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