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Larry Long presents Be Kind To All That Live (Honoring Helen Tsuchiya)

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Published on Jan 6, 2012

Helen Tsuchiya
Japanese-American internment Camp Survivor
BORN: 1924 in CA, United States
HERITAGE:Japanese-American
HONORED AT:Prairie View Celebration Day 2005
KEYWORDS:Buddhism California farmer Internment Camps Japan Japanese Pearl Harbor World War II

Be Kind to All That Lives
(Honoring Helen Tsuchiya)

My father, he was a farmer
He grew the grapes to make the wine
Out in the fields of California
To grow the grapes
That grew on the vine

Words alone cannot restore
Lost years that won't come back no more
If only we could right the wrongs
Of the past in this song
Be kind to all that live

From Japan, Mother and Father
Came to this land, where I was born
But after Japan, bombed Pearl Harbor,
The life we loved, was no more

It was like the Grapes of Wrath
The home we loved was ransacked
Mother left wedding pictures there
To protect our home, soon stripped bare

Be kind to all that live

Three sisters and I and one brother
Mother and Father forcibly removed
Into a camp, behind barbed wire
To live in a twenty square foot room

With one toilet after another
No partitions, no privacy
With two bathrooms for several hundred
American Japanese

Be kind to all that live

Father he could not make the payments
On the farm, we lost it all.
The grapes he grew were plowed under.
The farm replaced by a mess hall.

A Pima girl she would ride bareback
On her horse, to the barbed wire fence
When she did, the kids came running
Looking out towards the life they missed

Be kind to all that live

We made the best of a bad situation
For three long years in the intern camp
Kabuki plays, standing ovations
So many never did come back

If I were to change tomorrow
I would start here right now
To help put an end to sorrow
I know we each know how

Be kind to all that live


Music by Larry Long
Words by Larry Long with Brenda Dronen’s 4th Grade Class
Prairie View Elementary School
Eden Prairie, Minnesota

© Larry Long Publishing 2004 / BMI

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