Masao Watanabe recalls his reaction to being asked to volunteer for military service while in camp.
I met my grandfather a handful of times, and the only memories are of him talking about his experiences in the 442 Infantry Regiment, also known as the Purple Heart Battalion. As a child I didn’t understand the importance of the 442, Executive Order 9066, and how all of that related to my life in the present day.
He really wanted me to understand the importance of the experience, and that’s why he kept trying to talk to me about it – but as a child, I started to resent him for always talking about the bleak subject of war.
Many years later, I find myself living in the US, playing taiko and composing music. Believe me, it all relates to my life in the present day. Every moment, every day. Now, and for the rest of my life.
This is my way of saying, “Thanks, and sorry we didn’t talk more.”