I never really got to know my Ojiisan very well. It was only when he was on the brink of death I began to pay attention. He would always call me 'Torako'. This means 'Tiger Child' because I was born in the year of the tiger. He was living with my step-grandmother Tamako. Their apartment was beautiful. The kitchen filled to the brim with various fruits, flowers blooming outside in the sunshine. I still remember the song the birds sang. In the garage there were a pair of skis. My mom told me he loved going skiing in the mountains. All over the walls of the small space were various paintings. Nobi loved to paint these amazing master pieces. He even had an art room that reeked of oil paints. I remember the last time I saw him. He laid in his bed, sick with I don't even know what. I remember it down to the last detail. There were all these tubes and he had to wear a mask. His slightly tan skin and every last wrinkle. The thinning of his grey hair. Despite the situation, he smiled. The last memory I have of my Ojiisan is of the twinkle in his eyes even though he was staring at death in the face. Now in 2013, Tamako still remains. We are almost never in contact, but she does have a special wish for me: change part of my name to 'Torako' in memory of Nobuyoshi Kano. I never used the nickname very much, only he was really ever allowed to call me that. Nonetheless, I vow to do what I can to do just that. Even if it's just a mere nickname. It's the least I can do for the man who smiled in the brink of death
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