I was a Research and PhD Student in Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan for 6 years (April 1996-March 2002) and during my stay in Sapporo, I spent many memorable evenings in House Friendship, an organization which helps international students in Sapporo and Hokkaido in general. It was established by a great man – Fr. Manfred Friedrich, a German Catholic priest based in Japan for some 40 years, and is open for all, regardless of race or religion. For the time I was in Sapporo, the resident Catholic nun in charge of House Friendship was Sister Clair (Setchan), a mid-aged Japanese woman, who was not known to be a hard rock music lover.
One evening I was at House Friendship together with many other students for a chat wearing a T-shirt with Jimi Hendrix in front. Entering the room, Sister Clair said after looking at Jimi Hendrix’s face on my chest:
– I know him.
I was very surprised and asked:
– Really, are you sure?
– Yes, I have a photo of his.
She just smiled quietly and showed me to the toilet, where sure enough I saw a black&white photo of Jimi Hendrix, pinned to the wall, next to several other photos, probably left by some unknown student.
So, she did know Jimi Hendrix! We laughed together for some time, had a few beers and had another interesting evening at House Friendship.
It was one of those moments you remember and cherish…