Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Leif's Sixth Christmas 1981 - Sagamihara, Japan - Almost 7 years old

By Christmas 1981 we had been living in Japan for almost a year-and-a-half. We loved it there. The boys were both enthralled with the Japanese toys, particularly the transforming robots that became jet planes, trucks, and all manner of other things. The robots also could shoot a variety of projectiles and pop off their hands, as well as wield all kinds of fancy weapons.

I don't know exactly when the boys got specific ones, like the Big Dai-X boxed robot toy in the picture, or Godo Siguma, or the other ones, some of which I've talked about on the blog before, but Leif might have gotten one like this for Christmas in 1981 or 1982.

We saved all of the boys' Japanese toys, and now our grandson, Marcus, has them. Leif gave his to Marcus, too. I had saved them in case he ever had a child who might enjoy them, as I doubt there will ever be toys like that again. But Leif never had any children, so he gave both his Japanese toys and his large collection of GI Joe paraphernalia to Marcus.

The Tokima Watch robot is another thing he got as a gift while we were in Japan. That he treasured. There is a small robot that detaches from the face of the watch. It's quite ingenious. It had been packed away for a long time and when I went through everything before moving to Florida, I took this photo and sent it to Leif and Peter A. to ask whose it was. Both of them claimed it, but Leif insisted it was, "MINE, all MINE!" He still wanted it and wasn't willing to give it up. I found it in his apartment after he died.

We celebrated Christmas in Japan in much the same way we did everywhere else. We put up our Christmas tree and Nativity Scene, played Christmas carols, exchanged presents, and had our traditional Norwegian Christmas bread (Julekage) and cookies (Berliner Kranse), but it was just the four of us.

In these photos, Leif is actually wearing a jacket that belonged to Peter Anthony, who had worn it just the year before. It was a bit large, but Leif was astonishingly big for his age and wore hand-me-downs from Peter A., who was 6 years older, within a year or two.

I like the cute nose-to-nose photo of Leif and his dad. When I look back on all the years of our children's childhoods, it seems to me that some of the very best years were the three we spent in Japan.

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