LIFE and GENERATIONS – Backwards and Forward

Life can be fulfilling, emotional, filled with awe…and eerie.  All at once.  In ten short days.  In a country far away.

But life and its generations help you live it backwards and forward.

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Ten great days were spent in Tokyo and Hiroshima with my oldest son, Takeshi.  He is 24 years old.  We had never been on vacation together.  My loss.  I admit to being worried he was not going to enjoy himself.

There is so much to write about for family and friends but jet lag affects more than sleep.  There is a cavernous disconnect between my (normally minimally functioning) brain and my fingers.

__________________________

But during this trip…

My son enjoyed his time with my dad’s side of the family immensely – so much so he shed a few tears at a farewell dinner they threw for us.  He even found a new drinking buddy – my cousin’s intelligent and beautiful granddaughter, Yuu-chan:

My son Takeshi and Yuu-chan in Tokyo

With my cousin Toshio Nakano, we saw my father’s station he served in as part of the 8th US Army’s G-2, Military Intelligence Service in Yokohama; because I carried some photos of him in uniform inside, the Public Relations Officer escorted us to a view from the (unrestricted) roof:

Dad’s Army station while in the US 8th Army in Yokohama

Was able to meet my cousin Masako (78) once again and the family – and we were royally treated:

Great fun with family in Hiroshima

Took the cremated remains of my Aunt Shiz (95) for internment; she was my dad’s last living sibling.  He is now the last one:

Ceremony for Aunt Shiz

Saw the most beautiful parts of Japan:

Miyajima’s grand Tori’i

A most EMOTIONAL meeting with those responsible for finding my dad’s 1937 high school yearbook:

A most wonderful meeting of peace-loving people

And the most STARTLING and tear-jerking finds of generations past – including those of my father’s younger brother who was KIA as part of the Japanese Imperial Army:

Unbelievable family discoveries

I hope you’ll stay tuned until this old mind functions again.  Not that it ever did.  Thought it best to say that before someone did.

25 thoughts on “LIFE and GENERATIONS – Backwards and Forward”

  1. Glad you had a safe journey Koji. You squeezed years of emotion into days. I can imagine how it feels to come back to your regular world with that weight, and jet lag! I look forward to your stories and photos. Keith

  2. What a very special trip to take with your son, and I am sure it was life-changing for him to connect with his family through you. I will really be eager to hear more about it. The photos you shared already tell a story! Debra

  3. So glad for you to have been able to make this trip – and glad you are back. I am looking forward to hearing all about it, especially about your uncle.

  4. My Bulldog Brother: Does this mean you’re back? Wow, I am sure that this trip was incredible and better than these wonderful pictures & comments can describe! I would love to hear more about this when we can get together again!
    I spent some time with Ralph Moreno last Saturday and one of the first things we talked about was “Koji”! Ralph just committed to the Reunion, will you be joining us? I certainly hope so along with others! Call me when you get a chance! Catch up from jet lag first….LOL!

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