Memoir is lived history

My mother’s birthday has passed, and I can’t believe she has been gone for six years now. The anniversary of her death comes in November, so each year as my favorite season arrives I am struck all over again with fresh memories of her last days, and the thought of her life so filled with history. The Japanese civilian experience surviving WWII is still so rarely spoken of or written about. And the Japan of her childhood no longer exists.

When my mother died, I lost my anchor to Japan, and I think of this fascinating genetic and cultural link fading away with my daughters. Their children will be all American, and no hint of Japan will be left but perhaps a few inherited curiosities. Thank goodness for the stories. As the leaves become beautiful in death, I think of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight, and I am so glad that even through death, my mother’s stories survive. She will be remembered. History has been captured.

Our elder generation is leaving us, taking their stories with them. How did people live in those days? Times were so different then. Don’t let your family stories die. They are your inheritance, and history worth saving.

Yaeko+Junko 1952

My mother at left, with friend Junko, when they worked for American families during the Occupation


Cherry Blossoms Twilight


About moonbridgebooks

Co-author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight, a WWII Japan memoir of her mother's childhood; author of Poems That Come to Mind, for caregivers of dementia patients; Co-author/Editor of Battlefield Doc, a medic's memoir of combat duty during the Korean War; life writing enthusiast; loves history and culture (especially Japan), poetry, and cats
This entry was posted in capturing memories, Cherry Blossoms in Twilight, heritage, history, war stories, WWII and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Memoir is lived history

  1. michaeldepung says:

    Good reflective post, Linda!

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Dennis Lane says:

    Sorry just discovered your message. Its very difficult when a parent dies. You’re in my prayers. Best. Dennis Lane

  3. T says:

    I just finished reading your mother’s book. I would’ve liked to have had her as a friend. The memories she described in her story are somewhat similar to mine, and she has inspired me to work on my memoir. I am sure you miss her greatly … God bless you!

  4. Hello T, thanks for reading, and I’m so glad to hear you are going to work on your memoir! My mother sure had an interesting life, which in turn had quite an impact on mine. I’m sure you have plenty of stories to tell about those who impacted your life – and perhaps how you impacted others. Don’t forget to add a little history!

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