Narrative Research Project Past Present Term Paper

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But I was not interned, and like your grandfather's stories of hiding in bunkers or fearing the draft, it is part of a distant knowledge of something that it supposed to be me. The Japanese-American history is one of immigration, discrimination, and internment; of reparations, intermarriage, and an awkward transformation and amalgamation of cultures. It is about being the Japanese of hip anime, world-class technology, and cutting-edge fashion.

Being American is about McDonalds, Levi's jeans, the proliferation of Starbucks, the Michael Jackson scandal, and essay topics like this.

The plaque at the Poston/Colorado River Relocation Center reads: "May it serve as a constant reminder of our past so that Americans in the future will never again be denied their constitutional rights and may the remembrance of that experience serve to advance the evolution of the human spirit ... "

While I may not be constantly reminded of a servitude of the past, I, like many African- and Caribbean-Americans, share a history of struggle here in America; history books, policies, and adults in my life remind me of this, and imbue me with the spirit to go forward. By their experience, I have the luxury of guidance.

Many people have assumed that role, too, making me not only the person that I am but also guiding me towards the person I will inevitably become. Friends, family, and mentors have illuminated a path before me that ties me not only to the greater community of America but also a history of my parents' homeland. Every moment of tribulation and every ounce of turmoil is surrounded in a cloud of history, one that I interpret through the lenses others have helped me create, and which I will pass down to my children.

Alphonse de Lamartine, the romantic French poet whose personal history was recorded through the scrutiny of his nation's Revolution in 1848, notably wrote, "history teaches everything, including the future." My history is one of the American boy -- born in any town, USA in the mythic 1980s, with nurses singing Madonna's first hit in the delivery room and parents in the Classic Kick white Reeboks waiting for my arrival. My history is one of the Japanese boy -- reared in history, a demanding academic system, and a life of quiet regiment. My history is one of the hyphen-American, a melting pot mixture of polar cultures, learned in and confused by both.

My presence is one all my own, that of a boy named Justin Tucker, working hard in college, laughing with my friends, listening to my family, and dreaming about the future. My future is one still shrouded in mystery and excitement; I know what will happen tomorrow as much as anyone else. I do know, however, that as I move forward in this world, I take the lessons of the past with me. I carefully listen to the stories others tell -- both Japanese, American, and none of the above -- and take from them narrative, fact, and opinion. These histories are the building blocks of the eyes with which I find my path for the future and will carry with me always.

Asakawa, Gil. Being Japanese America: AJA Sourcebook for Nikkei, Hapa ... And Their Friends. San Francisco: Stone Bridge Press, 2004.

Bowean, Lolly. "Minorities Share Lessons with Chicago Teachers; Japanese-American, Muslim Tell How Rights Can Be at Risk in Crisis." Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Ill: Apr. 17, 2005. p. 3.

Golden, Arthur. Memoirs of a Geisha. New York: Vintage, 1999.

Hartocollis, Anemona. "In a West Side Apartment, a World." New York Times. New York: May 1, 2005. P. 14.

Iritani, Frank and Joanne. Ten Visits. San Mateo, CA: Asian-American Curriculum Project., Inc., 1995.

"Lasting Beauty: Miss Jamison and the Student Muralists." The Japanese-American National Museum. February 6, 2005.

Ng, F. "Choice." Middletown. May, 2005. Vol. 42, Iss. 9, p. 1655.

"Wada, Japan."

"Wada, Japan."

Golden, Arthur. Memoirs of a Geisha. New York: Vintage, 1999. P. 7.

Hartocollis, Anemona. "In a West Side Apartment, a World." New York Times. New York: May 1, 2005. P. 14.

Ibid.

Ng, F. "Choice." Middletown. May, 2005. Vol. 42, Iss. 9, p. 1655.

"Lasting Beauty: Miss Jamison and the Student Muralists." The Japanese-American National Museum. February 6, 2005.

Ibid.

Bowean, Lolly. "Minorities Share Lessons with Chicago Teachers; Japanese-American, Muslim Tell How Rights Can Be at Risk in Crisis." Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Ill: Apr. 17, 2005. p. 3.

Ibid.

Asakawa, Gil. Being Japanese America: AJA Sourcebook for…[continue]

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