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Word Count: 830
Having studied piano since she was in junior high school my wife gave piano lessons to the children of the neighborhood after we were married At the time I was in my third year as an elementary school teacher I had 40 students in my class My salary was low 40 percent of it went to pay our rent so I like many other teachers at the time supplemented my income by tutoring a child privately after school something public school teachers are no longer allowed to do At the time it seemed more natural for a wife to do things at home rather than to be employed somewhere There werent very many working women then in fact there werent many places for them to work When our son turned three there was a Worlds Fair in Osaka He remembers us taking him to the pavilions holding his hand tightly so he wouldnt get lost The economy was strong at the time so the salary level for government workers including teachers was scaled up almost 30 percent that year Our hopes for a doubling of our salaries in three years was dashed by the first oil crisis after which our pay was raised only 2 or 3 percent annually Our daughter was born that year There were rumors that goods were going to be scarce so people began hoarding things like sugar and toilet paper I remember carrying home many bags of sugar at one time At school as well each pencil and piece of paper were not to be wasted The difficulties lasted only briefly however Our lives were focused on our children during those years When they were little my wife and I took part in traditional Japanese events with them such as the bean-scattering ceremony on setsubun the day before the beginning of spring the Doll Festival the Star Festival in the summer and moon viewing Later when they were in elementary
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