Death of Commander Yu In 1976, when my granddad died, Father closed his unseeing eyes with his left hand, from which two fingers were missing. Granddad had returned from the desolate Japanese mountains of Hokkaido scarcely able to speak, spitting out each word as though it were a heavy stone. The village held a grand welcoming ceremony in honor of his return, attended by the county head. I was barely two at the time, but I recall seeing eight tables beneath the gingko tree at the head of the village set with jugs of wine and dozens of white ceramic bowls. The county head picked up a jug and filled one of the bowls, which he handed to Granddad with both hands. "Here's to you, our aging hero," he said. "You've brought glory to our county!" Granddad clumsily stood up, and his ashen eyeballs fluttered as he said, "Woo-woo-gun-gun." I watched him raise the bowl to his lips. His wrinkled neck twitched, and his Adam's apple slid up and down as he drank. Most of the wine ran down his chin and onto his chest instead of sliding down his throat. 1976, I mumbled to myself, the year my sister was born and it is the year of the Dragon. Such great figure like Commander Yu to die in the year of dragon, an auspicious mythic animal, was perhaps no coincidence. And I seemed to have completed reading this chapter.