VARIOUS IMPACTS OF MASS TRAUMA

79935303 Daisuke Tohyama

The chapter 3 talks about various impacts of mass trauma such as the internment of Japanese American and Korean War. The first and second generations of Japanese Americans tried to forget the memory of the internment because they experienced the painful jail. We call this trauma. The federal government also wanted to forget this memory because they committed wrong imprisonment of Japanese Americans even though they were American citizens. Although the traumatic memory seemed to be lost by the first or second generations and the federal government, it was not lost. The memory exists still today.

This chapter shows Kristine Aono, a third-generation (sansei) Japanese American sculptor, is among those whose families were interned. Because she was born in 1960, she did not directly experience the internment. She was raised in Chicago, and her earliest childhood was spent in a predominantly Japanese American neighborhood. Then her family moved to the suburb which was dominantly white American area. At high school she had sort of humiliating experience. Machida mentions that “She was in US history class and her teacher asked her and her sister if her families had been interned…and we said yes…and she felt everybody looking at her.” (Machida 138) This means even though she had never experienced the internment, she was involved in some impact of the trauma experience.

Where else we would experience impacts of mass trauma from? Of course, firth and fifth generations of Japanese Americans have never directly participated in the trauma. They are not often asked if their family have previous internees. Aono employs belongings to express the trauma memory. Machida also mentions that “Objects of daily life have the power to evoke the presence of those who have owned or used them.” (Machida 136) This means belongings can be self-portrait. The dominant history in US history is lack of personal and private memory because personal memory can be hurtful or sympathetic for many people. It does not tell any pictures. In this way, showing belongings has big meaning. Aono states that “There is a story behind each story….the internment memory was not mass memory.” (Machida 136) This means each belonging has a story. Personal memories lead to better understanding of the trauma. Trauma exists in belongings or other people.

By the way, in Japanese history class at high school, there are no statements of the internment. I believe that before trauma memory in belongings or arts are forgotten by people, we should reserve them and inherit them.

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