9th June 1945

On the train to Odawara I listened to an old man and an old woman, who happened to be seatmates, strike up a conversation. They were both from Tokyo, it appeared, and both had moved to the country. Eagerly they exchanged confidences and complaints, It seemed the country was insupportable. The people were such boors; conditions were so primitive. The old man climaxed it by uncovering his leg and crying: “Look at all those fleabites! I didn’t know they had so many fleas in the country!” The old woman bent over and chuckled. “Yes, yes. That is the way to keep warm in winter, you know. They just scratch and scratch.”