Yesterday I spoke at the annual general meeting of the Japan Society of Northern California. I had prepared remarks about the writing of GARDEN OF STONES, and culled from my collections the most stirring images of life in Manzanar and the other camps and assembly centers. Most of those in the audience already knew all about the subject. I met people whose lives had been touched in various ways by internment, including one gentleman whose grandfather returned to Japan before the war, anticipating the troubles to come, and later his children returned, and then their children went back to Japan, only to have the next generation come to America. It was a fascinating story from an organization whose purpose is to further understanding between two nations.
I also met some fascinating people. In addition to the staff and board of the Society, I met Consul General Inomata and his wife; and Nobuko Saito, who translated hundreds of pages of the personal diary of an internee from Manzanar.
After all of the excitement and, yes, occasional silliness of the last few days, it was a reminder of one of both the honor and the responsibility that comes with writing fiction set in a historical time period.
|to the right is Andrew Neuman, president of the society. |
and to the left is a very nice gentleman whose name escapes me. :)
|with Nobuko Saito, president of Cross Cultural Communications|
|the event took place at the Public Policy Center in San Francisco|