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I learned the 3 levels as: Hav... I learned the 3 levels as:
Having, Doing, Self-Actualizing
Every Tuesday my immigrant from England neighbor and I Covid-distance visit. Last week she brought up the fact that her late husband and their son were at odds a large part of their lives, because they were extremely polarized in their political views.

Psychology is my field and it occurred to me that psychologist Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs explains some of the differences between the left and right political beliefs. As I explained it to her, she agreed.

Maslow draws a pyramid and suggests there are three levels of finding a meaningful and fulfilling life - the larger “Basic Needs” at the bottom, psychological “Service/Social Needs” in the middle and the “Self-fulfillment Needs” at the top where one spends less time. Finding fulfillment and peace are the completion of all three levels on a daily basis!!

Each of us need a foundation of “Basic Needs” - food, clothing, shelter as well as physical and financial security. These basic needs are met individually or by dividing up the responsibilities as a family and/or partnerships. Some in our community have enough financial resources to hire and/or shop for the basics provided by things or someone else.

Unless these basic needs are met daily, one can not move to the second level of “Service Needs” and “Psychological Needs” - includes education, jobs, parenting, charity, hobbies, bucket lists and social needs that bring self-esteem and respect. Further progress of reaching the top of the pyramid of “Self-Actualization” - love, beauty, esthetics and peace - require having fulfilled levels one and two daily.

Those around me who prioritize personal responsibility for meeting their basic needs before moving upward seem to be more conservative or more Republican. Liberal & Democratic thinking seem to skip to the middle and top in their thinking and doing - “letting government and bureaucrats take care of the basics?” This is also leading to someone else deciding our psychological and self-fulfillment needs.

It feels good to be charitable and focus on helping the poor and needy. People like Bill Gates find themselves being more Liberal because they have the money to take care of the “having needs” daily and can spend time with the upper levels!

In this Covid-isolating 2020 months, protesting is fulfilling a lot of the “Service/Psychologial needs”. My neighbor is also asking why those, “Serving” by protesting, aren't "doing" more to help prevent and clean up the vandalism, even if it is not their doing?

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Seattle Baseball during the 192... Seattle Baseball during the 1920s and 30s
Kin had trained as a nurse, but being a free-thinker, she was not inclined to the usual offers for marriage in her Mie-ken, Japan, community. Therefore, the offer from the Morookas to marry their son in Seattle intrigued her in 1918. Mr. Morooka owned his restaurant, The Marion Cafe. Again with her self-determining nature, Kin found work elsewhere.

Kin thought, as she ended her day at the Alaska King Crab Fishery, “Cracking crabs for the meat is not hard and gives me the extra money for bus fare and hot dogs at tomorrow night’s Rainier baseball game. Everyone is talking about Fred Hutchinson and he is sure to get his 27th win.” She even went to games all by herself.

The all-Japanese baseball Courier League in the 1930s was even more fun and she walked to those games when they were in town. This one Sunday she sat with Ken and Miki Ishida. Ken was for the White River boys because his nephew was the catcher, “Hey Okimoto, show them your good change up!!! Nakanishi! Nakanishi! You know what to do. Give him the right sign!!!!”

Kin grabbed Ken’s right arm with her, hard as a rock from all the years of working at cracking crab, hands, "Calm down!! You’re too loud. You’re going to mess them up!”

Today is July 23rd and the first of the short 2020 Mariner Baseball season because of all the Covid virus issues. I am reminded of Auntie Kin, who was a healthy almost 100-year-old by 1993 and a huge baseball fan in Seattle. By 1993, Kin was living with her daughter, our Auntie "Onions", who at age 95 uses her season tickets for day games and says, “Mom got up, opened the blinds, lay down again and was gone. She was on no medications. I want to be like her.”

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This is July and I awakened this morning thinking about birthdays. According to google: " a birthday signifies your beginning and the joy of life. Every human on earth has been given a chance to fulfill their own unique mission. A birthday is an important and momentous occasion not to be understated. It is a time to celebrate, reflect and give thanks."


My mother never knew when she was born. Her father probably didn't go register her birth until weeks later and couldn't remember the exact date. Besides, in Japan one didn't celebrate individual birthdays. Everyone just celebrated January first.

Also, one rarely used individual names. Others referred to the family name and the first son or second son, first daughter or second daughter, last child and etcetera.

In our household with summer birthdays, counting the days to a big celebrations along with individualizations is paramount.

I'm happy to be in the USA and not in Japan. But with democracy since WWII, our relatives in Japan are also celebrating the birthdays and individuals more.

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It’s an 18-inch Japanese blue Imari porcelain serving plate. It may have been old when my Great Grandma Matsu was using it over 100 years ago in the late 1800s. Sam and I found it as we climbed the ladder to the loft of the barn behind her house in Hiroshima, Japan. Her oldest son, Grandpa K, had her house built with the money he sent home to Hiroshima working at a dairy farm in Kent, Washington, around 1911. The story is that she got so excited with the roof raising, took a hot bath with her dirty toddler son, her seventh child; had a stroke and passed away.

Finding the plate was part of Sam and my 10th anniversary trip in 1971. I had dreamed about going to Japan, since I was 9-years-old, attending Saturday Japanese School for 6 months in Gardena, California, when I first learned about Japan.

We were staying in East Hiroshima, Aki-Nakano, Sam’s Dad’s birthplace, with Uncle Jiro. The one-hour taxi ride, brought us to my Grandpa K’s birthplace - Ozuka-Numata-cho, the northern part of Hiroshima city. We asked the taxi driver to wait off the main road by the irrigation ditch.

Mr. Sugita, known for his ability in the ancient Japanese craft of nailless carpentry, was expecting us. We had met him in Seattle when he visited his son, Fred Yasunori - carpenter who built the tea house in the U of W Arboretum Japanese Garden. My Grandpa K gave the house to his sister, Tatsu, after his father, my great grandpa J, passed in 1939 and Mr. Sugita was her husband.

The oppressive Japanese summer air was gone so the crisp October morning was invigorating as we walked the dirt lane to the one-story farm house with the blue tile roof - like almost all roofs we had seen since we had been in Japan. I never figured out where the water-wheel was. My Mom had described one her grandpa had built for irrigation. My mom lost her mom in 1926 when she was 8-years-old. She and her three younger brothers were taken to this home in Hiroshima from Kent, Washington, by their grandfather for 8 years until 1936 when they came back to America.

We took off our shoes, left them in the engawa (a porch like room surrounding the front of the house) and had tea in the tatami room. We had a conversation in my limited Japanese, asking Sugita-san to show us around. First we had to use the “te arai” (literally, hand washing place).

Mr. Sugita waited for us by the kitchen door where there was a rack of persimmons hanging to dry for a winter treat. The dirt-floor kitchen was engaging. Sam’s aunt in Aki Nakano also had a dirt floor kitchen and we had watched her sweep in the morning, wearing a special pair of rubber slipper kind of shoes, and hand sprinkling water around to keep the dust down.

Hoping to find a momento or two to take back to Seattle, Mr. Sugita showed us the small unpainted shed-like barn. There were several boxes in the barn loft so we didn’t feel bad asking if we could have three or four of the dishes in the wooden crates stuffed with straw. It reminded us of how all the Japanese keep their living areas serene, even without any storage furniture and clutter. We were inspired to take this concept home to our own living areas.

We carefully carried the dishes down the ladder and back to the house. Mr. Sugita had no problem finding cardboard, twine and a silk tie-died furoshiki (wrapping cloth) to be sure there was no danger of breakage. It fit nicely in the extra blue Samsonite, empty suitcase Sam and I had taken for such items and souvenirs.

Shortly after we were there, the property was sold for a monorail that accessed the stadium for the world games.

Today, almost 50 years later, the dish sits prominently on the living room shelf with our many treasures, reminding us of the various stories of the 56 years Sam and I were together.

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This morning I listened again to a YouTube video by Adm. Wm. McRaven - MAKE YOUR BED. I’ve had his book for years, but it’s important to reaffirm: “Making your bed seems insignificant, but if you get the little things right, the big things will follow.”

In his talk, McRaven cites his go to individuals and Malala was someone he mentioned. On July 12th, she will be 23-yrs-old: “As a young girl, Malala Yousafzai defied the Taliban in Pakistan and demanded that girls be allowed to receive an education. She was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012 but survived. In 2014, she became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.”

It occurs to me, as I write, that I remind the others in my household of these heroes.

I’m reviewing the words of Adm. McRaven because he is part of a new book by Adm. James Stravridis, SAILING TRUE NORTH, where Stravridis writes about his own heroes. He ends his two hour interview on Book TV with, “I am free. I fear nothing and I want nothing.”

Adm. Stravridis also includes Michelle Howard. “United States Navy four-star admiral who last served as the commander of United States Naval Forces Europe while she concurrently served as the commander of United States Naval Forces Africa and commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples.” Upon her swearing in Howard became the highest ranking woman in United States Armed Forces history, and the highest ranking African-American and woman in navy history!

These are some of my new heroes for today. Some may make my all time list? Spending my day with these heroes is most inspiring. As McRaven says to the graduating class where he is giving his talk, “If each of us work to influence 10 people in our lifetime, to influence 10 people, to similarly influence 10 people, we can change the world.”

Heroes like this are changing my world. How can I pass this on?


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Use (something) to maximum ... Use (something) to maximum advantage
during this 2020 situation.
Going to the dictionary “leveraging” means: “to use something that you already have, such as a resource, in order to achieve something new or better: This new strategy is about leveraging the relationships we have with our customers.”

So what do I already have?

I have family. I have a house, paid for, with a great view. I have my health as I’m 81 years and on no medications. I have my interest in my Japanese Heritage, psychology, philosophy. I have social support - for things, advice, physical help, emotional and love. I have time to learn.

What is “the achievement of something new or better” mean?

I believe in innovation. Matt Ridley has written a book: HOW INNOVATION WORKS. “We need to change the way we think about innovation, to see it as an incremental, bottom-up, fortuitous process that happens to society as a direct result of the human habit of exchange, rather than as an orderly, top-down …. ‘INNOVATION FLOURISHES IN FREEDOM’.”

Covid has brought us all home, away from a top-down office/business, physically. Protests have taken away some national authority. So, where do I start “an incremental, bottom-up”?

What is the human habit of exchange?

My interpretation comes from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. People skills, creative skills, exchanging skills surrounding food, clothing, shelter and security; as well as gaining respect, beauty, esthetics and fulfillment.


I’m choosing to add to my “ISOLATION DEGREE” - reading and writing as suggested by Dr. Jordon Peterson. Matt Ridley’s blog suggests: “It will be an innovation that eventually defeats the virus: a new vaccine, a new antiviral drug — or a new app to help us avoid contact with infected individuals.”

What’s my newest insight?

I choose to be optimistic! Ridley adds that when he was born in 1958, 2/3 of the world was considered in poverty. The latest figures state that 60k come out of poverty every day and the poverty level is 8%. That means we have more financial FREEDOM that will increase opportunities for "INNOVATION".

Victor Frankl in MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING, one of the most quoted individuals I know of writes. When he was held in Auschwitz and on bits of bread and water for sustenance he realized the prison guards could imprison his body, but he had FREEDOM of his mind!!!

I am Covid-Isolating and have ALL KINDS OF FREEDOM to LEVERAGE!!

Today, Lori Matsukawa, retired anchor from King 5 TV, interviewed me because I started the OMOIDE writing group in 1991. She will be leveraging this information for a virtual TOMODACHI event in August to raise money for the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington.

We are encouraging viewers to join us in the fun of getting together to share our stories and write!!

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Today, I found myself suggesting, out loud, “Now that things are getting tough, learning starts!?”

Here’s the issue. On March 13th the girls got their long time wish. They got a Bernedoodle puppy “Suki” with all kinds of excitement, promises and signed contracts to do what was necessary to take care and train it.

One hundred and one days later, the puppy is so hyper and smart, it’s being a rascal. Suki knows how to learn her training skills in one or two tries for treats, but in reality will only come when she feels like it. She learned how to communicate by barking and uses it to an excess to get attention.

Suki gets bored and barks when Mom is on her business calls because her attention is not available. The girls have kept their promise, but are not as enthusiastic and complaining about taking Suki on the walks and exercise needed. The 13-yr-old says, “‘I’ve changed my mind about wanting all kinds of animals.”

In her book, THE GENIUS OF WOMEN, Kaplan suggests, “Geniuses need coaching and mentoring.” Therefore, children, genius or not, need good parenting to stay on track when life gets “hard”.

Tonight, Grandma is bored with Covid Isolation, still get a few tears feeling lonely without a partner, tired of political news and finding it “tough” to decide what I want to do with my new life.

Maybe it’s time for me to learn more? Time to take my own advice? Time to listen to Grandpa say, “Gambatte!”

Today, I re-listened to Dr. Jordon Peterson suggesting “writing and reading” as one of the main ways to cope with life’s problems. I found the YouTube ROOM FOR DISCUSSION video interview a couple days ago.

According to Emma Whitford, “only two-thirds of college students in the United States have ever written a paper that's 10 pages or longer. This statistic is part of a new report by Primary Research Group, based on a survey of 1,140 college students at four-year institutions in the United States about the writing and grammar instruction that they’ve received and how much additional instruction they believe they need.”

I write, but I can set a goal to be known as a writer as MY legacy?

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Our cousin marched in the Seattle 2020 Protest event carrying a sign: ASIANS FOR BLM.

Dr. Ibram Kendi was just on BOOK TV talking about his book: HOW TO BE ANTIRACIST. He ended his talk with equating racism to his diagnosis with Cancer in 2016 - need diagnosis and treatment until all the bad cells are gone. Legislation and funding is his answer.

Coincidentally in our other room, my daughter was having a business conversation with Brent Rollins and Steve Gordon, who are black. Brent is a designer known for Boyz n the Hood (1991) work. He said, “Racism is like having Cancer. We all have Cancer cells in us. I’ve lived with it all my life. So what do I do?? It’s up to me to make good life choices.”

Shelby Steele, who wrote SHAME, and other activists say we need more history in our schools. Ian Rowe says, “We need to be agents in our own destiny and purchase HOW TO EDUCATE AN AMERICAN. Work at the local level.”

I lived on 23rd Ave E where the marches during the 60s came by our house. We benefited from the activism; but as a Japanese Sansei, I performed back door actions. At Stevens Elementary, I co-taught with Juanita Thomas - who is black and we are still friends - sending notes home with kids who needed tutoring, asking parents to come to my house for meetings. We shared, “If your kids don’t learn, It’s our fault.” We wanted the parents to feel as good as possible as they asked us, “What can we do?”

Jeffrey, 6-yr-old, came to school late every day. His mother came to one of our meetings. She was probably prostituting to make money and worked nights. She came and bragged about how her son got up, fed and dressed his little sister every morning before walking the 10 to 12 blocks to school. WOW, what we can learn when…!

After being hired to start the UW Library Japanese Special Collections in 1970, I continued on a Min Masuda Memorial committee. Hana, Min’s wife, was also on the committee. She and I made a “pact” that we do something in our Japanese in America community the rest of our lives. After two decades of collecting stories and documentations; in 1991, I decided it was important to write and share our stories for the benefit of the larger community with a writing group, OMOIDE (memories). With OMOIDE now at the “J”, we share personal stories of Japanese Immigration, incarceration, resettlement and heritage values. Go to for more information about the “J”.

In his book SEATTLE 1900-1920 on page 66, Rich Berner says, “Japanese immigrants to Seattle played a role in the city’s development far out of proportion to their number.”

One of the early (6th Century?) emperors in Japan was the first to indicate education for the commoners. The Japanese had almost 200 years, from 1600 - 1800, of no wars where they promoted the education of cultural arts that came with personal discipline and brought it to a science. The “J” can share these arts and discipline, with those who want, for more personal fulfillment in our lives.

Since I was born 81-years ago, I was taught to be proud to be a person of color. I ended a friendship with someone who talked about, “Your people.” I practice, “Gambatte", “Nana Korobi, Ya Oki (7 times down, 8 times up)”, “Makeru ga Kachi (losing is winning)”. Sharing stories and promoting viability/visability of the “J” and OMOIDE for the rest of my life is what I can and will do, “putting words down on the bloody paper!”.

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The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve in my body, connecting my brain to my heart, lungs, and stomach. It helps aid digestion, sleep, and breathing and it controls my anxiety, depression and mood. The vagus nerve drives my parasympathetic nervous system - in charge of regulating rest, digest and “well-being” responses.

Here are some of the things I'm choosing from a list of suggestions:
*For my Emotional State - spending time with people I like, upbeat music, laughing with some clever emails.
*For Meditation - it's suggested I need to include compassionate thoughts of others. I choose the time as I take a hot bath every night for this exercise.
*For physical activity, I work to get 10,000 on my FitBit with most of it on a rebounder.
*For a massage, I have this set of balls for my feet and one called "courageous" that is soft to roll on, on the floor. There is a HYPERVOLT hand held massage gun.
*For my diet: I minimize sugar and try intermittent fasting. Of course I use Shaklee supplements for the suggestions related to Omega-3 and probiotics.

Smiling as I watch and read as much "feel goods" as possible. Had a good time today learning more about WINGS OF FIRE that is a favorite fantasy the girls read over and over.

What are some other things we can do during these interesting times??

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Bunshiro was Sam's father, Nisaburo's cousin and known best as the owner of the Tazuma 10-Cent store at 12th and Jackson in Seattle's International District. He was around the age of 30 and lived to be 103.

The story is that Bunshiro's wife and infant son had just arrived from Japan and she had brought with her this all-purpose cure-all known among the immigrants from Japan at that time. Some of the ones I saw around as I was growing up were little bead-like and silver in color. Seems like my grandpa used to call it, "Ginro or Gorin" or something like that.

Bunshiro had come to America and worked on the railroad and in the restaurant business from 1908. He had returned to Japan to get married and was back in Seattle working at the Jackson Cafe when his wife arrived with son Elmer and was put up in the hotel across the street. It might have been the NP Hotel run by the Shitamae family because we know that is where Nisaburo lived.

100 years ago, an influenza (flu) pandemic swept the globe, infecting an estimated one-third of the world’s population and killing at least 50 million people. The pandemic’s death toll was greater than the total number of military and civilian deaths from World War I, which was happening simultaneously. At the time, scientists had not yet discovered flu viruses, but we know today that the 1918 pandemic was caused by an influenza A (H1N1) virus. The pandemic is commonly believed to have occurred in three waves. Unusual flu-like activity was first identified in U.S. military personnel during the spring of 1918. Flu spread rapidly in military barracks where men shared close quarters. The second wave occurred during the fall of 1918 and was the most severe. A third wave of illness occurred during the winter and spring of 1919.

Currently, regarding the 2020 Covid-19 empidemic, Japan’s culture of concern for others, keeping a distance, avoiding handshakes, and good personal hygiene appears to have played a significant role in having one of the lowest statistics related to incidence and deaths in the world. This is despite inadequate testing.

WA state, as of June 3rd, lists 1125 deaths. Japan lists 900.

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