Father – friends
It looked to me that my father had as many friends as his foes. He had known most of them since childhood or high school. Some of them became his colleagues at the local government, and others were builders, a gas station staff, an artist, a banker, an insurance salesperson, an optician, and farmers. They often drank sake at each other’s house or went to stay at an onsen ryokan with families. They helped each other with their expertise, and my father would gain advice on house reformation, stock investment, and discount on a new set of skis for my sister and me. There were sometimes more formal visits at our house, and my father and the guest would talk in the guest lounge alone, and we were not allowed to go in.
One of my father’s friends, Mr. Tsuji, was a year senior to him in the same high school. He owned onsen ryokans and souvenir shops in the area where the lakes and mountains attracted many tourists. Several years after my father and his peers gained seats in the town council, he campaigned for Mr. Tsuji to become the next mayor and successfully beat scandal-ridden Mr. Y. My father gained power under Mr. Tsuji’s mayorship, and in the year I left home to go to a university in Tokyo, he became the deputy to Mr. Tsuji.