Wednesday, August 17, 2016

our roots...


we always wanted to come but never had a chance to visit Manzanar. at this particular time of the year (Aug 15th is 71st anniversary of the end of WWII) we ended up here in Owens Valley, where it was far off from our usual going-back-to-Azusa-from-Bonneville route by accident. it's a simple country highway and we never took the wrong way before and we still don't know why and what happened to us but we were glad that we drifted off.

ずっと来たいと思っていたのになかなか来られなかったマンザナーに偶然たどり着いた。しかも終戦記念日の時期に。ボンネビルからいつもなら絶対に通らないまったく別方向のルートを走っていることに気がついたのは何もない大自然の中、同じ景色が果てしなく続くハイウェイを本当ならもうすぐヴェガスに着くかなというくらい、たぶんウェンドーヴァーから3時間以上走った頃。ちなみに、ボンネビルまでの往復は今まで何度も同じルートで行き来していて今ではGPSなんて不要、距離はあるけどとてもシンプル(2、3箇所くらい曲がるけどほぼ真っ直ぐ)で迷ったことなどない。なぜだろう。今思い起こしてもどこでどう間違えたのか分からない。不思議。      


it's located in foot of Sierra Nevada, surrounded by beautiful mountains. beautiful, that was the word we were repeatedly using along with oohing and ahhing looking at a magnificent view while we were driving. however, once we found out this was one of ten camps where all 110,000 Japanese-Americans and first generation immigrants from Japan, mostly lived in west coast, were forcedly relocated, we were shocked to see how different it looked all of a sudden. beautiful mountains became desperate wall. strong dry wind fomented hopeless. we've watched some documentaries and those words from survivors were echoing in our heads.

シエラネヴァダ山脈の麓、美しい山々に囲まれた壮大な景色に1分置きにウワァァ~とかウォ~とか雄大過ぎる~と叫びながら、道を間違えたにも関わらず能天気にチャボバンを走らせていた我々。ところが、マンザナーの標識を見つけ、ここが(西海岸に多くいた日系人が日本と交信・通信しにくくするためなるべく太平洋から遠い内陸)に急遽作られた10箇所の日系人収容キャンプ跡地のひとつだと知った途端に同じ景色がまったく違って見えることに呆然となる。我らの先駆者達にとってこの山々はどうのように写ったのかな。様々なドキュメンタリーを観ていたので、体験者のみなさんの言葉が色々蘇った。アメリカで暮らす者として自分達に置き換えて考えると、やるせない気持ちでいっぱいになる。



we are able to keep on going because of vanguard, those people who suffered and their efforts. we will never forget about that.

彼らが静かに諦めずに努力し勝ち取ってくださった自由のおかげで、私達は今こうしてアメリカで不自由なく暮らせていることを忘れてはいけないと改めて思った。行けて良かった!






3 comments:

Kevin Hogan said...

I humbly apologize on behalf of those who cannot do so now. I am so very sorry that Japanese Americans were treated in such a cruel and disgraceful manner. Please forgive them for they were afraid, foolish and ignorant, for it was a different time and much enlightenment was years away. I am Sorry.

menacing ayu said...

Kevin Hogan: Thank you for your comment. We totally understand that it was a different time and war makes people go mad. In my personal opinion, those people who suffered are not seeking for apology but they are sincerely hoping for us to know what happened so that this kind of thing should never happen again. That's why I posted this. Thank you for your thoughtful words.

Akira said...

Ayumi san and Shinya san, my father is from Hiroshima and his uncle immigrated into California as Chrisentiment farm farmer before WWII. This means the uncle family lived in the camp like this one.
Now the third generation still live in Mountain View as land lord.
We enjoy peace having all nations join together for Bonneville.
I want to visit this site I my next visit hopefully next year.
Akira