Japan – The Blue and White Fan

The Blue and White Fan

tokio1I was carrying a fan around during a hot summer. It was a common fan, nothing special. On a hot and steamy sunny afternoon, it suddenly came to life because it carried along a story and a visual representation. It opened a window to a forbidden world.

I feel the hot humid air in Tokyo. We are walking in one of the biggest public parks in the city. It is August. Behind the trees of the huge park, there are the sky scrapers watching over all of us. A pond, the usual bridge.

A much bigger scale than what we were already used to, by the usual Japanese gardens. I thought it was enough for a lifetime. I was wrong. I am nostalgic. Maybe it is simply because Japan has this effect on people. No matter what you think about when you are there for the first or second time.

We are crossing the lake, walking on the bridge. At half the length, there is a tea house. We go on. We reach the other side of the lake. A tree. A girl sitting on a log. Reading. A blue fan with white dots. She uses the fan from time to time. I can see the slices of hot heavy air moving around her face, cooling it down for a second. We watch the scenery and we feel good. Contemplation of worldly things bringing us into a different world…

After having let us enjoy, she comes to us and we exchange a few words. Basic, broken English. She is nice. She takes a picture of us, under the tree, on the lake shore. Then, you take a picture of her and me. In the end, we receive a gift: the blue and white fan. We would like to give her something, in return. To remember us. To feel it again from time to time. We give her a coin. I know she will remember that afternoon every time she will hold it in her palm. It is five o’clock. We leave the park. That alley that seems to have no end. I’m afraid we get lost. I fear they could close the gates before us getting a chance to leave the park. We approach the tall buildings. Before leaving I have to go to the bathroom. There is another fan someone forgot on a shelf under one of the mirrors on the wall. I ask myself what its story would be. The voice tells us in Japanese that we are to leave because the park is closing. We feel like the last people on earth. Next, we reenter the world.