Music & Poetry Mash Up: Kubota - Garrett Hongo + Feels Like We Only Go Backwards - Tame Impala

Feels Like We Only Go Backwards



On December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on
Pearl Harbor in Hawai'i, my maternal grandfather had
barricaded himself with his family--my grandmother, my
teenage mother, her two sisters and two brothers--inside
of his home in La'ie, a sugar plantation village on O'ahu's North
Shore. This was my mother's father, a man most villagers
called by his last name--Kubota. It could mean either Wayside
Field or else Broken Dreams depending on which ideograms he
used. Kubota ran La'ie's general store, and the previous night,
after a long day of bad news on the radio, some locals had
come by, pounded on the front door, and made threats. One
was said to have brandished a machete. They were angry and
shocked as the whole nation was in the aftermath of the
surprise attack. Kubota was one of the few Japanese Americans
in the village and president of the local Japanese-language
school. He had become a target for their rage and suspicion. A
wise man, he locked all his doors and windows and did not
open his store the next day, but stayed closed and waited for
news from some official...

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