Mariko Marie Marina: My Life through Three Cultures A Memoir (Paperback)
In Japan I was Mariko, in Germany I was Marie, and now I am Marina. A child of three lands, proud of each, unable to say where each began and ended within me.
I decided to write a book so my family could know the life I have been so fortunate to live. This is my story, previously unknown to them.
"Mariko" was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1932. Her name meant "of the sea" after her father who was a seaman. He was from Germany, and this was during pre-World War II tensions. Her mother was from Japan. When her parents married, her mother automatically became a German citizen, as did Mariko. Wartime arrived in 1942 when the United States sought revenge against Japan for the attack on Pearl Harbor. Mariko and her family narrowly avoided the firebombing and subsequent attacks.
In late 1946, an order made by U.S. forces, declared that German nationals including those by marriage and birth must leave Japan in a forced repatriation to their home country. "Marie" was born when her family moved to Hamburg, Germany. It had experienced even worse wartime bombing. The family struggled to rebuild their life, but eventually they had a home for their family. When life was finally stable, Marie was able to pursue her dream of becoming a dancer. She later met a U.S. soldier, married and moved to San Francisco.
"Marina" led an adventuresome life in America, eventually opening two Japanese restaurants. It was coming full circle, uniting her heritage and her experiences in a tangible way. Marina's life was not always easy, but it was full of love and exploration. It is this history she wanted to document for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, so they would understand how she was a child of three lands.