Okage sama de
- I am what I am because of you.
I love sharing the video interviews of Japanese Americans at schools, conferences, and community events. When I do this, I get teary-eyed as I think of the hundreds of testimonies I have heard over the years. I have learned so much from the Nisei who shared their funny stories, painful memories, embarrassing moments, and most of all their insights and convictions. Sadly, most of these recorded storytellers have passed away, but I feel close to them again when I watch their videos.
I had the chance to interview Bruce Kaji seven years ago. His jolly manner and vivid storytelling captivated me as he shared the origin story of the Japanese American National Museum. He told me that Japanese Americans had to remember and share what happened to the community during World War II because no one else would care as much, and no one else would do it for us. This vision led the effort to build the Japanese American National Museum in LA. The rich, vibrant community we have today exists because of leaders and visionaries like him. Bruce died earlier this month. He will be missed, but not forgotten.
p.s. I look forward to seeing many of you this Saturday at the