Dear Angela,

Your future novel, Inujini, and the amazing reviews already received and shared (on social media) in the promotion phase, has awakened a facet within me that has been repressed for more than 60 years. We are the best of friends and I am compelled to share the following:

Karma is a beast of complexities I can not fathom. I find myself in the midst of a personal crisis having to do with inherited karma from my earth father. 

His involvement in WWII was pivotal and carried with it consequences that foreshadowed my lifetime. As was told to me, he was consulted as a research expert and wrote the white paper, to President Truman, which was accepted as the basis for the Manhattan Project and the projected end of the war. He was also the line officer on the USS Missouri to witness the surrender on September 2, 1945. He received the military swords of all disgraced Imperial Japanese Officers on board that carrier.

He lived with that burden. In 1991, my dad visited Japan to welcome the birth of his grand-daughter. My husband was a US Naval officer at that time. He was overwhelmed with guilt and grief and could not meet the eyes of any Japanese man of similar age. The visible and invisible scars of the survivors reminded him of his role in the war. When I returned to the states, he never spoke of that visit again. 

Fast forward, I am learning the art of paper folding to teach a class at the gallery. Your suggestion that the children in the class might benefit from the story, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes has met with mixed reviews as propaganda. I read the story for the first time – having never been allowed to read it as a child. It cuts me deeply and I am also karmically burdened with the tragedy of war. You know I am surrounded by military life – wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, and mother of uniformed US military personnel. I have to carry my father’s burden and try to balance my remaining days with respect toward all people and avoid conflict at its most basic level.

I live in the moment – it is a survival tactic.

Please know that my father was sterile. The universe intervened. I am adopted and for whatever good I can do, I shall strive to do it.

Thank you for your friendship, your openness and willingness to support the Shimanchu people. As for me, I am truly sorry.

L

By Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third-generation Ryukyuan-American, award-winning poet, author, and publisher with 20+ years in newspapers. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), two-time Bram Stoker Awards® Winner, and HWA Mentor of the Year, she shares Authortunities, a free weekly calendar of author opportunities at authortunities.substack.com.

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