OMG Nyquil is the best!  I want a pony.  Will Sabby buy me a pony?  I hope so.  Maybe I can ride it.  Dave wants to ride it.  I think.  It’ll fart rainbows and fly through the air and…  are ponies and centaurs the same?  Ponies with Spears!  Would centaurs be offended?  I don’t know!!!  I’ll feed it chocolate and race it against Dave’s Davemobile!!!

Oh I’m soo sleepy.  I

… It’s Sabby.  Lily is out like a light.  Maybe I should get something other than NyQuil for her.

Hi! It’s me! Lily!

And I’m SICK!!!

I took a rapid test and it’s not COVID… guess just something I picked up on the plane or in Japan.  Aww.  I feel awful.  I have a fever and I just want to lay in bed and sleep.  So I won’t do a long post.  And I might even take a break for the next day or two depending on how I’m feeling.

Beth gave me her Harry Potter books to read.  I haven’t read Harry Potter yet!  Can you believe it?  They’re really good.  So I’m just laying here and reading and playing on my tablet and trying to feel better.  But I’m glad it happened after I got home and before Jack got here!!!

I’ll get better!  But I guess after the last two weeks, I need an excuse to rest!

Sabby just brought me some chicken soup and ice cream!  Yum!!!

Love you all!!! ❤

Hi! It’s me! Lily!

And I love my bed!  I love it love it love it!  I mean, bedrolls on a tatami are nice, and there’s more comfortable than you’d think, but my bed!  MINE!!! Hahaha!!!!  I slept like a log last night!!!  I mean I rolled around and smelled like hickory!  Hahaha!!

So I said I have a lot to say, and I do!!!  This might be one of my longer posts.  I know some posts are short and some are long, but I say what I need to!  It’s my diary!  As a reactor I saw once says, “It’s MY SHOW!”  Haha!!!

First of all, good news!  Jack is coming over for a week with his family starting on the 12th!!!  Yay!!!  I can’t wait to see him and Grace!!!  Grace wants to visit the big waterpark, and what Grace wants, Grace gets!!!  I don’t mean she’s spoiled, but she’s so darn cute!!!  Everyone loves her!!!

She loves chocolate and waterparks!!!  Girl’s just like me, but little!!!

Anyway, so yesterday I was kind of sad to leave Japan.  I mean, I loved it there!  I loved meeting my ojiisan and obaasan and ojisan and obasan and Ai and Hiroshi!  I was sad, but I felt I’d spent enough time in Japan for this trip, and I wanted to come home!  I missed Dave and Sabby and Beth and even David!  So I bowed to everyone, but gave Ai a hug.  Like many Japanese, she’s not big on physical contact, but she didn’t want to let go and was crying!  Awww!!!  I made a friend, didn’t just find a cousin!!!  Hiroshi just bowed deeply!

Ai is going to come over Christmas!  Yay!  You might ask why she hasn’t been to the US before!  Well…  let’s be honest, the family history with Emiko is a little complicated.  I’m not sure it would have gone quite as well if I weren’t there, but while us girls were in bed we could hear them talking in the other room, so I guess they worked some stuff out.  Yay!

Ai even hugged Liz!  They made good friends too!!!  So Ai’s coming to see both of us!!!  Yay!!!

So anyway, the five of us packed into a train and headed to Narita airport!  It was so cool watching all the buildings and stuff zoom by!  But we made it there, got a couple of light snacks, and watched the hustle and bustle as the planes landed and took off.

Our flight was mostly uneventful.  Unfortunately, there was a little turbulence, and that’s scary, but the pilots did a pretty good job of keeping that to a minimum.  Yay!!!  When we landed in LAX, we were soooo tired!!  But then there was a connecting flight, and that was thankfully pretty uneventful too.  Dave and Sabby and Liz’s parents were waiting for me and Liz at the airport!! Lucky Dave has a big car!  I hugged Emiko and Aika and Mika and we went our separate ways – they went home and I went home with my family!!!

Liz’s parents hugged Liz!  They missed her!  Awww!!!

Even though we were tired, Liz was chittering and chattering all the way home about all the stuff she saw and did!  She had such a good time!  I’m so happy!!!  She loved ookunoshima the best!  All the bunnies!!!  Liz’s father, of course, has been to Japan before, but usually for business, so they promised that someday soon they’d all go to Japan again!  Liz’s mother wants to see the bunnies!! Aww!!!

So once we got home, Liz and her parents went back to her house, she needed a nap as much as I did, and they had some dinner waiting!  Aww!  I needed food!!! So I ate and told them all about the trip in between bites.  Beth wants to see the bunnies too!!!  David was jealous I got to go to Akihabara!!!  But after food, I made it up to them with gifts!!!  I got David a couple of games and gadgets that you can only find in Japan!  He hugged me before his brain caught up to him!!!  Then he tried to play it off as being suave, but gave it up and ran up to his room to try out the games!!!  I know the way to his heart!!!

Beth was a bit harder to shop for, but I got her some Japanese makeup stuff, some of those animal ear headbands, and a couple of gadgets I thought she’d like too.  She did!!!  But Dave and Sabby were the most difficult.  I got them genuine kimono-style bathrobes!  They loved them!!!  And everyone got a pile of kawaii souvenirs!  Plushes!  Figurines!  Keychains!  AKB48 posters for David!!!

Oh, and Marie was VERY HAPPY to see me.  She didn’t leave me once, and was jumping up and down like a mad dog when I got in!  I didn’t even put her in the kennel, I let her sleep with me.  Aww.

And then I went to sleep.  And, as I said, I slept like a log.  And then I woke up, and here I am!  I’m a bit out of practice on the running, but I went for a run, and now here I am, writing to you!

So that was the blow-by-blow.  But how do I feel?  After all, that’s why I write this diary in the first place.  I feel…  Happy and sad.  I’m so glad I was able to take that trip, and connect more with Emiko, her (my) family, and my heritage.  I didn’t even know my birth name a year ago, and now I have a whole other family too!!!  I miss everyone!  Ojiisan and Obaasan had the best stories!  Ai was a good, if a bit mischievous, friend!  Hiroshi was cute!  But I’m happy to be back with my family too!  Sabby gave me the biggest hug at the airport, and she was even crying a little!  She missed me as much as I missed her!  And isn’t that what family’s about?

And now, Jack will come to visit, and…  and I’ve just got the best life ever!!!  OMG!!!

But today I’m going to rest.  No chores, no work, no school…  just rest.  The best vacations are the ones you have to rest from when you get home!!!  Then tomorrow… well, tomorrow will be what tomorrow will be!!!

Thank you all for coming on the trip to Japan with me!  I loved sharing it with you!  When Ai, Liz, and I went places, you were there too!  But you ate too much.  Try not to eat so much next time?  Hahahaha!!!!!

Love you all!!!! ❤

Hi! It’s me! Lily!

We made it to the airport!  Now we’re just sitting at the gate waiting for our flight!  It’s going to be a little while before it comes, so we’re just kind of resting.  It was such a nice trip!!!  I can’t wait to see my family again!

We’ve got a short layover in LAX, so I’ll probably post from there when we get there!  Sabby will be picking me up in Houston!

Anyway, I’m going to have a snack and close my eyes!  See you when I get home!!  I’ll have a lot more to say once I’ve gotten home, and more importantly, had a nap!

Love you all!!!


 Hi! It’s me! Lily!

Today was a quiet day.  We went to the Japanese immigration office to see if they had any records of who I was, or what name my fingerprint was previously attached to.

I’m glad Emiko was there, because everyone was so confused!!!

We went up to the window, and said something like “Good morning, I lost all my memories, but they told me at the airport that you might have a name that my fingerprint was attached to?”

I got a blank look.  We tried several different ways to ask, and then they got their boss, and we asked them as well, and finally someone took us into an office, and there was a lot of Japanese that was well above my skill level.  But finally, after about a half hour of Emiko and the bereaucrat politely arguing, he said “oh, wakarimasu!  Wakarimasu!”  Then there was a little more back and forth, and after filling out a form or two and a bunch of polite bowing, we left.

Emiko told me that she tried about ten different ways of explaining what was going on, until the light bulb went on.  He said he doesn’t know if they have the information, but if they do they’ll send it to me, it will take them a little while to look it up.  I guess that’s the best I can hope for.

Tonight we had a very nice dinner at a very nice place to eat, and my tummy is full now.  I’m probably not going to eat a whole lot tomorrow, you know, plane and everything, but it’s a nice way to leave Japan.  I had so much fun here.  I learned so much about myself, made a few friends, and…  and I’ll miss it.  I hope I can come back soon.

I’ll probably post from the airport tomorrow afternoon, but I’ll be flying at my usual posting time, so I’ll post again when I’m home!

Love you all!!! ❤

Hi! It’s me! Lily!

OMG that was fun!!!

I got my days mixed up.  We did have a free day today, but this evening we went to Akihabara and saw an AKB48 concert!  It was so much fun!  Liz even got a glow stick!!!    They sang all their fun songs!! Oogoe Diamond!  Sakura no Hanabiratachi! Heavy Rotation!!!  Liz was having a blast!  I like them but I was just kind of along for the ride.  I’ve seen their theater before on videos but never in person!!! I even saw the famous pillar!!!

She didn’t see her favorite idols, but that’s okay!  She saw a concert!!!

Akihabara has so many lights at night too!!!

Ai doesn’t really like AKB48 but she doesn’t not like them either, she was kind of just hanging out with us.  But I think she had fun.

Otherwise, I just went to a garden this morning and sat on a bench and had some quiet time.  You know, Emiko is right.  Dave and Sabby are my parents now.  They’re all my family, and my other friends are my family too, and I love them, but this is a part of my heritage too.  I’m half-Japanese.  Maybe I don’t believe in Shinto or Buddhism or Confucianism or any of that stuff, but it’s a part of my heritage, and certainly some of my ancestors did, and even do.  It’s important to connect with that, even if it’s not the most important thing in the world to me.  Sometimes when I’m sitting in the garden I can feel the kami calling to me, saying that I belong, that I’m home.

Well, I’m only half home.  But I’m home, nonetheless.

Tomorrow we’re going to go to the Japanese immigration office and see if someone has some evidence of who I was previously.  Maybe they won’t, but obviously someone has records somewhere, and it will be good to know.  Then, on Friday afternoon…  back to Austin.

Ai wants to come to Texas before school starts August 31, and I told her she’s welcome.  She’s going to talk about it with her parents.  She was happy too because her school ended the Friday I left (Usually it’s July 20 but I guess Marine Day threw a wrench in the timing) so she got a vacation along with me too!!!  Ai’s not my sister, but she’s better than my sister!  She’s my cousin!!!  All of my sisters except Aika and Mika are sisters by choice, but Ai is an actual honest to kami relative!!!  I don’t need a sister when I’ve got a cousin!!!  So I might be in an odd position of having Jack and Ai coming over at the exact same time!!!  But that’s alright.  I think as long as I have one or two evenings alone with Jack, he’ll be okay with whatever.  And I’ll have my license too!!!  I’m sure we’ll work it out.  I’ll show her a real waterpark.  Hahaha!!!

What a busy August it will be!!!  I can’t wait!!!

Well, goodnight!!!

Love you all!!! ❤

Hi! It’s me! Lily!

Oh today was sooo much fun!  So this morning we hopped down to Akihabara so we could take the Tsukuba express line, and…  ended up in Tsukuba!  What’s in Tsukuba, you might ask?  A dog amusement park!!!

Yes, an amusement park full of dogs!  Wan Wan land!

There were so many dogs to play with and pet!!!  And they had dog shows too!!  And cats too!!!  We had such a good time there!!!

When we got back to Akihabara, we all spent some time buying souvenirs for back home!  Lots of very kawaii stuff!!!  Beth will love it!

When we got back to Saitama, Emiko had a surprise for Liz!!!  And it was a whopper too!!!  She’s gotten tickets to An AKB48 concert on Wednesday at their theater!!!  The theater’s closed tomorrow, and usually it takes a long time to get tickets, but they make allowances for people who are international visitors!!!  We’re going to see an idol concert!!!  I wish the cafe was open, that’s how Shinoda Mariko (ue kara Mariko!) got her start.  But I guess that’s the way life is now.

She couldn’t get many tickets so it’s just me, Liz, and Ai, but hey!!!  It’ll be so cool!!!

But tomorrow’s going to be a free day.  No one has anything planned.  Maybe I’ll go to a garden and just zone out.  That actually sounds like fun.  The shrines are really peaceful places.

Anyway, yesterday’s entry was long, so today’s is short.  Wan wan!!

Love you all!!! ❤

Hi! It’s me! Lily!


So after I wrote last night’s post I just kind of cried it out.  It’s hard to find privacy in a room where there are five girls and five bed rolls, so I just covered up the best I could and tried to cry quietly.  But…  Liz wasn’t fooled.  She climbed into my bed roll with me, and I just lost it then.  I couldn’t help it.  I was so sad.  I clung to her and tried to wail quietly, but it wasn’t quietly enough.  Ai came over and….  gave me a head pat.

OMG.  I’ve never laughed and cried so hard at the same time before.  That was the most Japanese anime thing she could have possibly done.  I told you she was mischievous.  Finally, I had cried it out, and told them what was bothering me.  I told them all about Lily Day and how I was missing my family and… how last year’s Lily day was the day they showed me they actually loved me, and I’d be missing it.  Liz was very much a comfort.  I don’t know if Ai understood but she knew I was sad.  Honestly, that head pat was the best and funniest thing she could have done, it kind of broke the mood.  Finally, I drifted off, and I guess Liz went back to her own bedroll.

This morning I was still very sad.  I went to breakfast, and Emiko wanted to talk to me privately.  We went into our room while everyone else was eating.  She sat down on a bed roll next to mine.

“Ai told me something was bothering you.  That you…  leaked like a waterfall last night, as she put it.”  I giggled in spite of myself at the turn of phrase.

“It’s Lily Day.”

“I see,” she said.  I’d explained to her a little about Lily Day but I didn’t go into huge details.  She was quiet for a moment, and so was I.

“it’s the day you found out you had a family.”

I nodded.  She sighed.

“Yuriko… Lily,” she said quietly, “When I gave you up, it was a right decision.  I hated having to make it and I wanted very much to keep you, but I couldn’t.  But…  not the day goes by that I don’t regret making it.  Spe… spending so much time with you this week I realized how much I’d lost…  how much I’d taken from you, too.”  A tear was leaking from her eye.  “I gave birth to you, but I gave up the right to be called your mother when I… when I gave up the right to be called your mother.  That right goes to Sabby now, and… and Lily Day is the day when she showed you she deserved to be called that.”

She wiped her eye.  “But…  that doesn’t mean that you mean nothing to me.  I know I gave you up.  And I can’t give you a Lily Day because I gave up the right to that.  But…  let me try to make it up to you today.  Please.”

“How -“

“Just let me try.”  He lip was quivering.  “Please.”  She.. .actually bowed.  Like a Japanese person would to another Japanese person.

How could I say no to that?

So we left the room again, and I sat down and ate breakfast.  Ojiisan and Obaasan had made a nice, simple Japanese breakfast, as they usually did, and it was, as always, delicious.  American breakfasts tend to be heavy and carb loaded, but they like fish and rice and juices.  It’s nice.

Afterwards, she told me to put on my kimono.  I asked her why, she said to just do it, I’ll see.  So, I did, and she put hers on, and we walked to a nearby shrine.  She bought me an ema and bought one for herself too, and asked me to write my wish on it.  She wrote a wish on hers too, and we bowed and clapped and bowed and hung the wish on the shrine.  She wrote hers in Japanese, and I wrote mine in English.  I didn’t really understand hers when I read it, but I think it said something like “I wish my daughter the long and happy life I couldn’t give her”.


We walked then to a nearby Japanese garden, and we just walked through it.  It was very peaceful and serene.  We sat on a bench, and she turned to me.  “This is the one thing I can give you that Dave and Sabby can’t and never will be able to.  They’ll be able to give you a home and a family and a sister and brother, and…  and I can’t.  Not anymore.  But…  but I can give you your heritage, or at least a part of it.  I hope…” she sniffled.  “I hope that’s something you value.”

I lowered my eyes.  “All I ever wanted, from the moment I was found, was to know who I am.  I was looking back on my diary and I wrote that all I wanted was a name and birthday.  Those are the two things you gave me.  I…  I wish It’d been different, but…  But at least I know you now.”

She bowed.  “Come home.  I can’t do Lily Day like your parents can.  I’m not them.   But I’ll do it my own way.  I’ll do Yuriko Day.  I asked them what you liked, and, they said two things.  We’ll do those today.  Okay?”

I nodded.  She really was trying.

And… well…  she didn’t disappoint.  Turns out there’s a real honest to kami waterpark in Saitama.  Ojiisan and Obaasan didn’t want to go – they’re a bit old for the waterpark, they said, but she took all of us and we had a blast.  Japanese squeal just as much as Americans when they’re sliding down a waterslide, but usually interspersed with “kowaikowaikowaikowai”.  Hahaha.  Then afterwards we went to a Godiva Chocolates and, well, all that stuff Liz got at the konbini looked awful by comparison.  I mean, this was the good stuff.  She told me to buy what I wanted, and, well…  I am now full of chocolate.

But she understood the spirit of Lily Day.  You know how they say Christmas isn’t about the gifts?  It’s not.  It’s not about the gifts or the music or the red and green or the tree, it’s about doing things as a family and tradition and ceremony.  And Lily Day…  it’s about my family.  It’s about the day I, even if unofficially, became someone’s daughter, instead of just someone’s charity case.  It’s about the day I was shown how much I was loved and wanted by people who loved and wanted me.  And…  she understood that.  She took me to the waterpark and the chocolate place because she wanted to show me that even if she had to give me up, I’m loved and wanted now.  Today is the day she became family too, not just the woman who gave birth to me.

I’m not sad anymore.  Sabby, I know you read this.  You’re my mother.  No one will ever take that from you.  You’re the one who took me in and adopted me and went all Claire Huxtable on me when I did stupid stuff and…  and is always there for me when I need you and I love you and you know that.  But… Emiko will always have a place in my life too.  I didn’t know if I’d grow to love her, but I do.

Love you all!!! ❤