Monday, March 23, 2009

My son's grandfathers

My son is lucky and should be proud in having in his grandfathers from both his maternal and paternal sides men who refused to fight on the wrong side of the war.
His Japanese grandfather made a point of majoring in aeronautics at Nagoya University because that was the only way he could avoid the draft.
He had studied English and loved baseball. He knew war with the U.S. was pointless and disastrous.
He married a woman who worked at a hospital that her parents ran, watching victims of air raids bleed to death in the hallways before they could get treatment.
When the emperor made his announcement of defeat over the radio, people crumbled on the ground and wept.
But my parents were just relieved.
When American soldiers stopped by the hospital, everyone was too afraid to go talk to them, and so my mother went and all they wanted were directions.
Everyone else carried around little pills they were going to swallow to choose suicide over rape and death at the hands of the Americans.
My son's Japanese American grandfather was in the 442 and fought in Europe in World War II.
He has a Purple Heart and many other medals for his bravery on the missions, including helping the liberation of Dachau.
It was a huge embarrassment for the US that while Japanese Americans were risking their lives in a war to end concentration camps in Germany, they were putting Japanese Americans, many of them families of the soldiers, in Internment camps in the American desert that were far less lethal but no less discriminatory or wrong.
My husband's father had to leave his wife in Minidoka Camp.
There has been no evidence of Japanese Americans having posed a security threat or engaged in any espionage or other crimes.
In 1988, President Reagan issued an apology from the American government, and every Japanese American who had been interned received a redress check.
The 442 is still the most highly decorated military unit in American history.

4 comments:

nanishula said...

Kageyama san, o genki desuka? n.n

It's been a long time since I comment you in your blog n.n

YURI KAGEYAMA said...

Hi, great to touch base with you again. I read your blog when you say you are feeling stress. You are a writer, and many writers aren't the happy-go-lucky type. You are so talented. With time, you will find what you want in Life.

nanishula said...

I’m working on it, I know sometimes things don’t go the way we plan them, and that’s just it… why do we plann things when everything is already planned for us?, I think it’s just our ego working inside…any way…

Thank you for your words Ms. Kageyama! n.n

YURI KAGEYAMA said...

Just left a comment on your blog asking for submission for an anthology I want to do. Hope that cheers you up? Yuri