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Meet the Kids

Japanese Dance

A Day in the Life of Yumika


Yumika studies while her family watches TV.

Yumika has two older brothers. One is 20, and the other is 19. She lives with her brothers, her parents, and her grandfather and grandmother.

In the spring of 2005, Yumika started middle school and joined the track team. Since then she has had a very full schedule. She has to get up before 6:00 a.m. to get to school in time for her morning track practice at 7:00 a.m. She usually races to school on her bicycle in about 15 minutes.


Yumika relaxes in her room, surrounded by her favorite things.


Yumika smiles with her two brothers.

Yumika looks different in a judo outfit.

On the track team, Yumika followed in the footsteps of her brother, who was a discus thrower, and chose the shot put as the event she would focus on. She's good at sports and hates it when she can't do something, practicing it again and again until she gets it right. Yumika also recently took up judo after a friend recommended it to her. She is so athletic that her friends at school don't know what to make of it when she tells them she does Japanese dance. "My friends can't believe it when I tell them I do Japanese dance. It doesn't fit in with their image of me," she laughs.

Yumika has track practice almost every day after school, and she doesn't get home until around 6:00 p.m. She can cook lots of dishes, something she learned from her mother, and loves making things. Her grandmother taught her how to knit, and she can also make o-mamori (good luck charms), which she gives as presents to friends and family. Another of her hobbies is writing letters with pictures and poems. "In the future I want to be a designer. I'm also interested in fashion," she says.