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08 November 2010

Dear Japanese American People

I just recently watched TV mini-series drama about Japanese Americans who immigrated to the U.S. in early 20th century. The title of the series is "99nen no ai (99 years of Love), Japanese Americans."

I watched last 2 episodes of 5. It was a story of young Japanese Americans who joined 442nd regimental Combat Team that rescued Texas Batallion in Germany. When they went for the battle with Germans, they shouted like "Go by Yamato-Damashii (Japanese Spirit)." Seemed "Go for Broke" is rooted from Kamikaze spirit. Is it really true?

I think not, because they were Japanese Americans who got the U.S. citizenship after they were born and raised in the U.S.

This in fact, typical portrayal of Japanese Americans by Japanese nationals, which in fact upset a lot of Japanese Americans, isn't it?

Japanese Americans are Americans, especially from the 2nd generation. But Japanese nationals tend to treat them like extention of Japanse nationals living in Japan.

I am concerned that the mini-series strengthened wrong portrayal of Japanese Americans.

The scenes of 442nd unit battle with German and their parade on Washington street was impressive. Cannot believe such people really existed in history.

But sorry, the drama was produced from Japanese national's point of view. I know they fought for their families in the internment camp, and for their homelnad, the U.S. not for Japan, which was one of the enemy states at that time.

Recently new documentary film on 442 was released, maybe this is what you can really learn about them. I would like to see it if I can get a chance.

Movie 442

There has been rumor that Japanese actor Ken Watanabe is directing a Hollywood film of this 442.

I can't wait to see it if the rumor is real.

Although I know Japanese Americans are not Japanese nationals, let me say that as Japanese national. 

"I am proud of sharing the same ancestry with such brave people."  

To Mr./Ms. Sansei or J/A,

I apologize to you if my comments on this blog offended you. I have no intention of harming American people by that. I respect your opinion although we have difference. Anyway, I am truly glad descend of 442nd unit soldiers left some comment on this post. I know my ideas are very emotional and simple-minded. It is because I am being honest when it comes to writing on this blog.  I agree with your opinion that Japanese are too softies and don't know the value of freedom and justice. That is something we still have to learn from you, maybe. Please remember Japanese generally appreciate the U.S. help to reconstruct post-war Japan. I agree with that Japan made a big mistake in early 20th century and the U.S. fought against fascism, and won over it. Current U.S. military presence in Japan is another issue. No relationship with your father.  

21 February 2007

Congressman Honda is doing the right thing!

Congressman Mike Honda speaks on legistlation urging Japan to apologize for war-era sexual slavery.

There were once women called "Ianfu" meaning Comfort Women in Japanese. They were focibly taken to battlefield to be sex slaves for Japanese soldiers.

The congressman is trying to let our government make official apology to those women.

In fact, Japanese government did in 1993, but very grudgingly. The government at that time gave some speech of the apology and has made compensations to those women but by civil donation not by our tax.

 The textbooks barely mentioned such history. The right wingers including some ruling party's politicians deny such women were forced to do so by the army and claim the women are all liars and making accusation for money.

They are doing the same things on Nanking Massacre which Japanese army slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Chinese including POWs and civilians in Nanking, the capitol of China in 1937.

 I am afraid that I do not want such legistlation pass in US Congress because this is something our country should have done a long time ago so that no other country would claim Japan has not done enough of such matters. Unfortunately, we failed. Germans has succeeded in this and recovered relationship with former enemies, France and Britain. It is illegal to deny hollocaust in public. If you say that there was no mass-murder of Jews in Germany, you are put into jail.

Well, but I do support Mr. Honda's action. He is Japanese American. I just guess if he is doing this because he does not want to be considered that he is too gentle to his anscestral country. This should come from his childhood memory of Internment Camp. I know the tales of Japanese American during the war between Japan and the US.  

Japanese should reflect on the past whether it is comfortable or uncomfortable to look to the future and recover relationship with neighboring nations. Maybe the legistlation would give a great chance for this.