BOOK: From Tokyo To America

From Tokyo to America

Seven Times Down Eight Times Up

Tokyo. America. Marriage. Moves. Divorce. Adversity. Jobs. Flexibility. Tenacity. Success? 


At thirty, Kumiko Olson, a Japanese language teacher, immigrated to America with her American husband. With great ambition and optimism for her future, she landed in Melbourne, Florida. Her world didn’t exactly turn out as she had envisioned, being faced with one challenge after another. Because of her husband’s constant job changes, the couple drifted from place to place like duckweed. Turmoil reigned in her life, but the biggest upheaval was her divorce. With a rough road of many twists and turns, this is the story of how a shy Japanese girl became truly resilient and liberated.

She subtitles her book “Seven times down, eight times up.” For her, willpower is similar to the characteristic of the Daruma doll–a hollow round shape, weighed at the bottom, which will always return to an upright position when tilted over. This doll symbolizes the ability to have success, overcome adversity, and recover from misfortune.

"Read this book to see what tenacity means!"


"The book was extremely well written. The turn of phrases and use of words was very literate and descriptive. The writing moved along well and was for me a "page turner""


-Gene S. Whitlach - Five stars

"It's safe to judge this book by its cover. Highly recommend it!"


". . . In Japanese culture the Cherry Blossom trees represent the overwhelming beauty and the fragility of life. When they bloom for a short time each year in brilliant force, they serve as a visual reminder of how precious and how precarious life is.  Apt cover for a great book!"

-Vasavi Amara - Five stars

"A delightful experience, a wonderful read"


"Such a delightful experience. I loved this book. There is a sweet energy to every page, that made me re-read passages again and again. Highly recommended."


-James H. Chesky - Five stars

Daruma doll

The book subtitle is taken from a Japanese proverb:
七転び八起 (Seven Times Down and Eight Times Up) meaning, when life knocks you down, you get back up and try again. The Daruma doll symbolizes this proverb. With its rounded figure, weighted at the bottom, it always returns to an upright position when knocked over. This story illustrates the proverb by showing how, through my journey with all its twists and turns, a shy Japanese girl can become resilient and liberated.