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(From the Oct/Nov Zephyr) Camp: The Japanese Internment, 1941-45. (Part 1) …by Alan Mikuni


Specific words or phrases in the Japanese language describe how Japanese people deal with situations like they endured in World War II.  The Japanese term, “shikataganai”, when translated means “it cannot be helped.”  Another term, “gaman” is loosely translated as “enduring the unbearable with dignity and silence.”

I understand the dangers of broad, sweeping generalizations about any group of people, but these terms characterize very well the demeanor of many Japanese-Americans, especially my parents, and how they felt about and dealt with the events surrounding their incarceration. Then, they found themselves having to move on with their lives in the aftermath. After the war, at mealtimes and during other Mikuni family times with my brothers, the subject was simply not discussed.

To read more of Alan’s article, click the image below:


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