My father is begging for forgiveness: he claims that though he had forgotten all about them for a while, he is now back.  He will never leave them again, and they can rebuild their lives together and be happy..... It’s revealed that he had forgotten to water the garden for 3 weeks.


We are on a “back to nature” vacation. After failed attempts to put up a tent, prepare a meal, build a fire, and avoid insect attacks, we decide to check into a motel and gaze at the glorious wilderness from within the room. The door knocks - yay, it's room service!  [do motels have room service?] 


My mother is feeling down. She goes to the hair salon to get her spirits up, and loves her new 'do. But the torrential rain ruins her hair, and she wishes she had remained home in bed.


The Toronto Blue Jays have won the World Series! Walking through the parade, my mother picks up ticker tape and rolls them up to use as toilet paper. I am horrified.


About yonkoma manga:

Yonkoma manga (4コマ漫画), yonkoma for short, is a traditional Japanese comic strip format using four panels ordered from top to bottom.

Traditionally, Yonkoma follows a structure known as Kishōtenketsu. This word is a compound formed from the following Japanese Kanji characters:

  1. Ki (起):The first panel forms the basis of the story; it sets the scene.

  2. Shō (承): The second panel develops upon the foundation of the story laid down in the first panel.

  3. Ten (転): The third panel is the climax, in which an unforeseen development occurs.

  4. Ketsu (結): The fourth panel is the conclusion, in which the effects of the third panel are seen.[2]

On Xmas eve, my parents remember how I used to wait for Santa under the tree and fall asleep. I laugh embarrassedly by how childish that all is. That night, they find me asleep under the tree.


In Japan, the tradition is to wake up early to see the rising sun on New Year's morning. My sister and I hold hands as we wish each other a happy new year.  But it is revealed that we had videotaped the rising sun and are watching it at 11am.  There’s no way we could wake up that early.


FAMILY - “Yonkoma” (4-Cell) Cartoon

When I was in my teens, I wrote a “yonkoma” manga series for the Japanese-Canadian newspaper, “The New Canadian.”  It’s astonishing that the kindly editor allowed such a wonderful experience for a young, inexperienced kid.  I wrote this manga for four years, until I moved to New York to attend college. 

Of course, the characters are based on my family, and many of the stories are slight variations of actual events.  Reading over these after so many years brought back happy memories of those quiet hours of writing, entering that wonderful, hallowed world of fantasy.