The Nagasawa Family Photos

Yoshimi Hara Nagasawa: February 15, 1941 -- October 13, 2022


 The Hara family siblings. My mom was probably 13 years old -- she is on the upper left. From left to right: Naomi, Yoshimi, Satomi, Asami, Keisuke, Masako. Birth order: Naomi, Masako, Keisuke, Asami, Yoshimi, Satomi.


 Mom is on the bottom right.


High school yearbook picture, 1959. Yoshimi Hara is on the top row, middle.



 College yearbook, 1963. Mom went to a Catholic all-girls university called Notre Dame, in Japan. She majored in English Literature. She told me of one mischievous moment where she bought steamed sweet potatoes and snuck up to the roof of her dormitory. The Catholic nuns smelled the sweet potato and found her up there. Later, my Auntie Asami told me that my mom also hitchhiked across Japan during a vacation, and didn't come back to the dormitory when she was expected. So the Catholic nuns called home and notified her parents. Not sure if she got in trouble for that, but she never told me that story!


College graduation, 1963. With her parents Matsuno [Takemura] Hara and Masashiro Hara, and sister Masako.




 Completion of the Los Angeles College Vocational Nursing program, 1968.

Mom on March 10, 1972: nine days before I was born. She is setting up my little room in the small house that she and Dad owned in Torrance, California.



Mom, Dad, and me -- probably in the front yard of the Torrance house.


Mom and infant me with Uncle David, Auntie Asami, and cousins Katie and Darryl


I believe this was in our backyard in the Torrance house. In Japan, people celebrate Boys' Day on May 5th. Girls' Day is March 3rd. Celebrations happen with windsocks of fish.







Mom and Dad took me to Yosemite National Park in Northern California in August 1972.




A cake for being six months old!


My first Christmas, 1972


New Year's Day 1973 with my paternal grandmother and cousin Ronnie Matsushita.



My first birthday



This is the first picture I have of 13212 Abana Place in Cerritos, CA.  We moved here in 1974.














Me and my cousin Katie Goya, with her dog Snoopy. They lived in San Juan Capistrano, CA.











Marineland in San Diego, CA.








The women in my mom's family drinking tea and eating sushi and melon in the house they grew up in: Asami, Naomi, Masako, their mom (my grandmother) Matsuno [Takemura] Hara, Satomi. My mom might have taken this picture? This house in Japan was already 400 years old by the time my mom came along.


1983, in Japan. My cousin Kenji Hara (son of Uncle Keisuke, brother of Hiromi), and my sister Mari at age 7, with our Ojisan (mom's father).


Christmas, 1985, in Cerritos, CA. Mari and Mom.

Mom went to visit the town where her mom grew up. This is the Takemura family.


 Mom at Mako and Ming's wedding, May 15, 1999.


 Mom and Mari at the wedding of Mako & Ming, May 15, 1999.


After Ming and I had our official marriage ceremony, Mom wanted us to go to a Japanese photographer and studio in Los Angeles, who had traditional Japanese kimonos.

Later in 1999, Mom plus Auntie Asami and Uncle David welcomed some family friends from Japan.

Mom with Zoe at 4 months. January 2003.


Mom with John and Zoe at Cerritos Park East, where Mako played as a kid. April 2003.


Mom, Ming, and John at Huntington Beach, CA. April 2003.


On my 32nd birthday, Mom came up and had a great time with the family. Here's John adoring a hug from Obachan. March 2004.


My mom, my cousin Katie, and Auntie Asami, at Katie's wedding to Ken in May 2007.












Mom with cousin Kenji Hara and his family, in Japan.



Mom with cousin Kenji's son Soichiro


Mom spending time with her sister Satomi.



Christmas 2008


Christmas 2008


Christmas 2008


Christmas 2008


Christmas 2008


 October 2009. Mom went to Toulouse, France, to visit Mari and Richard and Lucas.






Mako's mom came out to visit for a few days in October 2009 after she went to France first! 












In late November 2013, my mom took John and Zoe to Fanueil Hall to see the Christmas lights on the trees. My mom moved to Boston in 2012 to be closer to us.






Christmas 2013.


 On New Year's Day of 2014, Mom made a lavish brunch of some traditional Japanese dishes.



New Year's Day 2014


February 2014, we went out for Mom's birthday to a restaurant in Cambridge.






May 2014 at the Arnold Arboretum, in Boston MA.  This is one of the most beautiful places.  Mom enjoyed the Asian-style arrangements here.




In July 2015, Mari and her family came out from Toulouse, France to Los Angeles and San Diego, CA. We met Dad and his family.



Mom with her older sister Asami.


In October of 2016, we celebrated Ming's and Zoe's birthdays



In October of 2017, Mom went to Greece for a tour, and then went to Toulouse, France to see Mari, Richard, and Lucas and Gaby.














In April 2018, Mom took John and Zoe to Canada for a weeklong vacation. Here they are at Vancouver Forest Park.




The next day was the Butchart Gardens in Vancouver.























Below are pictures my mom took in New Zealand in late September of 2022. She joined an organized tour. One of the goals was to see her favorite trees, the cherry blossom trees, blooming in the New Zealand spring.


This was in Christchurch Botanical Gardens.


This is Aoroki, or Mount Cook National Park.






I'm very surprised that Mom got into one of these luge sleds.


I'm not surprised, though, that she took a picture of the tourist Polaroid picture, instead of buying it.



A couple on this tour became friends with my mom, and sent me some of their pictures when I replied to their texts checking in with her.



So precious!


 The tour visited a Maori community center. I thought Mom expressed some interest and curiosity about the Maori people, who are the indigenous New Zealanders who were colonized. Sometimes it's easier to see and hear people's stories in another context...


 Whakarewarewa hot springs.





  Of course, they went to the Hobbiton set of the Lord of the Rings movies.

I was looking forward to watching the trilogy with her, as she had more connection to it now.


Here is Mom in Auckland, NZ enjoying some espresso. She came back to Boston on September 30th. My son John and I took her out to lunch on Saturday, October 1st. She showed us these pictures, and it was a tribute to her adventuresome spirit. It was the last time I saw her alive. We love you, Obasan. I love you, Mom.