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Otamasan no Okaisan Otamasan no Okaisan
(A Pond in Summer)

Text by The Publishing Committee for the Hinode Picture Book
Ill. by Yoshifumi Hasegawa
Osaka: Kaiho Shuppansha, 2002

40 pp: 263 x 216 mm
ISBN : 4-7592-2229-4
Ages : 8+
Strong woman, Discrimination

Kodansha Publication Culture Award for Children's Picture Books 2003

The story of this picture book is set in Osaka just after WWII, when people started to build shacks and makeshift huts in the great expanse of burnt ruins. Aunt Otama was born, brought up, and lived in Hinode Village, a segregated area where members of the formerly discriminated castes were supposed to live. Aunt Otama lived in a small one-room shack with her two grandsons. The villagers were poor, but they lived cheerfully helping each other in spite of discrimination and hardships. Whenever someone was hungry or angry, Aunt Otama was there offering her rice gruel to cheer them up. Sometimes she added water to increase the quantify of her gruel so many times that she herself had to eat very thin rice gruel. Otama was an actual person, and this book is based on her grandsons’ recollections.

The Publishing Committee for the Hinode Picture Booky is a group of volunteers who want to hand down the history and the determined way of life of the former Hinode villagers to children of today.

Yoshifumi Hasegawa was born in Osaka in 1961. In 1999 his work was presented an award at the Japan Illustration Exhibition run by JACA, and in 2000 his first picture book titled Ojiichan no Ojiichan no Ojiichan no Ojiichan (Grandfather’s Grandfather’s Grandfather’s Grandfather) was published. He has illustrated more than 30 picture books and some story books including Doko Doko Doko (Where Where Where, 2004), Ue ni Mairimaasu (Going Up by an Elevator, 2003), and Manuku deesu (We are Full, 2004). He also illustrated a picture book titled I Ro Ha Ni Ho He To (Japanese Alphabet), which won a Japan Picture Book Award in 2006.
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