People from various countries came to Tomu.
It is because Ms. Minami was an expert
of foreign languages.
That's an absolute lie.
She just said "Ni Hao" "Zai
Jian " to Chinese although she interacted
with Chinese part-time workers all day. She
allways just said "Hello" to Westerners.
Nevertheless customers from foreign countries
were attached to Ms. Minami.
Some customers at Tomu can speak English
or Chinese, and a few of customers spoke
German or Italian. But if you ask if they could communicate
with foreign customers more smoothly than
Ms. Minami did, I can't say "Yes".
After all, she might be an expert of foreign languages.
■ Mr. Paul Mones
One of them is Paul Mones from America.
He visited Tomu with his family for the
first time several years ago. Soon he became
a fan of Ms. Minami. Last year, he stayed
in Kyoto and he got training of cooking at
There is an E-mail that he sent when he
heard of the passing of Ms. Minami. I'll
show you the E-mail with his consent.
RE: Very sad news from Kyoto,Japan 2011.8.19 23:46
I am so sorry to hear of Ms. Minami's death
- my heart is very sad but I know that
Minami-san's spirit will live on in
all of us - she showed such strength
and dignity during the time I was there in
December when I knew she wasn't feeling well
and I am sure she was like that right up
until the end - she was my sensei and taught
me that the most important part of cooking
was not the food you serve but giving your
diners a feeling of belonging, a feeling
that they will be taken care and a feeling
they are part of something bigger -
every time Mama served a dish she was giving
part of herself to that person - and that
is what made Tomu a home and not a restaurant.
The attached photo was taken on my first
trip to Kyoto when I met Mama and all of
you - this is how I will always remember
her - Luke, Nicole and I will always keep
a place in our hearts for Minami and Tomu.
Your friend Paul Mones