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  • 執筆者の写真Yuko

Eulogy for my dearest mother


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."


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.


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


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


































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















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











福田 加穂留





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