[2022 Hardcover, Paperback & Kindle]
: The Last Successor to One Japanese Family
” The Best Book of Hidemi Woods “
[2021 Paperback & Kindle]
My School Days in Kyoto
: A Japanese Girl Found Her Own Way
We all face decisions every day, big or small. It may be as trifling as what to eat for lunch, but sometimes it is as important as what decides a course of our life. And the big one often comes abruptly like a surprise attack when we least expect it, unguarded. I faced the first crucial decision unexpectedly on my 20th birthday.
In Japan, 20 years of age is regarded as the coming-of-age and there is a custom to celebrate it. When I was 20 years old, I lived in a big house with my family. My parents had a hefty fortune inherited by my ancestors as it was before they failed in their undertaking and lost every thing. For them, my coming-of-age was such a big event that they had bought an expensive sash of kimono for me months in advance for a municipal ceremony held in the first month of the year. Since I defied the custom and didn’t attend the ceremony for which the sash was wasted, my parents determined that my 20th birthday should be memorable at least and planned a party.
[2020 Paperback & Kindle]
The Girl in Kyoto
: Bittersweet Memories of One Traditional Family in Japan
Memoirs and essays of a girl who was born as the 63rd successor of a landlord’s 1000-year-long family in Kyoto that was the most traditional and formal city in Japan. How her family and people in her community strived through conflict between Japanese old ways of life according to ancient customs and waves of a new era is depicted with full of humor and pathos along with the girl’s feelings into coming of age. Japanese original seasonal events and what and why Japanese people think in particular ways are also explained in the course. In the end, what her family had really inherited and preserved generation after generation is unveiled, and finally there comes the end of the family that brought over 1000 years of prosperity to naught.
[2019 Paperback & Kindle]
Surviving in Japan
: Awkward days with shakes, escape and Awakening
To keep being a dreamer living in Japan is as hard as to catch a fly in the air with chopsticks, and yet it’s not all impossible. The chain of events that you have never experienced in your life changes your routine days into chaos. While you can’t quite grasp the sudden change of circumstances, it throws you into confusion in which you continually need to make decisions and actions. You are sucked by mighty force against your will and can’t get out. It inevitably changes some point of your life, your way of life, and your inner self also. As a result, you become another person who is not the one you used to be. That is exactly what happened to me from the fall of 2009 to the fall of 2011. At that time, I was too deep in a whirl to understand what was happening and why it was happening. But in hindsight, it was supposed to happen and someone or something pushed my back, yanked my arm, and rushed me who was reluctant into the new place. For me being a singer-songwriter from Kyoto in Japan, the change coincided with the time when I gave up chasing fame and fortune that I had been craving fervently enough to leave my family and its long good lineage. I ignored the commercial-based timetable for the first time and took time as long as I was satisfied to complete a song for which I composed, wrote English words, arranged, and recorded all instruments and vocals by myself. When the song’s completion was on the horizon, what would change everything began to happen. Embarrassment and conflict in my odd daily life, the massive earthquake and the following nuclear meltdown that unexpectedly knocked the bottom out of such daily life, surprises and transitions in the new place, and my new self. If you find my awkward, tottering adventure funny, it’d be worth taking on and I’d be more than happy.
[1st Paperback & Kindle]
An Old Tree in Kyoto
: How a Japanese girl got freedom
My parents live in my hometown, Kyoto, which is located in the western part of Japan. A long time ago, when Japan had the feudal system, my family was a landlord of the area. It has come to a complete downfall over the years, but my family still clings to its past glory. For them, to succeed the family is critical. I’m firstborn and have no brother which meant that I was a successor and destined to spend the whole life in my hometown. But music changed everything. To pursue a career in music, my hometown was too rural and I had to move out. Back then I was a college student and moving to a city meant dropping out of school. My parents fiercely opposed but as usual, they left the matter to my grandfather who controlled the family. Considering his way to keep a tight rein, everybody including myself thought he might kill me. I could have run away, but I wanted to tell him for once what I want to do for my life.