Family: Authentic slice of Japan preserved in South Florida | The Japan Times Online

Star, fished from the sky.

The cement sea could drown you,

Like me, adrift inside a distant dream.

After nearly a week back in Kamakura since my longest stay in Florida for 12 years (three weeks exactly) — and I still feel the lingering shadow of a stranger in a strange land. Not a stranger in Japan, but a stranger in Florida, and how strange that feeling was for me, a Floridian, alien and fumbling among my family and friends, calmed and belonging now again across the sea in a small fishing town filled with ghosts and smelling like seaweed.

In other emotional news, the imprint of my imagination has now proved stronger than reality — and I am both humbled and angered by the power of my own creativity.  Wish I could learn to live inside reality instead of my own head.

Still, the torn observer can turn off enough to hail a hundred year old connection between Japan and Florida; squinting, I can see the mikan fields and the hope spreading out under the sunshine back in 1905. Here’s a recent piece I did on the Yamato Colony, a group of Japanese in South Florida, who perhaps eventually felt stranger in Japan than among the crocodiles.

Authentic slice of Japan preserved in South Florida | The Japan Times Online.


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