Tokyo had been severely damaged by bombing during World War II. The Imperial Hotel, the beautiful hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright survived the bombing, but many buildings were not so lucky. I remember a department store in the heart of the Ginza section of Tokyo that was in the process of being rebuilt and was nearly empty. I bought a scarf for my Mother for Mother's Day there.
In Tokyo, the people you would see were usually in Western clothing. The men all wore Western business suits and carried a briefcase. The ladies usually dressed in dresses, but you would occasionally see ladies in kimono's, and I marveled at the beauty of these garments. My Mother had taught me that there were certain colors that "clashed", and told me I should never wear those colors at the same time. One day I saw a lady in a kimono that had a pink and red pattern. I was mesmerized by the beauty of the combination of the "clashing" colors. I even exclaimed to my Mother: "But Mom, those colors look beautiful together. Why can't I wear them at the same time"? My Mother didn't have a good explanation and I was soon using blue and green, pink and red, and other clashing colors together.
The school children all wore uniforms and every school child had their hair cut in the style of a "bob" haircut. They looked like they had all been cut out with a cookie cutter. I would see them playing in the schoolyards. They seemed just as fascinated by American children as we were with them.
All of the Japanese people were fascinated by my sister Elaine. Most Japanese had never seen red hair, so whenever my sister Elaine was around she would get attention. Elaine loved the attention and was learning how special it is to have red hair. I noticed it too.