In Attire
Relationship: Child of im/migrant
A green jade kanzashi
A green jade kanzashi

My mother is an immigrant who came from Japan. Since a little age, she wanted to move far, far away from home. She always thought to herself “I am going to move far away when I grow up.” In 1988, she moved here. She went to San Francisco and gave birth to my brother. Then, she moved to New York. However, a few months before I was born, my mom’s father died of cancer. When she went back to Japan to attend her father’s funeral, my grandmother gave my mother a thin box. When she opened it, she saw a traditional Japanese hair accessory, called a kanzashi. “Your grandmother bought this when she was in her early twenties,” My grandmother said. “You should keep this in honor of the women in our family.”
In the summer of 2016, my mom said “hey, look at this.” She handed me a thin box. When I opened it, inside was that kanzashi. I saw it for the first time. It had a jade stone on it and the “needle” part was silver. She said, “When I went to my father’s funeral, your grandmother gave it to me.”. She told me, “when you become an independent young lady, I will give it to you, and you will keep it in a safe place.” She added on, “That is the way that the women in this family will connect with each other.”

Place(s): Niigata, Japan
Year: 1988

– Tokiyo Machida

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant