Since the age of 5, this Japanese girl wakes up every morning at 6 a.m. to make miso soup. Not only does she make breakfast, she also helps out with household chores once she is back from school. From hanging the laundry to cleaning the bathtub, there is nothing she cannot do.
Why is Hana Yasutake capable of doing so many things that other 5-year-old kids can’t possibly do? This was a promise she made to her mother, who passed away after succumbing to breast cancer. In 2015, their touching story was made into the film, Hana’s Miso Soup.
Before Hana was born, in 2000, her mother, Chie, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 25. Hana’s dad, Shingo Yasutake, married Chie even though she had cancer.
Miraculously, Chie recovered from the illness and was eventually pregnant. Chie was told the cancer could return after she gave birth, but the valiant woman thought, “I was born to meet my daughter.”
With the birth of Hana in February 2003, the whole family was filled with joy. Unfortunately, this happiness was short-lived. When Hana was 9 months old, Chie’s cancer relapsed. With just years to live, Chie was pondering, “What is the most important thing for Hana?”
So, the terminally ill mother decided to teach Hana to cook and do household chores so that her daughter could live a good life by herself.
“I want to make my daughter able to do as much as she can by herself,” wrote Chie on her blog. “I hope my daughter will stay strong and live life tenaciously.”
On Hana’s 4th birthday, Chie gave her an apron as a gift. And within a year, Hana learned how to cook brown rice, nattō (fermented soybeans) and miso soup.
“Whether I have cancer or not, I’m supposed to die first,” wrote Chie in February 2008. “This is why I have to die without any regrets.”
At that time, the cancer had spread to her liver and lungs. Sadly, on July 11, 2008, Chie passed away at the age of 33. One morning, shortly after Chie’s death, Shingo saw Hana making miso soup, which tasted exactly like what Chie used to make.
Hana was also able to do the household chores—all passed down to her by Chie. Gradually, Shingo was able to bounce back from grief, thanks to Hana.
And in 2012, Shingo and Hana compiled Chie’s blog entries into a book, “Hana-chan no Miso Shiru” (Hana’s miso soup).
“What I have to be most grateful for is you giving birth to Hana. You risked your life to do it,” wrote Shingo in the book.
“I want to tell you something. I can make a whole bento now. Aren’t you surprised?” wrote Hana to Chie. “I don’t cry anymore. I’m doing my best.”
Such a beautiful story of a mother’s love to her child. What would you leave behind for your children?
Watch the video:
Photo credit: YouTube Screenshot | 住友生命 公式チャンネル.