Here is a picture of our two daughters, Amy Sugawara Aldwinckle (background, age then nearly three years), and Anna Marina Aldwinckle (foreground, then aged one year), taken in Venice this summer. Covered with mosquito bites and a little cranky with the heat, they still gave me one good Kodak Moment during a canalside dinner. Although this restaurant offered us the worst meal of our whole European trip (the clams still even had sand inside). providentially, it gave us our best picture.

As you can see, Amy takes after her mother, while Anna takes after, well, me I guess. Yet she has blue eyes--and I don't. At least I can't blame tonari no ojisan...

But as people all around me note, the way Japanese society will receive these two delightful children will be diametrically opposed. Amy is viewed as a Japanese because of her looks. But Anna, despite being of the same genetic stock and Japanese nationality as her sister, will be relegated to gaijin status, same as I.

It's all looks in this society. But that's all the more reason for me to push for more acceptance in this society. Because the future of my children depends on it.

(refer to my Eurotrek Essays, Part Six--Italy, for more information on this particular backdrop)

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