By Derek S
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Several Tokyo Crusaders, friends, supporters and family members gathered in the leafy precincts of Yasukuni Shrine on Saturday, April 5 to celebrate “hanami” or (rough translation) “getting pissed with your mates under the cherry blossoms”. The two tables and groundsheet we booked gave a decent amount of room to spread out among the heavy weekend crowds, and a bit of space for the no less than 4 Cru toddlers to wander about. The weather mostly held, and while the early rain shower sent some people packing, the Cru are made of stronger stuff and stayed through to the re-emergence of the sun and finally headed home in the early evening.

Amidst several surreal scenes from the war memorial services that were going on nearby at the same time, we were serenaded by 7 young ladies (YSK7?) belting out wartime ditties during the afternoon. While we weren’t familiar with the words, after several beers, wines, chu-his and/or bourbons (thanks, Yutaka!) we pretty much felt ready to join in.

Thanks to everyone for coming and establishing what should be a new Cru tradition, and thanks especially to Aiko Sakurai for the hand-made goodies she kindly brought.
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