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In a bar in Tokyo the author feels ecstatic when he gets to meet the wife of Henry Miller, one of his favourite writers<br /> By  <br>  Published:  02:18 BST, 3 March 2013  |  Updated:  02:19 BST, 3 March 2013  <br>              </a>      <br /><br>The Japanese journalist makes the question of always: "And what are your favorite writers?" I give the answer of always: "Jorge Amado, Jorge Luis Borges, William Blake and Henry Miller." <br /><br><br>The translator looks at me astonished: "Henry Miller?" But she soon realizes her role isn't to make questions and gets back to her work.  At the end of the interview, I want to know why she was so surprised about my answer. <br /><br><br>I say that Henry Miller isn't perhaps a "politically correct" writer, but he was someone who opened a vast world to me - his books have a vital energy we rarely find in the contemporary literature.  <br /><br>    (image:  )  <br>"I am not criticizing Henry Miller; I'm his fan too," she answers.  "Did you know he was married to a Japanese woman?" Yes: I'm not ashamed to be fanatic about someone and try to know everything about their life. <br /><br><br>I went to a book fair just to get to know Jorge Amado, I travelled 48 hours in a bus to meet with Borges (what ended up not happening for my fault: when I saw him I froze and said nothing), I rang the bell of John Lennon's door in New York (the porter asked me to leave a letter explaining the reason of my visit and said Lennon would probably call, what never happened).  <br /><br><br>I had plans of going to see Henry Miller in Big Sur, but he died before I was able to gather the money for the trip. <br /><br><br>"The Japanese woman's name is Hoki," I answer proudly. "I know too that in Tokyo there is a museum devoted to Miller's watercolors." "Would you like to meet her tonight?" <br /><br><br>But what a question! Of course, I would like to be near someone that lived with one of my idols.  I imagine she must receive visitors from all over the world and several interview requests; after all, they stayed almost 10 years together. <br>  RELATED ARTICLES              Share this article Share  <br>Wouldn't it be too hard to ask her to spend her time with a simple fan? But if my translator says this is possible, I'd better trust in it, the Japanese always keep their word.  I wait anxiously for the rest of the day, then we take a cab and everything starts to seem strange. <br /><br><br>We stop at a street where the sun must never shine on, as a viaduct passes over it. The translator points to a second-rate bar on the second floor of an old building. <br /><br><br>We go up the stairs, we enter the completely empty bar and there is Hoki Miller. In order to conceal my surprise, I try to exaggerate in my enthusiasm about her ex-husband. She takes me to a room in the back where she set up a small museum - a few pictures, two or three signed watercolors, a signed book and nothing else.  <br /><br><br>She tells me that she met him when she took a masters degree in Los Angeles and played piano in a restaurant to support herself, singing French songs (in Japanese). Miller went there for dinner, loved the songs (he had spent great part of his life in Paris), they went out a couple of times and he asked her to marry him.<br><br> I notice that in the bar I am in, there is a piano - as if I was going back in time, to the day they two met.  <br /><br><br>She tells me delightful things about their life in common, about the problems originated by the age difference between them (Miller was over 50, Hoki wasn't 20), of the time they spent together. She explains that the heirs from the other marriages got everything, inclusively the copyrights of the books - but that didn't matter to her, what she lived with him lies beyond financial compensation. <br /><br><br>I ask her to play that music that caught Miller's attention many years back.  She does it with tears in her eyes and sings 'Dead Leaves' (Feuilles Mortes). The translator and I are moved as well. <br /><br><br>The bar, the piano, the voice of the Japanese woman echoing in the empty walls, not caring about the exwives' victories, about the rivers of money Miller's books shall make, about the world fame she could enjoy today. <br /><br><br>"It wasn't worth it to fight for inheritance: his love was enough to me," she says at the end, understanding what we felt. Yes, for the complete absence of bitterness or rancor in her voice, I understand that love was enough.  <br><br> <br> <br /> Send private email
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