My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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TOKYO—Here I am back in Japan. One of the first things we saw as the Pan-American plane came in the other morning were the hills and the green fields of this very beautiful island. Mrs. John Allison, wife of our ambassador, met me at the airport and she was accompanied by Professor Takagi and Mr. and Mrs. Matsumoto and their daughter who leaves for Vassar very shortly. Her brother is already studying in America so this is the second member of the family to continue their education in the United States. I am so glad that she will be at Vassar so she will be only five miles away from Hyde Park so that I can see her on weekends occasionally.

The trip across the Pacific on Pan-American is one of the most comfortable I know and we had perfectly smooth flying from Los Angeles to Hawaii. Unfortunately we reached Hawaii about 8:15 in the evening and all we could do was to take a car and drive around to see the town and get a glimpse of the waterfront. We ended our short tour by driving up to the hospital which is on a hill from which we could see lights everywhere below us and it gave us a wonderful last impression of the island. We made a very brief stop on Wake Island at two o'clock in the morning. However this gave us a chance to stretch our legs and get back on the plane with some fresh air in our lungs.

The plane was about forty minutes late getting into Tokyo. The flight was a little bumpy but nothing really bad and strange to say we felt quite refreshed and not in the least tired when we landed.

On the way back from the airport to the hotel Mrs. Allison drove us around the walls of the Imperial Palace so we could see the moat with its walls of big stones so well laid that they don't require cement. It's an extremely interesting sight and I enjoyed this little extra trip very much. We then went to the Imperial Hotel where we have comfortable air-conditioned rooms.

Mr. and Mrs. Matsumoto and Dr. Takagi joined us at noon and took us to a delightful Japanese restaurant for lunch. The first dish placed on the table was so lovely in color and so artistically arranged that Dr. Gurewitsch insisted on having it carried out into the sunlight so that he could take a picture of it in color. The charming courtesy of everyone in Japan impressed you wherever you go but especially when you go to the kind of restaurant we went to today. After our very delicious lunch the lady who owns it showed us the tea ceremony. Only the very best Japanese tea is used and they do not ship it to the U.S.A. Dr. Gurewitsch was instructed in the guest's role of the ceremony by Mrs. Matsumoto who showed him how to turn his bowl and hold it correctly, but he liked the tea which proved he is more adaptable than I am for I have never been able to get used to the taste.

I remember that when I was here two years ago I was envious of my daughter-in-law, Minnewa, because she had shoes that she did not have to untie every time we went into a shrine or into a house. So this time I brought a pair to wear that I can just slip on and off without bothering to tie them.

E.R.
PNews, NSJ, 21 August 1955