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  • Writer's pictureKarli Messer

Reconnecting to Wakayama Roots!

Rather than typical "long time no see" greetings, I said "Nice to meet you!" when meeting my relatives in Wakayama for the first time.

The train from Osaka to Wakayama was super quick, only an hour and a half away. As the train got closer to its destination, Wakayama Station, it felt like I fell into the mountains!

I am so pleasantly surprised at how kind and thoughtful everyone is! They take care of me so well that I'm reminded of Grandma Chic. The first photo is of Grandma Chic's sister, Tsugio san (97) and I when I first arrived!

Later that Yoko san took Maki san and I straight to Kazuko san's home, where a Buddhist priest was hosting a service. I noticed the service to be slightly different from the ones back home and came to learn that the sect of Buddhism was different! At one point we all chanted namu ami da butsu together for a minute and it was something I had never done before. I am very glad I was able to join this private service for the Obon holiday.

Kazuko san invited us into her home and showed us a photo of my Great, Great Grandparents on Grandma Chic's side of the family. The "photo" is actually a charcoal drawing, super detailed!

Pictured below are the descendants of Tsugio san. Starting from the left, (Maki san's husband) Takuma san, (Maki san's daughter) Kurumi chan, Karli, (Maki san's father) Hajime san, (Maki san's sister) Mia san, (Maki san's grandmother) Tsugio san, and (Maki san's mother) Yoko san.

Here is all the delicious food I've been eating recently! It feels like a waste not to upload it here, since I've diligently taken photos of each meal!


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