The Adventure Continues
by Linda Okazaki
Off to Japan again. Second time in five months. Mostly for research. This is a genealogist’s dream. Cemeteries. City offices. Visits with previously unknown cousins. Visits with cousins only met on the last visit. I’m bursting with excitement, as well as a bit of trepidation. What will they think of the gaijin this time around? What about the not-quite Japanese and not quite American spouse who is a requisite companion? I don’t speak Japanese and he does. He is expected to know all of the subtle cultural nuances of the region, even though he was raised in Tokyo, rather than Okayama, and has lived in the United States for nearly forty years. Last time around we visited with the familiar. This time around we are headed into a genealogical no-man’s-land. Found an obscure name and address on a microfilm at NARA? Going there. Trying to find some villages of remote maternal lines? Yep! Renting a Prius which feels about the size of a suburban in order to navigate the streets near the temple? Absolutely! This trip will either be genealogical pay dirt or a total bust. Either way, it will certainly be an adventure. I love the ancestral hunt and I’m ready for this one.