22 Feb Sayounara

During my years of living in Japan, I’ve observed and learned many things about the people and culture of this amazing land.

As an example, when Japanese say a formal farewell, or ‘Sayounara’ さようなら to family, friends or visitors who are leaving for a long time,they bow and wave with warm smiles and perhaps tears. They will remain until the departing ones are completely out of sight. Invariably, they hope for the person in the car, train or plane to turn and reciprocate for as long as possible. There is emotion because that could be the last you ever see of a person, owing to the uncertainties of life.

Being an American, I have noticed how rude clueless we westerners can be without realizing it. I have seen instances where the bewildered Japanese are patiently waving goodbye and the westerners have already taken off to parts unknown with nary a glance backward.

There is a lovely warmth and care for others expressed in this custom that reflects an aspect of our Heavenly Father’s love even in the hustle and bustle of the world’s largest city of Tokyo.

Bob Bastable – YWAM Tokyo

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