One spring day in 1953 I heard there was going to be a parade near our home in Tokyo. I believe the parade was to celebrate a Japanese holiday. I took my family box camera and headed toward the parade area. Some of my friends were also there, so a small group of about 5 or 6 American children waited on the side of the street to watch the parade. There was a low wall of rocks that some of us sat upon, others stood to watch.
The parade was quite dramatic. There were the Taiko drummers, the young Japanese drummers with their distinctive sound, drumming loudly. There were men carrying the dragon costume, snaking along the street. There were other visual treats, and I busily photographed them all. But the best treat was seeing Emperor Hirohito walking along the street, appearing to be unescorted. Emperor Hirohito walked down the middle of the street, waving at the people on the sides of the street. When he saw us American children, he turned and headed right toward our group. I began taking photographs of the Emperor, very excited. When the Emperor reached us American children, he bowed to us several times. All of us children bowed back to him in respect. He smiled and returned to the parade waving to the crowd.
After the parade ended I returned home and excitedly told my Mother about the parade and the wonderful pictures I had taken with the box camera. My Mother took the camera, looked at it and laughed. "Ruby", she exclaimed, "You forgot to turn the film". I was astonished. With old fashioned cameras after each picture was taken, you had to manually turn the film to the next picture. Failure to do so would mean you would overexpose your picture and none of them would turn out. I had failed to to turn the film, thereby ruining all of the wonderful photographs of the parade. I would be teased by my family for this failure for many years.