June 26, 2001 Pearl Harbor
I could never truly understand what “war” meant. I’ve heard about it, read about it, and this past weekend I saw the movie, Pearl Harbor.
It was a good movie. Some people didn’t like the “love story” plot, but hey, that’s what sells movies. Some people said it wasn’t a true depiction of the attack on Pearl Harbor, but that’s also the result of Hollywood. If that were the intent, the producers would have chosen to create a documentary. For me, I’d like to think that the movie was a reminder.
Sometimes I find myself being a little too greedy, a little too selfish, or a little too ungrateful. Although these are normal feelings, watching the movie reminded me to be a little more giving, generous, and gracious.
I’m not especially patriotic, but I think of how lucky I am to be an American citizen. And then I think of how I came to be an American citizen. After all, my heritage is Japanese. My ancestors are Japanese. My face is Japanese. I am reminded that my Japanese grandparents and great-grandparents sacrificed a lot to give me a chance at the rights, privileges, and freedoms that I’m afforded as an American citizen.
I think of the stories of my great-grandmother, who cried on the boat on her journey to America, afraid and anxious of her future. I think of the two years that I lived in Japan, and how, no matter how much I looked like everyone, or how much fun I had, I was still homesick. I think of how my grandparents worked hard and didn’t finish school, yet are somehow so successful and intelligent.
Then my thoughts go back to war, especially World War II, and the battle between Japan and the United States. I think of the Japanese-American soldiers who had more courage than imaginable. I think of my students in Japan who would apologize for the attack on Pearl Harbor. I think of my visit to the Atomic Bomb Memorial in Hiroshima, Japan, and reading the heartbreaking stories of so many people who were affected. And, I think of walking into the Kamikaze Fighter Memorial Museum in Kagoshima, Japan, and seeing rows upon rows of young Japanese soldiers who knew their ultimate fate would be death.
I am reminded again and again of how lucky I am.
I hope I never have to experience war. But I think it’s important to be reminded once in a while, that we are fortunate to live in the world that we know.
|Susan Sensei’s English Lesson #83（スーザン先生の英語講座）
For two years I taught English in Japan, and was “スーザン先生” to my students in Ikaho town, Gunma Prefecture. I will try and introduce new words and phrases for the Japanese visitor to Hawaii. Here is this week’s situation:
You want to try and get a hair cut in Hawaii. Great! But since it may be difficult to explain to the stylist how you want your hair to look like, the best thing is to bring in a picture from a magazine or something to show the stylist. When he/she asks you how you want your hair cut (or highlighted, dyed, etc.) just say,
“I’d like you to cut my hair like this, please.”
|Loco Girl’s Profile（ロコ・ガールのプロフィール） Born in Hilo, I grew up going fishing with Dad, shopping with Mom, and trying to be a good “big sister” to a younger sister and brother. A Waiakea High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa alumni, I taught English in Japan for two years on the JET Program. I love doing a lot of things-shopping, reading, lettering, making jewelry & crafts, watching Friends-and that’s just the start of my list! I like being busy, and am active with the JET Alumni Association (JETAA) and the Honolulu Junior Japanese Chamber of Commerce (HJJCC.) My family and friends are, of course, very important to me, and are why I live a very typical, happy, local-style life in Hawaii and will never leave!|