Grandma’s Impact on Us

Our grandma, Yukiko, was warm, caring, and loved us unconditionally. She never spoke Japanese to us or talked to us about our roots, but since we were young we thought nothing of it. Our grandma was a product of all that she experienced in her life, and while she took pride in being Japanese, she truly identified as Canadian. But what did being “Canadian” mean to her? She was a Japanese woman born and raised in Vancouver, in a society far less tolerant and diverse than today. After the internment, we feel that the only way she could perceive the notion of “Canadian” was through a white Canadian lens. And as far as we were concerned, our grandma Yuki was no different than the grandmothers of our white friends… She played with us at the park, she baked cookies, and at night she read us bedtime stories like “Goodnight Moon”. We are a result of the way she helped raise us in those years, and although we yearn to understand more about our roots, we can’t change what happened in the past. Our grandma faced a lot of adversity in her life, and the way she lived was shaped by all that she endured. But to us, what matters was that she was an amazing grandma who loved us, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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