Influential Person

Nasa Yamada
  (Written on November 11, 2002 when Nasa was a 5th grader.)

     In this essay, I will tell you about my mother, Mami Yamada. Mami Yamada has influenced me a lot, in my life.

     Mami Yamada was born on February 27, 1960 in Nagano prefecture, Japan. Her father Hiroshi Suzuki was a government officer, and her mother Takae Suzuki was a housewife. She also had one brother.

     In her early life, she had many difficulties. She could not get familiar with the school. She was the smallest and lightest in the whole class, but she had to eat the same amount of food as the biggest people in the grade. In Japanese schools, you had to finish eating or you even had to stay in after school to finish eating your lunch! When she had the 1st class of math, the teacher said “there's one apple. There's one more apple. All together there are two apples, so that 1+1=2.” But she did not think so. She thought that an apple could be big or small or green or red or even rotten, so it is weird to count any apple as ‘1’, said that to the teacher. Then the teacher said it is not good to say your opinion, believe what the teacher says, and had to stay out from her 1st class!

     Her dream was to become a writer, and she decided this when she was 9 years old. Her class had a summer vacation project, where most kids studied things such as flowers. But what she did was; she made a booklet with 5 short stories she had written. Teachers and students who read this thought those were great stories, and even the principal came to read it and some students asked her for autography! And she did become an author, and now she has written many books.

     She also wrote many newspaper articles, and also articles on India while she was living there. Some of her books are on magic. While she was living in India, she interviewed magicians and wrote books on them. One book called “Mango No Ki” which means Mango Tree, is about a magic that only one magician in India can do, where you grow a mango from no where!

     When you ask Mami “who influenced you?” she says that it is the hardest question to her, since no one has ever in her whole life influenced her, since she was independent from when she was in elementary school.

     Mami married when she was 23. She met my father Masami when she was studying abroad in Australia. She met him in a bird sanctuary. When she was bird watching, it suddenly started pouring. She ran to a small Kodak photo shop, then there she saw my father. They didn’t say anything to each other, and when the rain stopped, they just went back to watch birds, again. But later when Mami went back to Japan to renew her visa, she was amazed. At her house, her father Hiroshi showed her the newspaper, where the man at the Kodak shop was on! Then later on, they met and then soon, they married.

     When I asked Mami “what do you want to be if you could change your life over?” she says “I don’t even want to change my life over again.” She says this since she is happy with her life.

     Most of my family has an impression on Mami that she is strong, and does not be down for a long time. I also think that it is amazing she can speak English, because she only learned it seriously from when she was around 20.

      Mami Yamada has influenced me in many ways. I think my personality is very similar to my mother's, and some people say I also look like her.