His Korean Classroom
I first met KAKJIMURA at 1970 and he taught me the Korean in the small class of foreign language.
Text was SONG Jihak’s “Chosono Immun” published by Tehak Sorim. It was one of a few books for beginners of Korean at late 60s.
I was 21 and KAJIMURA was 30s.
Class was opened in the forth period and the room was dim-lit in late autumn season.
KAJIMURA was a high school teacher in those days and at teaching history and Korean in universities.
I remembered his words that Korean grammar was once explained by using Russian grammar which was far apart from Korean and its family of language.
He said the words with smiling. “Such times surely exist in short period.” There I felt that the times had been changing rapidly before ours contemporarily living.
He wore the round glasses and no necktie. Jacket was old and shoulders were always down a little for his thin shape.
When I was absent from my schedule in winter season, he wrote me a letter.
I wrote a reply immediately saying that Korean language was precious for me and I decided to keep learning the language all my life.
What I wrote there was true till now.
He also invited me to his home. But I could not depend too much to him.
But now I regret that I had not received his favour. Later when he became the professor of a university, I would go to his study room at once. But at that time I did not go because I thought this time I was always able to visit him.
He incessantly wrote the papers. A lot of researchers respected his sincere attitude of studying.
I did not meet him in those days.
And I heard suddenly his death.
He died from disease in 1989.
He taught me the Korean and further more a way of living.
4 April 2005
Sekinan Research Field of Language