The need to prepare for unforeseen expenses

At the beginning of 2020, I had a root canal treatment. My lower back tooth had started to ache during the holiday season, yet I waited as long as I could by taking pain killers by the clock. I was worried about the treatment cost without dental insurance, but also did not want to admit that I had a tooth problem. I had had pain at the same tooth previously and my dentist back in Japan had diagnosed it as a cavity and treated it. “There is no way I have more problems,”…


Good or bad, 2020 is the year we would not forget for a long while. As the tumultuous year coming to an end, I have asked people for their most memorable moments in 2020. These are accounts of those around me, mostly in New York or Japan, and in no way comprehensive or definitive. However, I believe they would show us the unique snapshots of the year that would stand out from the others which often meddle together.

First of all, we cannot talk about this year without mentioning the big C.

“My most memorable moment was when I received…


and why I’m supporting it

Here comes that time of the year again. Fall. The tree leaves are golden yellow, people start to wear layers, and the “basic-ness” sprouts all over under the cool weather. Pumpkin spice latte. Or rather, pumpkin-flavored anything. Apple picking at the orchard. Flannel shirt and UGG boots. Suddenly, everything is in warm-toned orange, yellow, red, and green. It seems fall is the season when the most “basic” elements flourish and start to occupy your Instagram feed.

I have to say; I like fall. It is that perfect season you can enjoy strolling the street without…


Who was seeking for various entertainments all day

My sister had gone to take a bath. I saw her taking the comic book with her. Slowly and carefully, I sneaked in the bathroom and took out the comic book from underneath her pile of clothes. She could not take a comic book with her in the bath, so I knew she would hide it there. I quietly read the book. My heart was beating. After 10min or so, I returned the book and sneaked out of the bathroom.

In my grade school years, I was obsessed with comic books. It…


A small thought I had on changes in our lives and around the world

On one steamy day towards the end of August, I was standing in line to enter a public pool in Brooklyn. As sweat running down on my back, I wished I had found this place sooner. The pool was within a walking distance from my apartment, yet I had not known its existence until a few days prior. The fish in me was yearning for the cool water around me that would make everything calm and soothing.

The moment I saw the pool bouncing the sunlight…


Missing New York City while in New York City

“Actually, I was wondering if you could travel with me,” my friend said on MSN Messenger. It was right before the winter break of my college freshman year, 2003 going 2004. I was a little surprised since we were not so close as friends back in Japan. We met when we both had been studying to apply for U.S. colleges. She ended up at a school in Texas and I did in Rhode Island. Then, when our first holiday season in the U.S. came around, she messaged to invite me for…


What makes our friendship last?

Last spring, I went to a small gathering of old friends from high school. I had decided to contact one of them while back in hometown, then things snowballed from there. Before I knew, I was surrounded by six friends of mine, with whom I used to spend a lot of time together. We had such a good time catching up, sharing our news, and laughing about the shared memories. Yet, what I found the most intriguing was that even after more than a decade, the dynamic of the group had not changed much. The…


Scents are the element that triggers flashbacks the most

The memory of places and people scents bring me back.

The smell of soy sauce with sugary sake travels me back home. The whiff of aroma tingling my nose as I came back from school. My mother cooking and waiting for my return. I knew I was safe and sound.

The green apple perfume reminds me of the first time I traveled to Tasmania. I was sixteen and it was the first time abroad. The wide-eyed curiosity. The eagerness to absorb every minute of the experience. …


against speaking up about certain issues

One brisk Saturday morning, I was walking down a park in my neighborhood. They hold a farmer’s market every week. I was passing by so many dogs, as my neighborhood one of the most dog populated areas in New York City, when a young pair at a booth started talking to me about “cool ways to save the environment.” I said I was busy, I was heading to work, then one of them went “Ohh it only takes a minute!” It was just a brief exchange, but it left me a sour taste in…


How I gained so much by letting go of myself

“I am not looking for a relationship right now.” He told me so as we walked through Times Square in one summer evening. We had been seeing each other for a little over a month. I was just starting to trust him and open up myself.

For a long while, my motto was “Do not trust people. Do not expect too much from others. That is the only way to not get hurt.” I did not expect much from my jobs, family, or even relationships. It was a defense mechanism…

Haruko Fujimoto

Photographer / Filmmaker. Based in New York. Originally from Japan. www.harukofujimoto.net

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store