Thursday, August 20, 2009

Going around my aunts in Kumamoto

The reason why we went to Kumamoto this time was to see my father's sisters who are 101, 95, and 86 years old. My father had 9 siblings (10 including my father), but most of them have passed away. The 101 year old aunt is Aunt Teiko, the oldest girl of the ten children. There were two more brothers above her. One of them died when he was very young, and the other one lived a good life in Tokyo but didn't live as long as Aunt Teiko. Aunt Teiko is into making Japanese dolls. She made about 100 of them, but she has given a number away to many people, and in fact we were given a cute doll during this trip. She has a hearing problem, but other than that she seems to be perfectly healthy and her brain is working like a 60 year old.


The 95 year old aunt is Aunt Mikiko. She has been studying and teaching Ikebana for many years, and about three years ago she became a Iemoto (head master) of Kodo-ryu. Kodo-ryu is a school that is established during the year of 1716 to 1804. Unlike other Ikebana, it does not use the "kenzan" which is typically used to hold the bottom of flowers and twigs to arrange them.


The 86 year old aunt is Aunt Tayoko. She was a teacher of Japanese dance, but about two years ago, she and her husband got into an accident (and soon after that her husband unfortunately passed away because of it), and she doesn't seem to be teaching any more. She comes across to me as a most caring person.


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