Back to list

Pingtung school pays tribute to Japan's 'Yuki Obachan'

2014/12/06 17:20:00

Photo courtesy of Jhutian Elementary School

Taipei, Nov. 24 (CNA) Jhutian Elementary School in Pingtung County held a memorial ceremony Monday for a deceased Japanese woman in recognition of her love and support for the southern Taiwanese school over the past 33 years.

Yuki Mizutani, who died Saturday in Japan aged 94, had visited Jhutian Elementary School every two years on average since 1981 to memorialize her deceased husband, who joined the Japanese Imperial Army in 1943 and died at a Jhutian Township field hospital that is now Jhutian Elementary School.

When Mizutani visited the school for the first time in 1981 to remember her husband, she was touched by the beauty of the place and decided to pass her love for her husband on to the students through constant donations of books, equipment and funds to the school over the past 33 years.

Mizutani made her last visit to the school in 2009 and never came back because of her age. She has been named an honorary villager of Jhutian Township, and the chief of the township also wrote her a song called "Yuki Obachan," which means "Grandma Yuki" in Japanese.

Hsieh Chun-ming, principal of Jhutian Elementary School, said Mizutani's son-in-law has contacted the school in order to fulfill Mizutani's last wish -- to bury the ring given to her by her husband in the township, a move that Mizutani believes will bring a reunion of her soul and that of her husband.

The school is still negotiating on the location for a burial of Mizutani's ring, which is also expected to serve as a venue for life education, Hsieh said.

(By Kuo Chih-hsuan and Jeffrey Wu)
ENDITEM/J