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I Lived With My Obaachan Until I was Five ...

Although my father made me half Irish, I was completely Japanese. Japanese was my first language. My Obaachan was pre-war Japanese. I had two uncles, my mother’s brothers, who got married during that time, and my new aunts were part of the family affair that raised me. My favorite activity was dressing up in kimono. But, I was biologically only half Japanese. I was bigger than other children my age. My features were obviously mixed. I don’t really know how it is today in Japan, but Japanese society has always been particularly pure-race conscious. In my current life, some think my look is “exotic,” but in Japan, I was a half-breed and impure. I didn’t know any of this when I was 5 years old

Ranko-chan, Ranko-chan, doko desu ka? ...

My grandmother called out as she searched the apartment and apartment complex looking for me. What she didn’t know was that I had gone to school. For my 4th birthday, my grandmother gave me an O-Bento (lunch) Box. Little did she know that every day, I would go to our apartment balcony, watch children walking to school and yearn to go with them. But I didn’t have an O-Bento Box. The day after my birthday, without disturbing anyone, I got up, dressed myself, and with my new O-Bento Box in hand (albeit empty), I left the apartment and followed kids who appeared to be about my size to school. I stood in the back of the classroom. The class stood up and began to sing a song. I didn’t know the w

I Called My Father, despite ...

not wanting to call. He left me when my mother died. I was one. He returned about a year later with a new wife, who didn’t want me. And he left again. Over 40 years later, I hired a private detective and he gave me a telephone number. My father was an expat still living in Japan, and had been living at the same address all those years. I put the telephone number away in my desk. A few months later, Thanksgiving Dinner was done and the TV was off. Everyone had gone to bed. The house was quiet except in the kitchen sink as I washed every dish, fork, spoon, knife, glass, cup, pot and pan. My mind wasn't quiet though. It was racing with the thought of pulling out an international number and dia

A Stack of Rocks means ...

a ton of experience and value. This means you have a lot to offer yourself and others. This is my birthday month and I'm turning 60. That's just a number because I certainly don't feel 60. Or maybe this is how 60 feels. But I do know that I've stacked almost 60 years of life experience rocks on top of one another. Some were big flat foundational rocks. Others were small round topply rocks. That's LIFE. And it took all 60 years of rocks to make me what I am today. This may be the singularly most important idea that anyone needs to move forward and upward in life. After a lot of hard knocks and not having what you want, it can be difficult to change your point of view and think that maybe som

I love my life and lifestyle but it wasn't always this way ... 


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