Manage episode 296519314 series 2510525
Julianne Sato-Parker first heard the phrase, “Shikata ga nai” while watching a video series of interviews with Japanese Americans and Japanese nationals who were incarcerated by the U.S government after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
The Japanese phrase translates to, “It cannot be helped.” It reminded Julianne of her grandmother, who has always said a similar phrase when navigating life’s unpredictable twists and turns: “That’s just the way the ball bounces.”
But the phrases may not be as passive as they seem. As Julianne became fixated on how one became the other, she turned to her grandmother for answers — and to better understand how we find resistance and resilience, even in things as seemingly simple as a phrase.
- A longer version of this story — called “That’s the Way the Ball Bounces” — first aired on Asian Americana, where you can even hear host Quincy Surasmith’s interview with Julianne about the making of this piece. Check it out here.
- “Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence” by Linda Tamura
- Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project (including an interview with Dorothy Sato, a.k.a. Bobbe)
- Japanese American Museum of Oregon
- PDX Japanese American Citizens League
- Produced and written by Julianne Sato-Parker
- Edited by Julia Shu and James Boo
- Scored and mixed by James Boo
- Our Executive Producer is Ken Ikeda
- Music by Blue Dot Sessions
- Additional music (“Umbrella Pants” and “I Knew a Guy”) by Kevin Macleod (licensed under CC-BY-4.0)
- Hail archival tape via freesound.org
Self Evident is a Studio To Be production. Our show is made with support from PRX and the Google Podcasts creator program — and our listener community.