Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Beautiful Brides Of The Rising Sun

Aloha, Hip Hapa Homeez!

At last, we’re nearly at the end of our long journey in producing the documentary War Brides of Japan. 

Our new website has been launched (but still needs some tweaking), and we’re almost done editing the movie.

We plan to make the film available online this summer, and hope to screen it at several film festivals, too. 

Later this week, we’ll be the guests on the premiere show of The Stubborn Heart podcast for filmmakers.

Stay tuned at this blog, or join one of our many Facebook groups and pages at the links below this latest post to keep up with our schedule.

author Kristine Ohkubo outside of Tokyo Station
And, finally, we’re back to our old format of posting interviews of people who are multiracial, interracially involved, or cross cultures.

Recently we had the pleasure of meeting Kristine Ohkubo, author of “The Sun Will Rise Again”. Your Hip Hapa has been reading this historical account of Japan and WWII, and was blown away by Ms. Ohkubo’s detailed reporting. So, we asked her…

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

A: My inspiration for "The Sun Will Rise Again" came from my travels in Japan and conducting research for my first book, "A Blogger's Guide To Japan".  During my travels, I realized that there were facts that were previously unknown to me having grown up in the U.S.—facts which were omitted from our history books. Further, when I began publishing my travel blog (which is defunct now) and sharing stories about places like Manzanar, for instance, I received comments/messages from my readers thanking me for the information and telling me that they were unaware of the facts included in my blog posts. Some encouraged me to write a book, which seemed daunting at first, but I followed through with it anyway.

kamikaze pilot memorial, Yasukuni war shrine Tokyo
Q: Your book is brimming with amazing facts. How long did it take you to do so much research? 

A: A majority of the information I had already uncovered while researching my first book. It is a travel book, but it includes quite a bit of historical background information. It was just a matter of digging further to substantiate the claims. It took me a little over a year to research and write "The Sun Will Rise Again". I worked on it every single day, and couldn't put it down. The work drove me in a sense.

Q: A lot of historical literature tends to be academic, but your writing style is contemporary—making it an easy read yet still focused on important details. How did you develop this writing style? 

A: I have always loved writing and considered it one of my strong points. One of the things which turned me off about a majority of the historical material out there was that it was very academic. I wanted to write to appeal to everyone, not just the researchers and historians. I felt it was my duty to share this information with everyone so that it would serve as a lesson for present and future generations. Effective communication is not about how educated one sounds, but rather how clearly one conveys his or her thoughts and, through the process, educates others. That has always been my focus when I write. I suppose it came naturally and through lots of practice. Further, in the process of writing, I always ask others to read through sections of my manuscript to determine if it makes sense, etc.

haiden or hall of worship, Yasukuni war shrine Tokyo
Q: You’re a self-proclaimed Japanophile. How did that happen? 

A: I have always had a love for Asian culture (Japanese in particular). When I was small, I would always draw pictures of women wearing kimono. (My current artwork is still influenced by my love of Asian culture.) Later, I learned through genetic testing that I was 25% Asian, so I believe it was natural for me to be attracted to the culture. I have been traveling to Japan almost every year since 2007 and have approached each journey with wide-eyed enthusiasm. I look forward to exploring and learning from each visit. It is a natural hunger inside of me to discover all there is to discover and perhaps learn a little about myself in the process.

Q: What’s your next book about? 

A: Asia once again! This time I cast my net out beyond Japan and include China as well. The third book is also historical in nature and will explore the Western influence on Asian culture and its contribution to Asia's subsequent modernization. So, please stay tuned!

Arrigatou gozaimashita to Kristine. Check out her book by clicking here.

Meanwhile, here are the usual links to the War Brides of Japan documentary.

War Brides of Japan websites:

War Brides of Japan in the news:

War Brides of Japan on Facebook:

War Brides of Japan on LinkedIn:

War Brides of Japan on Twitter:

War Brides of Japan on G+:

War Brides of Japan blogs:

A War Bride's artwork:

Until we meet again in September,  I remain…

Your Hip Hapa,