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graduate: makiko (真喜子) [kawasaki, japan]

One of the best things about photography is when you get to create something with friends from your past.  Meet Makiko Kakiyama.  Her first name means “True Joy Child”, and that really sums up this beautiful young lady.  She was my homestay sister from when I first went to Japan back in 2006.  This cutie was just finishing up elementary school when I first met her, and now she is all grown up and heading out to college!!!

When I found out she was coming to visit her Aunt Mariko this summer (remember her littles [1 + 2] ) I was way toooo excited to give her a lovely graduation gift, an American Style Senior Photo shoot.  In Japan when they graduate, they don’t get pictures done to commemorate the rite of passage, so this was a special opportunity for her!  The yellow dress she wore in the shoot was also a special item for her because she got to wear it to an American High School prom, another event that the Japanese school system doesn’t have.  The rest of her ensembles were specifically clothes she bought while visiting!  Makiko being the sweetie she is adores sweets, so American candy doesn’t phase her!  We got to shoot in the lovely Old Market Passageway, and yummy ice cream shop Ted and Wally’s, to showcase her sweetness in and out!  What an amazing end to her high school career!  It seems I keep meeting this lovely on the ending and startings of wonderful new things in her life!  How blessed am I?  A LOT, that’s how much!

Her personality, while maturing a bit for sure, really reminds me of the little rascal I knew one summer in Kumamoto.  Full of energy, and a trickster at every turn.  Now, with longer hair and bigger dreams, she wants to follow her dad’s footsteps by adventuring into the medical field.  She graduated from the Kawasaki University High School and is moving on to their Medical Program at the college level.  College is a special time for kids in Japan, as it is the first time that they get to really express who they are in fashion, their studies, and groups of friends.  Have fun, but not too much fun, Makiko!

May you never lose your spunk and wonderful and true joy, Makiko!  You are going to be an amazing doctor, as you are already an amazing human being!  Love you lady!



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