maple & olive

An Ordinary Day (Poem)

I packed my lunch for workI was so hungryThat I finished eating itBefore I left home

One big bite

When I was small, we had a family relative who would send us a box of spicy fish eggs every year. From the day of delivery, for several weeks, we would have a bowl of orange-coloured spicy fish eggs on our dinner table every day. Since it was quite spicy, I learned to take just …

One big bite Read More »

It’s a small world after all

When my little brother turned two and started talking, there was one song that he loved singing: It’s a small world. At the time, my family had never been to Disneyland, but I learned to play the song on the piano while attending the local YAMAHA music school. At YAMAHA, They also gave us CDs …

It’s a small world after all Read More »

Home (poem)

Home is where our family is Home is where our childhood took place Home is warmth Home is where people’s thick dialect soothes my earsHome is where the intimate mountain silhouette melts my heart Home is connection Familiar smells Familiar tastes Everywhere you turn Home is a feeling Home is where you call “home” without …

Home (poem) Read More »

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 …

Too many sorrys, girl. Read More »

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 …

Picture with Minnie Mouse Read More »

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 …

Memory of Disneyland Read More »

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 …

Two Little Princesses Read More »

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 …

A Small Observation Read More »