This Mother’s Strawberry Obsession Will Put A Smile On Your Face

Tae Hong
May 18,2017
"Strawberries Will Save The World" (Courtesy of Yoko Okumura)"Strawberries Will Save The World" (Courtesy of Yoko Okumura)

Happiness is elusive to some, but for Yuko Okumura, of Bloomington, Indiana, all it takes is an ubiquitous red berry — the strawberry — to turn her world right-side up.

According to her daughter Yoko, a filmmaker who documented Yuko’s obsession with all things strawberry in a short titled “Strawberries Will Save The World,” the love began when Yuko was a child, when mom bought her a set of strawberry-patterned vinyl rain boots, umbrella and coat.

“She loved to see this colorful pattern light up the gloomy, rainy streets,” Yoko said in an email.

Yoko Okumura's "Strawberries Will Save The World" (Screenshot)
Yoko Okumura’s “Strawberries Will Save The World” (Screenshot)

Yuko’s strawberry love — which manifests in everything from strawberry-shaped sunglasses to kitchenware, figurines, jewelry and clothing — has connected her to an international community of fellow enthusiasts on the web. “I could see the outside layer of the aesthetic [my mother] was building with her collection, but I don’t think I would have known her philosophy on happiness if I hadn’t made this documentary,” Yoko said.

The short premiered on Shorts Of The Week on Monday. Yoko, who’s also directed series for Lifetime and A&E, has won awards for her film “Kimi Kabuki” and was chosen for the Sundance Institute’s Women In Film Financing Intensive and the FOX Director’s Initiative in 2016.

“I hope people who watch this film will get a smile on their face and walk away feeling a bit inspired to find their own small happiness,” Yoko said.

Ready for smiles? Watch the short film below!


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