2019-12-04 - KFC for Christmas Dinner


Barbara brings news of the campaign against Nagumo

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Dec 4 06:09:12 2019
Location: Harada's Dojo

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If Kenuichio Harada watches the local Japanese media, he'll have seen some interesting stories appearing. Stories that link, rather abstractedly, Nagumo to some questionable dealings. Nothing particularly bad but enough to loose face. The stories are well written, designed for the Japanese audience, clearly the author has some knowledge of the culture.

When Babs arrive for her weekly lesson with Ken, she's carrying one of the newspapers with her. Stopping at the door, the redhead removes her shoes and places them neatly by the door.

Ken does indeed read Japanese newspapers. Mostly for business news but he keeps tabs on his yakuza enemies that way. They often make the papers though it's hard to track. A mention here. A small article there. Just enough to let you know what they're doing. Nagumo's troubles have been amusing to follow.

"Hello Barbara-San. Would you like tea before we begin?" She's early. She's usually early, though.

It's not just the Japanese papers, it's the social media sites and the like as well. Specific pages targetted with gossip and rumour. Just the thing those sites are good for. And of course, the public has been lapping it up and building the story without much prompting.

"Kenuichio-San. Hello. I very much would but I fear you will need to chide me to train when we are done. If you are resigned to doing so, then yes, I would love to." the red head smiles. It's a genuine smile and she seems relaxed here … more so than she did when she first came.

Following Ken to the back on his dojo, the redhead holds out the paper she's carrying. It's folded to a particularly page, one of the stories that has run. "I wasn't sure if you kept up with this things. Your friend Nagumo is having some interesting times."

Those green eyes of hers are *almost* innocent - they would be except for the slight sparkle of mischief.

"Yes, I have seen in a few papers." Kenuichio takes the one she offers out and scans it. He smiles a small smile and then lays it aside to brew tea.

"It is almost as if someone were spreading gossip and rumors about the man in an effort to embarrass him. It's a pity the press these days does not verify such things."

It's not a pity. Well, it might be a pity but it is also quite useful, something that Ken is keenly aware of. "You have done well. Or your mysterious friend has."

"What's there to verify? The writing is simply conjecture, asking questions about certain relationships that Nagumo-san may or may not have. It is embarassing, is it not Kenuichio-san, when questions themselves are embarrasing. Of course, the social media pages that focus on the Japanese community aren't quite so discriminating. One person saying they *might* have had a problem and three regale us with such tales."

She's amused and his smile draws another from her. "You are pleased then, with the progress?" It's interesting that he hasn't asked who did the writing. Not that she'd tell, of course.

"I will get that to leak in Japan in time and perhaps cause some of Nagumo's other business partners to start to distance themselves. Will it be sufficient, do you think, to achieve your goals?"

"I believe it should do, yes. If nothing else Nagumo will be too busy dealing with the rumors to effectively deal with anything else. And as it goes on it becomes more and more likely that he will be removed." Possibly unpleasantly but more likely just sent back to Japan in disgrace which is as sure a way of ending his career as any.

The rather unassuming - for the moment - swordsman returns to the table with two cups of perfectly prepared tea. It's nearly always perfectly prepared. He is very, very good at this.

"And yes. I am quite pleased."

"It's what you hoped for and, if it works as we plan, you won't need to get your hands dirty." Barbara murmurs, wrapping her hands around the cup when it's placed in front of her. With Winter upon them, it's getting cold outside and she's never been able to keep her hands warm.

"Do you expect any trouble from other quarters when he's removed? I take it the powers that be will replace him with someone else." Which may or may not be better.

Barbara's bag falls on its side as she sits there. An invitation to a Police fundraising dinner falls out. It's for a couple of weeks away, just before Christmas - so there's the theme. Barbara's name is written as the invitee.

"He will undoubtedly be replaced but his replacement won't be eager for the same treatment. There will be other troubles but not likely with the local Yakuza. Not for a little while anyway." Not until one of the bigger bosses in Japan decides to do something, likely. And that will take a while. They always tend to move with more… deliberate speed.

Kenuichio glances down and cants his head. "Ah. Christmas celebrations. Those have become popular in Japan." They really have. Since the War, really. Along with Baseball and random English words on T-Shirts.

"Well that's something. We will monitor the situation and see what else needs to be done. Anything to keep you out of trouble and me … safe." That's why Barbara is doing this, right? To stop the Yakuza using her as leverage.

The non-sequitur has the redhead blinking. "Sorry? Oh …." She gathers her bag and tries to collect the invite but it spills out further. "Not really a christmas celebration, well, maybe it is. It's a semi-annual event to help keep the police funded and people like to celebrate at this time of year."

The invitation definitely says 'and partner' on it. Ken can see that Barbara has penned in herself only.

"I don't suppose Christmas is big in Japan. If I had thought about, I would have researched it. I take it you don't celebrate then? Or is that assumption?"

"Oh I do. Most people in Japan do but differently to Americans. Which is to say, absent the cultural and religious connotations, for the most part." Ken says as he takes a sip of tea. He's always so very measured when he is like this. Like each motion is calculation.

"Holidays based on gift giving and food are not difficult to sell. And the Americans left quite a mark on Japan during the occupation. An on the whole favorable one, dare I say. In any case, Christmas is big enough in Japan. And a number of other Asian locales with ties to the west."

"Will this be the first Christmas you've experienced away from Japan? It's difficult to tell from I've found on you how much time you spent outside of Japan." Which means Barbara knows he's spent some time travelling.

Barbara has noticed how measured Ken is. But then again, so is she. Quiet, retiring. Not outgoing and cheeky like Batgirl. Well, not to the same degree.

"Maybe you would share some of the cultural aspects of how you celebrate the season, Kenuichio-san. I find myself fascinated how the holiday has been tied in given the religious connotations of it." Not that Barbara celebrates that aspect but she was raised as a Christian.

Taking the invite, the redhead stops just before putting it in her bag, raises her eyes to Ken like she's about to say something and sighs before slowly putting it away. He can't miss it.

"Not technically no but I was not in much of a frame of mind to celebrate on the previous occasions." Kenuichio inclines his head, watching as Babs hesitates. It's rather obvious. She doesn't often hesitate after all.

"Mmmm? Yes I would be happy to share some of that. You may find some of it quite amusing. For example, Kentucky Fried Chicken is considered a traditional meal and fried chicken in general is normal." Babs might indeed find that funny.

"Was there something you wanted to say, Barbara-san?"

"Then we shall have to ensure you are in a frame of mind to celebrate." The redhead smiles. "When I was younger, before my accident, I used to ice skate down in Central Park. Maybe I'll take you skating and watch while you do."

Babs could probably skate but she's not giving her secret away.

At the information on the traditional meal, Barbara gives Ken a disbelieving look. "You're having me on. Shall I bring a bucket for the students on Christmas Eve?" No, she doesn't believe him. Like the rest of her family, she thinks he's teasing her.

"I uh … " She looks down at the invite in her hand and gives a slight shake of her head "… I was going to ask if you might like to come with me. But I'm sure you wouldn't… so … don't worry about it."

"A formal event with the police? I would be happy to go with you, if you're sure you wish to be associated with someone that has a past such as mine." Slightly… stained. He did used to be a criminal after all. It was a long time ago and he has more than paid his dues but still.

"I am not. You may youtube it, if you like. KFC successfully marketed themselves for Christmas in the 70's and it has stuck." It has stuck rather well, actually. KFC restaurants are VERY busy in December in Japan.

"And some of the major business owners on the Island, yes." Barbara's green eyes hold Kens. For the first time he's known her, there's a degree of unsureness there. "You'll be escorting the crippled daughter of the Commissioner. Are you sure you can bear it?"

"If, what my investigations have turned up on you are anywhere near correct, Kenuichio-san, your … past is nothing to worry about. It's in the past and you've seemed to have paid your debt. There are some, that do worse today than you've ever done."

She's not wrong and he knows it. "It's … black tie."

"I will most certainly youtube it but I suppose that speaks for the power of western marketing. Maybe I'll treat you to a traditional American christmas dinner, unless of course you *like* KFC."

"I prefer sukiyaki myself." Ken chuckles. "But yes I will go. I believe I have a black tie." He does. Barbara has seen him in business wear. And she has seen his apartment though not AS Barbara. She knows he is actually fairly… well resourced.

""And I would certainly like to see what Americans do for Christmas. After all it was largely Americans that introduced it to us." Americans didn't invent the holiday but they DO certainly seem to like it a lot.

"And yes, I can bear it. It just means I do not have to dance quite as much."

It pays to be careful when giving Barbara information, like the fact that Ken likes sukiyaki. He might just find himself treated to that at some point. "Just a black tie? I hope you have tux to go with it." She teases a bit.

She knows he's well resourced but there's certain things she can't let on.

"Well, if you play your cards right, Kenuichio-san, maybe I'll show you what Americans do." Barbara loves Christmas, not the commercial side of it but the spirit.

"I hope that you'll dance with me, at least once. Though, I think once the other ladies get a look at you, your dance card will be rather full."

Her tea is nearly finished.

"I rather expect they'll spend more time whispering. Or at least such is my experience with such gatherings. And of course, I would. You should, what is the phrase? Dance with the one that brought you?"

An older phrase to be sure but one that still has some application, at least in Ken's mind.

"And why would I be playing my cards? Is that also traditional for Christmas?" He's teasing, yes. He knows what the phrase means.

"Perhaps they will at that." Barbara concedes. It's going to cause a small stir to have the Commissioners daughter turn up, walking, with a date. Or escort or … whatever. "But I think you'll find yourself asked, Kenuichio-san."

"Yes, it is actually. A quiet game of cards amongst friends. With eggnog and christmas carols while it snows outside." He might be teasing but she's stringing him along.

"Shall we train now, Sensei? Or is there something else you wish to speak on?"

"Yes. If you are finished with your tea." Kenuichio stands up and looks into the next room. It is empty but for the mats and the swords. Just as it should be. Tonight they will train. As they always do. They will work. She will hurt a bit, but it will make it stronger.

And later on, he'll make sure his tuxedo is in good repair.

It makes him look a bit like a penguin though.

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