January 2023

Too many sorrys, girl.

When I was in high school, I used not to get along with my classmates. Not that anybody disliked me, but I was simply in a phase of my life when I was totally frozen both inside and out, and I just seemed to have forgotten how to speak normally with others. Every breaktime, I […]

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Picture with Minnie Mouse

The summer when I was six, my parents took me to the Tokyo Disneyland for the first time. We took the bullet train to Tokyo the day before, and after being a guest at my great aunt’s place for the night, our real adventure to the Disneyland began. It was an extremely hot humid summer

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Memory of Disneyland

When I was in Grade 3 and 4, I had a classmate who was a huge fan of Disneyland. (As kids in Japan, whenever we said “Disneyland,” it referred to Tokyo Disneyland, not the one in California.) Though my hometown was not exactly close to Tokyo, this boy had been to Disneyland several times, perhaps

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Two Little Princesses

Shortly after I turned seven, close relatives of mine came over to my family’s new house to celebrate my birthday. In Japan, there is a tradition to celebrate the third and the seventh birthdays for girls and the third and the fifth birthdays for boys, a tradition that apparently goes back to ancient times to

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A Small Observation

When I was in primary school, at the end of every school year, a large gathering was held in the gymnasium to celebrate the graduation of the Grade 6 students. The preparation was mostly done by the Grade 5 kids with the help of teachers, and on the day of the farewell party, the whole

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A compass that dropped

One summer day when I was about nine, my two best friends were visiting my house. These were my friends from the time I used to live in a community of tiny half-dilapidated apartments, and even though we no longer lived close to each other, a few times a year, we would all gather at

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The Wooden Music Box

When I was in primary school, every winter, Grade 6 students spent a few months creating their original wooden music boxes in the art and crafts class. It was one of the biggest mandatory art projects since the process involved carving of wooden boards, painting, and assembling of all the pieces. The project would usually

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A Delightful Disruption

One hot summer morning when I was four, I was playing with my dolls as usual in the second largest room of our tiny half-dilapidated apartment. On the other side of the room, in front of the wide open window, was my mother doing her daily house cleaning. While vacuuming the floor, she had found

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Sister Mai

When I was about eight, there was a period of time when I daily visited the school library on my own. In one corner of the tiny square room, there was a section dedicated to books of true stories – stories about people’s lives. Some were autobiographies of famous historical figures, some were stories written

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