Karen L. Ishizuka
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

When pressed, Sansei give lip service to the obvious fact that we are now old. But we don’t really believe it. In the cosmology of Issei, Nisei, Sansei — Issei are old, Nisei are middle-aged and Sansei are forever young. But here I be, with the honor of having been asked to write on the “Legacy of the Sansei.” The juxtaposition of those two words — Sansei + Legacy — is an undeniable clue that Sansei = Old. Old enough to leave a legacy. A legacy of Never Again!

I was raised by three sets of grandparents, a father, a mother, a stepmother, and 15 aunts and uncles, as well as an entire community who spent over three years behind barbed wire. Although I was too young to have been in camp, I inherited it. Unintentionally yet unconditionally, they bequeathed me the immensity of camp.

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