My name is Sara. I am British, Irish, German, and Japanese. My mum is British and my dad is Japanese, German, and Irish. One of the most important people in my life is my grandmother, who I get my Asian side from.
Hideko Yoshino was a nurse in Japan during World War II, she was born and raised in Osaka and was also stationed there during the war. Because she was near Hiroshima she also helped nurse some of the victims back to health. She has told me some of her stories about how she was able to handle the depressing situation with composure and was able to save 12 lives.
The thing I admire most about her is her bravery and calmness she had during the war. During the American occupation of Japan my grandmother was able to get on a plane to America, and at the time the only English words she knew were “hello,” “Coca-Cola,” and “atomic bomb.” In America she met my grandfather and 8 years after they married and had my father.
My grandmother’s story is why I embrace my heritage. I got to meet her and distant relatives in Japan a year ago for the first time in 10 years (I was 15 at the time) and I was so overjoyed and had a ton of questions for her.
For the longest time people, including myself, identified me as white. But once I learned about my family history, everyone around me knows I’m 75% White and 25% Asian and 100% Hapa.