Kyoko’s birth father was an American GI, one of the first to land in Japan for the Occupation after the end of World War II. He met a young woman named Taka at a train station, and soon got her pregnant. Then he left. Taka raised Kyoko, her bi-racial child, for 17 years in Japan, a difficult situation for both of them. When a retired American military officer asked Taka to marry him, she viewed it as a chance to get her daughter out of Japan. Kyoko was taken from high school and landed in Minnesota. Unhappy in many respects, she clung to her secret mission, finding her birth father.
Her mother was shunned by her family when she married a black GI. Many years later, the Japanese relatives tried to find their sister, but they were too late. She had died six years earlier. Morgan had no interest in forming ties to the family in Japan, hurt by what they did to her mother. Then she thought she should at least tell them what they missed.
Yukie Sato Hawkins
They attributed many things to her being Japanese – the lack of visible affection between their parents, her criticism of her children in front of others. Even the yelling… although it’s questionable whether that’s a Japanese trait or a mom trait. They didn’t understand why she married their father, and they didn’t understand why she stayed.
Toyoko Yonamine, Wardell Townsend Sr.
Over the years, the children of Toyoko Yonamine and Wardell Townsend Sr. have sought to find balance in the multiple sides of their heritage. Modern multi-racial American; descendants of the segregated south; son or daughter of ancient Asia. They have come to value their origins from both sides of the Pacific.