Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Name Your Destination" Contest - The Winning Entry

Here's the winning entry from LASB.

1. Your current situation, your experience with sugar relationships, and why you’re looking for a SD.

I have very little experience with sugar relationships. I have met some nice guys from SA, but the sugar stars have not aligned just yet. An SD relationship appeals to me because I like the idea of not having to go dutch on everything, I enjoy men who are chivalrous, and I want something that is not so serious, allowing me to still have my own life.

2. Why you have chosen the destination and what do you plan to do when you get there.

If I could go anywhere, I would go to Japan. My family was already living in the States by World War II. Upon receiving the notice to leave the West Coast for internment camp, they destroyed all records, artifacts, and heirlooms, fearing that they would be labeled as spies or traitors if they had anything that suggested they were not fully American. They stopped speaking Japanese and became as American as anyone could while still having "slant eyes" and black hair. When I was a child, my family members would tell me that camp was ok because they got to travel. They never expressed resentment, but also never told me any details. They also never spoke of Japan.

The family would say that it was their choice to lose its connections to their ancestry. They said that what happened in the past is not important. My parents and their siblings were brought up not to ask questions, and I am the only one in my generation who has shown curiosity. But by then, no one could or would provide any answers. Or at least that was what I believed up until a few years ago.

Having heard about my curiosity in family matters, Great Grandfather invited me to have dinner with him. We didn't live in the same city and I didn't know him very well, so this came as a surprise to me. I was elated and traveled to his city. When I arrived at the restaurant, there was a woman sitting next to him that wasn't my great grandmother. I stopped myself from blurting out the obvious question that was on my mind, and acted as expressionless as possible. Great Grandfather introduced this woman as his friend, but as the conversation progressed, their relationship became very obvious. She was about 20 years younger than him, making her around 70. And from what I gather, she had been his mistress over many decades.

I'm sure he invited her because she had an excellent memory and he knew that I was seeking more information that he would remember. As he was quite old at the time of this dinner, his memory wasn't great, but he seemed pleased that I was interested. Perhaps he trusted me not to judge him and not to reveal his secret to the family, or maybe he felt that passing along this information was worth the risk, but interestingly he never addressed the elephant in the room and they just proceeded to answer questions about my family's past.

She told me off a trip they took to Japan in which Great Grandfather showed her the house where his father lived. She told me stories of our family, revealing to me our Samurai heritage. This was a surprise to me, as I had always assumed we were peasant farmers, since that's what we were in California. Shockingly, the person who held the most information for me was a woman whose name I had never heard, someone who hadn't been to any family functions, basically a stranger to me. I'm sure her interest in my Great Grandfather, her lover, is why she knew so much about his history. They shared an intimacy that allowed her to probe deeper than blood relatives could.

My great grandfather passed away within a year of that dinner, but I believe I have enough information and the means to access our records, which is what I wish to do. Our town of origin has a microfiche catalog that I can access if I can prove my lineage. I need to present my birth certificate and those of my parents and grandparents. I will also try to bring documents from my aunts and uncles and any other relatives that may be curious or willing to help me. I hope to get names and dates of my relatives, to find out what they did, who they were, and where exactly they lived. I want to hunt down this supposed house as well. I understand that the task is ambitious, but Japanese people place value in family, and are very kind. I have a decent understanding of the culture and protocols, which is important when asking for help there. I will be relying both on the kindness of others as well as my own resourcefulness, two things in which I have great faith.

3. Why I should choose your entry.

I am not sure what you seek for the winning entry, but if you choose mine, it would likely be because it is well thought out and about something more than getting a tan, relaxing on the beach, or going on a shopping spree. I have nothing against those things and actually enjoy spending my time that way, but in my opinion, the type of journey I wish to take is quite unique. Additionally, my story behind my intended trip fits the theme of the SA blog, since this information came from an actual SB.


  1. She is a sweet and very smart girl ;)
    Thanks for sharing this Guru!

  2. Excellent and wise choice. She truly deserved to win.