Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Portraits: Ojiichama & Obaachama | 祖父と祖母

Portraits: Ojiichama & Obaachama | 祖父と祖母
Portraits: Ojiichama & Obaachama | 祖父と祖母

My grandmother, Obaachama, asked me to take portraits of her and my grandfather, Ojiichama, during our trip to Japan this summer. Mama stood behind me working hard to make them laugh, and Leslie helped Obaachama with her hair and makeup.



Ojiichama has known Obaachama since they were teenagers. He often came over to play at their house with her older brother. They married after the end of WWII, after my grandfather heard the news of her brother's death as a soldier during the war (he had made a promise to her family to carry on their family name in the case of her brother's death). Ojiichama, a kamikaze, had been called to turn around, as the war had ended, when he was already in his plane. When he returned, he remembered the promise he made, and even though members of his family were against it (his family was of a higher class than her's), he said after the war, everything was boro-boro, in devastation, and it wasn't the time to be considering class difference. He gave up his last name, and took our grandmother's, which is now our middle name, Kawamoto.

Their story is still very romantic. For the past twenty-some years, he's been driving my grandmother to the pool everyday. It's the one time when her legs, and back, don't feel pain, as she does her back stroke in the comfort of the water. He had his own hobbies as well, tennis and go. Ojiichama, now 91, has retired playing tennis this year, and retired playing go several years back when his playing partner passed. He continues to drive my grandmother to the pool everyday.

To view more portraits, you can visit the gallery here. Do you have a sweet story of your own grandparents to share? You can share in the comments below.

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