On the morning of New Year’s Day 1997, Akané came to your apartment wearing a stunning furi-sodé kimono.[1] It had a deep purple background, so deep in color it was almost black, but the long sleeves and the bottom half were emblazoned with colorful dahlias, her favorite flower. Around her waist was a wide obi of gold silk.

I’ll never forget how she looked that day. Her hair done up with lovely accessories called kanzashi. She looked just like a maiko.[2] She was terribly pretty.

You went to Hakozaki-gū Shrine together, where you would end up praying for quite different things: you, for your future success.

And Akané?

Akané prayed for happiness, of course. Happiness with you, Peadar, which meant marriage, kids, a house, a dog, the whole kit and caboodle. And were those prayers answered?

Er, no.

And when the two of you returned to your apartment, you “unwrapped” Akané.

She had so many layers on. First, I untied the obi-jimé, a crimson red rope made of silk that was holding everything in place. Then, I unraveled the long gold obi, pulling on it as Akané spun around, giggling, in front of me. There was an obi-agé, also crimson in color, just below that which I undid. The kimono came loose and opened it up to reveal two more layers of undergarments called juban held in place by more sashes. And when I opened up the last layer, I discovered that she was completely naked underneath. No bra or panties. That was such a turn on seeing her naked body lying above all those colorful garments, sashes, and silk ropes.

And you made love to her for the rest of the day and night.

It was one of the few times when Akané didn’t have to scurry away before her carriage turned back into a pumpkin.

Akané’s mother was finally ready to trust you, so convinced that the two of you would eventually marry. She had even spoken to her husband to warn him of what was coming. And rather than fly off the handle as the typical Japanese father might when confronted with the possibility of his daughter marrying a gaijin, do you know what he said to his wife?

I have no idea.

He said, “They’ll have the cutest children!”

Huh . . . I had no idea.

There’s a lot you don’t know, Peadar.

Do I want to know?

Probably not, but you should.


[1] Furi-sodé (振袖) is a long-sleeved kimono worn by unmarried women on ceremonial occasions, such as Coming-of-Age Day, New Year’s Day, graduation ceremonies and weddings.

[2] A maiko (舞子) is a young dancing girl working in the o-chaya (お茶屋, lit. “tea house”) of Kyōto.