Saturday, July 23, 2011


My mother was not the biggest fan of the Japanese.  She was 13 and a half years old when the war broke out, and was 14 and 15 during the war.  She said that the Japanese stole from her "paradise," life in Hagåtña before the war, which to my mother was a perfect life.  She went to Japanese school in Barrigada and became one of the best students.  Funny enough, she was proud that she picked up Japanese and remembered a lot of it.

One thing she never forgot was a Japanese war song called "Kohan no Yado."  It was recorded in 1940 and was a favorite of Japanese soldiers fighting in China, as the sentimental song recalls scenes of home.  My mother learned the song during the war and she sang it to me when I was a teenager.  I remember one verse of it, after all these years.  She learned it in the 1940s, I learned it from her in the 1970s.

Here is a clip of the same song, sung in complete and immensely better form by the singer who released it in 1940, Mieko Takamine.  Takamine lived a relatively long life, passing in 1990 at the age of 72.

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