How To Get Inspiration From the Past

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To get a little inspiration about my dream to learn more about Japanese culture and history, I got out an old DVD called “Starting Over: Japanese Americans after the War”.  (If you click on this link and scroll down to the book title and watch the clip, she is the second interviewee).  I have this DVD because my mother-n-law was interviewed, along with other Japanese people, to document the memories of how they coped after the war. It showed how they  fought to overcome  their prejudices they encountered, and how they laid the foundation for a better life after the war.


Mother-n-law and her sisters

My mother-n-law had a little part in the documentation, but I also have her whole interview for the program, an uncut version. The kids hadn’t seen this yet so they  listened to her whole story. She passed away last year, so it was good for us to see and hear her again.

It’s always hard to relate to what people go through, you can only imagine. It’s especially hard for the kids to understand. My mother-n-law said in her interview that she didn’t tell her kids much of what happened in the camps, or the ordeal, because she didn’t think her kids could relate so what would be the point. I’m not sure. Even though you can’t possibly know how they feel, can just knowing about it make you feel more grateful for what you have?


Husband and his family

Her kids are very Americanized. My husband doesn’t know anything really about being Japanese. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing, or if it would change anything. I hope he’s grateful for his wonderful childhood that his parents provided.

After we watched the documentation, I told my kids that they were very fortunate to have dreams, and these days to be able to follow them. They can strive for anything they want and nobody can hold them back. They’ll be bumps along the way, and probably ignorant people being prejudice against them, but never let them bring you down. I remember my mother-n-laws words as they stared blankly back at me. They just can’t understand.

But I will keep trying.

Till next time,


kim_50x50(Kim has already accomplished her first big dream by traveling to New York with her teenage daughter June of 2009. She lost 20 pounds and overcame her intense dislike (do we say fear?) of flying to accomplish that dream. She rotated off the blog in February 2010, but still hangs out with 8 Women Dream.  You can find her in the comments section)

  • Heather, the e-commerce builder

    Adversity is a tough one. I know my son doesn’t want for anything (except new cool shoes – thanks for taking him shopping :) but I have always tried to help him understand since he was little how not everyone has it so good.

    It is a tough one but so cool you are exploring that history with them.

  • Danelle, the equestrian

    I think they’ll eventually understand. I try to impress upon my kids how lucky they are and how many opportunities they have – and they’re only 3 and 6 years old!! They stare blankly at me just like your kids do. But I have faith that they’ll get it someday. So, yep, keep trying!

  • Catherine

    Growing up, my best friend and next door neighbor was Japanese. It was a rich, wonderful cultural experience growing up with her her family next door. They introduced us to Domburi, Gyoza, Korokke, Okonomiyaki, sticky Rice, Sashimi, Seaweed, Soba, Sushi, Tempura, Udon, Wasabi, Kokeshi dolls, Hina dolls, chopsticks, Senbei, Origami (I can still make a boat), plum candy, rice paper, Buddha, Ohaiyo Gonzaimasu and so much more. I love it and many of their traditions are still with me to this day.

    It will be interesting reading all your posts about this. I hope you are enjoying your camping trip!


  • Suzanne Lorenz

    Good one Kim! They just keep getting better.