Monday, April 28, 2008

Haruo And Spring

Perhaps it's coincidence, or perhaps not, but this past Sunday a contestant on NHK's amateur singing show sang the Jero hit Umiyuki. I couldn't seem to extract from my mother whether or not this is a popular song, like a well-known tune equivalent to, say, Hey Jude or something. But if you know, please tell me. All I know is that yuki refers to snow, and that it's a name for girls born in winter.

Speaking of seasons and Japanese names, I remember having the biggest crush on a boy named Haruo (for spring) McKinley back in the fifth grade. I often wonder what became of him. In fact, about half a dozen girls in my class were smitten with Haruo. Although he looked totally Japanese, I'm assuming that with that last name his father was an American Caucasian. Haruo's hair was dark except for a patch of blonde in front. In this photo, you can't really see it, but it's there.

One possible reason Haruo appealed so much to us girls might've been because he was older than us. On the back of this photo, he signed his name along with his age: 12. The rest of us were 10 going on 11, so to us he was an older man--suave and sophisticated. I wonder if he might've been held back in school for a year. My guess is that he had probably gone to school in Japan and had to start all over in the U.S., maybe due to a transition in language.

Anyway, the girls all loved Haruo. Even when he cried. Oh, yeah. One time, we all had to get TB tests done on the inside of our forearms. Well, Haruo's blew up into a big red circle and everyone said he was probably infected with tuberculosis. I remember watching the poor boy at his desk lay his head in his arms and just bawl. It must've been a false alarm, though, because he was back in school the next day impressing us again with his blonde forelock and older, wiser ways.

Here's to a happy haru, or spring, to you--whoever and wherever you are.

Your Hip Hapa,

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