Grandma Yamada to Set Her Sixth Record at Yeosu Expo

Ms. Tomiyo Yamada, 63, who is dubbed “the Expo Grandma” after she became one of the most frequent visitors to past World Expositions held in Osaka, Seville, Zaragoza, Aichi, and Shanghai, visited Yeosu on November 1.


Yamada has visited a total of five World Expos, including last year’s Shanghai Expo. During Expo 2005 Aichi Japan and Expo 2010 Shanghai China, she was famous for visiting the Expo sites every day for the entire period of six months. There is a famous anecdote that she arrived in Shanghai six months prior to the opening of the event and leased an apartment at her own expense.


This time, Ms. Yamada’s visit to Yeosu was a preliminary field trip before the opening of Yeosu Expo. After visiting the Yeosu Expo 2012 Promotion Center and the construction site, she said, “I wish to visit the Expo site every day during Yeosu Expo since the Expo, themed on the oceans, will offer a lot to learn,” adding “I would like to see the Big O shows every morning, noon, and evening and make happy memories of projecting pictures of me and my grandchild onto the LED screen of the Expo Digital Gallery.” She also commented, “I am impressed that it is possible to arrive at the Expo site directly from Japan by a ferry and go right ahead to the Japan Pavilion, which I will try myself.”


During her visit to Yeosu, she showed her own diary she kept when she visited Shanghai Expo. Two thick notebooks were filled up with photos and stamps of pavilions and her impressions, which bring back vivid memories of 183-day-long Shanghai Expo. Ms. Yamada said, “At Osaka Expo, the key concept was the industrial development, but I learned that the biggest matter was the environment and our planet when I visited Aichi Expo,” adding, “I think World Expositions can change the way people think and behave, and that is why I will continue to visit World Expos.”