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Aika Peraza: Responsibility

Student Art Contest: Junior Division, Second Place


7th Grade – Twality Middle School

Growing up, during my social studies class we were taught that Japanese people bombed Pearl Harbor. They said that due to that, the Americans threw people of Japanese heritage into small camps, to live as prisoners for the rest of their lives. They gave Japanese people a burden, a thing that would never be forgotten, something that they would carry for as long as they would live. The teachers would only say small things like “it wasn’t their fault.” Or “it's a sad story for Japanese people.” But that was it, and that for me wasn’t enough. I often went to the many museums about Japanese heritage to learn more. Reading books about the past of Pearl Harbor and the damage it caused on both sides. I soon learned the many tragic backstories of people of Japanese heritage and how they suffered. After that my goal as a young Japanese girl, was to then learn as much of the past mistakes that were once made. In order to make sure something like this would ever happen again. Not only that though but for other young Japanese children to learn of their heritage and their past family roots. That was my responsibility as a young Japanese descendant, that was my goal. Of course I have barely even scratched the surface of the many layers that came with Japanese history. But even so, I still believe that a part of what I am doing is doing justice for me and my community. So that’s what I will do, I might not raise a protest or start something big on social media. But I can guarantee you that I'll be sitting on the bleachers cheering my community on. And doing the best I can for it, and that is my responsibility.

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