Can you blame her, really?

By Sammy Nickalls
Updated February 13, 2018
Credit: Image courtesy YouTUbe

I've always thought of myself as a strawberry fan, but that's nothing compared to Yuko Okumura of Bloomington, Indiana. Slate highlighted a very important short documentary by Yoko Okumura (no, not the same person—it's Yuko's daughter!) in which we get a glimpse of Yuko's house filled to the brim with strawberry merchandise. From quilts to posters to magents to stuffed animals, practically every item in the house is strawberry-themed. A self-dubbed “strawberry enthusiast,” Yuko even grows strawberries in her garden that she tends to while wearing strawberry clothes and accessories. Oh, and her husband Shohaku loves his strawberry-loving wife, although he does admit that he "always" makes fun of her.

"I don't know why I collect strawberries, but there's something about strawberries that attracts some people,” Yuko said in the documentary. “Three years ago, I met a group of people online...that gave me a sense of community. They are all strawberry enthusiasts." That's right, Yuko goes on a chat room every morning to chat about strawberries, which is probably the most adorable sentence ever to exist.

Yuko's favorite number is 15, and surprisingly, that has to do with strawberries, too--in Japanese, the word for "strawberry" and "15" is essentially the same. Yuko sees 15 everywhere, whether she’s driving on the road or checking the time on her phone. "I'm not really looking for it. Anytime when that happens, I say like, 'Thank you, strawberry.'" That's exactly why she traveled from Indiana to Japan to meet her strawberry friends on January 15th, 2015.