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A Place to Belong | Kanopy
A Place to Belong Create your Kanopy account. By joining Kanopy you agree to receive important emails regarding your account. You may unsubscribe from these emails at any time. I already have an account. In Japan, people were starving. His family had nothing.
Ichiro took over the family at age 21, responsible for six siblings and his parents. He not only fought to keep them fed but fought for their futures as well. Did the younger ones want to go to college one day if they could? Join the army? Get married and have kids?
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He would try to find a way to make it happen. On the black market, he sold items that Occupation soldiers stole from the Army. It was all he knew how to do. He married a Japanese woman and had two kids with her. When the family got their citizenship back in the s, all of them returned, and Ichiro started an azalea nursery.
Then his wife left him and went back to Japan—his oldest son says he used to lie in bed listening to his father sob when she left. But he eventually married again, this time for 50 years until he died. I was there when Ichiro was dying in a bed set up in his kitchen. His daughter talked nonstop to him as she cleaned him with a damp towel. He was unconscious, breathing in little gasps.
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I know he could hear me, she has said many times since then. As soon as he died, his kids and grandkids all asked me the same thing: Do you have your notes from interviewing him? He had made their lives—in comfortable homes with beautiful families—possible. He had left behind the ladies and the fancy clothes and given himself to his brothers and sisters and parents.
He was an American hero, and I felt like if nobody wrote the renunciants story, then no one would ever know about all the people just like him.
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