I just deny it.
“I’m not convinced that I’m sick. I don’t
go there. I just deny it. So I’m treating this
as just a deterrent that I can grow out of. I
don’t think about death and dying as much
as have I provided for the family as much as
I can. But it’s tough in this world, especially
when you are a minority. We were born of
an immigrant family, barely making it. I was
Asian in the very white community. And in
this life that we have right now, the easiest
as a true educational development. So I
gave that up and went into some place
where I could be used as a worker, rather
than a creator. Everything was work first,
pleasure after if there’s time. I felt that I
should help the family out as much as I
can economically. I don’t believe I missed
too many deadlines. We were probably
close to 100%.
When you try and work and get ahead,
way is to be the right color, right education.
you give up time. You have just a very few
I didn’t know what the world was and
tion, religion. I wish I can back off on how
We were the lost part of a population.
I wish I was better educated towards
what my possibilities were. I wanted to
go into architecture, but my background
everything was short of following that
hours in the week to enjoy people, educamuch work I did. I would try to go back and
make a more creative mind so I can fully
enjoy what’s available. There’s so much the
world has to offer. I just barely skimmed it.”
Osamu and I met in his home in Moraga through the Asian Network Pacific Home
Care. Throughout our interviews, Osamu denied that he was dying and told me that he
refused to “go there” psychologically. Instead he spent his time with me talking about
his childhood years in a Japanese internment camp in California during WW2. Not only
was Osamu set back by being taken out of the education system throughout the war,
like other Japanese people at the time, he was to suffer from widespread discrimination.
He lamented upon the cultural ceiling this created and how his life choices had to be
focused on financially providing for a family rather than following his passions. Osamu
died on March 25, 2016.
38 | ART OF DYING