garage door opener1The Grateful Crane Ensemble and San Fernando Valley JACL presented a program titled “Growing Up Sansei” on April 3 at the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center in Pacoima. A reading of “Garage Door Opener,” a work-in-progress by playwright Soji Kashiwagi, was performed by (from right) Shaun Shimoda (Dad), Dian Kobayashi (Mom), Susan Haruye Ioka (Sharon), Kurt Kuniyoshi (Glenn), and Ping Wu (stage directions). In the play, siblings Glenn and Sharon go through items stored in their late parents’ garage and learn things about their family’s past that they never knew. Many audience members said they could relate to the issues explored in the play. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

garage door opener2After the reading, Grateful Crane executive producer Kashiwagi and Dr. Satsuki Ina, professor emeritus in the School of Education at CSU Sacramento, discussed dysfunctional Japanese American families in relation to the wartime incarceration, noting that many Nisei parents did not talk about their experiences with their children, thus negatively affecting the way Sansei saw their parents and themselves. Ina, a licensed psychotherapist who was born in Tule Lake, has researched the long-term impact of the incarceration across generations. She is also a filmmaker who has explored post-traumatic stress in “Children of the Camps” and her own parents’ hidden history in “From a Silk Cocoon.” (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

garage door opener3The program opened with an a cappella performance by Yonsei singers Miko Shudo, Aimee Machida and Michael Murata. (Photo by Marcia Mahony)

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