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Posts Tagged ‘Gambatte’

The Go For Broke Spirit: Portraits of Courage

go for broke

The Go For Broke Spirit book is poetry. It is poetry that preserves the humanity of man and more. I first looked at the photos  without the text and was driven to my gut with emotions. The  portrait accompanying each story is a novel in itself… each man’s silent story of honor and dignity is  deeply embedded in the seasoned lines on  his face,  his hands, and in his  eyes. You can’t help but be drawn to the text,  knowing that it would compound the powerful photos with their stories. This is accomplished with poetic precision and inspiration.  Both photos and texts powerfully tell the stories of these young Japanese-American men who fought for their country while their families lived in internment camps. Veterans from Hawaii and the West Coast are represented in the book.

 

More than 80 veterans’ portraits and their stories are preserved in this hardcover book. If this part of our history is to be preserved, it must be through the generations following not only these brave and honorable men, but all others as well.

This book must become a legacy for generations to come so the lessons learned about honor, bravery, dignity, patriotism and human kindness can be lived and practiced by all of us. We owe this to these brave men and their families and to the Issei generation who began this story.  There is no enemy, no hatred, no racism, only ignorance and this can be dealt with, as told by each veteran.

 

The Japanese cultural practice of gaman ( to accept that which cannot be changed) ,

 on( obligation), and gambatte (perseverance)  are constant in how they processed the indignities of war and racism. The stories told by these Japanese-American men must be universally shared to end all wars and man’s inhumanity to man. Simply, fill each household with a copy of this book.

The Go for Broke Spirit: Portraits of Courage was created by Shane Sato and Robert Hosting.

On a very personal note, the following appeared in the Hawaii Herald in the May issue of 2017.

Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

There’s a piece of unfinished business in my memory that I want to share with the 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team veterans on behalf of a stranger in Germany.

When I visited Germany years ago, an old woman looked at me and began to weep. She reached out her hand to me. When I went to her, she took my hand, kissed it and began to speak in German, tears rolling down her face. Her grandson explained that I reminded her of the Japanese-American soldiers from Hawaii who were so kind to her during World War II. Was I from Hawai‘i? Yes, I told her, and I know those soldiers.

For the first time in my life since Pearl Harbor, my face was greeted with tears of joy because of the 100th/442nd soldiers,

As a result, in my Dangerous Woman: Poetry for The Ageless,  I included the following poem to honor the Japanese – American soldiers who are still remembered and honored for their humanity while many of their families were in internment camps back home.

 

HAMBURG, GERMANY

In the Philippines,

World War II follows me into the night.

“Stay indoors after dark, people still remember

Japanese soldiers on Corregidor.”

 

My sixth-grade student writes in his journal

“December 7: I hate the Japs. I wish they were all dead.

My grandfather told me about them.”

 

In Hamburg, a woman, lined with age

Holds my hand and weeps to me in German.

I remind her of soldiers from Hawaii.

She has not forgotten their kindness long ago.

 

Our tears taste the same

In German and in English.

We are the only ones standing

In the aftermath of wars.

 

  • From: “Dangerous Woman: Poetry for the Ageless”

by Frances H. Kakugawa

 

 

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Images from Japan                                    


Man-made clouds hover

Over rice fields, paper cranes,

Green tea, once again.


Omoiyari


Half a rice ball,wrapped in seaweed,

Is shared; steam from a tea cup

Rises to the cloud.


She lifts her chopsticks

To the hungry, while her stomach

Growls in hunger.

Gambatte!

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