Today was a big day at HPAC. We got the disappointing news that our HPAC mother, Yoshie Maeda, will be leaving us. She was the first person we foreigners met at HPAC. She held our hand through the first days of navigating Japan, setting up our phone service, getting things at IKEA for our apartments, teaching us how to use the bus and the train. She always had the time to answer any question we brought to her desk and the patience to listen to any complaint or suggestion we had. She called doctors' offices to make appointments, instrument repair people for bow rehairs, police stations to find missing bicycles. Nothing was beyond the power and goodwill of Yoshie. There will be someone to take her position, but big shoes to fill.
We also found out that our Bucho, the General Manager of the HPAC orchestra, will be leaving. He had worked with us to helped establish more chamber music opportunities and it will be strange to have the break in continuity for our committee meetings. We didn't know it was his last meeting in March, but apparently he will begin his new job at the beginning of April and a new Bucho will take his place.
Two people we had come to know, who had become familiar to us, will be going on to other things. Apparently there is a world outside of HPAC to and from which people may go. I feel like I've entered a new phase of childhood, of realizing the world is bigger and more mysterious than I can ever comprehend.
Luckily, throughout adulthood as well as childhood, there are distractions to those dark corners that always lurk. And HPAC was also the source of one of these todays. A tote bag gift to all of the core members which bears our individual likenesses on it. Can you find me?