"One evening in the spring of 1936, when I was a boy of fourteen, my father took me to a dance performance in Kyoto.Suppose that you and I were sitting in a quiet room overlooking a garden, chatting..."
"In a certain reign (whose can it have been?) someone of no very great rank, among all His Magesty's Consorts and Intimates, enjoyed exceptional favor."
"When the phone rang I was in the kitchen, boiling a potful of spaghetti and whistling along to and FM broadcast of the overture to Rossini's The Thieving Magpie, which has to be the perfect music..."
"The train came out of the long tunnel into the snow country."
"It was a short one-paragraph item in the morning edition."
"The elevator continued its impossibly slow ascent."
"If on a sunny day you climb the steep path leading up from the little wooden bridge still referred to around here as ‘the Bridge of Hesitation’, you will not have to walk far before the roof of my..."