Thoughts on Intergenerational Trauma

This is not exactly a fresh take, but I think JC communities and families carry a lot of intergenerational trauma. It is common for those who experienced internment, to not discuss it, or brush it off. I don’t blame them one bit for this, many people don’t want to relive memories of pain, of sadness, of indignity. After the war, JC communities worked hard to be resilient and happy again. They got their revenge by being successful and not showing the hurt. They didn’t want to tell their children what went on, they wanted their children to blend in and suffer nothing like they did. But those children would learn something, and if not, their children eventually would because internment was taught in schools by then. They would wonder, well did that happen to my obachan and ojichan? What is our history? Often it is the yonsei or younger generations that recognize the damage that was done. Multiculturalism is now accepted and uplifted. They feel inadequate because that Japanese culture and family history has a severe fracture, and it’s basically irreparable.

Carley Okamura

View posts by Carley Okamura
I am a yonsei living in Edmonton, Alberta, which is where I grew up. I have played Japanese drums (taiko) for 20 years, and am involved with the local EJCA.
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