Nabuko-san came running into the teachers’ office area (where our desks and supplies are), snapped to attention and said, “Doctor-san is ready for surgery” with a quick, efficient bow, without so much as cracking a smile. I stared at her blankly. “What?”
Sure enough, I went into the classroom where we usually meet, and there were a bag of rusty surgical tools spilled all over the table. Doctor-san forgot that he requested that we cancel this week’s class, and showed up by mistake. He holds one of them up at eye-level, smiled and said, “What is this.” So we began, and here’s what I learned during this session:
-Braided silk thread was used to sew people up because it’s strong and flexible.
-Current needles are curved, and triangular (have three sides). Doctor-san demonstrated how to use a needle like this on a lanyard, then handed it to me and said, “You try,” and I did. He said I did well. Then I dropped the needle on the floor.
He also demonstrated how to tie knots:
A square knot is “the best” (aka. sailor’s knot, man’s knot), but there is no internationally common name for this knot. Left and right hands switch to make it. When they don’t switch, it’s called a woman’s knot, or granny knot. A surgeon’s knot passes through the bite twice, then a square knot is placed on top of that. This combination is a surgeon’s knot.