December 2021

The story of a ramen shop

When I was small, my family would visit my maternal grandmother’s house for a few days after Christmas to help with the house cleaning. In the evening, I had a lot of time to spare with myself, and often sat in the dining room watching TV. This is a story that I once heard on […]

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Girl on a skate rink

During the winter season in Ottawa, wherever you go, you can find a pop-up skate rink. When the weather is cold enough, you can even skate on the canal or on the lake. You can feel that skating is really part of people’s life here. Unlike Ottawa, in the region of Japan where I grew

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A remarkable encounter

Four years ago, I spent the Christmas holiday with my beloved former host family in Edmonton. After the Christmas celebration, I went out with two other girls (one current and one former homestays) to downtown for boxing day shopping. We walked through the shopping mall stopping at different shops that interested us, and came upon

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My first violin & Santa Claus

The year when I was nine years old, I fell in love with the beauty of violins through a TV program I watched in the summer, and badly wanted to play the instrument myself. In order to imagine what it would feel like to play the violin, I even crafted a toy violin out of

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Girl who felt like a mother

When I was still a little girl in Grade 1, there was a particular corner of the playground that I used to like spending the long breaktimes. It was a small area next to the outdoor pool, and there was a sequence of several old tires half buried in the ground which children could jump

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Life with a moka pot

The first time I saw a real moka pot (a metal equipment to make espresso) was when I visited South Italy several years ago for the first time. At the time, I got the chance to hang out with some Italian friends, and what I saw in every occasion was the presence of a moka

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A spider on the shoulder

The high school where I spent between the age of 16 and 18 was a girls-only school, and it was locally famous for its unique school festivals. The biggest and most important among all was the annual song and dance contest held in autumn. The contest took place in October, but the preparation would start

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What does it mean to trust?

When I was in high school, I suffered quite a strong case of social anxiety. I struggled to communicate with others at school, and consequently, I spent most of the day sitting quietly at my desk. During classes, when a wave of depression struck me, I would scribble my feelings and thoughts in the margin

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Mt. Taihaku

Mt. Taihaku is not a famous mountain, but everybody in my hometown knows about it. It’s a small mountain located at the southern edge of town watching over everybody that comes in and out of the city. When I was in primary school, the school trips often took us to Fukushima prefecture, the region south

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The last time I saw her

It was Friday during a breaktime at school. I was in Grade 8. I was washing my hands at a deserted sink in the corridor when a friend of mine came down the corridor with her very close friend and stopped by to greet me. Although I had never hung out with her much, I

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