This is my "Get Out Of Jail Free" card. Yuko. In the bathroom. Wearing her shoes. ...and the trouble I get wearing my shoes in the apartment...
We dropped by his shop to pick up an order that we placed last week. This is near the first place we stayed. This is a hanko or inkan shop.
Every Japanese adult will have one or two of these. It's a signature stamp, usually custom carved.
An example is that red round stamp on the Japanese 10,000 yen bill (~ $120). These stamps are everywhere, and if registered, are as legally as binding as a hand written signature.
About 450 years ago, this began with 3 authorized stamp carvers. This guy is the last in one of those 3 lines. That is his work on the Japanese bill.
There are now many different people making these stamps, but he traces his lineage (18 generations ?) back to the beginnings.
Yuko had always said that she wanted me to get one of these stamps, and have it made up of Japanese characters that would be a sound-alike to my name.
So she and him tried out different words and characters, until they agreed on the end result. Then I chose the material (water buffalo horn),
And then he took a week to get it carved for me. According to Yuko, he emphasized 4 times, that there is no other stamp like it in Japan. ...and he would have the resources to check.
So this was my "big" souvenir, a link to old Japanese history, and made by a master.
We met Marion for breakfast at the favourite cafe!
And there Yuko explained the stamp to Marion. The writing is stylized, and would be pronounced "Don" (Do = earth, n = lucky)
"Hey, if Don's so lucky, we should get him to pay for breakfast!" "...yeah!"
So now we're on our way to the main road, and a bus stop.
We had to pass by this location, and Marion wanted to see the "dragon boat"!
Yuko was collecting shrine stamps in a special book, so while she was getting that done, Marion and I played tourist!
Today, John decided to have his own adventure, and go to a specialty model shop a few km away. We were to meet him later for lunch, near the shopping district.