Interpreting the world around you through the prism of your innate world view afflicts everyone. It just afflicts us differently, depending on where we were given our innate world view. Only a few grow up in two or more cultures, and sometimes it causes internal conflict not easily resolved. When we are “fair” in our evaluations, we can trace much of human disagreements and conflicts to cultural differences.
My world of protestant Christian values in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s in Michigan was common in the USA. It was difficult for us to understand how Chinese, for example, could accept Buddhism, Confucianism, or ancestor “worship”. People have a hard time understanding others “not like us”. We rarely try to understand cultural differences.
To this end, I highly recommend a small, well written book neither my wife or I could put down after we started to read. I found the book in a Walden Books store.
Color of the Sea, written by John Hamamura, is printed by Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2006, ISBN 0-312-34073-5.
The photos are of a Dole pineapple plantation in Hawaii, and of Sam’s Japanese home town (prior to WWII).
It details the immigration of Sam from Japan to Hawaii at age 9 to join his father who worked on a pineapple plantation. His father had decided earlier that life would be better in Hawaii than in Japan. Sam was born in Hawaii though raised and educated in Japan until he was 9. Thus he was an American citizen.
His coming of age is a journey we all endure on the path to adulthood. Sam and I overlap some during these years. Sam’s path, however, is vastly different from my own.
This book covers events beginning January, 1930, and ending June, 1947. It also gives insights into some of America’s less honorable history. I don’t know how it will affect you, but I know that it will affect you. It is a true treasure. Give it a read.