Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter

A pall of smoke lingers over this scene of destruction in Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 7, 1945, a day after the explosion of the atomic bomb. (AP Photo)

Kathryn Tolbert is a journalist, and also one of the directors of the film, ‘Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight: the Japanese War Brides.’ It’s a subject she knows well, as Tolbert’s mother, Hiroko Furu-kawa, is a native of Japan. A daughter of privilege, Hiroko became a Japanese war bride, marrying an American stationed in Japan.

“My mother married my American father, who was a U.S. soldier. She barely knew him, yet she moved from Tokyo to her in-laws’ chicken farm outside of Elmira, New York,” Tolbert says.

Tolbert says her mom worked at the family egg farm and ran a small grocery store with her father. Tolbert says her father was happy, but her mother was stoic and determined.

“Mother raised us not with warmth or expressions of love. It was one of hard work, studying and getting ahead,” says Tolbert.

Tolbert says her mother didn’t speak or teach Japanese to her children, believing that she was duty bound to integrate as an American.

After college, Tolbert became a journalist, working for the Associated Press in Tokyo.

“Being in Japan in the mid-70s right after graduating from Vassar College was wonderful. I was the first woman that AP had as a reporter there,” Tolbert says.

In the 1990s, Tolbert worked for the Washington Post, and did a number of stories about Japanese women.

“My parents divorced after 30 years of marriage and she continued running the grocery store and turned it into a great success,” says Tolbert. She was known in the community. And I thought it was interesting but I didn’t fully understand her story. I mean when you grow up with somebody that you’re close to. And in one sense you know a lot about them, but I once wrote this little essay about what it was like having her as a mother and the problems with her English and what we couldn’t understand what other people couldn’t understand. And how she pushed us. How education was so important to her. But I didn’t understand it,” says Tolbert. I didn’t understand the context.”

But context would arrive in the form of the film, “Fall Seven Times, Get Up Eight: the Japanese War Brides,” which Kathryn Tolbert produced with fellow journalists Karen Kasmauski and Lucy Craft, who are also daughters of Japanese war brides.

“While there is a bit of difference in our stories, they are also similar,” says Tolbert.

Also Read: All You Need To Know About The Rising Political Star Stacey Abrams2019

In addition to the film, Tolbert has created an oral history archive of Japanese war brides. To date, she has done over 30 stories and continues to record interviews for it. She plans also to use the material for material for a book.

“Traveling around the country and interviewing other families taught me a huge amount and then I understood her (my mother’s) story Because there were great outcomes and terrible outcomes. Of these marriages. There were a lot of them. I can tell their stories and some of them mirrors my own experience.” (VOA)


Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Japan launched its new satellite, QZS-1R.

Japan has successfully launched a new navigation satellite into orbit that will replace its decade-old navigation satellite.

The satellite, QZS-1R, was launched onboard an H-2A rocket that lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at 10.19 p.m. on Monday night, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said in a statement.

The company builds and operates H-2A rockets the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

QZS-1R is a replacement for Quasi-Zenith Satellite System 1 satellite first launched in 2010. “It was a really beautiful launch," the company said in a tweet after a successful lift-off.

"H-IIA F44 flight proceeded nominally. Approximately 28 minutes 6 seconds after launch, as planned, the payload separated from the launch vehicle," the statement said.

The official QZSS website lists four satellites in the constellation: QZS-1, QZS-2, QZS-3 and QZS-4, reported.

The QZSS constellation will eventually consist of a total of seven satellites that fly in an orbit passing through a near-zenith (or directly overhead) above Japan, and QZS-R1 is meant to share nearly the same transmission signals as recent GPS satellites, according to JAXA.

It is specially optimised for mountainous and urban regions in Japan, JAXA said.

Mitsubishi's H-2A 202 rocket launch system has been operational since 2003 and has sent satellites to locations such as Venus (Akatsuki) and Mars (Emirates Mars Mission).

The latest H2-A rocket launch is the first since November 29, 2020, when Japan launched an advanced relay satellite with laser communications tech into orbit, the report said. (IANS/JB)

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Mike Enerio on Unsplash

Fireworks light up the night sky

Everyone loves firecrackers, even the most environment-friendly advocates cannot hide their joy when they see these delightful lights colour the skies. India celebrates Diwali in the true spirit of her culture and heritage by spraying the navy-blue skies with sparkling hues of gold, silver, red, and green. Firecrackers are not just a tradition in this country, they are a legacy.

The original connotation one makes with fireworks in China. The elaborate Chinese celebrations with dragons and zapping firecrackers have left their mark in human memory, but the use of fireworks is not limited to heralding the Chinese New Year. All over the world, fireworks have come to symbolise the ultimate celebration. During Diwali in India, this spirit is re-ignited every year.

Keep Reading Show less

A visitor looks at statues of the 'Royal treasures of Abomey kingdom' on display at the Musee du quai Branly in Paris on Sept. 10, 2021, part of 26 artworks set to be restituted to Benin later in the year.

PARIS — In a decision with potential ramifications across European museums, France is displaying 26 looted colonial-era artifacts for one last time before returning them home to Benin.

The wooden anthropomorphic statues, royal thrones and sacred altars were pilfered by the French army in the 19th century from Western Africa.

Keep reading... Show less