MPW.70 / 2018 Kazuko’s Colorful Life by Sijie Yuan
Photographer
Sijie Yuan Foshan, China
Team Cox

Story Summary

Kazuko Tucker, 73, has been a Mountain Grove resident for 40 years, and is the only Japanese American in town. She lives with her husband, Keith Tucker, 89. They met while he was a missionary in Japan.

Kazuko says that her life is colorful because she never has a dull moment: teaching as a substitute teacher, managing her sauce company and cooking traditional Japanese food. Besides cooking at home, she also makes traditional Japanese sauces that she sells locally. As a faithful Christian, Kazuko Tucker goes to the Church of Christ with her husband every week. “If you take the church out of my life, I have nothing,” she says.

Although she sometimes gets homesick, Kazuko never feels like an outsider in this rural Missouri town. “I feel more like home here than in Japan,” Kazuko Tucker said. “People are very friendly here.”