Thoughts on Japan (Japanese)

Transcripts available in the following languages:

(Japanese) Well, when I go as a representative of Peru, the Peruvian government sends a uniform. It’s called a “PROMPERU” (Comisión de Promoción del Perú para la Exportación y el Turismo / Commission for the Promotion of Peru Export and Tourism). And on it, it says Inka country, and has the Peruvian flag. Since I’m going as a representative of Peru, I’m on the Peruvian side, with the flag too. So everyone say things like “Why not add half the Japanese flag?” But I hate that kind of half measure. Peru is Peru. Japan is Japan. But, you know, if I was asked to go on behalf of Japan, as a Japanese man, obviously I’d do it in a heartbeat.

So when we hear “Kimi ga Yo” (Japanese national anthem) …or, you know, when watching the Olympics and Japan wins…or…well it doesn’t matter if they don’t win…when we see them giving it their best effort, of course we feel pride. Also, a long time ago, around the time of Prime Minister Suzuki, he came here when they had the Paris Summit, stopping here on the way home. That was the first time a Japanese airplane landed at the Lima airport. The Japanese flag had arrived. Then the captain of the plane opened the window, held the Japanese and Peruvian flags and waved them like this. You know when you see something like that, the tears start flowing. And furthermore, he’s called the Prime Minister, but while he was here, it just felt like your own dad came to visit. You know you’re Japanese when you feel like that.

Date: April 18, 2007
Location: Lima, Peru
Interviewer: Ann Kaneko
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

identity issei peru

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