My grandma once told me a story about one of her uncles and how he tried to go to another village and got caught by Japanese soldiers. They tortured him by force feeding him water till he couldn’t take it anymore and then they stomped on his belly.
I grew up hearing my grandma call Japanese people by slurs. I grew up hearing these stories about women being raped, children starving, I was five and my grandma was already telling me these stories because she wanted me to be grateful for the life I have. It’s fucked up. When I was little I resented these stories because I feel like she needs to move on. But she was the one living in those stories. She can’t just move on and at that age I couldn’t understand that.
These are scars. And they are passed down to me. When I got old enough to remotely have a sense of political awareness, I see things on the news, I began to understand. I began to question why it happened; how could one human being do that to another? Those war crimes, they were brutal. It’s just not something I can brush off by saying “oh well, that’s just how humans are” because they happened to my people. War was raged on the very soil I lived on. The crime that one people committed upon another people. I couldn’t understand it. To this day I still can’t completely wrap my mind around it.
And then I see things on the internet, Japanese people calling us “inu”, with the very kanji that I can read, the kanji that was ours in the first place. My blood boils when I read it. I stopped questioning why. I stopped trying to pretend there is a solution. I stopped trying to pretend this will go away. These scars are not going anywhere.