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July 5, 2011 > Special Life Events: Hajime is a perfect 10?

Special Life Events: Hajime is a perfect 10?

In mathematics, the number 100 can also be expressed as 10x10, 10-squared or 10?, but in life, that score, however expressed, is achieved by just a few hardy souls. Hajime (Yamamoto) Ota will join those rarified ranks on July 25, 2011 as friends and family gather to celebrate her birth 100 years ago in Walalua, Oahu (Hawaii). Childhood wasn't easy for Hajime as she and her sister and two brothers lost their parents when Hajime was only seven years old. Leaving her sister in the care of another family in Hawaii, Hajime and her two brothers were raised in Japan by her father's parents.

Hajime left Japan by ship on June 19, 1933, bound for the United States to marry Hichizo Ota. They married on August 19, 1933 in Clarksburg, California and started a family that eventually included five children - three daughters and two sons. Hajime is now grandmother to 11, great-grandmother of 22 and great-great-grandmother of two.

A resident of Union City for the past 55 years, Hajime has lived with one of her daughters for the past 46 years and helped raise her granddaughters after Hichizo passed away. Active in body and mind, Hajime has a wide variety of interests and hobbies including working in her vegetable garden, needlepoint, knitting, sewing, crocheting and other crafts. As master of her garden, she continues to pickle cucumbers and ume (Japanese plums) and, until age 95, prepared traditional New Years meals for her family.

An avid reader and fan of Sumo wrestling, friends make sure Hajime is well stocked with books written in Japanese and recorded Sumo matches. Hajime enjoys exercise classes, church services and Senior Center activities. Every year, Hajime helps at the annual bazaar at the Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church (SACBC).

O-tanjoubi omedetou gozaimasu, Hajime

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