Dec 31

WIT Life #293: 良いお年を!

WIT Life is a periodic series written by professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03). She starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she shares some of the interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations.

In a follow-up to the comfort women story in my last post, NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof re-shared his 1995 story about Japanese comfort women who served US soldiers post-war.  They were encouraged by the Japanese government to perform this patriotic duty in order to save Japanese women from being raped by marauding American soldiers.  Initially they were primarily working prostitutes, but as time went on war widows and other women signed up as it was their only way to feed their families.  Of course, these little known Japanese comfort women were different from the overseas ones who were mostly Korean teenagers dragged away from their homes and forced into front-line brothels to serve Japanese troops.

On a nice note to close out 2015,  the recently aired Kennedy Center Honors honored composer Seiji Ozawa as one of the five recipients along with Carole King, Cicely Tyson, George Lucas and Rita Moreno.  The Honors are presented to performing artists who have made a lifetime contribution to American art and culture, and Ozawa was the first Japanese recipient.  Yoi otoshi wo and see you in the year of the monkey!


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