My mother gifted me her fascination with Japan and its culture. She was obsessed with Hello Kitty and Miyazaki's films. And geishas. And sushi. She loved it all. And so did I.
In 2009, she lost her battle against pancreatic cancer. I never got the chance to take her to Japan.
In high school, my friends and I made a pact to visit Japan together. Eleven years later we finally fulfilled that promise and I finally got the opportunity to discover why my mom loved this country so much.