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  • 執筆者の写真Yuko

Eulogy for my dearest mother

更新日:2021年11月21日



My mother was like a spring wilderness.


A strong, honest, yet vulnerable woman. It will continue to create the power to live in me.


When I'm doing good things, it'll tickle me and make me smile, and when I'm doing bad things, it'll upset me in my stomach. Live honestly and correctly.


I have loved storms since I was a child. I feel like I now understand the meaning.


My favourite storm, as soon as the signs of spring 2020 came, went wild and sent me a lot of rain and returned to the sky.



My mother was born October 17, 1946. Born in Ukiha City, southern Fukuoka Prefecture, Kyushu. The Chikugo River, famous for flooding behind the house, has been flooded many times as a child. Whenever she saw the river, she saw the sight of houses and people being swept away, and every time she saw the Ohore River, she was talking about it. Both her parents died early, and they had to take care of their siblings, so the house was very poor, and they were only able to help them. Therefore, she always said, "You must be happy to be born in this age, do what you like and be happy."


私の母は1946年10月17日に、九州福岡県南部浮羽市で生まれました。家の裏手に氾濫することで有名だった筑後川があり、子供時代何度も洪水を経験している。家や人が流されていく光景を川を見るたび思い出すと、オホジェ川を見るたび話していました。両親ともにそれぞれの両親を早くに亡くし、兄弟の面倒を見なくてはならなかったので、家はとても貧乏で、家の手伝いばかりさせられ、大変だったと。そしていつも”友子は今の時代に生まれて幸せね、自分の好きなことをして幸せになりなさい”、が口癖でした。


She recalled that her father had suddenly died of his mother's transient worries in an accident that he had caused, and he felt overwhelming responsibility to bring up his little sisters. While watching her father spending money on his sister and her child. She always said that she learnt that life was not equal. On the other hand, her mother was supposed to be a teacher at a girls' grammar school, but her parents died suddenly, so she had to leave school to take care of her younger brother, and she did not get much affection from her frustrated mother. In order not to meet these same unhappy circumstances, she wished independence for all Japanese women first. Therefore she gave me a generous education in learning and art and she raised me so rigorously to study hard and in order to become an independent woman with a profession.


父親が自分が起こした事故のせいで自分の母親に過渡の心配をかけ急死したことを悔い、自分の妹とその子供にお金をつぎ込む姿を見て育って悔しい思いをしたこと。母親が女学校に入り先生になるはずだったのに、両親が急死したので、下の兄弟の面倒を見るために学校を辞ず、悔しい思いをしていた母親にあまり愛情をかけてもらわなかったこと。その二つの不幸せな境遇にあわないように、女性の自立を一番に願っていました。そのせいで、私は、学問と芸術の教育を惜しみなく与えてくれました。その代わりに、しっかり勉強し、自立するようにとても厳しく育てられました。


As the third eldest daughter of four siblings, she worked harder than others.

4人兄弟の3番目の長女として、人一倍頑張りました。


She got a scholarship and went to high school. At that time, girls from poor families rarely went to high school. When she was in high school, she was taught piano by a music teacher who was consigned to the country from Tokyo. Then, that moment, her life had dramatically changed. She said to me many times that she couldn't forget the joy of playing the piano. When it was time for her break in high school, she dashed to the music room first and played the piano with her teacher. She always went to say hello to her teacher until she fell ill when she was 72. My mother was a very strong and loyal woman.


奨学金をもらって、彼女は高校に行きました。その当時、貧しい家の女の子が高校に行くのは稀でした。高校の時に東京から田舎に嫁いできた音楽の先生にピアノを教えてもらってから、人生が変わったとそれはそれはうれしそうに話す顔が忘れられません。休み時間になると真っ先に音楽室に行って、その先生とピアノを弾くのが至福の喜びだったと。その先生のところには、母は病気で倒れる73歳まで、毎年必ず挨拶に行っていました。母はとても義理堅い人でした。私も連れて行ってもらったことがあります。


After graduating from high school. She set out to the metropolis, Tokyo, as a typist.She worked at a sushi restaurant in the evening and sent money to her parents as the head of her family. During that busy time, she met my father, Tsuneo, who came as a customer to the sushi restaurant and got married on October 5, 1971.


After raising her children, she worked as a life insurance saleswoman, having achieved a very difficult qualification as a financial planner, and worked until retirement. In the meantime, she started learning piano and violin from the age of 50. My mother worked hard once she decided to do it. After retirement, she started her second life by giving love and supporting others, especially for blind people. Her life was filled with busy days, even after the collapse of ALS in 2019, she had lived positively and looked forward to celebrating her golden marriage with her husband, Mr Tsuneo. It was October 5 in 2020.


高校卒業後、東京に出て、タイピストとして働き、夜は寿司屋で働き、実家に仕送りをしていました。一家の稼ぎ頭でした。その寿司屋でお客として来ていた父と出会い結婚しました。1971年10月5日でした。母は、今年2020年の10月5日の金婚式を祝うことを本当に楽しみに闘病生活を送っていました。残念でなりません。


子育てが終わった後、生命保険のセールスとして働きながら、ファイナンシャルプランナーというとても難しい資格を取り、定年まで働きました。その間、50歳からピアノとヴァイオリンを習い始め、特にヴァイオリンはまったくの初心者だったのに、毎日朝5時に起きて練習をして2018年3月にALSで病院に搬送されるまで、続けていました。母は、一度やると決めたら一生懸命頑張る人でした。


After retirement, she started her second life. She played a violin with her friend, Mrs Hokari, and played ensemble performances for blind people while working as a piano teacher and a guid for blind people. It was busy every day and had a fulfilling life. In the collapse of ALS in 2019, she got along with the people of the ALS Association and lived positively. I haven't heard any murmuring from her. Many of her colleagues and friends have sent memorials.


定年後は、第2の人生をスタートさせました。盲人の人のガイド、ピアノの先生、友達とヴァイオリンのアンサンブルを演奏していました。それはそれは、毎日忙しく、そして充実した人生を送っていました。2019年にALSで倒れ闘病生活のなかでも、ALS協会の方々と知り合い本当に前向きに生きていました。弱音を聞いたことがありません。同僚も友達も多く、追悼文をいただいております。


From now on, I would like to read the messages that we appreciate from those who took care of my mother during her life so that it can be heard in our spring storm.

これから、母の生前にお世話になった方々からありがたく頂戴したメッセージを私たちの春の嵐に聞こえるように読ませていただきます。


It was received from Asako's youngest sister, Ms Kazuko Takahashi.


Dearest Sister Asako,

It was too sudden to cope with my grief and loneliness.


We had been talking a lot about almost everything, life, family and work, of course, a lot of complaints.


You had worked so hard on everything since childhood. But in the last job, which you worked as a guide for people with visual impairment, I knew that many people thanked you for helping them to do knitting, dressmaking, and piano accompaniment which you had been practising for a long time. It is like blooming flowers in you, Sister Asako, those flowers are so beautiful. Then, in your flower garden, the word you said to me with such a bright and vibrant voice, cannot forget. "Kazuko! if we worked hard, none of our time in our life would be wasted", said you while having been praising yourself. Please be reborn as a sister of mine and a mom of Yuko's even afterlife.


It was received from Asako's ex-daughter-in-law, Ms Minako Asano (ex-Sato).


Now I recall Asako san, my ex-mother in law, and am trying to write a eulogy to Dearest Asako san, and my tears never stopped.


If you've ever lived with someone under one roof for a little while, you'll know who she or he is. Asako san was honest, genuine, endlessly straight, and straightforward through and through. I have flashed back to a lot of moments and cried. Therefore, it was not likely that the sentences would be cohesive. Can I merely write my memories of her?


She always woke up at 4-5 in the morning, stretched meticulously in her favourite soundproof room, and then practised the piano. Every day. I haven't seen her oversleep. Stretching in the early morning isn't always possible. I thought it was amazing. The soundproof room seemed to be her favourite den, and she said that it was good that she bought it at a good time.


Once a week, her neighbours came and played the violin together. All the music which is playing at her funeral, now, has been chosen by them or Asako had played before she had ALS disease. The pieces she played such as a Turkish march by Mozart on the piano, and Pachelbel's Canon on the violin. "Yes Yes!" I had a session with that friend and Asako during their violin time! I sang with them in pure joy.


She walked quickly in the house and went to work after finishing her housework. Tsuneo-san, my ex-father-in-law, is a person who walked straight without making a sound, but Asako-san (not that her footsteps were noisy), the light air as her marching was transmitted even if I was in another room.


On top of that she continued professional work after retirement, therefore, I truly respected her. Speaking of work, there was a blind man who was a friend of Asako's friend since high school in the same town, and she had done support work when he went out (Asako-san called him Kei-chan).


Kei has a hobby of singing and had a chance to sing in a chorus group for the visually impaired. Asako-san volunteered for piano accompaniment for the recital She had practiced the accompaniment eagerly for a while.


Once I volunteered to teach singing. The song at that time was "Flowers bloom" (→ You may not know, but it is a revival song of the Great East Japan Earthquake). Even when we had a session in the soundproof room, we did “flowers bloom”!


She was good at sewing and DIY! She always came to me and said "I sewed this by myself" and another day "I also made this one by myself" she told me happily and she was so pretty, cute and obviously happy.


I'm grateful that ...

She accepted me without denying anything

I would say to her. I can only thank her no matter how much I recall her.

At last I'm sorry that me and her son, Koichi-san, ended up walking out of the marriage.


アサ子さんへのコメントを書こうと色々思いおこして、涙が止まりません。

少しの期間でも、ひとつ屋根の下で暮らしたことがあれば、その方がどんな方なのかって心伝わりますよね

アサ子さんは、誠実で、裏表のない、真っ直ぐな、どこまでも真っ直ぐな方でした。

色々思い出して泣いてしまって全然文章まとまりそうにありません。

思い出を書き綴ってもいいですか?

朝は必ず4~5時には起きて、お気に入りの防音室で念入りにストレッチ、その後ピアノを練習されていました。

毎日かかさずです。

寝坊しているのなんて見たことがありません。

ストレッチを早朝に必ずって、中々続けられることではないですよね。

すごいなぁと思っていました。


あの防音室は心底お気に入りだったようで、いい時に思い切って買って良かった良かったと仰っていました。

週に一回、ご近所のお友達がいらして、一緒にバイオリンも演奏されていました。

ピアノはトルコ行進曲、バイオリンはパッヘルベルのカノンがお好きだったようです。

そうそう!バイオリンの時間にそのご友人とアサ子さんとセッションしたこともあるんですよ!

楽しかったです。


家の中でも早足でサッと歩き、チャッチャッと家事を済ませて出掛けられていました。

恒雄さんは、音をたてないでそろりそろりと歩く感じの方でしたが、アサ子さんは(決して足音がうるさいとかではなくて)、トコトコトコっと軽快な空気が別の部屋にいても伝わってくる感じでした。

お仕事もされていて尊敬していました。


お仕事と言えば、アサ子さんの同郷のご友人の男性で目の不自由な方がいて、(アサ子さんはけいちゃんと呼んでいました)外出の際のサポートのお仕事をなさっていましたよね?

けいさんは歌が趣味で、視覚障害の方のコーラスグループに入っていて、

発表会の為にアサ子さんがボランティアでピアノ伴奏を担当していて

いつも熱心に伴奏の練習をしていらっしゃいました。

一度私もボランティアで歌唱指導をさせていただことがあります。

その時の曲は「花は咲く」(→長く海外にいらっしゃるのでご存知ないかもしれませんが、東日本大震災の復興曲です)で、アサ子さんも好きな曲でした。

防音室でセッションした時も、「花は咲く」をやったんですよ!


裁縫や、DIYも得意でしたよね!

これ、自分で縫ったの~

これも、自分で作ったの~って、嬉しそうに教えてくれて可愛らしかったです。


本当に感謝することばかりで...

何も否定せず受け入れて下さって

私はあなたの味方よって仰って下さって

どんなに思い返しても感謝しかないです。

晃一さんと残念なことになってしまって、本当に申し訳なく思っています。


It was received from Kei who was a friend of Asako since high school in the same town, and she had done support work when he went out, because he is blind. (Asako-san called him Kei-chan).

Dear Mrs Asako,


Mrs Asako was an alumni of an elementary and junior high school in Ukiha-shi, Fukuoka. When she heard the news that I became visually impaired and lived in the same Itabashi-Ku in Tokyo, she got qualified as a guide to support me.


Not only that, when a local group for the visually impaired joined the festival of Itabashi-Ku to sing as the chorus group, we asked her for piano accompaniment. She also made simple costumes. I was grateful that she practised and worked hard day and night.


For a group that supports the employment of visually impaired people, she became a supporting member with her husband, Mr Tsuneo.


If somebody asks me what a guide helper is, I cannot answer this question right away. Because it is not only a guide for visually impaired people when they go out but also attendance for meetings and a dinner companion for them. To work as a guide helper is not an easy job at all.


Mrs Asako had a strong volunteer spirit and had been very active, therefore, she helped us a lot. For instance, there was a time when I organised a bus tour and a new banquet for the local group, I had to prepare sweets and table settings for participants, but I did not help at all. Eventually, Asako and other guide helpers helped me. She was a perfect guide helper for blind people. Her bright and dedicated smile always comes to mind although it's only from my imaginary world.


Since I became visually impaired, I have used my imagination to draw people's faces whom I speak to in my head by their voice in which there are various tones, vibrations and colours, and even by their presence without any sound. Therefore, even when my parents passed away, the fact of death has been less than convincing to me and I have felt like they're still alive and smiling at me.


In the same way, I cannot stop feeling that Mrs Asako is smiling at me still now somewhere. And I believe that she will support me whenever I need her help.


Thanks to her daughter Yuko, She was very happy to live close with her husband and her grandchild, Saskie in Chomutov, the Czech Republic.


I want to thank her again for her efforts and I will show her my respect.


I will pray for her happiness in the next world.


母の小中学校の同窓生 Kumagai Kei より


アサ子様は、福岡県うきは市の小中学校の同窓生である私が、視覚障害者になって、同じ板橋区に住んでいることを知って、ガイドヘルパーの資格を取って、とてもお世話になりました。


地元の視覚障害者団体では、コーラスグループが区民際の一環として出演するのみ、ピアノの伴奏をしてもらいました。簡単な衣装等も作っていただきました。日夜練習、作業に励まれたことと感謝しています。


中途視覚障害者の就労を支援する団体では、ご主人とともに賛助会員になって応援していただきました。


ガイドヘルパーと言っても、本人をただガイドするだけではなく、視覚障害者ばかりの会合、会食なので、いろいろ手数が掛かります。


アサ子様は、ボランティア精神が旺盛で、とても精力的にご尽力いただきました。


私が、地元の団体のバス旅行や新宴会の幹事を引く受けた時期もあり、参加者に配る菓子等の買い物、テーブルの飾りつけなども、私は全く役にたたないのですから、結局はアサ子様をはじめ、ガイドさん達にやってもらうことになります。


本当にかいがいしく面倒をみていただきました。

いつも明るくて、ひたむきなアサ子様の笑顔が思い浮かびます(想像の世界ですが)。

全盲の視覚障害者になると、自分の父母が亡くなったときも、ピンと来ないで、いまでも生きているような気がして、笑顔を思い浮かべています。

アサ子様も元気でおられるような気がしてなりません。

いつまでも見守っていてくださるものと思います。

友子様のおかげで、ご主人や、お孫様とも一緒に暮らせてとても幸せだったことと思います。

ここまでのご尽力に、改めて心よりの感謝と敬意を表します。

はるかに、ご冥福をお祈り申し上げます。


It was received from Asako's colleague Ms Misako Miyakuni.

Eulogy for Dearest Asako


It's been a while since Asako left Japan. The days spent with Asako are reminiscent of seeing your life flashing in front of me.


Together, we talked and laughed at various events. I had been saved many times by your lightness and gentleness of laughter just as laughter is the best medicine.


Dearest Asako,

when you were in the hospital with ALS, we cried together.

Even after you left for the Czech Republic, we sometimes called and reported on each other's status. Once I heard your energetic voice, it had given a sense of relief.


Dearest Asako,

you said many times that you were very happy because you stayed by your daughter. Moreover, you were always concerned about your daughter's family.

Sleep deeply so that you don't have to worry about anything.

Last but not least, I was really glad to meet you, Dearest Asako.


It was received from Munemasa Sasaki

Memorial to Mrs Asako Sato


This is Sasaki, from a drum group called Ponpoko.

Although you were in recuperation, I heard from you that you were still fine. Therefore, I was surprised at breaking tragic news. There are plenty of things to remember, but the most memorable thing is that you made handmade Kimonoes, which were the stage costume of Ponpoko. Moreover, it was as many as 17 or 18 kimonos. You had done everything from buying fabrics to cutting and sewing. Your considerable efforts fulfilled our excitement and gratitude.


And, when you passed me the finished kimonos, what you said had surprised me, it was "I rode a bicycle to go almost everywhere within Tokyo". What a lively tone of voice it was. I remembered it as if I have just heard it yesterday.


Although you had lived in a place where it was difficult to meet, which is the Czech Republic, almost 10 years or more had passed since I saw you last time, I was looking forward to seeing you again someday. nevertheless, it became a mere wish that never came true. Please rest in peace.


It was received from Ms Taeko Hashimoto.

I was really surprised to hear that Asako had sunk to rest. When you were in Japan, you guided me. She was bright, gentle and had a great sense of sensitivity. I am in grief. Finally, we wish all the health of your relatives and pray for you, Dearest Asako'. I am joining my hands in prayer.


From Fukuda


I am very sorry about this breaking news and I guess that your family will be shocked in their heart.

I met you, Mrs Asako, for the first time in a hospital, but I can't forget your wonderful smile. "My beloved daughter and her family asked me to come So I would take an airplane with a breathing device with my husband", she was told strongly. Thank you for sharing ALS information in the Czech Republic. She told me “I make meals with my husband in ordinary daily life. After 1 year of rehabilitation, I can sleep well and I can enjoy good food with my husband every day. I was happy to remember Asako's smile.

Asako who worked hard against ALS

I am very sorry that LINE could not be enjoyed in the future between us.

Please accept my sincere condolences.


Kahodome Fukuda


オンドレイカ友子様


この度は誠に残念なことで,ご家族の心中もいかばかりかとお察し申し上げます。

あさ子さんと初めてお会いしたのは病院でしたが素敵な笑顔が忘れられません。ご主人と一緒に最愛の娘さん一家がいらっしゃるチェコに行く。と力強く話されてましたね。

チェコから,ALSの情報を教えてくださったり

普通の日常生活で夫と食事は作っています。

快食、快眠、快便、リハビリで1年過ぎたと…

あさ子さんの笑顔を思い出し嬉しく思いました。

ALSと向き合って頑張られたあさ子さん

これからも,楽しくLINEできると思っていたのでとても残念でなりません。

心よりお悔やみ申し上げます。


福田 加穂留







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