Musashi Mix Inq

Manifest Identity

Posted on March 7, 2011

Manifest Identity, ©MMXI

Kaname [Ikemoto] Yamamoto: Great-grandma— 曽祖母

Born 1899, Hiroshima, Japan

Died 1985, Chicago, USA

Enemy Alien

Kaname: a picture bride who arrived in America surprised to find that she was a new mother of two boys— ages 5 and 3. Albert and Steve had recently lost their mother in the Influenza Epidemic. A picture marriage was arranged to take her place. Kaname married my Great-grandfather, Goichi, and the family started anew.

In 1942, the family was stripped of their farm outside of LA and locked-up at the Gila River Concentration Camp in Arizona. The bombing of Hiroshima meant that there was no home to return to. The only direction remaining for Kaname was forward.

The treasured paper-trail of photographs, documents, notebooks and scrap paper chart my family’s American story. But this is simply the ash atop a burning stick of incense— Breathe deep…

The thick, rich smell of history: cracked leather, teriyaki, saltpeter, steaming rice, mothballs, cedar and sandalwood.

• ≈ Δ ≈ •

Itadakimasu. Let us begin…

never know best





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