My daughter Lilia and I just returned from our first international mother-daughter trip ever! The two of us went back to the States, leaving her brother and father behind. Although we missed them, we had a great time.
A highlight of our visit (aside from hanging out with the relatives, of course) was attending the Anime Festival at Richland County Public Library in Columbia, South Carolina. In the morning and afternoon, we watched a variety of anime with the Teen Otaku Association, a bunch of smart, savvy young adults and college students who love manga, anime, and Japanese culture in general. One thirteen-year-old girl even brought onigiri (rice balls wrapped with nori) that she’d made herself! Another girl came wearing a fluffy tail (part of her Cosplay costume).
During a lunch of delivered pizza, I gave a little chat about Japan, writing, and the anthology Tomo, to which I contributed a story, “Peace on Earth.” Afterward, we took a photo together.