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166 Mama-san Segawa Joonkko 2 – PART 1

 Geisha Mori Aikko started dancing along with the sad melody from Shamisen.

'Mori Aikko, I missed you so much. I am crazy about you.'

Gun-Ho picked up a glass of sake that was placed on the table in front of him and gulped it down.

The sales manager and the interpreter were lost for words; they couldn't take their eyes off Mori Aikko's dancing. The interpreter seemed to forget why he was there in the first place. Even though Amiel said something, he didn't interpret for Gun-Ho, but he was just watching Mori Aikko dancing with his mouth open.

Once the dance ended, Amiel clapped passionately.

"Oh, wonderful!"

Gun-Ho clapped along with Amiel. The sales manager and the interpreter seemed to forget to clap.

Gun-Ho could hear Mama-san's laughing.

"Hahaha. Goo-Sajjo-san, did you like Mori Aikko's dance?"

"Of course. I loved it. Mori Aikko, I will pour liquor in your glass to show my appreciation; please take it."

Mama-san answered on behalf of Mori Aikko.

"A dancing geisha is not supposed to take any client's offer of drink. Please understand and forgive us."

"Then why don't you pour the liquor in my glass instead?"

"Hahaha. Actually, she is not supposed to do that either; however, since You, Goo-Sajjo-san is our special guest, I will let her. Aikko, fill in President Goo's glass with liquor."

Mori Aikko approached the table where Gun-Ho was sitting at. She went down on her knees and picked up the bottle of liquor. Gun-Ho felt like he could hear Mori Aikko's breathing when she came close to him. He felt dizzy, and his hand that was holding his glass was shaking.

"Hahaha. Goo-Sajjo-san, you seemed to be drunk already."

Gun-Ho gulped down the liquor that Mori Aikko poured for him.

After drinking the liquor, Gun-Ho picked up a flower from a decoration piece placed on the table and handed it to Mori Aikko.

Mori Aikko hesitated to take it.

"You can take it."

As Mama-san allowed her to take the flower, Mori Aikko took it from Gun-Ho with two hands.

"Arigatto Gojaimasseu (Thank you in Japanese)."

After drinking another glass of liquor that he filled in by himself, Gun-Ho said firmly.

"Mori Aikko, I want to put your hair up."

The interpreter couldn't understand what Gun-Ho just said.

"Sir, what do you mean by putting her hair up? Are you saying to lift her head up?"

The sales director was also looking at Gun-Ho with a puzzled look on his face.

"You can just interpret it as you hear, literally. Tell her that I want to put her hair up."

The interpreter interpreted what Gun-Ho said without understanding what that meant. Once the interpreter told Mori Aikko what Gun-Ho said in Japanese, Mama-san's face hardened. Mori Aikko was sitting on the floor with her face down, but she seemed to be surprised as well.

Mama-san soon pulled herself together and smiled. She was an experienced and skilled hostess after all.

"Hahaha, you often make me laugh with your joke, Goo-Sajjo-san."

"I was not joking. I really meant it."

"Are you serious?"

"Yes, I am."

"Mori Aikko, why don't you give us a moment?"

"Hai (Yes in Japanese)."

Mori Aikko left the room after giving a bow.

"There is a certain procedure in putting a geisha's hair up. Moreover, you are a foreigner, Goo-Sajjo-san. Mori Aikko is a maiko, (an apprentice geisha) and she is a dancing geisha; she is different from the usual geishas."

At that moment, the interpreter and the sales director seemed to understand what putting her hair up meant.

"I am dead serious, Mama-san."

"If you really meant it, why don't you talk with one of my friends-Ji-Yeon Choi? Since you and I have a language barrier to discuss deeper about it."

"Who is Ji-Yeon Choi?"

"She is a restaurant owner in Akasaka district in Tokyo. She is a friend of mine. Hahaha."

"Wasn't she a famous actress from Korea?"

"Do you know her, Mr. Interpreter?"

"I don't know her personally, but I used to work part-time at that restaurant, and I've heard that she was a very famous actress in Korea."

"Hmm."

The sales director seemed to know of her and said,

"Ji-Yeon Choi was a very famous actress in the old days. So, she is running a restaurant here, I see. You probably don't know of her, President Goo. You were very little when she was still active in the entertainment field."

"Hmm."

Amiel suddenly chipped in the conversation to complain.

"Don't you have fun without me by talking in Korean between you three."

Gun-Ho smiled and clinked his glass to Amiel's.

"Thank you, Mama-san. I will certainly talk to your restaurant owner friend. Let me fill your glass for you, Mama-san."

Mama-san took the glass of liquor and clinked it to Gun-Ho's glass.

"Hahaha. Goo-Sajjo-san, thank you for your understanding. You are broad-minded and manly."

It was the day Gun-Ho was scheduled to return to Korea. Gun-Ho instead decided to let the sales director go back to Korea first.

"Director Kim, why don't you return to Korea first? I will stay here for a few more days and talk Amiel into visiting our factory in Korea."

"Sir, even though Amiel let us take their raw materials, we are not capable of making the compound with those by ourselves."

"What if I can bring an engineer from Lymondell Dyeon headquarters in the U.S.?"

"That could be considered as revealing their technology to us. If so, they might ask us to pay them a royalty for using their technology. Amiel wouldn't ask you for it because he is a friend of yours; however, Lymondell Dyeon headquarters could ask for it."

"Hmm. I see your point."

Gun-Ho thought of meeting with Amiel again in person, and then he decided not to.

He instead decided to make a phone call to Amiel because he didn't want to lower his bargaining position by looking desperate to Amiel.

"Amiel? How are you doing? Did you drink too much last night?"

"No, I didn't. I think you drank too much last night."

"Why don't you come to my factory in Asan city during the weekends? We can have a round of golf and listen to Gayageum together."

"Golf and Gayageum? Those two words make me feel so happy. I can't go there this weekend though because I will have a guest coming from headquarters this weekend, but maybe I can go next weekend."

Gun-Ho sent the interpreter home too. Gun-Ho's stay in Japan could become very uncomfortable without an interpreter since he could speak neither English nor Japanese. However, he didn't care because there was no important matter he had to take care of in Japan for that moment.

Gun-Ho was sitting at a café inside New Otani Hotel while looking into a blank space when the Korean restaurant in Akasaka crossed his mind.

"The owner's name was Ji-Yeon Choi."

Akasaka District where the restaurant was located was not far from the New Otani Hotel where Gun-Ho was staying. He could walk there from the hotel. He slowly walked towards the restaurant. The restaurant was a luxurious and sizable Korean restaurant with a neat interior.

It was after 1 pm when Gun-Ho arrived at the restaurant. There were not many customers inside the restaurant since it was slightly after lunchtime.

Gun-Ho asked one of the staff that he wanted to talk with the owner.

"She is not here right now."

"When is she coming back then?"

"She usually stops by the restaurant after 8 pm to check the sales."

"Can you leave a message to her for me then? Please tell her that a person from Seoul really needs to meet with her."

"Which name should I tell her?"

Gun-Ho gave his business card to the staff instead of telling his name.

Gun-Ho did some sightseeing to Roppongi Hills and Meiji Jingu until the evening that day before he went back to the restaurant in Akasaka. When Gun-Ho entered the restaurant, the same staff who he talked to earlier greeted him and told him that the owner was there.

The owner was talking with a female customer. She was wearing an expensive coat, and she was stylish; her outfit and appearance seemed to tell that she was once a famous actress.