I thought this might be a good time to introduce you to the people behind Baieido.
The gentleman on the left, sitting on the sofa is Maisachiro Nakata, Chairman and the Master Blender of Baieido. Virtually all the incense blends sold today were created by him. He’s not only extremely knowledgeable and polite, but has a way of making you feel like family very quickly and loves to tease you. The last part reminded me of my own Grandfather. One day I walked in his office and he told me in Japanese that I looked like Columbo. I was wearing suspenders that day.
The man behind him is Kyozaburo Nakata, his nephew and General Manager of Baieido. I consider Kyozaburo one of my best friends and there is no favor he couldn’t ask of me. We have a great time when we meet, he’s stayed at my home in Albuquerque and I have been to his home in Sakai City where his wife prepared Takoyaki (fried Octopus balls) for us. I don’t believe I have ever met someone more honest or less egocentric in my life. He loves Flamenco music and dancing so I took him to a restaurant when we were in San Francisco that features Flamenco one night a week. He also speaks Spanish and English.
The American in the middle is me, and there’s not much of a story there.
Behind me is Yoshiko Nakata, she is married to Maisachiro and she has studied Kodo for many years and teaches students in Kodo at the Baieido Kodo room. She doesn’t speak much English but has an ability to make you understand what she expects from you and how you should accomplish even the finest details of the Kodo ceremony. She has a great sense of humor and will make you laugh at times and serious at others.
On my left is the President of the company, Nobuhiro Nakata. I found him to have a delightful sense of humor like everyone in this family, they also convey a sense of being relaxed, always polite, and serious when required, obviously extremely intelligent and confident, but never arrogant or condescending. Nobuhiro is the Son of Maisachiro and Yoshiko Nakata.
There is one more very important person that is not in this photo, Shinya Nakata, Nobuhiro’s brother. Shinya is the most difficult to write about, he’s one of those people you like the minute you meet them but can’t seem to figure out what it is that makes them so easy to be comfortable with. He could become a Millionaire panhandling in Berkely, I can’t imagine everyone not emptying their wallets and purses if he asked only for a dollar.
Well, that should give you a pretty good idea of the family that has become so dear to me, and who have given me absolute confidence they will always take the pride and integrity into their company that makes them the best incense company in the world, they would never claim that, but I will!