94-year-old model from Iejima becomes Instagram sensation with 36000 followers

94-year-old model from Iejima becomes Instagram sensation with 36000 followers

Emiko Toguchi winks at camera as she wears clothes prepared by her granddaughter Chinami Mori (Photograph taken by Yasuhide Matayoshi)


June 14, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

A “grandma-model,” 94-year old Emiko Toguchi from Ie village and living in Hyogo Prefecture, wears colorful costumes and a pretty smile, attracting fans from all over the world. Since her 36-year old granddaughter Chinami Mori posted a photo of her grandmother on Instagram, the photo-posting app, their joint Instagram account now entertains 36000 followers.

Mori, who is a saori-weaving artist, also designs stoles and bands for her hair. Mori said she thought, “I want to see more of her smiles” and came up with an idea to ask her to model for her Instagram account. Her grandmother’s garish clothes and “grandma” image contrasted with the usual content on Instagram so began to receive positive responses. Toguchi, who declined the offer at first, is now used to making poses for camera, remarking that she was “glad when strangers made compliments.”

Toguchi left Ie-jima when she was a middle-school student and experienced a severe air raid in Yokohama during WWII. After she returned to Okinawa at the end of the war, her husband suddenly died at the age of 35 due to an injury he got while working. Toguchi raised five daughters as a single mother and moved to Hyogo, where her daughter now lives, when she was 54. Reflecting on her stormy life, she looks at her granddaughter with the biggest smile saying, “I feel the happiest now and it makes me forget my struggles in the past.”

Ryukyu Shimpo’s “Temita.” issued on June 18 introduces more stories about Toguchi’s life and about their meeting

(English translation by T&CT and Sayaka Sakuma)
 
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