Full disclosure: I’ve known Donald Richie for more than 20 years and, like many people who have known him for a long time, I count him among my good friends. Once, he helped me write a full-length book on the history of Japanese poetry out of a slim collection I had made of English translations of Basho’s single haiku (yes, the one about an old pond and a frog). Another time, I committed an affront that would have prompted a different person to drop me. He simply waved it off with a smile. Richie is generous, considerate and tolerant.
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