Unearthed from the baul: Child’s yukata

When I was five or six years old, a friend of my parents came to visit. His name is Mark, and he was an English teacher in Japan. I have no idea how my parents knew him. He stayed with us for a few days, and the strongest memory I have of him was as a tall, thin Caucasian guy with slightly thinning hair. Once, he wore a white shirt and a dark vest, and cheekily, I told him that he looked like a waiter.

He was nice though, and he gave gifts to my brother and I. He gave Nunik a Zoids toy, which I liked to play with because it moved. He also gave our caretaker, Ate Huling, a box of Hershey’s Kisses. To me, he gave this.

It was a child-sized yukata. I can’t remember if it came with anything else, but my mom remembers something like a pillow (I tell her now that it probably was a ribbon, not a pillow, as we are wont to think because of its size). I recall wearing this only once, because it was really small for me when I got it.

The fabric is not made of regular cotton, because it feels a little brittle when I touch it. It also has a lining, unlike the yukata I have now. But the cut and the seams are the same. I am a little worried that if I do use it on my niece (it looks like it would fit her nicely), it might tear at some places.

My mom found these in the same box where my late Lola Lilay kept some of my old school uniforms. It was fun seeing it again, and I hope that I can take care of it better now.

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