Letter from Karl Pires to the Segals

Tuesday, December 15, 1998

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Segal,

Anton and I arrived in Japan on the same day, July 27,1992. We first met that evening at the orientation for the JET program, where we were seated near each other since we were both assigned to Wakayama Prefecture. As it turned out, our apartments were only a two-minute walk away from each other.

It was great to have Anton nearby during those first few months away from home. He always kept everybody laughing as we all struggled to adjust to life in Japan. He spoke fondly of his youth and college days, and I always remember him taking pride in both sides of his ethnic background. And he had so many great stories.

During our years as part of the foreign community in Wakayama, we shared many experiences and friends. Soccer, karaoke, night clubs in Osaka, touch football, the beach. Most memorably for me, Anton was one of the first of my friends to meet my fiancee, Saho, when we first started dating five and a half years ago. Despite her limited English ability at the time, Anton was always able to make her laugh. I know this helped her gain confidence in interacting with non-Japanese people, and was the first step towards her eventual decision to agree to marry and move to Canada. When I visited her in Wakayama last month in early November, and we walked by Anton's former apartment, remembering him again made her laugh as she recalled out loud the "funny Harvard graduate who was half Japanese, but with such curly hair!"

Anton brought together all the foreigners during his time in Wakayama. As I'm sure you may know, the bar where he worked was affectionately known as "Anton's Bar" to all the foreign community. He was friends with and loved by everybody. And he will be greatly missed.

I would have liked to send you some of the many photos of Anton which I have from our times in Wakayama, but unfortunately they are in albums I left in Canada (I am working in Tokyo for one year). However, I know that many of our friends are planning to send you photos.

Take care,
Sincerely yours,
Karl Pires
Wakayama JET '92

301 Villa Ohtake
1-8-5 Sengoku
Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo JAPAN 112-0011
TEL: 81-3-3942-1516