How a family was built on the basis of forgiveness – The Globe and Mail

Powerful family story of forgiveness and reconciliation, in the shadows of Japanese-Canadian wartime internment:

While Mark Sakamoto and his younger brother, Daniel, were still children, their mother became an alcoholic. She left their father. She moved in with a violent man. She drank herself to death in the basement of a skid-row hotel in Medicine Hat while Mr. Sakamoto was in university.

The “gift” from his grandparents was that he brought himself to forgive his mother, to cleanse his heart of the resentment, hurt and sadness he felt toward her.

“I felt that with my daughter when she was born,” Mr. Sakamoto says, “when I was holding Miya, and I was angry because my mum wasn’t there.

“That’s where I started with the link, that my heart was that little daughter’s home, her emotional home, just like my grandparents understood that their heart was their children’s emotional home, and if it was clouded with anger at the Canadian government, at the Japanese forces that captured my grandfather and starved him and beat him, and if they dwelt on those injurious years and passed them on, that would be the real transgression.”

“I didn’t want my daughter to feel what I was feeling,” Mr. Sakamoto says. “And forgiveness is the only escape hatch we have in that regard.”

How a family was built on the basis of forgiveness – The Globe and Mail.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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