In Her Words
Candid profiles of strength told by the women of Northbridge
Throughout the month of March we have collaborated to celebrate Women’s History Month and the rich history of the amazing women living in our communities. Their candid stories are brimming over with love, happiness, passion, family values and the markings of individuals who have truly lived well and loved life.
Jun’s Story (Resident of Carriage House at Lee's Farm)
What is your name?
What are the names of your parents and brothers and sisters?
My father was Samitaro Uramatsu, my mother was Fuki Uenaka and I have three sisters: Haru, Kiyo and Kei.
How did your parents choose your name? Does it have a special meaning? Did you have any nicknames?
My parents discussed how they were going to name me, and that’s what they decided. My name has not special meaning and I have no nicknames.
When and where were you born?
I was born in Tokyo Japan on January 29th, 1935 at St. Luke’s Hospital.
What kind of things did your family do together when you were young?
We enjoyed going to the park, they had slides, swings and a big sandbox.
What did you love to do with your friends?
Going to the playground, jump roping and swimming. There was always music at our school. We sang one song in particular about sparrows that I will always remember.
What schools did you attend? What were your favorite subjects?
I went to Elementary School in Japan (went up to 6th grade), Northhampton School for Girls, Wellesley College. I went to all English classes during elementary school becasue I knew I was going to move to the U.S. My favorite subjects were Science and English.
If married, what is/was your husband’s name? How did he propose?
My husband’s name was Henry Clement Smith. He had something in his hand, he said you see this beautiful diamond. This is especially for you because I love you so much.
What are your children’s names?
I have two sons, Jeffrey and Tim.
What are some special memories you have about your children?
Teaching my kids how to swim because I loved to swim.
Where have you lived?
Tokyo, Kyoto, Northampton and Wellesley.
Have you had jobs? What did you do?
I was a chamber maid and I was a zoology major in college.
What are your hidden talents?
I play the piano.
Do you have holiday traditions? What do you do for the holidays?
For New Years we would wear our Kimono’s, we would have prayer time, and then eat lots of yummy food.
What are some of your favorite things?
Book- Little Women
Song- Anything that is a Waltz
Food- Salads at Carriage House. I know the farm where they get all their fresh produce. It’s a lovely place!
What are some personal experiences that have especially touched your heart?
My Wedding. I married an American Quaker.
What are your favorite things to do now?
Singing and playing tennis.
What are your favorite experiences to partake in at your community?
Everything, especially the music because I love to sing and dance!
What do you hope for your children and grandchildren?
Succeed at whatever they are doing in life.
What is your biggest piece of advice?
Don’t keep fighting wars. It’s just energy wasted, and it’s not worth it.
Sum up your personality in one word...