Drawn Mochi Volume 4 Chapter 1.2: The Mochi Drawn In The Picture Is A Decoration

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 And if they call it an honor… I don’t think I want it, either.


 I don’t understand what the teacher means when he says that “he likes first place”.



 After that, while I was quietly drinking the mystery tea, Teacher silently went to the kitchen and brought me a pot full of refill. And before I could say anything else, he refilled my cup. I guessed that he was asking me to help him consume the tea… so I just drank it without saying a word.



“Hmm, that’s right.” (Teacher)



 Then Teacher poured a cup full of tea into his own cup, and suddenly began to speak.



“I think that honor and recognition are permission given by others. It means, ‘You have a place here.'” (Teacher)


“…permission?” (Tougo)



 I repeated, and he nodded with a mysterious look on his face.



“Yes, permission. And, depending on the degree, it could be ‘please stay here’ or ‘I’ve made a place for you.’ Well, that feels rather good to me, but to you… it may only be a ‘need.'” (Teacher)



 …actually. It somehow fits.


 For me, maybe this report card is my permission to stay home. Without it, I probably can’t stay there. That’s why I’m in trouble without it. So, I need it. Just a need. That’s all.



“Of course, it is possible to stay without permission. If you’re bold enough.” (Teacher)


“Yes.” (Tougo)



 I’m not thick-skinned. That’s why I need this report card. To get recognition. To be able to stay.



“…Well, you have a face like ‘I’m not thick-skinned’, but many people are like that. If anything, I’m the same. I’m not nervous. So… well, I guess that’s what it is. Humans seem to be creatures that want ‘approval’ to some extent.” (Teacher)



 Approval. …Somehow, I feel that it’s not a good thing. I think that the word “approval” does not give a very good impression.



“I think it is a good thing to have a good impression of approval, but let’s put the pros and cons aside for now. I think that the desire for approval is a natural desire in this era of starvation, an era of suicidal thoughts, but well… That might be the arrogance of a human being who fulfilled the first three levels.” (Teacher) [T/N: Teacher is talking about the hierarchy of needs]



 …I’m a little confused about what he’s saying, but I’m sure the teacher knows that too. After drinking tea when I had regained my composure, he started talking again.



“Well, just think of it that way. You don’t need an evaluation, but it’s like a passport or a residence permit. It’s better to have it.” (Teacher)



 Yes. Well, if you break it down like that, it might be something like that.



“As I said, you might not particularly want the honor or the recognition… but I guess it would be fun to have a permit or a residence permit. In fact, being able to go to different places is, well, fun, I hear. My girlfriend who gave me this souvenir said the trip was fun, too.” (Teacher)



 I see. I don’t have much of a taste for traveling, but… well, I know that it’s better to be able to go anywhere than not to be able to go anywhere.



“Well, sometimes I get honors that I don’t want. but convenience is convenience. Let’s just leave it at that, shall we, my friend?” (Teacher)


“Yes.” (Tougo)



 Yes. I think we should be willing to accept evaluations, honors… transcripts, comments on them, and so on. I am sure.



 …Then, Teacher suddenly said,



“But… as expected, if it’s a chance, I want the ‘please stay here’ or ‘I’ve made a place for you’ to be on someone’s heart.” (Teacher)


“Eh?” (Tougo)



 Teacher’s words were so abrupt that I wondered what he was talking about.


 However, the teacher continued happily.



“There are various honors and recognitions. Yes, your report card is for a place in a certain community or in your family, but it can also give you a place in the hearts of others.” (Teacher)



 He sipped his tea, then smiled and leaned back against the back of his chair.



“It’s a special thing. To be allowed to be in the heart of another is much, much more special than to be allowed to be in a community, a class, a society, or anything else.” (Teacher)



 The smile on the teacher’s face was so happy that it made me feel happy, too.



“…in someone’s heart.” (Tougo)



 I mutter to myself, but I can’t really feel it.


 I want to know why the teacher is so happy, but I just can’t figure it out. That is frustrating.



“I appreciate you, Tougo.” (Teacher)



 Just as I was feeling frustrated, the teacher suddenly said that.


 I was surprised.


 Suddenly, he said it with a happy, yet serious tone.



“You are an interesting guy, and you are also a philosophical thinker. Above all, you are an artist. And although you are still in your youth, I have enjoyed watching you grow. As I said before, you are food for my heart, and sometimes you show me something more than food, you show me something extraordinary. …Yeah. So, I appreciate you.”



 Teacher said so… Among the contents of the bag, I was sorting out, the file containing all the prints… He picked up another file that was placed underneath.


 Looking at the contents, Teacher nodded happily.



“Oh, and I also appreciate what you draw. This drawing is quite good, isn’t it? Yes, it is. It’s textured and rounded and really good. It’s good. Draw more. …If I were to draw this, it would probably end up looking like a ping-pong ball with a sticky top. I can easily imagine.” (Teacher)



  tucked into the file over there is a pencil drawing I did on lined paper or blank paper. The teacher is looking at a yuzu. It’s from his garden.



“…What do you think, Togo? I appreciate you. I have created a special place in my heart for you. I think it feels nice that you are here.” (Teacher)


“Yeah. I’m happy.” (Tougo)



 The words came out honestly.


 I was a little surprised even at myself.


 The “evaluation” that Teacher gave me was very different from the “evaluation” and “honor” that I have received here and there in the past… but it made a lot of sense in many ways.


 I am happy. I want more. I want to live up to his expectations. I still don’t know what Teacher means by “feels nice”, but I do understand that feeling a little.


 …Really. It’s something that makes me happy. Evaluation, honor, things like that.


 I’m still not sure. But… just a little bit, I feel like I understand.



“I see. I’m glad. That makes me happy, too. Well, just remember that there are evaluations like this. If you remember this, you will be able to pass it off with a cool face when you get something you don’t want.” (Teacher)



 Teacher laughed. Watching this… I thought of and wanted to say something, so I did.



“… Me too. I also appreciate Teacher.” (Tougo)



 I have made a place for you in my heart.


 To tell you that, I appreciate you.



“I see. That makes me happy.” (Teacher)



 Teacher responded with a grin.



 Then we talked some more and laughed some more.


 …He then put something in front of me, as if he had brought it especially for me.



“By the way, do you know what day it is today?” (Teacher)



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