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Yoko Ono’s 88th birthday!

Yoko Ono’s 88th birthday!

Yoko Ono’s 88th birthday!
February 18
08:52 2021

I was born February 18th, 1933 during a heavy snow in Tokyo. In the morning the nurse opened the curtains to the window to show my mother what happened to the city over the night. The whole city was blanketed with snow, which was shining under the blue sky.

Yoko Ono Lennon (/ˈn/ OH-noh; Japanese: 小野 洋子, romanizedOno Yōko, usually spelled in katakana オノ・ヨーコ; born February 18, 1933) is a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, songwriter and peace activist. Her work also encompasses performance art, which she performs in both English and Japanese, and filmmaking.[1] She was married to English singer-songwriter John Lennon of the Beatles from 1969 until his murderin 1980.

Ono grew up in Tokyo and moved to New York in 1953 to live with her family. She became involved in New York City’s downtown artists scene, which included the Fluxus group. With their performance Bed-Ins for Peace in Amsterdam and Montreal in 1969, Ono and Lennon used their honeymoon at the Hilton Amsterdam as a stage for public protests against the Vietnam War. The feminist themes of her music have influenced musicians as diverse as the B-52s and Meredith Monk. She achieved commercial and critical acclaim in 1980 with the chart-topping album Double Fantasy, a collaboration with Lennon that was released three weeks before his murder, winning the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

Early life and family

Ono was born on February 18, 1933, in Tokyo City, to Isoko Ono (小野 磯子, Ono Isoko) and Eisuke Ono (小野 英輔, Ono Eisuke), a wealthy banker and former classical pianist. Isoko’s maternal grandfather Zenjiro Yasuda (安田 善次郎, Yasuda Zenjirō) was an affiliate of the Yasuda clan and zaibatsu. Eisuke came from a long line of samurai warrior-scholars.[3] The kanji translation of Yōko (洋子) means “ocean child”.

Two weeks before Ono’s birth, Eisuke was transferred to San Francisco by his employer, the Yokohama Specie Bank. The rest of the family followed soon after, with Ono meeting her father when she was two. Her younger brother Keisuke was born in December 1936. Ono was enrolled in piano lessons from the age of 4. In 1937, the family was transferred back to Japan, and Ono enrolled at Tokyo’s elite Gakushūin (also known as the Peers School), one of the most exclusive schools in Japan.

The family moved to New York City in 1940. The next year, Eisuke was transferred from New York City to Hanoi, and the family returned to Japan. Ono was enrolled in Keimei Gakuen, an exclusive Christian primary school run by the Mitsui family. She remained in Tokyo throughout World War II and the great fire-bombing of March 9, 1945, during which she was sheltered with other family members in a special bunker in Tokyo’s Azabu district, away from the heavy bombing. Ono later went to the Karuizawa mountain resortwith members of her family

Starvation was rampant in the destruction that followed the Tokyo bombings; the Ono family was forced to beg for food while pulling their belongings in a wheelbarrow. Ono said it was during this period in her life that she developed her “aggressive” attitude and understanding of “outsider” status. Other stories tell of her mother bringing a large number of goods to the countryside, where they were bartered for food. In one anecdote, her mother traded a German-made sewing machine for 60 kilograms (130 lb) of rice to feed the family. During this time, Ono’s father, who had been in Hanoi, was believed to be in a prisoner of war camp in China. However, unbeknownst to them, he remained in the city.[citation needed] Ono told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! on October 16, 2007, that “He was in French Indochina, which is Vietnam actually…. in Saigon. He was in a concentration camp.”

By April 1946, Gakushuin was reopened and Ono re-enrolled. The school, located near the Tokyo Imperial Palace, had not been damaged by the war, and Ono found herself a classmate of Prince Akihito, the future emperor of Japan. She graduated in 1951 and was accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University as the first woman to enter the department. However, she left the school after two semesters.

Sources: Yoko Ono, Wikipedia, McCartney.com

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Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

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