Memories

Memories: Photos from Showa period + Short Stories

I found a lot of pictures and negative films from the storerooms at my parents’ and my grandparents’ homes. Some of them were fixed in albums, but they were put in boxes in a careless way. One of the oldest was a family photo in monochrome, taken when my grandmother was in girls’ school. That was the first time for me to see the face of my great grandparents. Pictures of my grandfather and my father with their colleagues. Baby photos of me and my siblings. And a few of my grandmother’s brother who died during the wartime. Some got names and dates on the reverse side. When I showed…

Late Showa: Big Sister

Late Showa: Big Sister

I have a sister who is 4 years older than me. When I was little, I always wanted to be like her. She was smarter and stronger in so many ways. I started taking the same piano lessons like her. I practiced sports so hard. I studied a lot at school. Because I always wanted to be equal to her. Now we are adults, two different people. I stil feel that we are close but far at the same time. 1980’s in Osaka, Japan

Late Showa: "Omiya-mairi"

Late Showa: “Omiya-mairi”

This photo was taken for my brother’s “Omiya-mairi”. “Omiya-mairi (the baby’s first visit to shrine)” is a Japanese tradition to take a 1 month-old baby to a shrine for his/her life of wellness. My sister took her baby to the same shrine in 2016. It is quite common to visit a shrine for a good luck such no matter what religion you believe in. (In fact, as a family group, we believe in Buddhism and pray for the ancestors.) 1980’s in Osaka, Japan

Middle of Showa: Mother and Son

Middle of Showa: Mother and Son

This is a photo of my grandmother and my uncle. My uncle lives with down syndrome. Down syndrome is a congenital syndrome that causes both physical and intellectual growth delays. When my uncle was born, people still didn’t know about the syndrome that much. For example, an extra chromosome was found on the 21st chromosome in 1959. “Your son might die before 20.” After the doctor told about this cureless syndrome, my grandparents prayed for their son every single day. Now my uncle is over 50 years old. I have never been shamed at having a disability person in my family. Although, it would be hypocritical of me to say…

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