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Thoughts about War

Commemorating the end of WW II, August 15, I am posting my article which was submitted to my church newsletter, “Compass” in 2015, with a bit of editing and changes.  It’s pretty emotional!  🙂


I don’t waste food.

I was born ten years after the war.  My grandmother’s stories have sunk into my bones and tissues.  “Never… never waste food,” she said.  “You can’t imagine what ‘starving’ is like. I held onto the outside door rail of a packed train, for hours and hours, going far into the countryside to look for foods.  I carried my valuable silk kimonos, as many of them as I could, and exchanged them for a few sweet potatoes to feed children waiting at home.”

Of course, today we live in such an abundance.  Foods are wasted everywhere all the time.  I should be used to it, but, still, I have this pain whenever I see them wasted.  Her words just come back to me, “….in order for ‘that one apple’ to get into your hands, somebody labored, plowing the soil, growing the sapling, watering, fertilizing, harvesting…. years and years of labour, and only then, this one apple comes into your hands.  It is precious. Let’s be grateful.”

I lived in Los Angeles from age 13 to 18.  Right after arriving there, I was placed in a junior high school, having no English what so ever.  I ate hamburgers and french fries for the first time in my life.  I was amazed.  They were the best foods I have ever had. Those days, Japan was still a developing country (360 yen to 1 US$!) and beef used to be very expensive. We could only have beef at a special occasion.  When my mother would say, “we have Beef Sukiyaki tonight!”, we kids, would jump up and down, super excited.  I remember around the time I entered high school, I was beginning to understand some English.  One day, I had a shocking experience.  It was a history class and the teacher showed the class a film about World War II, particularly about the day the atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima or Nagasaki.  A pilot was flying a war plane across the Pacific Ocean, carrying the atomic bomb.  He dropped it, and there were rising huge clouds shaping like a mushroom.  At that moment, the class, all of them except me, rejoiced, clapped hands, whistled, jumped up and down.  I was shocked.  My head went spinning, then went numb. For me, I had understood, the day this bomb was dropped was the most devastating day.  It was literally, hell.  I had grown up listening to stories after stories about this horrendous day….

“Why….? Why are you happy? Why are you rejoicing? Don’t you realize that ‘people’ were living there, underneath that cloud?  Ordinary ‘people’, just like you and me, boys and girls, children, babies….they all were burned at that moment, and died a horrendous death.  They were all living their ordinary lives day by day, just like us, crying, laughing, talking, playing….they were not killing other people…, they had just their lives there.  Why are you so happy? Why? What are you rejoicing?”


The day of 9/11, we all held our breaths watching TV screens of the impressive towering buildings collapsing into mountains of sands.  We all felt shock, sunk in sorrow, prayed for all those people who worked there and thought of their families.  However, I’ve heard that on the opposite side, that there were people watching the same scene with overwhelming joy. Is it different?

I remember sitting in a church in Vancouver, perhaps about ten years ago on a Sunday, listening to a a guest preacher’s sermon.  He was talking about what God’s awe is like.  “Imagine…” the young preacher said.  “There is a plane flying in the clouds, he is pushing the button. Suddenly blinded by sharp flashes of light and the sky turns bright red.  Then a huge cloud covers the entire sky forming into a shape of mushroom.  This is awe…”  I could not believe my ears.  I was ‘awed’ by what I heard.  He, a disciple of Christ, is preaching in a church, a house of God, saying that God’s awe is like the atomic bomb which brought hell to the innocent people living there? Nuclear bombs ARE tools of Satan, aren’t they?  No, not just nuclear bombs – all wars, everything about wars is satanic, no matter how they are justified.

I thought God made us human beings.  So then, God made us all, right?  Americans, Canadians, Japanese, Christians, and Muslims….all.  I wonder why we get to hate each other and spend so much money and energy to develop such demonic weapons to kill.  I wonder if it is for economical and political profits or for never ending revenge.  Something like…they did it to us, so we do it back to them?





















I lost my last beloved dog, Brandy 16 years ago. It was so painful that I just could not  look at other dogs.

When I finally started to feel OK to think about getting a dog, we heard of this 6 month old pitch black puppy.  We were told he has been abused. One of the rescue groups we were in touch told us that they would rescue the dog from the owner’s backyard. One summer day, we were informed to come to a house in east Vancouver.  A big furry black dog jumped up and down, welcomed us with such a joy. It’s so big! I thought. It looked so happy that I didn’t see any sign of abuse.  I guess I was expecting some nervous looking, furious, gloomy, timid looking puppy.  Rather amazingly, he was a happy, jolly, innocent boy. When we started living together, however, we noticed some strange behavior. He was scared of some odd things like floor joints, and often became frozen, could not walk over them.  He had no evidence of being toilet trained.  We decided to change his name from Uno to Kuma so that he could start a new life, disconnect himself from whatever old life he had.

15 years forward…..

He was going to be 16 years old in just 3 more months, but was getting frail day by day.  And, he departed to heaven yesterday, August 6, 2016.  He gave us so much love and joy for 15 long years, many many happy memories. Now, I’m left with this huge emptiness in my heart, don’t know what to do with this teary hole.