Saturday, January 10, 2009

Japanese Americans and I -1

It was February in 2005. I was standing outside of Shen Yang Airport, Liao Nin Province, China. I was taking a flight to Tokyo, Japan in 2 hours. It was just right after Chinese Moon Calendar New Year and outside was freezing cold. But, I cannot stop watching the outside wide, huge, and vast landscape spreading in front of me. It was nothing spectacular, but just flat, wide, and vast. I was thinking to myself that "I can understand the feeling of many Japanese in past felt coming to China and never gone back to Japan."

The history of modern time Japanese emigration brings us back to 1885. Japanese continuously emigrated to several countries. Brazil, US, China, Thailand, etc... until WWII slowed everything. Now, I myself being a "Japanese living outside of Japan', the history of Japanese Overseas has kept interested me. A friend I met 30 some years ago started me to think about it. His name is Paul Nakamura. He was an English Teacher in Tokyo. He looked like a Japanese, but he acted slightly different from Japanese, and he could not speak Japanese other than simple conversation. He was a Japanese American born in California. 3-sei (3rd Generation).

He and I get along together. I attended his lessons, lunch together, dinner and drink together. One time, I asked him if he had not been interested in learning Japanese. He told me that his parents did not want him to learn Japanese. He further told me that his father was constantly nervous and his mother was always angry. And they were always against him and stopped him whenever he showed interest in Japanese stuff. But, he could not stop himself being attracted by Japanese culture and needed to come to Japan and see it and feel it.

Since I met Paul, I started to think about Japanese Overseas. Because I was also the one who is majorly interested in living outside of Japan. I started to live in San Francisco, 1997. My previous employee sent me here as a part of stationed Japanese management team. I came across the Tanforan Shopping Mall's Picture posting above, July, 2008. It was showing Japanese Americans' history in War time. I talked with Japanese American Society and posted the following Japanese Article. "Another Pacific War - Record on Tanforan Japanese Camp".

The following is one of the pictures I was allowed to use from NJAH (National Japanese American Historical Society). There are a lot of pictures but this picture was kept in backside of my eyes for long time. I even feel that this picture keep shouting out loud.

After the article was posted, I did not do anything particular on this subject. On New Year Day, this year, I was watching Japanese TV Program and came across a program about Japanese Americans, and found about the following 2 sites.

I talked with the site management, and showing the above URL and link with their consent.

These are very good website and blog including Japanese Americans' testimonies taken in video. They are great source of historical information.

In taking a look at the testimonies in video clip in these sites and information given from NJAH, I was thinking the relationship between Japanese Americans (Japanese Overseas), Japan, Japanese Japanese, and I.

I did not like this article to be too long. So, I will write my thinking in the next article.

PS: I hope that this article and information will help world people to understand Japanese and our history a little more than knowing Japanese as "Economic Animal", "Japan as #1" or "WWII enemy", or "Quality Products", or "Toyota", or "Sony" (LOL).

If you are interested in Japanese version of this article, please visit my Japanese blogs:


Contents are the same in both blogsites.

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Shaw Funami
Fill the Missing Link

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BeSmart said...

Hi Shaw .. the thing we all seem to miss .. is we're human people first .. with different cultures, traditions etc built into our upbringing - it's always interesting to learn, even if it's only a glimpse of others' lives and reasoning - I look forward to part 2 - all the best Hilary

Shaw said...

Dear Hilary:

Thank you for your comment. Though this time I talked about Japanese and Japanese Americans, I agree with you that we, human beings, are one and no difference.

Giovanna Garcia said...

Thank you for taking your time to share with everybody about Japanese cultures. It is important for everyone to learn. What comes down to it is, we are all the same on the inside.

Giovanna Garcia