Friday, March 14, 2008

i've moved to

check me out there.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

draft speech for nkhr at 2008 jacl convention

in 1929, the jacl was established to defend the rights of the issei and nisei. in those dark days, the jacl paved the way so that our ancestors could remove themselves from shadows and emerge in the sunlight. it was the wish of that generation that jacl be that beacon of hope, the light, that would guide our community. that generation engaged discrimination and bigotry wherever it was found. jaclers, then, fought, not just for their own rights, but so that we could stand here today. they endured through internment. through world war ii. through a hatred that ran deep in american society. and in the end, they prevailed as americans.

as jacl progressed from its infancy, it incorporated the struggles of the various eras. during the civil rights era, jaclers joined forces alongside african americans as they marched peacefully through the segregated south. jacl was the sun for same sex couples, that were denied, and are still very much denied the freedom to love their partners.

today, jacl continues in that tradition as it defends the right to vote, to freedom to immigrate to this country, and to live without fear of oppression. these examples i have listed are not strictly japanese american issues. yes, they may have been the things that jacl cared deeply for upon its conception, but today, jacl represents the voice of oppressed people everywhere. jacl represents the freedom that america preaches.

however, there are those that are not able to share in that freedom. in fact, there are many millions of people in north korea that are living without basic necessities that neither you or i think about on a daily basis. these things are food, water, and shelter. reminiscent to the bygone years of hitler and of stalin, kim jong il holds an iron fist over the north korean people. tens of thousands die each year of starvation. thousands of north korean women are being trafficked into china as sex slaves. more thousands are imprisoned in nazi-like work camps. and for what? listening to a non-north korean radio station. making a crease in a picture of kim jong il. and the most saddening part, millions of north korean children are born without the glimmer of a brighter tomorrow that i or your own children share.

therefore, the jacl national youth/student council presents this resolution to the floor of the 2008 national jacl convention for your consideration. we humbly ask for you to support this resolution along with us. as we embody the future of this organization, we see this resolution as the next evolutionary step of the jacl. we, the nysc, wish for nothing more than for jacl to continue being that beacon of hope for oppressed and marginalized people. because, while we may not know of that degree of despotism, we know, all too well, the bitter taste of injustice. and we refuse to remain silent. thank you.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

journey back to the beginning

stepping off the plane a euphoric emotion enveloped this wearied body. having been beaten back to the point of submission i was ready to come back to the place i once called home.
to the familiar faces and familiar places of childhood dreams and boyhood laughs. the brisk smell of chicago air was enough to place the glimmer of hope into the fading twinkle of eyes that were red from six cups of coffee and four hours of sleep per day. it's enough to know that love was the key to unlock the heart of a man that has refused to let the light shine brightly upon him for fear that to emerge from darkness would mean that he would forget the purpose of his goals.

the sunlight reflects off of the whiteness of snow to make the world seem that much more beautiful than went i left to embark upon my journey. my mother. father. my two brothers. and my friends. arms outstretched. i yearned for their embrace. for their compassion. for their encouragement.

but here i stand. one down. five more to go. the clock runs towards a new year filled with new wishes for a tomorrow filled with exciting challenges and heightened expectations. into the ready position. click. go.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


where went the days of spirited vigor. when i could raise my fist in defiance of everything i knew or thought was ever wrong in the world and mean it. where has the anger gone? the moments where one could be lit afire by the discomforted instances that plague our existence. to find myself dreaming of standing on picket lines with a loudspeaker and a decent-looking sign that would express into words all of the emotions i was feeling.

emptiness has enveloped the once inspired fighter of racial inequality. lack of sleep as warped passion into learning how to cope from the heaviness of the day to day. where are the dreams of that better tomorrow? to feel that sense of pride to be amongst those that wanted, not the world, but their fair share. to forgo rational thought and rather be caught up in just being happy by exhaling the pent up frustration. my jaw is tired from remaining clenched. my holding back that which i thought i would never keep silent.

character and fitness. that's what it has really come down to. in a school to uplift hopes it has done that but has drained me of feeling. i feel like i have lost my soul to be that someone of the future. but i guess that happens in life. learning to embrace that step forward. but at the same time, to feel that sorrow in my being. from reading emails and feeling nothing. to wake up every morning and touch the floor with my feet i feel nothing. nande?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

it was that dream i had 23 years ago.

where marshmallows gravitated towards the earth only to cover it in a sweet and sticky blanket.

where footprints of light blue led weary bodies back to the beginning.

where emptied streets echoed sounds of a million more.

where hearts fall.

where darkness falls.

where life becomes breathe.

where hope is locked away.

we find solace in knowing that this is not a dream.

that this is not what we had wished for.

upon moonbeams that emitted from our toes and our fingertips.

where the voices in our heads could never communicate.

it was the a milky way rollercoaster that got us here.

and the candlelit hour of night that made the sun rise the next day.

blistex and lottery tickets galore.

when will i be able to come home.

Monday, October 8, 2007

the incandescent glow of the night light that hangs continuously over the stack of books on my desk brings back the flood of memories i was hoping to suppress for just one more month. i had spam and rice tonight (last night too). it was reminiscent of those family times i now am longing for. i'm still in the process of letting go. maybe not letting go, but learning to move on with life. my family will always be there. no doubt. but it's only me sitting at the dinner table with the hashi in one hand and my civil procedures supplement in the other. the late night discussions of our family's future at the table is now conducted over skype. the laughter is nonexistent. silence has filled the void. the sound of the voice in my head telling me to keep moving forward and not to look behind. the days of childhood have passed and my hand must keep steady as it opens the door of tomorrow.

i've been craving japanese food. there isn't any around here. i traveled 5 miles to attempt to go to a really expensive restaurant at farragut north the other day to find that it was closed on sundays. a familiar tale of working with the letdowns that never quite seem to let up. i was hoping for just a small taste of tonkatsu or a medium size bowl of udon. that would've revived the spirit of a man nearly broken. well, i guess spam will have to do.

Friday, September 28, 2007

i stood out in the rain tonight with eyes closed. captivated in each drop as it descended from the sky, it covered me in one of earth's purest element. washing away the the sleeplessness of times i wished to uncover but couldn't. it reminded me of the fortune that lay in wait. of the reasons i embarked upon a journey that i thought i wasn't ready for. the journey i'm still awaiting to fulfill. so many expectations for a brighter tomorrow that is just over that unreachable horizon. i wanted to embrace every drop tonight. as if my being could be drenched in sorrow to heal my longing. my eyes closed. my heart racing yet steady to the beat in my head. i see that my inner child has been led astray to leave a disfigured shadow of wishful thinking. i no longer see the urgency to understand purpose. but rather enjoy the seconds of each unhindered moment. capricious am i. distant echoes chant expediency. the sound is deafening. my clothes are permeated by the voices in my head that instruct me to keep moving forward. but there i was and here i am. standing on the sidewalk in the rain. eyes closed. heartbeat and cars are the only sounds i hear tonight.