Last Saturday a friend and I were driving around and for some reason we got onto the topic of Japan. I didn’t have much to say but she did. She’s been their twice and loves it. Hearing her talk about Japan reminded me that everyone–and I mean EVERYONE–has been to Japan except me: my parents, relatives, all of my friends, my teachers, etc. They’ve either been once or multiple times and most of them talk about it like it’s the greatest place in the world. Some have gone for trips, others for teaching jobs (JET program), school, but they’ve all enjoyed themselves and while Japan isn’t on my go-to list, I feel pressure to go at least once. (I admit, I do want to see the cherry blossoms, and that’s the only reason why I want to go). My mom told me that I have to “see where I came from.”
I don’t know the history, but after World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbor you’d think that Japan would want nothing to do with Hawaii, but their relationship is ridiculously strong. Hawaii’s main industry is tourism, and the Japanese is the main group pumping money into our economy. Hawaii’s population is mostly Japanese American. I can get my daily dose of Japan right here at home: delicatessens, ramen shops, Shirokiya, Hakabundo…but I guess it’s not the same as going to the actual country huh?
Maybe one day I’ll go.
Have you visited your ancestral homeland? If you did, what did you think of it? And if you haven’t, do you want to see where you “came from”? Let me know in the comments!