki and Akiko, the eldest daughter of the Mizuno family who had hosted Salli some 26 years ago on her first and, until now, only visit to Japan, and our wonderful chance meeting with the Bulgarian mathematician who has helped Samantha with her school work, Professor Dr. Elena Georgieva Gavrilova. Thanks to all.....