The city of Yokosuka began quickly to fill with shacks and booths. Many of the latter sold tourist-type junk, clothing, and small tourist souvenirs etc. The stores started right outside the gates to the Navy Base. A buddy and I had just finished doing some errands on the base and had a couple hours to spare, so we went exploring. Two young women clerked at one of the first stores we entered. They had already learned enough English to make themselves understood. We talked a bit and somehow the subject of music came up. We asked if they knew any American songs. They giggled, nodded their heads, and began singing a song.
The first lines, as best I remember, were “Anna Pola, a pretty little poppy.” We knew the melody and hummed right along, much to their surprise and amusement. As I remember, it had been high on the hit parade list in the late 1930’s, just before the attack on Pearl Harbor, after which the Japanese ceased playing American music on the radio. It was a surprising and interesting interlude, but I did not find the chess set I was looking for. I never did.
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