Did your mother feel conflicted about living in the US after the war?
Not that I could tell, but she was pretty good at concealing her feelings. She came to the U.S. of her own free will to get married. And while she never expressed it directly, she instilled in me a sense that we are all individuals, our acts are individual acts of free will (under most circumsatnces) and as individuals we must accept responsibility for them. So I figure she felt the same way. That is, she wasn’t going to hold the American people accountable for decisions made and acts taken by a few. Indeed, this general outlook may explain why she preferred the U.S. to Japan, a country where individual acts can be attributed to a group, and responsibillity must be accepted by the group. Maybe, this explains why I didn’t fall into the trap of thinking I had to go to school within a specific time frame or follow the typical JA standards of behavior… maybe…
Did she ever naturalize?
Yes, she did become a US citizen. She told me that she wanted to be a citizen of the country where her children were born. Moms… don’t you just love ’em?
Have you ever seen “Grave of the Fireflies”?
Yes, I have. The life of children under horrific conditions such as war, struggling to survive, and ultimately succumbing to cirumstances they had nothing to do with, was far too “realistic” for an anime. As Piratechan might agree, it’s not the “realism” of the illustrations, but the “reality” in the story, content, emotion, that is at the heart of any good film, animated or not. But seeing the movie once was enough. I’m afraid that if I see it again, I’ll breakdown all over again… I get choked up just thinking about it here… (yeah, yeah, just an old geezer…)
I’ve always wondered what it would’ve been like to have lived through an ordeal like what your mother went through.
I have too, and I can’t even begin to imagine what it was like. I’ve lived through two major earthquakes–Sylmar (’73) and San Fransisco (’89)–but suffered little damage. I’ve been in a couple of auto accidents, but survived both. Learning and trying to comprehend the extreme hardships experienced by my mom and dad (he “voluntarily” relocated during WWII) have made me appreciate the life I have lived–indeed, all my gripes and complaints about life seem petty by comparison… But, y’know, my parents have NEVER, EVER told me to stop complaining, that their life was harder, or any other of a thousand ways to say “well, when I was your age”… I miss my mom…
Lecture of the day: Younger readers–yes, you–make sure you always appreciate your parents. They may not always seem like it now, but they will likely prove the be the best things in your life.