I had already adopted Japan as home when my parents adopted my little sister Masako. Having a little sister was a new idea to me. I already had three brothers to vie with. Masako being so much younger was, instead, 'my' girl. We were ten years apart in age, and because of our large family, we shared a room. I didn't want her to forget her Japanese after we returned to the US so the two of us continued to talk, mostly about kid things. I also bought her Japanese story books before we left.
Flying forward decades, Masako has a huge family of adopted siblings and she has reconnected with some of her Japanese family. She is most cherished by us all. She still speaks Japanese occasionally (and the Spanish of her husband's family).
|And Fortune Followed Her|
As for our tradition challenge, I've used reference to Masako (and my adopted) textiles and techniques. The abstracted kimono shape is a piece of kasuri cotton. The shape was driven by the 40" height requirements and the amount of the fabric I had in my stash. The sleeves were machine pieced, however, all the remaining stitching was done by hand, traditionally necessary. The leaves which I interpret as 'letters from home' are a combination of over-dyed table linens and over-dyed cotton with newsprint imagery. Vintage red buttons reference the fortune of family that welcomed Masako.