Obachan Oikawa Tomiko ← Back to the portfolio
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Mrs. Oikawa still harvests seaweed at the end of each February, rising in the frigid predawn hours and delivering newspapers on her way home where she arrives at 5:30 am to start her day. Recently, her grandson got a job as a fireman and, in the Japanese custom, he offered his grandmother a portion of his first paycheck in recognition of all she had done to foster his success in life. This rite of passage was a source of great pride for her. While she told the story, she offered her guests more and more food. Generous to a fault, she even ran after Mrs. Onodera to give her leftovers to take along. It never occurred to Mrs. Oikawa that she was an earthquake victim or that her guests were coming to provide her solace and direction. In fact, Maki left her and her daughter Yasuko with the inspiration for this project, and has never failed to derive inspiration from this collaboration.