Two Sides

Most of us read and learn World history in school, but I've discovered having lived a full life on two continents, in four countries and numerous States, that history is not always truth. It is most poignantly explored in Josephine Tey's book Daughter of Time (1951) about Richard III. One of my favourite books!

I learned on the road and up front from friends and acquaintances what I wasn't taught. The opposite sides of the Japanese coin was a neglected subject. While World War II erupted in Europe, the United States entry was signaled at Pearl Harbor. Ironically, the semesters given over to this subject barely touched the battles faced by military and non-military alike during those years on the Pacific front.

In adulthood, I've met people whose lives were circumscribed by a world at war. Several of these friends had been born and spent their early lives in Indonesia. One tormented by nightmares as the Japanese arrested her multi-lingual father and another who never totally assimilated into an upper class Den Haag.

I also met and became friends with two people who had been interned in the United States because their parents were Japanese. Remarkably they were both able to heal their wounds.

The pain and suffering of those in Djakarta (Jakarta) and the misery and shame experienced in internment camps did not make it into my classroom experience.

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