Monday, March 2, 2009

General Shinseki and Hiroshima

I thought it strange that no one claimed any connection with General Shinseki, appointed as VA Secretary by President Obama, in Hiroshima since it is the General's grandparents native home. My friend in Hiroshima dispelled my doubt recently by sending me an article in the local paper Chugoku Shinbun dated January 22, 2009 about General's second cousin who lives in Kaita-cho, between Hiroshima and Higashi (eastern) Hiroshima. Kaita is a town of about 30,000, still claiming its autonomy, sandwiched between two mega cities. Mikinosuke Ota, a gold medalist of 1928 Olympics triple jump event at Amsterdam was from this town. This I remember because I knew his niece personally. She was very proud of her athlete uncle.

Back to General Shinseki's second cousin. His name is Giichi Neishi, 73 years old, serving as President for a NPO medical organization. The Chugoku Shinbun article shows Giichi Neishi holding his family album. He said he met Eric Shinseki just once, about 35 years ago and he thinks General Shinseki has not been in Hiroshima.

An elder brother of Mr. Neishi's grandfather named Gisaburo Ishii immigrated to Hawaii also and his daughter is married to Shinseki's father. David Ishii, a popular Hawaiian pro-golfer, came from the Ishii family. I guess Neishi, Shinseki and Ishii are all second cousins. As a golfer myself, I know David Ishii, who won two major tournaments, 1982 Kapalua Open and 1990 Hawaiian Open. He toured in Japan and was a winner of several tournaments. I saw the name of DSIF Invitations and it is for junior champ competition under the David Ishii's Foundation.

Along with the Neishi article, the Chugoku Shinbun reported that Hiroshima citizens involved in Peace and Anti-Nuclear Movements are all thrilled with the inauguration of President Obama. They believe he will support the ban on future use of all nuclear weapons allowing voices of many people to be heard, including those of Mayor Akiba, Japan Council representative Against A/H Bombs Victims Organization and docent of the Peace Memorial Museum. All are looking forward to an early visit of President Obama to Hiroshima.

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