Laura, Nagano-san, Irene, Dana, Allen, Cathi
MN – Makoto Nagano, T – Translator; A – Allen, C – Cathi, D – Dana, I – Irene, L – Laura, SG – Security Guard, *** - indistinguishable
D - What obstacle is the hardest?
T - Cliff hanger.
D – Because of the jump? The big jump?
T - Without jump it is the hardest anyway. Cliff hanger.
D – What about the what’s it called - the ladder?
C – Salmon ladder.
T – No, not at all. Not at all. It’s easy he says.
We all laugh.
A – I don’t know. It ain’t easy for me.
D – How did you get into it?
T – First of all, he is the captain of a fishing boat owned by a company with 20 passengers. You mean crew? Crew – 20 number of crew. There are - among them there are younger people than myself. And then they brought a video of Sasuke program to him to show. Until then I did not know about Sasuke at all. When I saw it, saw the video… Ah, so younger people who brought that Sasuke video said to him that you could do this. If you are challenged, challenge, you can do it; you can make it.
D – Had they already seen him do the handstand on top of the pole?
T – He included that handstand to apply. Application.
D – But did he do that before he applied?
Long discussion between T and MN.
C – This is a tough question. (laughter)
T – Ever since I was an elementary school child, I was able to do that.
D – Oh wow. That’s cool.
T – That’s the first time when I apply. That was the first time.
D – Oh wow.
T – That was the first time to try it and then he was able to do it. It seems that the younger people, one of the young men who brought the video to him, knew that he was an excellent athlete when he was a child so the person thought that he could try. And then he tried as a joke, not serious, and they accepted. And right now, right after that, he got a response from the TV station, but he declined. He got the response from the TV station just one week before the actual show so he declined. He did know that he got accepted, that he would get accepted, so he is not ready – just one week before.
D – So he went to the next one?
T – So each time they have to apply so in six months he applied for the next one and then he got a letter accepting, he got accepted. And then he appeared on the show for the first time, but it’s not on air.
C – Yes, we’ve never seen that.
Discussion about which Sasuke it was.
T – He doesn’t remember exactly when.
C – We do.
T – It’s not on the air it wasn’t.
C – The 8th one he was. We watched it.
T – Yeah that’s the first one. So 8 he appeared, but just a little bit. So same area, they took the shoot, 7 and 8.
D – How many years ago?
T – Seven years ago.
MN – points at C
T – You know better. You know better. He’s asking you. (laughter)
T – Because they shoot twice a year, so if you have 10 sessions, ten shows in five years. At this moment they have done 21.
C – I saw it. I saw it on the computer.
(Discussion about seeing it on the computer).
T – He say “you see the 22nd tournament?”
C – We will see it in November.
D – I have one other long question.
MN – OK (laughter)
D – I watch Ninja Warrior and I take it very seriously. And that’s why I like it more than Unbeatable Banzuke. How do you feel about all the comedians and the first couple of contestants that are very seriously silly? Like the Octopus man. How do you feel about competing with them?
T – He’s very serious.
D - The all-stars work so hard and then you have these guys that come on the show and they’re just silly. How do you feel about that?
T – Because it’s a show anyway, so they are very serious, take it very serious; however, to entertain I think it’s a necessary element.
D – And who is your favorite entertainer?
T - Not only for the audience, but also for the ***, it’s very good because they cannot be serious all the time. And they can relax sometime because of them. So we appreciate them. However, he does not have a particular favorite.
D – Oh ok.
C – Can I ask how he met the other all-stars and became friends with them?
(waitress startles us; laughter and discussion about ordering lunch ensues. Nagano-san does not order anything)
D – You were saying?
T – Your question was how he met?
C – How he became friends with the other all-stars.
T – The people called the all-stars, the all-stars are people who have the possibility to be at the top. And they have the same motivation, same goal, same dream, and that’s why they can talk to each other, very understandable of each other. Although he came later, they can talk about the same goal, how to get there.
C – Who was the first one he became friends with?
MN – Akiyama.
T – Akiyama-san.
C – Because of the same profession of fishing?
T – He’s a fishing captain fishing for fish and Akiyama-san catch crab. Next he and Takeda-san became friends. And later Yamada-san and Yamamoto-san. Now I remember, first one who I became friends with is Yamada-san. Because he saw Yamada-san on TV for the first time on the DVD which the younger *** brought and he liked him before he actually met him. So that’s why he became friends with Yamada-san first of all. Before he appeared on the show, Yamada-san was the top ***. He is impressed very much by Yamada-san and it was after that that he joined the program and that he got into that group of people.
D – How often does he see them?
MN – Ahhh.
T – They are all over
T – In between Sasuke show and show, they meet probably every 3 months.
D – To train?
T – Sometimes it’s for that event and sometimes... They meet almost every 3 months, but it is event-related. They don’t get together just for fun. And then they have jobs. Everybody has a job.
T – Today I (MN) am here, but feel free to let me know what is your favorite person among the all-stars.
D – You! (general agreement and laughter)
A – Number 2 would be Yamada-san.
C – For me it’s a 5-way tie for second. (MN laughs)
L – Takeda-san
I – Takeda-san
D – Octopus man (laughter)
T - When they did the show, Octopus man didn’t appear. Because before the show, he injured himself with the head. (MN acts it out). That’s why he did not do the show. I am not sure if he got scared or not.
T - I thought it was very unprofessional because you mentioned the comedians. Actually I have never seen this show, but I asked him, who is that person? I thought maybe I know him, but he said that they are laymen too; they are not professionals. He is the owner of a restaurant.
D – Yeah, they’re just there for the comic relief.
T – Oh ok. I see.
A – What does he think of the celebrity status that the Americans give him? Like we’re all crazy over …
T – All right. Let me ask. He’s very happy to be treated like this. And he’s very, very, very honored to meet you like this; and however, in
D – No-o-o.
A – Does he sign many autographs in
T – Each time when they have a show and event he will. And sometimes he’s invited to attend a certain event.
C – (passes Steelers t-shirt picture to MN) Does he remember receiving this?
MN – Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!
C – That was me.
MN - (face lights up and he points at C) Oh.
C – I wanted to know. Did it fit or was it too small? The t-shirt? (to translator) I sent him the t-shirt.
T – Oh, you did? You did this work?
C – No, do you see the t-shirt in the picture?
(MN shows the picture to T).
C – I sent that to him.
T – Oh really? To
C – Yes and he sent me that picture.
MN – Thank you!
T – It didn’t fit. It was too big.
A – What size did you send?
C – (surprised) Too big or too small?
T – Too big. I think the culture …
C – I sent a men’s small.
T – …this area. In
C – But that was the smallest men’s size.
A – He should be wearing the Ravens anyway.
C – (decisively) No. No. (laughter)
T – Because they dress different over there, habit I think. You wear oversized t-shirts. You prefer this in
A – That’s ‘cause we’re overweight and we want to hide it. (laughter) If I was built like that (points at MN), I’d wear it tight too. (T translates for MN and he laughs).
T – Japanese people tend to wear tighter. That’s why.
C – Tell him to wash it in hot water and it may shrink.
T – And then dry it in the dryer.
C – That’s the smallest men’s size so the ones that the website sent him for his birthday are probably huge. Because they got him a medium. (explains) He got a birthday present from the website and they sent him a lot of t-shirts. Were they way too big?
T – You sent to him?
C – From the website there was a box with t-shirts in it.
T – I don’t think I understand.
C – There was a big box for his birthday and there were t-shirts and they were men’s medium.
T – Men’s medium.
C – So they were probably way too big.
MN – Ha ha ha.
T – He’s wearing that big size sometimes.
C – Oh he is? So he’s worn the t-shirts?
T – That’s why you said website. He put everything on the website.
C – We saw that.
T – Because I cannot write a thank you letter to each one of you.
C – That was great. We loved it. We have the picture on our website now.
T – Oh. Oh. Oh.
C – The picture with the shirts.
T – Oh, you have a website?
C – Yes, it’s a website of fans.
T – Fans? (gestures toward the lunch group) All of you are together?
C – No, just the two of us (points at I).
T – He does not know about that.
C – I wrote a letter that he might not have…
T – Because he does not have a computer.
C – His friend
T – First website made by a fan is by Irene who lived in
C – Different Irene (not the one at the luncheon).
T – And then, later she closed it and then
C – There’s lots of pictures that he might enjoy. I can write it down for you (the website address).
T - Translators do the job.
(discussion about translations; can’t make it out)
A – You probably know this. That’s not a true translation.
C – No, you just have to try to get the sense of it.
A - And trying to learn the language off of American television is tough because of the subtitles they put up.
T – (hands website address to MN) It’s your website?
C – No. Pam. Pam runs the website.
T – Let me write down Pam. Can you write your website?
C – That’s the website there (points to paper). Pam runs it. I’m just a member.
T – But you’re a member.
T – So he says that he has been receiving lots of messages to cheer him up in English, but he cannot respond to each one of them. So could you please write down on your website that you met him and he’s very thankful for those people and appreciates them?
C – This will take a short video. Could he maybe say something and we could take a video of it? He could say it and you could translate it.
T – Right now? You could take a picture and then I can…
C- This will take a video.
A – If he just talks then they can put his message on the website.
T – Yes, I get that, but it’s just voice right? My voice right?
C – I won’t show you. I’ll just have your voice.
A – She can keep it on him the whole time. Make sure he looks at her.
C – Tell me when.
(MN and T work on what he will say in the message).
C – Tell me when to start it.
T – OK. He’s ready.
C – OK. Go.
MN’s video message
T - Thank you for your cheering up all the time. I will be trying harder so let me enlist your support.
MN – OK. (laughter)
C – Thank you. (To MN) What questions do you have? Do you have any questions?
T – What do you think is the major reason for Sasuke's appealing to many people?
A – Why do we like it so much?
T – What do you like about it?
A – What I like about it most is the competitiveness and how much they clap for each other. Like a lot of American sports it’s always against each other and there everybody’s happy for each other. You’ll see Yamada up there and he’s watching him (MN) and if he falls he gets upset about it. It’s those kind of things.
T – The fairness? The sportsmanship?
A – Yes.
T – It’s a tournament. He was trying to find out the reason why they are like that. This event, as many people they have, they can be to the top….
(had to flip the tape)
SG – One of the other things that impressive about it is the fact that it takes an overall athlete to compete in that environment. Not specialized in an area. They have to be a total athlete to compete.
T – He say’s that the importance is that there is so many aspects like speed, power, balance. Each of them should be equal. It’s not necessarily to be above average. It’s OK to be average, but equal, equal, real balanced.
SG – That’s what I was talking about that it takes a balanced athlete to be competitive.
D – I think seeing how hard they work when they’re training for it. It’s an inspiration to me when I’m at home working out and then I think to myself “oh I can’t go on” and then I think “one more time.” If I push myself to do more, then I’m going to be better. And Ninja Warrior kind of inspires me to work harder and challenge myself.
T – In any aspect? You do martial arts?
D – Mostly physically.
C – (passes Pam’s fish poster to MN. He is surprised). Pam put this picture above her treadmill so she runs longer and trains harder. Pam – the website person. He signed it and
T – She puts it above the treadmill?
C – That’s what I wanted him to know - She puts it above the treadmill so she gets incentive.
T – Good idea!
D – What was it like training his sister? What was it like to train his sister for Kunoichi? What was it like to train your sister? He trained his sister for the women’s version.
T – She did a good job during the training, but the trampoline didn’t work out.
A – He told her about that trampoline.
T – She’s a little bit heavy.
A – Tell him one of my favorite moments was when he was helping Levi. (several of us make the hands and say “Levi, Levi) That was great.
T – He explained to me how it works.
D – He showed him how to do the little globe things.
MN – imitates the gesture; we get pictures and laugh with him
A – Tell him to make more ***
T – I’m shy.
C – Is he training anyone else? Is there another Kunoichi?
T – No.
C – There’s none coming up?
T – You are talking his training?
C – No – is there going to be another Kunoichi and is he going to train someone for it? He trained someone for the last one.
T – No, none at this moment. This year there will be no Kunoichi.
D – What does he think about Ayako Miyake and does she run the male course?
C – She has.
D – She has?
C – Uh huh.
D – What does he think about her?
T – (says name to MN; looks puzzled)
C – She won Kunoichi three times in a row.
MN – realizes who we are asking about
T – She’s gone. Never. If we have Kunoichi next year, she won’t be there.
D – Why?
T – I think it’s something between the TV station. I know she won’t be there.
C – How’s your health? I know you were in the hospital.
T – I have been doing OK.
MN (flexes muscles and poses for pictures; laughter)
C – He was asking what we liked about Sasuke. At first when I watched it, I thought it was funny and so I watched it for that. And then the more I watched it, the more you saw ordinary people doing extraordinary things. And so it made me want to get out. I’ve lost a little bit of weight, I need to lose more, but it makes me want to get out and practice and train.
T – Many things, right? Not only physical things, but work, diet.
C – Everyone that watches it thinks “I want to do that.” My nephew, my brother, me. Everyone wants to try.
T – You know it’s not so easy (laughter).
C – Try – that’s the key word.
T – I want to watch it.
D – What do you do for fun?
T – Sleeping (laughter)
T – Actually his work starts in the evening and ends in the morning and after that he goes to the port and then he has to do something. But in between work he has to sleep because it tends to be lack of sleep. That’s why he really has to make sure he sleeps. That’s why it is very difficult to create time for fun.
A – Why did he choose
T – Originally he had planned to stay here for two days or to go somewhere for a vacation, but after hearing about his trip to the U.S., the boss of his company wanted to come with him and he really wanted to go by Las Vegas. “Come with me to
D – Ahhh.
A – Ask him if he needs a partner. (laughter)
T – That’s why he goes to
D – Oh, by himself. That’s boring.
C – There are fans there too. Ask him if wants to meet them. We could set up a lunch with them.
MN - laughs
T – He doesn’t do gambling, but the boss of the company loves gambling. He sets up everything, but he won’t come.
D – Is there any music that he listens to to get pumped up and ready?
T – Enya.
D – Enya?
T – The music of Enya. Enya is a *** Celtic, Irish. It’s slow. To calm down, he likes to listen.
(The conversation is hard to pick up because A accidentally jostled MN and was apologizing while the music discussion was going on).
D – All right, everybody else probably knows the answer but when Takeda puts the pack on your back and (makes thumping motion, startles MN). What is that for?
T – Because you know that right before that show, not show, but the actual event, heart beat pounding, pounding, then he got hit by Takeda – stop.
D – Oh.
T – The heart stops beating.
C – (To D) Not stops the heart, the pounding stops (laughter).
A – That’s interesting. So it slows it down.
C – What is his training routine like?
T – No.
C – (surprised) No training?
T – No, there’s training, but no routine.
C – Oh. Just whatever he feels like?
T – Yes.
C – What does he do? Exercises.
T – He says “I don’t train so much because I’m so busy and then always sleepy. Lack of sleep.
C – Like now (laughter)
T – So I don’t feel like doing training until it gets closer, just one month before the show.
Everyone – Wow!
T – So just one month before the show, I do constantly training, concentration – just one week.
C – One week?
T – One week.
A – Wow!
D – Oh my god!
T – (as MN acts out the action) Running, like this (pull-ups) *** I think the job itself is training.
C – What does he do with all the things the fans send to him?
T – No I don’t get so many.
C – (surprised) Really? We’ve got to change that. (laughter)
D – What interesting gift have you received?
MN jokes about the gifts we gave him at the beginning of the luncheon (esp. the hat from A).
(Long discussion between MN and translator. Ninja Warrior is mentioned.)
T – Everything he gets makes him happy, but he was talking about as a unique gift, he was talking about a face made by leather, a face, a dragon face.
C – Yep, I told ya. She’s from the website family.
T – Oh, your website?
C - She put the story of the little dragon on the website and the pictures. She met Nagano-san at the 21st …
C – No. It’s not
I – Andrea.
C – Andrea?
I - Andrea, I think.
T – So you know about that?
C – We heard the story.
T – You have that story and picture on your website?
C – Yes, but they didn’t hear the story (indicates the others at the luncheon). Yes, she wrote the story and put it on the website.
T – This person who made this present, who made the present came to Sasuke.
C – Right and she wrote the story of it and put the pictures on the website.
T – The person who did the present wrote the story?
C – Right.
T – I was so busy at that time so I’m concerned about it because he did not have plenty of time to thank enough to the person.
C – She felt thanked. She was very happy.
T – Really?
MN – (I think he said arigato)
C – She was touched that he had this on his boat because of all the places where her art is, that’s the most special for her.
MN – Ahhh.
A – Does he like to draw or anything like that?
MN – laughs
T – I am bad at writing and drawing.
C – Oh, then it’s going to be a tough weekend signing all of the autographs.
T – Right, I suggested, he sign, I saw for the first time, it takes long time. I suggested to make it shorter.
C – His name is too long. (laughter)
A – (pulls out blank canvas and marker) I was going to ask him if he could draw his boat for me. (laughter ensues)
C – What? Are you kidding?
T – So that you can take this (indicates the canvas)?
A – Yes, if he could just draw it.
MN – Ha ha ha. (extremely amused by the suggestion)
D – (laughing) He’s saying that guy is crazy!
MN points at Pam’s poster and indicates that A can sketch the boat from there. MN then reaches for the poster and takes it into his hands and studies it.
T – What do you call it? That group of boats – fleet?
Several – Uh huh.
T - His fleet consists of six boats. Each boat has its assignment. It’s not actually his boat. He’s not the captain of that boat (the boat behind him in the picture).
C – Could he hold it up? (to get a picture for Pam; he does).
A – Did you get it?
C – No, I turned my camera off. New camera. Ready? And…
MN – Ahh.
T – He remembers now.
D – He remembers where he works at?
T – I’m sorry about my bad handwriting (written on poster is Love, Makoto Nagano in English).
C – Pam just wants his name in Japanese too.
(Discussion about cookies and travel and time difference – can’t make it out).
T – Because you know what? He says, no, I am not OK. Because they took 20 hours to come here. 20 hours.
I – Oh my goodness. It only took 8 hours to come from
D - 20 hours, that’s amazing.
T – It took 24 hours.
? – 24 hours?
T – He arrived at last night and then we had a briefing meeting for three hours or so.
D – 3 hours!?! (sympathetically) oh-h.
T – he went to bed.
D – Sorry!
C – That’s terrible!
C – So he hasn’t seen anything except airports.
T – Not at all. He did not even get down until today.
I – I didn’t get in until after last night because my plane was delayed forever.
C – But you didn’t have a 4 hour meeting, 3 hour meeting.
(Discussion about previous evening’s activities)
T – (MN asks I) So what is the most enjoyable thing about the show for you?
I – It’s just the way he works. It’s been neat. Watching you grow.
T – Watching him growing? Oh.
MN chuckles humbly.
T – I really think that the ability to do that challenges has grown. I realize that.
L – (talking about someone she knows – can’t make out who – possibly a friend and her son) *** would use Nagano-san as the example so she doesn’t give up. *** He’s got his own little course in the backyard. Yeah, and when he falls off and he comes to her in pain and bloody, it’s like
D – Which is your favorite course to run? After they’ve made all of the changes, where does he think is the most challenging?
T – After he conquered, overcome, they made changes. Right?
D – Right?
MN – Shin cliff
T – New cliff hanger (MN acts it out) Newly made cliff.
D – Oh where he goes up like this? Which obstacle course?
T – Of the total obstacle course? Skills? Which does he like most? Which does he think challenge him most?
D – Uh huh.
T – The third. Always the third. When I, always, every time I saw the third one, I feel like oy(?), but then he finally end up thinking – “OK, I’ll challenge it.” But in the first two… He likes challenging *** thing for everybody else so the third one makes him feel that way. As the course becomes harder, harder, he becomes more challenged.
C – Do you have any funny Sasuke stories for us?
T – I have one thing, but I think you know because ***
(MN acts it out; laughter)
C – (To D) Do you remember when Shinji Kobayashi was trying to jump over him on the trampoline?
D – Oh yeah.
C – Were you hurt?
T – A little bit on the leg.
C – Oh really, on the leg. Not the face?
T - OK, so you should be concerned about Shinji, not me.
D – He jumped.
MN – (I swear he says something about coconuts!)
T – Because of the nature of where he hit. I asked if he has any hidden scars. He says no.
C – Did they show that in
T – No. Because it was shot by G4 only.
MN (acts it out and laughs)
T – So after that was shoot, the cameraman ask him, showed him that picture, and then he asked for permission to air it.
C – Thank you. They put the sequence on the website. You can see about 5 pictures (acting it out) of him coming…(laughter) It’s on the website.
T – Website of TV station?
C – No, this one. They are still pictures. So you see…
C – I was supposed to tell you that we appreciate your website and the pictures that you share.
T – I don’t type and I don’t do that job, someone else does. However, he selected the pictures and then he says something to put on.
T – Every message sent to that website, that operator sends to his telephone so he can read.
C – We wanted to say too that we really like all of the all-stars. And please tell them that we’re cheering for them too. One of the fans made these posters and this is for you. (hands Tiger’s posters to him)
MN points at one of the pictures of himself.
T – He looks totally different. He’s very young.
MN and T are looking at the posters.
I – You’ll just have to tell me how to post all of these photos on the website.
C – I’ll have to learn too. I may end up having to send them to Pam and having her post them.
I – I’ll put them all on Myspace and let everyone steal whatever they want.
T – He’s figuring out how long he has been doing this.
C – It’s been since 7 and they just did 21.
(Tape change) At some point in the discussion, MN asks C if she wants him to give the posters to each all-star. C responds that he can keep these posters and she will send him another copy to give to the all-stars.
T – No, he does not know.
MN points at C.
D – C, do you know?
C – No.
D - Does he have any famous friends?
T – There’s a movie and a TV star named Kalasawa Yoshiagi (best effort at the name they say) he met. It’s a biggest thing to them he has met. Another movie star ***
D – Are they fans of his show?
T – That’s what I asked. I don’t think so.
D – They should be.
T’s voice is getting lower and harder to hear. Something is said about Exile.
T – Although I don’t drink alcoholic drink, I have met them at that situation.
T – You know Sama is the big name of a comic Sama Atashi asama. Sama mean sardine though. Looks like sardine *** but he is a big name in some clubs. He has his own show. He’s (MN) going to appear on the show. October 10th.
A – (holds up his glass) Can we do a cheers for one sec?
MN and A hold their glasses up. When they put them down, MN grabs A’s arm and starts to arm wrestle with him.
A – Thank you. (pictures are taken)
A – I could go without the beating (laughs).
C – I wanted to say too that it’s not as easy to send messages to the other five all-stars so I wanted to tell him to please tell them how much we admire them and cheer for them also. They have many fans in
C- Why were the
T – I don’t know why. To go to the Olympics, they are absent. (Note: MN refers to 20 as 21 and 21 as 22). 21st show, the brother, older brother of the brothers because of the Olympics, to participate in the Olympic games. 21st, the younger brother appeared, but the older brother did not because of the Olympic games. But the 22nd, both of them did not appear. He asked the TV station the reason why, but they did not tell him why.
C – Might have been at a trampoline event.
T – Trampoline event? He asked but they did not let him know why. The 21st was the Olympics, but the 22nd he does not know why.
SG – We were actually supposed to wrap up almost an hour ago.
Group – Whoa!
A – Hey did you say that we could just give him stuff to be signed? Give that to you? Then we can get that tomorrow from him?
T – Tomorrow where are you?
D – At the convention?
A – Yeah, can you just bring it to the convention and we’ll get it back?
T – Are you planning to go to the convention? How would that work?
C – I know there’s another luncheon tomorrow. We could come here and pick it up.
T – That would work.
C pulls out B and Munchie’s book. MN reacts immediately and points to the book.
T – I received this. Is that right?
C – Yes. Would you like to know the story? B and her daughter, they took the pictures and made the book and sent it to you. They wondered if you would sign it and I’ll give this back to her. She (pointing to the picture of Munchie) had some serious health problems and she admires you and wants to grow up to be on Sasuke. She practices in the backyard. Could you hold it up so that I can get a picture? (MN does).
MN kisses the picture of Munchie on the book.
Group – Ahhhh!
C – Wait. Let me get a picture of that. Perfect. But you remember receiving that? That’s a copy.
T – Still I have it, but I cannot read. What is this about? Is it fiction or a poem?
C – I think it’s a message to him if I remember. I looked at it quickly.
T – Oh really? This book is made specially for him?
C – It was made for him and it’s a message to him. Since there’s only like a sentence on each page, if you could just really quickly translate it for him.
T reads the book to him. He listens intently as he looks at the pictures. He is clearly touched.
We pass him things to be signed.
A – We’re going to get him ready for tomorrow.
C – That’s enough right.
D – Thank you so much. (others say thank you too)
T – He says it was very nice to meet you.
A – (brings out t-shirt with Nagano-san’s face on it). Maybe you could sign this now because I need to hold it down.
C – You need to give him one with his face on it.
A – Too big for him.
C – That’s true!
D – That’s XL.
MN signs the shirt.
A – Thank you so much.
We thank the translator.
D – Could you tell Nagano-san that I am part of the international free-huggers and I wanted to see if I could get a hug?
MN – eh? (agrees)
MN hugs D and we all line up for hugs and pictures. God bless you D!
MN hugs A and growls and laughs.
A – (passes the Frappucino bottle to C) Hey, this could be a collector’s item.
C – Yes, indeed. Thanks.
MN asks us to post for a group shot and we all hand our cameras to T.
We say our last goodbyes, exchange emails, snap a few more pictures and then our incredible lunch is over.
Thanks Cathi (Pittsburgher) for your hard work on this.