The Story
Of Mako:


A year and a half had passed by since my birth and I was getting bored. The legos, toys, and dolls were simply not doing it anymore. I needed someone to play with me; but most of all, I needed someone to beat-up. Little did I know, I would get both my wishes on December 2nd 1977, when my brother Makoto was born.

Like all other new borns, Mako came into this world with no knowledge of, well, anything. It was my duty to take full advantage of this. From the beginning, I set the record straight. Whatever was new, I got to have. As soon as I outgrew them, they were Mako's. But the best example must have been when we were given Grandma's old piggy bank. We were to split it 50/50. That day, I was in a very generous mood (after all, as the older brother, it was my duty to do things in the best interest of Mako). I told him that if he promised to behave well and not tell our parents, I'd let him take a nickel (bigger coins=more value), for every dime that I took. From that day on, Mako was confident that I would be a good big brother.

I taught Mako how to fight. The only problem for him was that I used his body for demonstration purposes. Anyone who spent time with us when we were young would tell you that when we got mad at each other, sparks flew. Through the pounding, kicking, and drawing blood, it's hard to believe that neither of us lost an eye, or head for that matter.

Mako can (and with good reason) be criticized for being a difficult kid. He sometimes acted for the sole purpose of making things difficult. During one of our many trips to Japan, our aunt took us to an amusement park. Sitting there was a candy dispenser. He pointed to it, and told (not asked) Auntie to buy it. Having a hard time turning down a cute little face, our aunt bought a candy for Mako. Mako then shook his head. He pointed to the candy dispenser. Not to a single candy, but the whole thing. Traits like this were observed all the time.

Mako's childhood was full of outdoor adventures. He benefited from his father's love of challenging Mother Nature. By the time I was old enough to realize that sitting at home in the warmth of the living room is a lot more fun than hiking for miles and miles in the deadly rain, Mako still followed Dad around like a blind sheep. But that didn't last long. Like any kid, Mako started growing up. And that spelled the end of the "following Dad around" era.

His mother was a sport advocate. He learned to first ski when he was only 2 years old. For most kids, walking is a difficult feat. Skiing was a lifelong hobby of Mako's, but it didn't end there. He participated in team activities which began with soccer as a young child and later in pursuit of the Canadian dream, hockey. Was he really athletic? Well, he was more of a fierce competitor. I still remember when he got nailed from behind in hockey. The culprit, who must have had an extra 4 inches and 50 pounds on Mako, must have been shocked to see Mako get up so fast, knock him down, and pound him.

That fierceness in him soon became a trait of his. While it was good during hockey, it presented problems in school. Before the age of 11, he was kicked out of both Gladstone Japanese School and Sir James Douglas Elementary School, the latter forcing him to give up French immersion.

His childhood years were just beginning to show signs of the type of person Mako would become. He would stand up for himself no matter what the situation. He did what was in his best interest and didn't care what other people thought of him. And his newly developed temper was vicious enough to scare even the toughest of mankind. Also, he began to realize that he had natural intelligence that other kids can only dream of. All these traits would become more apparent as he entered his teenage years.


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