October 9, 1961 – Osaka

Osaka Grand Hotel, Osaka, Japan – Cloudy

     As I tried to open my eyes this morning I hurt all over, worse than last night and I had serious trouble moving around.  The massage I’d gotten a couple of days before was far rougher than one I’d had previously had so I determined I wasn’t going to get another massage for awhile.  I couldn’t believe that I still hurt after so many days.

      I finally managed to get up so I could soak in a hot tub to try to loosen up some.  Afterward Edith and I decided to stay in our room so we ordered breakfast through room service and worked on letters home.  I resolved to finish my letter to Ramona while I waited for the food to arrive:

      Next morning: Oct 9.  This morning I was so sore I couldn’t move.  The other night when I got a massage I didn’t realize how hard she pounded so I’m staying in bed.  We ordered our breakfast sent up and we are still waiting so I will finish this letter.  This hotel isn’t so nice as the others but this is a factory town. 

     We leave at 2pm for Formosa by plane later today.  It will take 5 hours. 

     Yesterday we visited the park where thousands of lanterns, big and little, along with about 700 deer.  We fed them and before each bite they would bow and we would both bow low.  I mean the deer would bow. 

     Well dear I want to mail this, Love Mother

      Breakfast hadn’t arrived yet so I started a letter to Bob too:

Oct 9, 1961 – Osaka Japan

Dear Pat, Bob, Patrick, Penny, Liz Ann, Sammy;

     I don’t know if I can remember all that has happened because we have been moving so fast.  Edith is writing up the whole trip and sending it to the Fillmore Herald.  Maybe Ramona can send you the paper account.  I will write her. 

     Yesterday we went to a park with the thousands of lanterns and also 700 deer that we could buy cookies for and feed.  We did.  Every time I handed a cookie to a deer I would bow low, the little deer would bow low and then daintily take the cookie.  Now I would like a movie of that but didn’t so I took slides and hope I got it.  I’ve been using lots of film.  Ramona says 2 rolls a week.  I’ve already sent home 4 rolls. 

     Well the day before we went to the War dead.  The Goddess of Mercy was huge and inside they hold services once every morning for all those represented and it is a most beautiful place with flowers and trees everywhere.  I saw the card of a Clarence A. McQuain, S Sgt, E6954413 in the files.  I also took pictures of there so I hope they come out too.

     The other night I had a steam bath and a massage.  The girl was strong and believe me she gave me a work out besides stomping with her feet up and down my body.  Yesterday I felt tired all day, this morning I couldn’t move, so filled the tub with hot water and lay in it.  I’ve ordered my breakfast sent up to me so I can eat it in bed and now I am up and feeling a little better.

     We have been to a Geisha party, a Geisha play and also the theatre where all the girls put on something like a Las Vegas show.

     I got your letter and was happy to get it.  Do it some more.

Love Mother

P.S. Save the stamps.

      After breakfast I sealed up my letters to Ramona and Bob as well as prepared some packages to send home.  I was pleased with the toy birds I’d found for Liz Ann which were only $2.00 American.  Once that was done I finished packing my suitcase because we had to check out of our room at noon to leave for Formosa.

      Kiki collected us promptly as usual and took us to the airfield for our flight to Taipei, Formosa.  At the airport our tour group had to say farewell to Kiki and it was a sad moment to be sure.  Most of us had exchanged addresses with Kiki so we could stay in touch in the future.  He had been such a good guide and given us a tremendous appreciation of Japan and the Japanese way of life.

      Our flight wasn’t a jet this time but it was a good flight anyway.  We left Osaka International Airport on a comfortable DC6B to fly to Formosa.  We flew at an elevation of 40,000 feet on a plane operated by Civil Air Transportation Operations started in 1946 by Clair Chenault.  Our flight lasted four hours and was one of the best flights we’d had so far.  The stewardess’ were Chinese and were all very nice to us.  Whatever we wanted they brought to us. 

      I was surprised when they brought us a dinner, not because we got a dinner but because of what it was.  We were given a wonderful piece of rare broiled thick, filet mignon and I knew because of where we were going next that this would likely be the last time I’d have rare meat for quite awhile.  The meat was so tender and had an amazing flavor.  We were served a very nice wine along with our meal and I felt like I was royalty. 

      During our flight the captain came back to check on each of us several times to ask after our comfort.  On one of his walk-throughs he made a point of calling our attention to Sakurajima, the smoking volcano and also to Kyushu Island.  The last time he walked by the captain alerted us that we needed to turn our watches back an hour because we had moved into a different time zone.  I had never experienced such an involvement with an airplane captain with his passengers on any flight I had ever taken. 

      When our plane landed in Formosa we made our way through customs to enter the country.  We were delayed though because it seemed that Edith hadn’t gotten a seal she needed at the LA health department.  The officer at the entry point gave Edith the option of getting another cholera shot or not entering the county so of course she got the shot.  Finally our tour was allowed to leave the airport and on our way to the hotel we did some sightseeing. 

      The bus took us to China’s National Museum for a short tour.  The museum had been established in 1908 by the Japanese government during their rule of Formosa.  The museum was interesting and I enjoyed seeing the exhibits that we had time to visit.  Our next stop was the National University which had also been established by the Japanese while they had been in charge.  It seemed that Japan had done quite a bit for the country during their colonial era of Formosa.  After leaving the university our tour bus drove around and showed us general scenery and shopping areas that looked interesting.  I hoped I would have a chance to do some shopping while we were in Formosa.  Curt pointed out to us that the people we were seeing on the streets were now predominately Chinese not Japanese. 

      The touring lasted longer than I thought it would but it had been enjoyable nevertheless.  We finally arrived at the Grand Hotel at 8pm and because all of us were famished we went to dinner prior to checking into our rooms. 

      At dinner Curt let us know we were in Formosa at the perfect time because the next day was the 50th anniversary of it becoming part of the Chinese Republic.  We found out there were going to be a lot of festivities so our touring had to be delayed one day so we can experience it.  He told us there would be a parade celebrating the Golden Jubilee and that we would be seeing many heads of state and dignitaries the following night during the evening’s celebration.

      After eating we all returned to the lobby to check in and passing through the lobby I noticed how stunning it was.  On our way to the dining room I hadn’t seen all the beautiful details, decorations and how much the Chinese had done to create a wonderful hotel.  I thought our stay at the Grand Hotel here in Formosa was going to be a pleasant one. 

           Edith and I made it to our room finally at 10:30pm which didn’t give us time for doing very much.  I soaked in the tub for awhile after Edith took her bath and then I settled down for the night to sleep.

**  NOTE:  Formosa is now known as Taiwan.


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