"You going to South Korea?" the American shouted across the platform at Shimonoseki.
I acknowledged the western voice.
No-one else spoke English, but we were given a map to show us the way to the ferry terminal.
The distance looked small on a map of north-east Asia, but the ferry to Pusan would take all night.
Second class tickets entitled passengers to a blanket and a space on the carpeted floor.
The Japanese lorry-drivers in the bar encouraged us to join them for a few drinks at their expense. They sang Japanese and Korean folk-songs and entertained each other with full mimicry.
The boat dropped anchor at about 1.30am, and waited until 7am for the tide to turn and workers to man the port.