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  • odawaraetsuko1



I was interviewed about occupations and I talked about my mother. She belongs to a generation in which most women liked sewing at home or at work. Today I am writing about how my mother’s sewing supports her well-being in her aged life. I am going to share with you a perspective on sewing from occupational angles in my next post.


Yayoi is a woman in her nineties who lives with her daughter.

She is able to handle of her personal self care but she needs her daughter’s

help for many other parts of her daily life.

It’s hard for her to go out by herself.

She has transportation to a day care center three times a week.

She looks forward to being with other people there, communicating

and playing games with them.

She also enjoys dipping in a hot spring.

Yayoi has always been sociable and liked be surrounded with her friends.

But nowadays, she feels sad because many of her friends and relatives passed

away and others can’t enjoy an outing.

When Yayoi was a young woman, it was a trend for women to attend

a dressmaking school.

Yayoi learned dressmaking skills before she married.

She used to tailor dresses and shirts for her children when they were very young.

She also wanted to be stylish and used to order her own dresses and suits.

Nowadays it’s easy to purchase ready-made clothes on online shopping.

She still dresses up when she goes to the day care center and likes others say

she looks nice.   

She finds it difficult to do many things on her own.

She enjoys washing dishes and hanging and folding the laundry.

Her daughter is responsible for cooking, doing laundry and cleaning.

Yayoi still loves sewing, too.

Even though she can’t make a dress or use a sewing machine, she still

enjoys making small items and altering her clothes by hand.

She alters the waist of her pants or relocates snaps or hooks, so clothes

will fit her better.

Yayoi removes the straps of her daughter’s shopping bags and adds

longer and wider straps so that it becomes easy for her daughter to use

the shopping bags.

She also likes to make scrunchies using colorful fabric.

She gives these to the people in day care and to her other acquaintances.

Yayoi used to have a large circle of friends.

She enjoyed being a part of a singing club, and going to gatherings of

relatives and lunches with her friends.

Nowadays Junko is the only friend who can visit her at her home.

They have been friends for sixty years, since their kids were in day care.

Nowadays Yayoi and her daughter have a lunch party every month and

they invite Junko.

Junko is excited to visit Yayoi.

They enjoy good food, drink, and talk.

Junko has many health problems so it’s not easy any more for her to visit.

She also has few friends who she enjoys hanging out with.

Yayoi and Junko enjoy delicious food together at lunch, reminiscing

about their youth, and complaining about health problems and

their adult children.

After lunch, Yayoi likes to show Junko her alteration work (like in the

picture above).

Junko listens to Yayoi as they start remembering the Showa era’s fashions and trends.    


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