Sister Naoko, Nobuko, Mother Eiko

This page is written monthly
by Harumi Okochi.
Sometimes Harumi's friends join.
We'd be happy if you look at
previous issues.

January, 2010

Nobuko's challenge goes on!

Happy new year!
How is the weather at your place?
How is economy there?
Are you going to be happy this year too?

I would like to introduce you a special friend of mine.
Her name is Nobuko Matsumoto. She lives near to my house, only 1 block away.
We see each other once in a while and have a chat.
She is always pleasing, and even when I am down, she gives me a new courage to challenge again.
At the beginning of one year, I hope, Nobuko will give YOU a new courage too.
Enjoy meeting Nobuko!

Doing what I can do・・・・・
My way of living

Nobuko Matsumoto

Congratulation, Yoyokaku, for the 10th anniversary of the web-site!
I am honored to be a writer for the new year issue.
First, I hesitated a little, but I cheered up myself to accept the offer to write, because I have been doing whatever I can do, and this is my way of living.

I was born in Karatsu in 1966, as the first child of my parents. I have a sister and a brother.
I am born to be handicapped. My case is Osteogenesis Imperfecta, and at that time, it was known as a difficult disease by unknown cause. Recently, it is studied more and the cause is going to be identified, but I don't know much about it.

At my birth, the doctor said that this very small baby would not live long. Because of my illness, my bones are easily broken, and I have never walked on my legs in my life. I was always set in a cast in my childhood.

My house is near the sea, and in summer time, Mom, Auntie, my sister and brother, my cousins, took me to the sea to swim. It was my greatest pleasure to be in the Nature. I cannot swim, of course, but I can stay on the water with the aid of a float, and being light in the water, I pretended to be swimming with my arms splashing water.

When I was 5 years old, the city office advised my parents to put me in an institution in Saga.
I had to go alone, and how terrifying it was to live away from
Nobuko's family
my family. Only after a short time, I broke my bone again, and I was taken back home. Since then I have always lived in my house.

When I was 6 years old, I found that I could not go to school like other children. I learned how to read and write from my family, and spent most of my time listening to music.
I was 8 years old, when the city office started to send me a retired school teacher to teach me simple mother language and arithmetics. It was only two hours in a week, but still I was so glad to receive EDUCATION!

After 4 years of studying with the visiting teacher, I was accepted by a "Visiting Education System" of a newly founded school for the handicapped in Imari City. I got in the 6th grade.
There I could experience many school events like Entrance Ceremony, Commencement, Athletic Meeting, etc.

I could receive two or three lessons in a week at home by a visiting teacher. I studied in this way until I finished my 3rd grade of Middle school, but maybe I achieved only 1st or 2nd grader's
at Middle school with Mr. I.
study even though I studied hard.

When I graduated from Middle school, my aunt suggested strongly to receive a correspondence course education of a highschool in Saga. I hadn't studied enough as a middle school student, then how could I become a highschool student? I was afraid and felt uneasy. But I was supported by my middle school 3rd grade's teacher, Mr. Hiroshi Inoue, who voluntarily tutored me for a long time.

Correspondence course needs schooling twice a month, and it was so nice for me to go to school!
My parents, or my sister, took me to school.

School building was not easy for me, because there were many steps and bumps, but friends helped me and pushed my wheelchair. On my way from school, I even went for a bite, or to some place to play with my friends, and these are all my treasured memories.

Highschool graduation day
Thanks to Mr. Inoue, I could graduate from the highschool after 4 years. I am so glad that I could go to that school.

After graduation, Mr. Inoue advised me to join a Sign Language circle. After a while, I started to ride on an electric wheelchair. It was a late start, but I at last began moving by myself.

In my circle, I was chosen to be a board member, and I could join the meetings in other cities.
I even went on a journey as far as Miyazaki Prefecture. I met many people through my circle activity, and Mrs. Okochi of Yoyokaku even made me speak at a primary school.

challenged friends
Two years ago, I started to work part time in the City Office to help communication.
I, a girl who always easily broke bones and could not go to school properly, am now independent, thanks to many wonderful meetings with wonderful people.
I would like to express my deep gratitude to my family, teachers and friends who always gave me warm hands to help.
From now on too, I will continue my challenge.

Thank you for reading my story.
I wish you a very happy 2010.

How do you feel reading this story of Nobuko?
She is always quiet and decent. Her eyes tell us how bright she is, and her smile tells us how warm-hearted she is.
I knew the late Mrs. Masa Matsumoto, Nobuko's grandmother, and Masa was so proud of Nobuko.
Nobuko's aunt Yasuko is also my friend, and Yasuko also takes pride in her niece Nobuko.
I am also proud of my friend Nobuko Matsumoto, and you will know why.

Thank you for meeting Nobuko.
I will see you again next month.

Thank you very much for visiting this page.
I hope you will return next month.
Yours, Harumi Okochi
Proprietress of

  Mail to Harumi Okochi