I remember one night having dinner at my in-laws house in Yokohama. The ladies (my wife Mari, her sister and her mother) were talking about a myriad of things at one side of the table while my father-in-law and I were sharing glasses of Suigei and talking about his favorite sport, baseball. As usual, I was answering many questions about steroid use, and about my feelings about SF hero Barry Bonds. I always defended him, and I would always find myself trying to persuade dad that cheating and baseball went hand-in-hand.
After about an hour, we were getting a little tipsy but, being men, we just kept going as the conversation shifted to politics (of course). At this time, dad and I noticed that the ladies attention had now turned to our drinking and discourse. My sister-in-law said that it seems that all dad likes to do these days is drink, to which Kiyoshi said something I`ll never forget: "I worked for over thirty five years and am now retired. If I want to drink a lot, that`s my choice." It still makes me smile to this day.
My father-in-law has passed, and I no longer have the sherpa that started me on my sake journey. I will miss him greatly, but I will always be indebted to him for the passion for sake that he awoke within me, and for how he treated me like a man despite my failings, and for the continued support and love he showed me throughout the dozen years that we have been related. Though not by blood, he is my dad, and I will love him forever.