Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Mother’s Day Portrait


5/9/21 Miyoko Koyama (from photo)
Hat tipped flirtatiously to one side, she surprises me that she was ever this stylish. And that baubly necklace – I never saw her wear anything like it! It’s certainly not the traditional strand of pearls I eventually inherited. The way she’s holding her clutch was probably suggested by the photographer who took the studio portrait – it doesn’t look like the “mom” I knew, who didn’t even carry a handbag (“pockets are safer and more practical”). Her hair is in a tight “permanent wave.” Despite the many times I’d seen the photo, I had never noticed until I made the drawing that her coat has a beautiful diagonal weave.

This is Miyoko Koyama in the late ‘30s, probably 1938 right before or after she and my father were married (he’s in the same photo; I’ll get to him some other time). I don't know if it shows in my sketch, but the photo shows a radiant innocence that was taken from her by internment during the war. I appreciate looking at old photos of my parents because it reminds me that they had a life long before they gave me mine.


  1. She looks so lovely and stylish in this sketch. It is strange to think of our parents being so different from the way we normally related to them. What a special memory to have.

    1. It takes a long time to grow out of our view of "mom" and "dad" and see them as regular people.

  2. Beautiful sketch. Beautiful mom.


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