It Is What It Is

About the past and the present—I don’t know.

I… read? or I heard, wayyyyy back when—you know, decades ago—one of these wise Greek, philosophers, or maybe a philosopher out in the far east, said the same thing that we’re saying now: This is terrible—you know, what is happening to our community, or whatever. Nowadays, because there’s more people, maybe it’s more… intense, but it seems to be the same! I can’t remember where I read it, or heard it, but they were saying the same thing!

The same thing! Over and over again.

So then, I guess it’s playing… the same song. People are saying Oh, these young people are—you know, whatever. And then, the same thing—crime or whatever. Same thing!

It never uh, resolved itself, I guess. We’re still playing the same tune, aren’t we?


This black and white photo depicts families arriving in Greenwood, greeted by nuns. Turned away from the camera but dressed in their habits, the nuns appear as dark cloaked figures.
Japanese Canadians arrive in Greenwood, including the Hamaguchis. Maryanne Belcher (nee Hamaguchi) appears here as a child of roughly 8 years, looking to the side, with her hands in her pockets. Ruth Hamaguchi, holding Rosemary Takeuchi (nee Hamaguchi), only a baby in this photo, converses with one of the nuns. JCCC. 2001.3.153.


What happened to us Japanese Canadians… Japanese Canadian history? It is what it is. Because we’re going to be fading. Because we’re all gonna be half-half, because the Japanese—the 100% Japanese—are not marrying 100% Japanese. So, I think it’s irrelevant. Because it’s gonna fade!


Grandparents and granddaughter, circa 1998. From left to right: Angela May, Ian Belcher, Maryanne Belcher (nee Hamaguchi).


But all history is interesting. For me, anyway. I like history! It is interesting. How it happened? That this happened. And it should be told. Or… written down? So that: This is what happened.

But what happens in the future, and what other people think about the future, well, it depends on that person, in the future! Who are they? They might not care! And then, there’s some people who might say, Wow! You know! They’re doing a thesis on it, maybe. They would want to know. But most people wouldn’t.

But lessons? I don’t know. It happened already.

Well, there’s some things you can learn from it, and some things… don’t resonate for anything. It is what it was!

Somebody said… that it was a good thing, actually, ‘cause we were in enclaves, right? So we dispersed! And somebody said maybe it’s a good thing ‘cause we’re too… insular, being in one place. We grew, maybe.

There’s always good and bad, to most things.

Whatever happens, happens! And so, I take it as it comes. One day at a time. So… no issues!


Maryanne Belcher (nee Hamaguchi), circa 2018.
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