Manchurian legacy: memoirs of a Japanese colonist by Kazuko Kuramoto

By Kazuko Kuramoto

Kazuko Kuramoto used to be born and raised in Dairen, Manchuria, in 1927, on the height of jap expansionism in Asia. Dairen (Port Arthur) used to be a major colonial outpost at the Liaotung Peninsula; the teach strains demonstrated by means of Russia and brought over through the japanese, ended there. while Kuramoto's grandfather arrived in Dairen as a member of the japanese police strength almost immediately after the tip of the Russo-Japanese struggle in 1905, the family's trust in jap supremacy and its "divine" venture to "save" Asia from Western imperialists was once firmly in position. As a third-generation colonist, the seventeen-year-old Kuramoto effectively joined the pink go Nurse Corps in 1944 to assist within the warfare attempt and in her country's sacred reason. A 12 months later, her kinfolk listened to the emperor's radio broadcast ". . . we will need to suffer the unendurable, to endure the unbearable . . . unconditional surrender." Manchurian Legacy is the tale of the family's lifestyles in Dairen, their survival as a forgotten humans through the conflict to reclaim Manchuria waged by way of Russia, China, and Korea, and their next repatriation to a devastated Japan. Kuramoto describes a tradition in response to the unthinking oppression of the colonized via the colonizer. And, simply because Manchuria was once, in essence, a eastern frontier, the Kuramotos lived a freer and extra sumptuous lifestyles than they'd have in Japan-one really unscathed by way of the struggle until eventually after the hand over. As a commentator Kuramoto explores her tradition either from the interior, subjectively, and from the skin, objectively. Her memoirs describe her coming of age in a colonial society, her family's studies in war-torn Manchuria, and her "homecoming" to Japan-where she had by no means been-just as Japan is engaged in its personal cultural upheaval.

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Manchurian legacy: memoirs of a Japanese colonist

Kazuko Kuramoto used to be born and raised in Dairen, Manchuria, in 1927, on the top of jap expansionism in Asia. Dairen (Port Arthur) was once an enormous colonial outpost at the Liaotung Peninsula; the teach strains tested by way of Russia and brought over by means of the japanese, ended there. whilst Kuramoto's grandfather arrived in Dairen as a member of the japanese police strength almost immediately after the top of the Russo-Japanese conflict in 1905, the family's trust in jap supremacy and its "divine" venture to "save" Asia from Western imperialists was once firmly in position.

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The coolie, a Chinese laborer who had lived at the bottom of society, probably had never been as clean as this while he lived. The "polished" body was two-tone. The upper part of the body was deeply tanned while its lower part, from the waist down, was ghastly pale. It told this dead man's life story, that he had labored half naked all his life under the dry, harsh Manchurian sun. And now he lay stiff on the table for an autopsy. "If any of you don't feel well, you may leave the room," the chief nurse said, and I saw a few girls leave their seats in a hurry, covering their mouths.

This, The Sorrows of Young Werther, and several other books that I loved were confiscated by the chief nurse. "Some literature is detrimental to young minds," the chief nurse had said. "I had such high hopes for you," she sighed when she returned the confiscated books to me to be sent back home, as if I had let her down. Then she pulled out a letter and placed it in front of me. I recognized the letter and blushed with embarrassment. It was a letter that I had written a friend some time ago, before I was aware that she censored all of our personal letters.

The exact death toll among the Japanese in Manchuria at that time will probably never be known. The Japanese government, which started the Page xi repatriation of its army survivors and of overseas Japanese from its lost colonies and territories immediately after its surrender, did not extend a helping hand to those of us in Manchuria. We were left to somehow survive on our own for more than a year. Some say that the government was misinformed about our condition because the communication between Tokyo and Manchuria had been cut off, while others say that there was an international conflict over the new ownership of Manchuria.

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