Hero Story

Eriko Sato

    My hero is my mother. When I first heard the word "hero", I tried to find someone great like a master of art,  for example,  Pablo Piccaso because I liked his art. But when I asked myself "Do I really know him?" I had realized that the only person who I did know and who I wanted to be like was my own mother.

    When I was a child I did not know how great my mother was. As a matter of fact, I did not want to be like her. My mother was a housewife who had been raising three kids. She was always at home for us and did not work outside. Some people say that I was lucky because my mother did not work outside so I didn't have to carry a house key with me. I think I was lucky too.  But I was always wondering if I wanted to be like her.  It seemed to be boring.

    My mother was from a wealthy family so she had a lot of opportunity to learn different things like flower arrangement, Koto instrument and tea ceremony. She also went to dress making school in Tokyo. It was very rare for woman of her generation to go to higher education after high school.

    She had lot of interests. Even after she had children she was studying at home. But she did not go to work outside. Therefore, I thought she gave up a lot of things just because she was a woman in Japan. It was womenšs job to keep house and take care of kids. And it was menšs responsibility to earn money for their family.  Ofcourse it is changing now. But for my mother, it was very common. So I was asking myself "Can I do the same for my child?"

    After I had a child, things looked different from before. I realized that it was not that easy to continue working on the same schedule as before. It is not only because of the system. It is from myself. There was a contradiction. I want to work but I want to be with my son at the same time.  I was confused. So I have started talking to my mother more. Then I found out how my mother did both well.

    I t was something I didnšt even know. While she was raising kids, she had continued taking a lesson every week and studied hard to get a license for teaching tea ceremony. After that, she opened a class at home.

    I think what she did is very wise. Sometimes being flexible is not that easy. But she always knew how to enjoy her life and judge what was most important for her at the time as well.

    I think she is a very determined person who is not afraid of stopping for a while and waiting for the best timing to restart. What I learned most from her is no matter how long it takes or how old I am, I should not give up something I really like.

    Now my mother is 60 years old.  She is more active than ever.
She says tea ceremony is her life work and there is no retirement for teaching tea ceremony.  I think I t is one of the ideal ways of being mother and woman. I hope to get older like her.