Monday, June 29, 2009


Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Mother's rooms have such a nice airy feel about them now! We even went out and brought her some lovely white curtains. Things are looking good!

I keep reminding myself that I'm not throwing away history here, I'm organizing it so that someone can appreciate it. Pictures have been dusted and put out on shelves rather than in cardboard boxes with the spiders. Letters are bundled for someday editing. Some books have found their way to the local library but I found one that I absolutely have to keep and will take it back to Japan with me.

This is a book of Japanese fairy tales that my grandparents must have given me when I was 5 or 6. I can vaguely remembered being entranced by the exotic pictures when I was a child and as I got older I loved reading all the interesting folk tales of fishermen fighting demons and princesses being born from bamboo poles. I guess my first interest in Japan began with these stories. Some of the titles include "The Man Who Made the Trees Bloom" and "The Legend of Urashima".

And while going through some of Mother's old pictures I found this photo from my first trip to Japan when I was 12. Our family visited Japan for two weeks one summer and took in the sights (even coming to the city that I now live in!). I think we met some distant relatives of my mother's and she shocked us all, even herself, by speaking elementary Japanese! She hadn't heard Japanese since she was 5 years old yet it somehow came out of her head when forced to speak it with the elderly aunts who paid an honorable visit to our honorable hotel.

This picture says it was taken on June 23rd 1967, 42 years ago, in front of the Tokyo Tower which was modeled after the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Marcy looked at this picture and said we looked like something out of a history book. Remember black and white photography? Wow. Does that make me feel OLD!! My father is the man in the white jacket behind my mother and brother and myself. I remember the smells of Tokyo and the little trinkets that were sold at all the souvenir stands. Something must have caught my fancy on this first trip because I came back in 1974 as a college student and again in 1977 on a work visa.

And I'm still there! (Or will be in another 10 days!)


Allie said...

Treasure indeed, Tanya! That picture of all of you is wonderful.

Timi said...

I also have black and white photo of me when I was a child...but I don't feel old :o)! I think you look great on that picture, I could recognise you, which means you haven't changed much :o)), you shouldn't feel yourself old!!

CT said...

When I first saw the photo, before I read the post I was going to ask you if you had been to Paris and how had you got that cool, quirky angle!!! wouldn't Tokyo Tower look awesome in a quilt?!?!?!?!?!

Oh, and by the way, I'm 31 and my childhood photos are about 50/50 black and white and color... and I don't feel old at all!! lol!

Rae Ann said...

I love the Black and White Picture. I can remember when women didn't wear jeans, slacks etc and us little girls followed, dresses, yuck.Finding your childhood book, must have been exciting. Something to keep and read to grandchildren in the future.

BrendaLou said...

so how did your parents meet? Was it in CA? The midwest? Did they experience any problems with interracial marriage? I can remember when I was in Jr. High in So. CA our school was 1/2 black, 1/4 white, 1/4 Japanese and even then it was talked up if there were any hints of "couples." Never crossed my mind as my friends had last names like yokoyama, komura, etc.

wataru and heidi said...

Happy Birthday to you my friend! Hope it is a huge blessing and you celebrate with bells on. You are so wonderful and hope you enjoy your day. I would of emailed you but dont have your email address. Love you my friend!