Tag Archives: Japan

Gladys – September 2, 1970


The check is for both of you. Will try and get David’s card out before his birthday.

Have been quite busy since coming home, but did have a most enjoyable trip. Met a young girl who was coming to U.S. last year. She was on the staff of U. of I. last year – (Sept ’69 to June ’70) and is now returning to Japan. She couldn’t be back in Tokyo when we were there but her Mother and a sister and husband (Dr. Yamada – with Univ. of Tokyo) entertained us one day and evening. We attended Kabuki theatre together – 11 am to 4 pm – then went to a Japanese dinner. 10 courses. Quite an evening. We took pictures while in the restaurant. If I can think about them, will bring them along.

Love Mother

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2017/10/07/gladys-september-2-1970/

Gladys – July 28, 1970

Post card transcription:


Dad is attending a Rotary meeting here in the hotel & I am writing a few cards. This is a rest day. We start toward Nagasaki tomorrow, with several steps on the way. Plan one day at Expo but not more than one. We left the Purdue crowd at the airport and we are travelling alone. We had a most interesting weekend in Tokyo. Saw a Kabuki performance and went to a Japanese restaurant with a Japanese family we know. It was quite an evening. I even ate raw fish and liked it. The secret is the sauce one dips it in. Attended a Japanese church service with a Japanese girl we know. The minister preached his sermon from Job 21. wish I could have had a translation. We did follow the scripture reading in English bible.

Love, Mother

©2017 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2017/09/21/gladys-july-28-1970/

A Stray Postcard from Japan

Postcard transcription:

Dear David: We went walking in garden in hotel grounds this a.m. – rained all day yesterday so we had to stay in. While we were walking we met an English woman & daughter. They were very friendly and we conversed a while. They are on a long tour, so we gave them some tips on Hawaii. They were very glad to have information. They are going on to Canada, then down to Calif. and on a bus to New Orleans. I wasn’t very enthused about that part of their trip so they wanted to know about bus travel. I told them they may like it but I wouldn’t travel as far as Chicago from home by bus unless I had to. We exchanged addresses and we are invited to visit them in London if we ever visit there. No one here in Japan can comprehend how cold it gets in our area. It is cold here now and I go wrapped with several layers of clothing, but nothing freezes here in the valley except tourists. We hope to reach a little warmer climate in Hong Kong tomorrow. Tomorrow is our last day of sight seeing here.

Love Mother

Postmark: 2-11-64; likely written 2-1-64

©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/12/11/a-stray-postcard-from-japan/

Leaving Japan

1964-02-02-gry-envelopeLetter transcription:

1964-02-02-gry-pFeb. 2, 1964

Dear David –

We are having a wait at Tokyo International Airport. Our plane was to leave at 6:30 – has been delayed 2 hrs. 15 mi., so we are waiting in lounge. It is very comfortable but we have had a long day. We did get to see Mt. Fuji several times while driving from Fuji hotel to Tokyo. After an unusual amount of rain – so we were told – this morning sky was clear. We had a chance to see the top of Fuji from several places not far from hotel, then the further we drove toward Tokyo we could see more. It is really a beautiful sight. We took several pictures. We stopped at Kamakura to see the large bronze Buddah which stands in open. Tidal waves in past have washed away temple, so the people decided Buddah didn’t want to be in a house. I asked our guide if it was solid – he said no we could enter at back. We went inside and climbed stairway to about the head. There was a little statue of Buddah inside head cavity facing us. That Buddah statue (large one) was cast two hundred years ago before Columbus discovered America. There are always crowds coming and going from shrines and temples. There are always concession stands and food. I think the people here eat as much as Americans do. We stopped at one place along the route and had a view of Fuji. We were by ocean and below us on beach artists were painting Fuji. Our guide said today was unusually clear. He wanted to take our picture with Fuji in background. In fact he had us pose in two different places, so if he clicked shutter right, we should have some good pictures. We stopped at New Grand Hotel in Yokohama and had lunch. Our guide hesitated about eating with us but we asked him to. He said the harbor we were looking at – dining room faces harbor – was the one Perry used to force Japanese to open door to world. He says there is still some question in the minds of some people if it was a wise thing to open door. I asked him if he worked for Travel Bureau all the time. He said he had studied law 3 years and is now studying to be a diplomat. He speaks English and Spanish. He gave us his card when he left us here at airport and we gave him our address. We told him if he ever gets into Chicago area to come see us. He was going to stay with us until our place comes in, but we told him that wouldn’t be necessary. This lounge is more comfortable and luxurious than any at O’Hare. There is a large fish bowl with some of the most exotic fish I have ever seen here in lounge. Music keeps playing all the time. All kinds of music. I am sitting where I can watch the TV that gives departures & arrivals and our Pan Am is still late. Dad has gone to ticket desk to get our seat assignments. While it was still daylight we sat by window and watched people come and go to and from observation platform. There people wear all types of clothing – Kimonos – modern – and some are real beatniks. A few women try to dye hair red but the most we have seen just wear it natural black.

Love Mother

©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/12/07/leaving-japan/

Atami Japan

Letter transcription:

1964-01-30-gry-p-1Dear David –

We have just finished a train ride from Kyoto to Atami where we have had lunch at Atami Hotel. At 2:30 we go by car to Hakone to Fujiya Hotel. Our train ride was about 4 hrs. and 41 min. It is very beautiful here at Atami but cloudy. The mountains come right down to sea. We can see both from lounge. A TV set is on and several Japanese are listening to some Japanese girls sing a very swing. It is also a panel program. One of our guides – an older man – said he didn’t like to see the young girls wear western style clothes. I think his is a lost cause. We have walked thru several Dept. stores just to see what they are like and they have everything imaginable for sale. There are the traditional J. clothing but a lot of western style. We have seen modern appliances – even electric organs. Yesterday we were going thru music dept. and heard a funny record in English. I couldn’t see anyone around us but Japanese, so don’t know who was listening to it. It is about time for us to start on our car trip to Hakone, so must get this finished.

Love Mother

P.S. I think there is a great need here for Christian missionaries. We visited places show on this folder.


©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/12/05/atami-japan/

Miyako Hotel

Letter transcription:

1964-01-28-gry-p-1Tuesday January 28, 1964

Dear David: Still no stationary so will use this room service sheet. We took an all day tour of Kyoto yesterday with a stop back at hotel for lunch. The weather finally cleared but it is still awfully chilly. It can’t get much below freezing because there are so many green things and we saw several blooming shrubs yesterday. On the way to Nara today saw many green fields – rice, cabbage, peas, etc. I wore a synthetic dress – warm as wool – today and to insure more warmth wore 3 petticoats, my winter coat, fur cape & scarf. I wasn’t too well wrapped. After seeing a Shinto Shrine and the largest bronze Buddah in the world, we visited an old, old Buddah temple, then had lunch Japanese style sitting on cushions, on floor and eating typical Japanese food with chopsticks. It was all very good but I felt like I have been stuffed, and it is now 4:30. We came back to Kyoto at 2 p.m. and it is raining so we have decided just to relax and hope for sunshine tomorrow. Dad plans to attend Rotary at Kyoto Hotel tomorrow noon. We would like to just take a walk if the weather permits. Thurs. a.m. we leave for Atmi and that is by train. It will take us about 5 hours. Fri. & Sat. we have nothing planned but we will be in Fuji area so if weather is clear will be able to take more pictures. We can buy film here at this hotel, so may stock up before we leave. There is a Methodist University and Labor Center here in Kyoto and if I can find someone who can understand, will try to find the locations. I don’t think it would do us much good to look in telephone directory. We do get English newspapers, but there are no directories in rooms. We saw the King and Queen of Belgium yesterday. They spent Sunday night in this hotel and we were in the lobby when they left. We were too timid to ask one of the security men around them for permission to take a picture. We were standing where we could have had a perfect picture. The Queen is Spanish and is very lovely. She was dressed a turquoise suit and hat and light fur cape. Dad has been reading one of the books I brought along “My Life in Court,” and I have been writing so think I will take a little siesta. You would never recognize this room as my abode. It looks pretty untidy, but come tomorrow evening everything will have to be packed, so will get things in order then.

Love Mother


©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/12/04/miyako-hotel/

Cold in Kyoto

1964-01-26-gry-envelopeLetter transcription:

Sunday Jan. 26 – 19641964-01-26-gry-p-2

Dear David: For lack of something better to write on will use this napkin from our last J.A.L. flight. The supplier of stationary must have forgotten this room. We had such a quantity in room at Okura. You will notice envelope is from that hotel. We are now in Kyoto. We came as far as Osaka by plane and then by super highway on to hotel in Kyoto. After the balmy weather in Hawaii this winter weather which is very penetrating isn’t quite to my taste. I hope it will be warmer when we go to Hong Kong next Sunday. I am sure it will be in Bali and Malacca. We are resting after our traveling to this city. Dad has been following Japanese wrestling “Sumo” and couldn’t get the TV in our room to work so he called desk. A maid came in to see if she could fix it. I was sitting close to TV set by a coffee table writing and she was down on floor trying to adjust TV when she notice my house slippers Sharon Howe gave me. My feet were so cold when we came I had put on wool sox and wool house slippers. I took one off and let her look at it. She was quite intrigued. She doesn’t speak very good English and I can’t speak any Japanese but we managed to converse about my slippers. She went out of the room and came back with a sack of booties she is making. She looked at my shoes and decided she could make a pair. I had my leper bandage knitting so showed that to her. I think I helped to create a sort of understanding between us. Our guides have explained all Japanese (however I think not all) learn to read and write English but not speak it. They do not have a th, l, or r in their language and have difficulty making those sounds. We have noticed that with even the most fluent we have talked to. They will say lice for rice. When we first came into the room here the heat started to pour in and it felt so good, then for some reason it turned off and I wasn’t warm enough. I told the maid we needed more heat. She went to the telephone and gave out a stream of Japanese. In a little while she came back with an electric heater and plugged it in by my chair. I think I have a friend. She also apologized for our inconvenience. We have a beautiful view from our window – you probably wouldn’t think so – mountains as far as we can see. Kyoto is a large city and covers quite an area. Tomorrow we are booked for tours in a.m. & p.m. Next day a tour to old capital Nara. Wed. is a day for relaxation then on Thurs. we begin traveling again. We saw the peak of Fugi this a.m. on our flight but we couldn’t see all of it because of clouds. I am hoping we have fair weather when we drive back to Tokyo for flight to Hong Kong, so we will be able to take Fugi from ground. We have been having our slides developed as we travel and so far think we have done pretty well for amateur photographers. We have used 9 rolls in 2 weeks – have 13 left so if we keep on at this rate will have to buy more film in Hong Kong. When we were in Tokyo the King & Queen of Belgium were there. They are here in Kyoto now – we didn’t plan it this way. D. Rusk also arrived in Tokyo yesterday. We saw a lot in papers about R. Kennedy’s visits to this part of the world. The man from embassy assured us it would be safe for us to travel into Cambodia. He said, “Your friends will love you for the pictures you take there.” We went shopping yesterday for pearls. Bought two strands – I think they are very beautiful – not white but with pink cast. The Travel Bureau made a mistake about one part of our return from Nikko to our hotel in Tokyo. According to our itinerary we were to be escorted back to hotel. We were left at Palace Hotel and had to take a taxi – fortunately the taxi drivers all understand Okura – that is all that we had to say and arrived back at hotel without incident but since we supposed to be transported by J.T.B. Dad lodged a complaint next a.m. We not only received an apology but a refund for taxi fare and I received a pearl studded pin and Dad received a pearl tie pin. The man who came to our room was very apologetic and said Japanese do not like to make mistakes. So far that is the only error that has been made on our arrangements this far. While traveling in Japan we are guest of Japanese Travel Bureau.

Love Mother

1964-01-26-gry-p-1While we were driving on super highway from airport to Kyoto our driver seemed to like to drive fast. He kept passing every car on highway. Everyone along the way seemed to be following the traffic regulations but one car stayed in passing lane. Our driver honked horn, flashed light, but other car wouldn’t get out of passing land. Our driver had to stay behind because he wouldn’t pass in wrong lane. We left the toll road and as soon as our driver paid toll fee he gave out with a conversation to toll collector. I couldn’t understand what he was saying but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was reporting a certain driver on toll way.

P.S. The wrestling matches are over so Dad is back with a Hitchcock story. We noticed in lobby this afternoon something about a movie for hotel guests at 8:30. It is about Kyoto. I think we will go. We had a late lunch so probably won’t eat dinner until 8 o’clock.

Love Mother

©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/12/03/cold-in-kyoto/