Never Forget

In the Art of the Floating World, Masuji Ono, the protagonist, experiences a loss of many things, but his memory always remains- he still almost lives through them.  After the war, Masuji had changed.  The memories he has may not have died, but the man he was in them had. On page 114, his daughter expresses to her sister how Masuji, essentially, went soft since the war.  Masuji Ono, however, later discusses how this change was subconsciously made in himself by confrontation of the person he was and the mistakes he made.  "I find it hard to understand how any man who values his self-respect would wish for long to avoid responsibility for his past deeds; it may not always be an easy thing, but there is certainly a satisfaction and dignity to be gained in coming to terms with mistakes one has made in the course of one’s life” (124).  In losing everything that he wanted for status, he found value in what he still had for love.


Memorials are significant reminders of the memories we don't always bring to front, but appreciate nevertheless.  A memorial that I hold especially close to my heart is the Vietnam Wall.  I went to see it about two years ago with my Papa.  We found his brother's name engraved on the wall, who earned a purple heart for his fall in the Vietnam War.  That was the only time I've ever seen my Papa cry.  Memorials have the power to bring up such moving and strong experiences and holds so much value in our memories.

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