March 8, 2009
I wish I could choose two flags for my country! Although born and grew up in Japan, I have lived longer time in London and have been naturalised as a British citizen recently. It is a funny twist of fate because my mother country and my adopted home country were enemies once and fought many battles to the bitter end, one of which my father was sent to as a young soldier. This campaign in Burma was near suicidal as a plan and he was one of 12,000 survived out of 80,000 soldiers.
His trauma was repressed and came out as violent rage throughout our family life and none of us, including my mother had any idea where it was coming from. We children suffered so called 'Trans-generational trauma', especially my eldest brother.
Without realising, I made the first step of my journey to understand the cause of his rage and the person I never knew as a father when I'd moved to London in my twenties. I began to piece my fragmented mind and body a little by little in a long meandering course of life.
He had never talked about the war except to say it was a Living Hell. When he turned 80, I plucked up my courage to ask him if he could talk to me about the war. I bought a small video camera.
That was the beginning of my filmic journey, which guided me to Burma in 2005. When I returned to London a month later, I began editing the footage for my father to see how all the places he'd told me looked like now. He never brought himself to watch it. It broke my heart.
I went deeper into my soul and came back out at the end of 2008 with a 53 minutes documentary film to tell my own story. It is called 'Singing To A Ghost'.
The two hours he spoke to me on video was his gift to me, and now at the age of 52, I finally have inner peace. Every time I see people suffering in a conflict, my heart goes out to them, and every time I see soldiers or fighting men my heart goes out to their mothers, wives and children at present and in future. I would love to be a farmer who sow seeds of peace.