Thursday, January 27, 2011


On Monday, I went to Santa Clarita by train to see my aunt and cousin.  She is in a convalescent home.  I want to upload many photos to show them and other relatives, but for some reason, the photos I take come out crooked or ended up partial.  Maybe there is something wrong with my eyes. 

The photos below are from 1955. Their house was in Senzoku, Tokyo.


My aunt isn’t an aristocrat, but she is in spirit. She hates the word "obasan." I do, too, to tell you the truth. So, in my family and relatives, we call her Ruri chan. Her maiden name is Yamada Ruri.

Once we were looking at this photo together.

I said, “Aren’t those flowers dandelions? I never heard anyone make a flower arrangement with dandelions!”

She smiled and said, “Anything is okay.”

She doesn’t go by the tradition like my mother. She is right. Her free spirited arrangement is quite charming and still makes me smile.


I wanted to play with dolls.  Guns and helmets didn't interest me.

My favorite time was to play with baby Risa. I used to climb up to their large armchair and sat down. Then my aunt would say, "Do you want to hold Risa?"

I nodded. Risa was better than any dolls I had. She lives in Hawaii with her family.

The dress I wore that day was yellow with black stripes, and the belt was black patent. My aunt had taken me to a store earlier and told me I could choose any dress I wanted. I looked around. I spotted a lacey pink dress like a decoration cake. After that, for some reason, I couldn’t look that way. I became frozen. She took time and asked me multiple times which dress I wanted. I tightened my lips. Time went by. I didn’t have the second choice or third choice. The pink dress was the only choice. I was desperate. I moved a little. My hand touched the dress in front of me.

“You like this dress?” she said and lifted up the yellow dress.

I gazed down. So she bought it.

That was long time ago. Now I think back, the dress looks quite sophisticated for five year old girls in 1955. I’m glad I wore that dress rather than the pink-decoration-cake like dress. I guess it always works out at the end.


Umut said...

Nice photos (I love black and white photos), easy to understand and makes me think about my childhood. I also a memorable story about a dress when I was 7 or 8 I think:)

keiko amano said...


Yes, there is something nostalgic about black and white photos. I'm the only one remembers the colors and detail well. It is for my eye only memory. The pink dress had many frills, so I thought it must be so expensive. I didn't have the nerve to point to it. But I think they were all about the same price.

Please write about your dress story. I'd like to hear about that.

Umut said...

Well my story about dress is a little depressed:) I had a habit after school back home to see what new clothes came to our village store. Once, I saw a pink and green dress and totally loved it. Really wanted to have one but my mom couldn't afford it at those days. Even, I didn't have it I imagined in my mind myself in that dress for a long time. Many,many years passed and I wore different nice dresses but it still seems the most beautiful dress I have ever seen.

keiko amano said...


You have a precious story here. Thank you for writing about it on my blog. I can feel how much the pink and green dress meant to you.

Here, I hold my magic wand. I whirl it a few times toward kyrgyzstan. Tiny stars spark and twinkle around me and then all around you. Do you feel it? Tonight, while you sleep, you will be wearing that beautiful pink and green dress!

Please let me know how you felt wearing the dress.