September 10th at the Japanese American National Museum

This weekend, to mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks,  I will be speaking and reading from Hiroshima in the Morning at the Japanese American National Museum.  The program starts at 2 pm.  The museum, if you have never been there, is beautiful and features the names of former internees of the WWII relocation centers – including my mother’s, grandparents’ and great uncles’ – etched in the glass.

Come join me, and please pass the word along! Reservations are apparently encouraged, but that doesn’t mean it is too late!

JAPANESE AMERICAN NATIONAL M– USEUM
369 East First Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
phone: 213.625.0414

When making a reservation, e-mail rsvp@janm.org or call 213.625.0414 at least 48 hours prior to the event.

New York in the Morning…

This morning, I discovered – surprise, surprise! – that there is very little traffic on the roads at 2:30 in the morning.  That’s when I was picked up for a live interview on the Lorraine show, on ITV in the UK.  More traffic than expected at 4:00 am, when I was finished.  In between, a conversation with a smiley face on a yellow post it (that’s where I was supposed to look at the camera – I could hear Lorraine’s Scottish brogue in my ear, but her image was too time-lagged to look at).  If you have an international video viewer, you can see it here.  If not, you can wait along with me for the DVD to arrive in the mail.

Transforming Terror

“The heart has reasons that reason does not understand.”

I have ordered my copy of Transforming Terror: Remembering the Soul of the World, edited by Karin Lofthus Carrington and Susan Griffin, University of California Press.

In their own words:

“Over the last decade, whether in Palestine or Israel, Mumbai or Pakistan, Baghdad or Kabul, Rwanda or the Sudan, the United States, Spain, or Great Britain, we have witnessed a vicious cycle in which terrorism causes terror and the experience of terror seeds acts of terrorism. And yet, though the human emotions we all share— fear, grief, and loss— are so clearly part of this murderous equation, in delineating and defining this violence rarely does society consider the experience of terror that lies at the heart of terrorism.”

Heart and humanity are at the center of my writing. I am looking forward to reading this book, and to using it as an inspiration for an upcoming presentation I will be giving at the University of Connecticut at Storrs on September 15 on the multivalent meanings contained in the still-evocative term, “ground zero.”

Buy the book. Read it with me. Tell me what you think.

Interview questions

I was  interviewed by Lara Dunning for her blog recently.  My responses are up now.  She asked me a question about the role of visual media (TV and internet) on triggering lost or pushed aside memories within the hibakusha, a question no one has ever asked before.  Here is my answer.  You can read the rest of the conversation on her blog.

“Interesting question! Visual media, and especially the sound that comes with it, is absolutely in-your-face. You can’t put up a nice, safe emotional wall between you and what you are seeing. With words, you can. You can put down the book, but you can also engage your brain to accept the story in a more distant way. And of course, the writer is also making decisions about how to tell the story, so the raw material is already being shaped. But image, and sound, go directly into your brain and your emotions before your mind can protect you. I remember, I think it was a Michael Moore documentary, a black screen where you couldn’t see but could only hear the sound of the 9/11 attacks. That was really powerful.”