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Beginnings: The Breakthrough Moment

Yoko Ono, Artist

I just went up to the stage and started singing.

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I was 2 and a half years old. We were in San Francisco, my mother and I, visiting my father. Yosemite Park had a small concert hall. Nobody was in there except my parents, who were resting, and an English lady who seemed to be enjoying my performance on the stage. I just went up to the stage and started singing. I kept singing all the Japanese songs I remembered clearly. I was singing for the English lady. Then I probably got tired and came down from the stage and went to her. She said I was wonderful and started to produce a piece of origami paper to fold. She kept saying, So you do this, and this, and this very nicely and made a crane out of it. I was totally amazed. She was pleased that she amazed me. So she started to fold something else. I don’t remember what it was. But I remember how gentle and peaceful the lady was. This was just before Japan and America went to war.


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