Saturday, July 26, 2014

Obon Memories: Terminal Island

While many people visit Temples and the graves of their ancestors this Obon, let us not forget entire communities that have also passed on. For this we chose to visit the Terminal Island Memorial in San Pedro California with it's iconic stone Tori Gate that stands without color like a faded memory of the lively once thriving Japanese-American Community that was bulldozed by the US Navy after the forced internment of all US Citizens of Japanese Ancestry.  When you arrive there it is hard to believe that this barren strip of wharf was once home to some 3000 Nikkei and their families with houses, trees, and a real Shinto Jinja. All that remains are the ghostly reminders of the people that spoke their own distinct dialect of Japanese and once made this place unique. While it is off the beaten path there are many signs that will show you the way there. It is if the spirits of the place want you to visit and during Obon it is the perfect time to do it. Gassho!

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