On Tuesday, I received sad news. Mr Teruo Asakura, the father of my brother Sweetum's wife, succumbed to a long illness. I was lucky to have spent some happy times with Mr Asakura during the celebrations of my brother's wedding, in New York City and in Tokyo. He was, to fall back on the old trope, a gentleman and a scholar. During the New York wedding reception, he read a prepared statement in English that brought down the house- as the best man, I had a hard act to follow when I delivered the toast.
He was also the consummate host- the rehearsal dinner in Tokyo took place at the family restaurant- the sort of place in which commuters would stop in on their way to and from work for a quick bite. The restaurant, (the best comparison is to a local mom-and-pop coffee shop here in the 'States) packed with books and periodicals, is exactly the sort of place I'd patronize in my neighborhood. On the night of the family dinner, it was closed to the public, and we all enjoyed a multi-course meal in a homey atmosphere.
Mr Asakura was a proud father of four very accomplished children, and a doting grandfather. My condolences go out to my sister-in-law, my brother, and my nephews and niece. He was well-loved on three continents, which is as amazing an accomplishment as a man can achieve.