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January 04, 2010


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Rodney Fong

Christmas and December seem to be a focal point around your relating of your assimilation of Japanese culture. There are so many elements that I can relate to. First our ongoing struggle of the bi-national difficulties of marriage that my brother-in-law is going through to marry a Japanese national. It has been four years of jumping through hoops from each government, the inability of her to even visit in the US until matters are cleared, and the countless interviews and legal matters that need to be taken care of.

Next the melding of so many events around this time of year, Christmas, your anniversaries, children's birthdays. My wife Staci and one of her best friends were born on the 24th. I try to make her birthday special, even though it is Christmas Eve, with so many things happening around us.

I remember that I was once involved with a Japanese national, as well (don't mention it to my wife), and the difficulties relating to each other's special celebrations like Christmas and Easter for me, among other obstacles. In the end, I am glad that I ended up with a girl from Hawaii, who shares so much of the same experiences and background, that we eerily think the same things at the same time. And then I read your stories of the trials and tribulations, combined with the joys and triumphs of your experience in your life with Tadaaki. I know that I would have had difficulty doing the same as you had I chosen the different path.

So much of you is revealed in your writings that I can always relate to and treasure. I feel I know you now even more than when we were at Stanford.


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Nancy Singleton Hachisu

Rodney: Thank you for all your reflections and thank you for all your insights. And thank you for the tears you left in my eyes. I guess I'm not the typical blog writer and I always feel like I am writing to friends. Which I guess I am. I've cruised other blogs and have not often seen such thoughtful and interesting comments as you all write. And I second what you have written, that it is fascinating for me (and I think some of our other Stanford friends), to hear from you in a way perhaps we never did at school. Hey, we're all grown up now, right? The holidays brings out a lot of this as it we get a double whammy: Christmas plus Shogatsu. If I call it "hell week," it would sound unkind, but I wouldn't be far off. Though this last week of Christopher's college applications qualifies more for that title than any holiday so far.

I sympathize with Staci, as Matthew's birthday is on December 28, and he always gets the short end when it comes to presents. He does ask me to make a yellow cake with whipped cream & strawberries, so we end up with a "Christmas Cake" after all.

Brandon: Did you notice your Cub Scout ornament on the tree from when you were 8 or so? The green partridge was from my mother; the white painted wood ornament "ball" from Sarah, Phil, Brett, Jess & you back in the dark ages and the little paper mâché fox from a mask maker's shop in Chichibu. Tell Gavin I still haven't figured out Skype Chat, but thanks for the message. Will you come up to Berkeley in February?

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