I’m so unbelievably happy that visiting Japan has become reality. Being half Japanese I never really had the chance to get in touch with that part of my heritage until I met my Swiss/French husband 6 1/2 years ago (who is a huge fan of the Japanese people and culture).
My grandparents were put in the internment camps during World War II in Rohwer, Arkansas in 1952. They had their lives turned upside down and their home and place of business taken away. So after they were released three years later, they vowed that they would be as American as possible, which meant that when their son was born (my dad, whom they named Wayne of all names) would only be taught English in their home and where his favorite meal would become Spaghettios. The only Japanese culture I had in my life consisted of food my dad liked: tempura once in a while for dinner, fried rice for breakfast, and the occasional chocolate covered Pocky sticks when visiting my grandparents.
I’m still learning the details of what happened to them and how it has since affected their posterity. How unfortunate that I missed out on the opportunity to learn a 2nd language and that I don’t feel connected to the part of my ancestry that makes up 50% of my DNA. I hope that our government has since learned a great lesson from the Japanese people. Not one single person was found to be guilty of espionage and I can tell you that my grandparents only considered themselves to be loyal citizens of the United States.
*In 1990, surviving internees began to receive individual redress payments and a letter of apology. My grandma died 1 month before her letter was issued.
So with that little background I gave, I had no idea how wonderful Japan or it’s people would be. So many endearing and beautiful qualities about them and their culture and I am so proud to be Japanese. Here are just a few photos of Kyoto that I wanted to share–many more to come!