Tuesday, November 3, 2015

the last book I ever read (Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi by Hayden Herrera, excerpt three)

from Listening to Stone: The Art and Life of Isamu Noguchi by Hayden Herrera:

As the weeks went by the scrawny toddler that Yone had welcomed in Yokohama turned into a plump, healthy boy. He came to love Japanese food. After eating breakfast with his parents he would go into the kitchen and share a second breakfast of rice with the servants. He also liked wheat gluten candy made in the shapes of animals. Every morning the candy salesman would walk along the street beating a drum to advertise his wares. “Donko, don, donko, don, don,” Isamu would cry in imitation of the drumbeat. He would then insist that one of the servant girls carry him on her back with his bottom perched on her obi (a wide sash worn with a kimono), as is customary for Japanese children.

Isamu quickly picked up Japanese words and customs: when a guest departed he would call “Sayonara,” and when an uncle gave him an American and a Japanese flag he shouted “Banzai!” Soon he ventured out beyond the garden to play blindman’s buff with the neighborhood children who at first had looked at him as an oddity. When children passed the house they would should “Baby san,” thinking that was Isamu’s name.

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