A start of something, but I don’t yet know what.
Fumiko covered clamshells in kimonos every few days. She wrapped beautiful fabric around the shells, silk that might otherwise be worn on formal occasions by full grown humans. How many she completed depended entirely on how many customers ate steamed clams from her family’s restaurant. Unlike fish served raw as sushi or sashimi, shellfish are most often cooked in Japan. Some days few patrons were in the mood for clams; other days many ate them. But why put a kimono on a clam? It’s not as if modesty required the attire. Of course, clamshells are not among the loveliest of things to be found in a kitchen. No, it’s not about the clams themselves but about a relatively inexpensive souvenir of Japanese culture easily carried to a tourist’s home. Far less expensive and easier to transport than the many yards of fine fabric that went into human-sized couture.
Rachel had to have one of the kimono-clad clams. Soba will be thrilled, she thought, at the childhood memories of Okayama. Well meaning, but mistaken. Unwrapping the present from Rachel’s trip, her grandmother burst into tears at the sight of the golden fabric with red flower petal motifs. How could Rachel know the pattern precisely matched the one her Sofu, Tetsushi, wore on the day that the bomb fell on Nagasaki. Tetsushi had gone there to apply for a job. Ineko wanted her husband to look his best that day, so she made sure he wore his best kimono. Rachel’s expected joy turned to perplexed sorrow.