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Senior senior citizen takes up painting at 102

Date Posted: 2006-03-24

Makata Oshiro is a phenomenal woman.

The 104-year-old Sesoko Islander is a spry, outgoing woman who spent decades toiling in the northern Okinawa fields as a farmer. Oshiro says she was actively tilling the land until two years ago, when she became ill and moved into a senior citizens facility in Motobu Town.

After a lifetime of being active, she suddenly found herself bored, and began asking facility workers “Don’t you have some job I can do?” The senior citizen center didn’t have much to offer a centenarian, but then came up with an idea.

“We don’t have much for you, but you can do the painting on this drawing,” she was told.

Staff member Akemi Kinjo had created a line drawing on a wall, and Oshiro was given the paints and free reign to apply the color. She accepted the challenge, tackling the wall with a brilliant array of colors.

“Oh, it’s strong enough,” a facility staffer said. “Nobody believes this is a 104-year-old woman’s color. She is using 20 different colors and drawing very well.” Oshiro has a couple other residents drawing and coloring with her, and officials say they’re all doing well.

The point, says the facility director, is that it is never to late to start something new. “If you have something you want to do, start now. Begin today.” Since beginning her painting, Oshiro has drawn some original art, which was only this month on display in Nago City.

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