As a self-proclaimed history buff and otaku oftentimes I realize the perceived quandary of the life I lead. Specifically I know much about our difficult, and recent, conflicts with Korea (now North Korea), China (somewhat indirectly), and Japan; however, now so much of my interests revolve around those same countries and their culture. Of course some might not see this as an issue of conflict; however, WWII and the Korean War, while not fought by myself, are still implanted into many living people’s memories. If you consider that France and England fought for centuries than the realization that our relations especially with Japan are so close now it is really kind of unbelievable that American otaku would exist or even flourish. Of course there are many reasons for why our relations improved as rapidly as they did, and much of that has been covered in historical and academic works which I would suggest you take the time to explore.
My point though with this post is not to teach you about what has brought us where we are today in terms of relations, but to remember those who made the sacrifices that got us through those hard times when our countries were at war. I specifically have two grandparents, one I never met, who I am very proud of for their contributions in World War II. While I believe war is a friend to no one, we have suffered, and will continue to suffer through it, and it takes a special person to put themselves in harms way. Many of us are friends with, or family of, such people, and today I’d like to personally thank them.
As unthinkable as it may have been sixty years ago, I now have the freedom to study, delve into, and embrace the culture of our former enemy(s), and together I feel our cultures, and this world, are closer together than ever before because of what we have gone through. While we have new challenges throughout the world, and to my great regret new wars, I appreciate those who do what they feel is right oftentimes for those they don’t even know.