Same Moon

14.12.2011 § Leave a comment

This past summer when I took a Japanese composition class, my Japanese teacher was a Japanese American. She has been supporting a group of psychologists in Tokyo who run a social program to help counsel the Tsunami victims. At the end of the semester, she brought little knick-knacks to the class to fundraise for the program. The money is used to buy “American” candies or toys for the children when they come together.

Midwest Japanese Association publication image

Program Event (bottom right)

Midwest Japanese Association publication image

Program Event (right side)

She also asked us to write a Japanese letter to say hello to the victims. I was very excited that I would be writing a Japanese letter and that a native speaker would be reading it, so I worked very hard on it. The second semester, my teacher showed me a small periodical published by the Midwest Japanese Association where my letter was published. I was very excited since I had been taking Japanese for only 6 months. I showed it off to my father-in-law who went to college in Japan and speaks fluent Japanese. I guess I’ll show it off here too.  Below the picture of the Japanese publication is the English version of the letter.

Midwest Japanese Association periodical cover

Publication Cover

Midwest Japanese Associaiton publication letter

Printed Letter (click to enlarge)

Dear Friends in Japan:

My name is Iris Wang.  I am a resident of Chicago.  I have taken a Japanese class with Anno Sensei this summer at Oakton Community College.  I am very pleased to have this opportunity to write in Japanese and have a native speaker read it.  I hope what I wrote is understandable and that you enjoy reading my story.

I have lived in the United States for 30 years.  However, I was not born in this country.  I was born in South Korea to Chinese parents.  They fled to Korea when the Communists took over in 1949.  At that time, they thought the civil war would be over soon, so they made sure their children speak Chinese well.  Therefore, we all went to a Chinese school instead of a Korean school.  It is for this reason my mother tongue is Chinese.  English is my second best language, and Korean is the third.  I hope I can learn Japanese as well as I have learned Korean.  I later went to Taiwan for college and eventually came to the US for graduate study.  I got married after graduate school and currently have two sons.

As we have never met and might never meet, I hope you remain optimistic and keep life interesting.  A great Chinese poet in Song dynasty said that even if we are far apart, we can still appreciate the same moon.  This is to say that somewhere under the sky in this world, someone is praying for your happiness and peacefulness.  Sometimes hardship can be an opportunity to build a stronger will.  May you have a good life, and please receive my sincere blessings for your health and happiness.

Iris 7/25/2011

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