Name: Ayako Okogamine
Age: Eighteen 
Grade: Senior [12th]
School: Aurora High School
Hobbies and Interests: Track and Field, Japanese Culture
Appearance: Standing at 5'1" and weighing barely over 100 pounds, Ayako has a very svelte, slender figure. Because of her slight build, she also lacks many of the curves some of her fellow students have -- barely boasting a B-cup chest. Her hair is jet black in color and falls down to just below her shoulder-blades. It is typically worn in a braid with her bangs framing either side of her face. Her features could be described as being "typically Asian" -- with dark, almond-shaped eyes, a thin face, high cheekbones, and a small, narrow jawline. Her nose is of average size and shape, and her lips are small and somewhat thin. Ayako wears very little makeup, preferring a more natural look -- which works well on her. She has the same nonchalant attitude toward clothing, and is as likely to wear name-brand items as she is something she picked up from a local second-time-around store.
Biography: Born as the middle of three children to Tsuyoshi Okogamine and Momoko (Sunohana) Okogamine, Ayako never suffered from the common middle-child problem of "fading into the background". There was a large enough age gap between herself and her older brother, Isao (age 25), that the two never competed for attention. This, combined with the fact that Ayako's younger sister Rika (age 16) is rebellious and somewhat wild, worked to ensure that Ayako was the favorite, of sorts, from a young age onward.
The Okogamine household is a very tight-knit unit, and Ayako has a good relationship with her parents and older brother, as well as her grandparents and her aunt (on her mother's side) and uncle. Her relationship with the younger women of the family -- in particular, her younger sister and her cousin, is very strained and almost non-existent. Ayako and her cousin Misa don't see eye-to-eye, and Ayako has a tendency to constantly offer advice to her cousin on how to "improve" herself, which Misa doesn't appreciate. Her relationship with Rika is much the same way. Her younger sister -- while not someone who would necessarily be considered a trouble-maker, seems to do things for attention, and has earned a reputation for being promiscuous at school -- something Ayako preaches constantly about to her. Despite that, the family has a good relationship overall.
Tsuyoshi, who typically goes by "Yoshi", is the branch manager of a local bank, and Momoko, better known as Momo, is a rather popular designer at a nail salon, placing the family somewhere inside of Seattle's middle-class bracket. The couple met during their junior year of high school, and Momoko found out she was pregnant with Isao, their first child, directly before the pair were to graduate. Terrified that this revelation would disgrace their families -- if not get them disowned -- they concealed the pregnancy until both graduated school, and announced afterward that they were getting married.
Yoshi struggled through college while working a full-time job, and Momo, in lieu of attending college, opted to go through cosmetology school -- mostly due to the fact that she was worried they wouldn't be able to support a family with Yoshi attending school. The couple went through several rough patches as they struggled to pay bills after Isao was born, but with the begrudging help of both their families, managed to survive until Yoshi worked his way through college and landed a promotion at the bank he'd been a teller at throughout his time in school.
When their oldest child was 7 and the two were far more financially stable, they decided to have a second child. That's when Ayako came along. Momo was thrilled to have a girl she could doll up and put in pretty dresses, and Ayako served as their "shining star" when she was born. Their families welcomed her with open arms -- something they didn't do with Isao, who Momo's parents often referred to as a bastard, despite the fact that Momo had, in fact, wed the father of her child.
For the first two years of Ayako's life, she was used as a pawn between her parents and their families to 'atone' for the disgraceful way Isao had been conceived. She was passed between grandparents, almost to the point that she saw them more than her own parents. When her mother discovered she was once again pregnant, this time with Ayako's younger sister Rika, Momo's parents stepped into the picture even further to help tend to and help raise the children.
Yoshi found himself moving higher and higher up the bank chain, and with his time becoming more and more consumed with work, and Momo tending to another infant, much of Ayako's adolescence was devoted to spending time with her grandparents, who had moved to the United States from Tokyo in the mid-1940's. Ayako and her grandmother, Hinata, grew very close during her adolescent years. Hinata was still very involved with Japanese culture, and Ayako became enthralled with it from an early age. She wanted to know everything about it, from Japanese artwork to cuisine to ceremonies and all things in between. Ayako absorbed this knowledge like a sponge, and even in modern day, she retains her pride in her Japanese background.
Grade-school was uneventful for Ayako. She had never been as social as many other children her age, and found herself only associating with a few select kids from her classes. She found herself much more interested in Asian children than her other classmates, and never seemed to venture far from those children, with the exception of perhaps a handful of Caucasian or other ethnic friends. Even as a child, Ayako came off as somewhat stand-offish from a lot of classmates. If ever questioned on it, she'd simply reply that she thought the kids in her school were too immature.
This trend continued into junior high, and Ayako never ventured too far out of her circle of friends. During 8th grade, Ayako, on a whim, decided to try out for the school's track team, and immediately fell in love with it. She loved the physicality and athleticism required to participate in track and field -- and she was good. Small, lithe, and quick on her feet, Ayako turned heads with her speed on dashes and hurdles, and made a name for herself throughout her school. She even ventured out of her social circle a bit, and found herself making friends with other kids on the track team -- although she was quick to shun the people she thought of as slackers, and was oftentimes rude about pointing out their flaws and what they were doing wrong.
Moving on to a high school changed things a bit for Ayako. She found that, in a sea of students, she wasn't well-known anymore. She found her way onto Aurora High School's track team, and quickly realized that now, she wasn't the fastest, or the best at hurdles. She was still good, but the level of competition had changed drastically, and this brought out a fierce competitive streak within the teen which has lasted up through senior year. School became more challenging, and, refusing to let her grades slip behind, she found less time for leisure, and devoted more and more time to studying to maintain her near-flawless GPA. Certain classes still gave her problems, and terrified of not receiving all A's, she requested a tutor for her English and Literature courses.
Determined to get into a prestigious college after school, Ayako has little time for friends. She involves herself with various clubs and activities -- although never sticks with anything serious other than track -- so that she can add them to a resume. In lieu of working, she spends most of her free time volunteering at her uncle Edmund's clinic, and is constantly asking questions and involving herself in their private practice. She has a very strained, love/hate relationship with Edmund's only daughter, Misa, mostly because the two have very different world views.
Ayako never quite grew out of her aloof nature, and sometimes comes off as rude or snobbish toward most of her classmates. She has earned a reputation around school as having a better-than-thou personality, although she would simply roll her eyes if confronted about it. She isn't outwardly rude to people, but she's blunt, and has a habit of giving her opinion whether it is asked for or not.
Ayako veers away from boys and relationships, and keeps her male friends strictly platonic. Her mother in particular has been very overbearing in this department, and has made sure Ayako understands what relationships can lead to. Fortunately for Momo, her oldest daughter has a good head on her shoulders, and has openly stated that she has no interest in "ruining" her life before she can even get it started. This is a breath of fresh air for Yoshi and Momo, who are currently having a hard enough time keeping the reigns on their youngest daughter.
Advantages: Very intelligent and in enviable shape from her sheer devotion to track, Ayako can definitely take care of herself. She's a very assertive, independent individual who won't hesitate to do things for herself, and won't let herself be pushed around.
Disadvantages: Ayako's abrasive personality has earned her some dislike during her time in school. She's always looked down on a lot of her classmates because they weren't as smart, or as athletic, and she would be hard-pressed to align herself with someone she felt was beneath her.
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