Wearing a disheveled, out-of-style suit and threadbare hat; has long, unkempt grey hair and beard
Dr. Andrew Lawler, typically insistent on being called Spark, is a learned man in his mid-sixties. His appearance can be described as unpleasant or, if one is being kind, comical. His dress style is normally torn, stained jeans and a button-down shirt to match. Today, however, he is expecting to meet with a friend at the station in Ueno and be taken immediately to a reception meeting at the private residence of the dean of Ueno Gakuen University. Because of this, he is currently dressed in his favorite suit: a threadbare leisure suit that has seen better days, even before Spark bought it second-hand in 1979.
Andrew was born on New Years Day 1948 in Battle Ground, Oregon, just outside the city of Vancouver. He breezed through his schooling and graduated summa cum laude in 1966. He applied and was accepted to the undergraduate program at the University of California at Berkeley, where he studied Anthropology. Two years later, his draft number came up and, against his parents’ advice and wishes, decided to report for duty rather than claim an education exemption. He married his high-school sweetheart, Margaret, before he was deployed.
In the army, Andrew was trained in electronics and communications. During his first tour of duty in Vietnam, he earned the nickname Spark for his knack with electronics. Since then, he has kept the moniker, and insists that he be called that in all but the most formal occasions.
After his second tour, the war ended and he returned to Berkeley. After receiving his bachelor degree, he was accepted at Harvard where he went on to earn his Masters and Doctorate in Archaeology and Anthropology. He went on to accept a research and lecture position at his undergraduate school. He specializes in indigenous cultures of the Pacific islands and the Pacific Rim.
He and Maggie have no children, but he is thoroughly devoted to her. He keeps a picture of her in his wallet and in a locket on a necklace that is always around his neck, usually hidden beneath his shirt, but always next to his heart.
He has on occasion guest-lectured at several universities in Japan. While the lectures were in English, he has picked up some Japanese in his travels. He currently is traveling to Ueno to meet his friend, Professor Hikaru Shikenza. Shikenza alerted him to some Ainu artifacts that were recently uncovered outside of Sugamo, and asked if he could help with the studies of such a valuable and rare finding.