The Japanese war and the Baguio-born Japanese Boy-A A +A
Tea For Two
Thursday, October 3, 2013
HISTORY tells us that during World War II, Baguio was one of the first places bombed by the Japanese on the morning of December 8, 1941. This attack and the undeclared war caught Baguio by surprise. Air raid warnings for the public were made and Japanese civilians who were long time residents of this city were rounded up and interned at the Camp John Hay.
Other foreign residents followed the same fate. Later they were transferred to the Japanese School at La Trinidad. The Japanese Kempitai started and many innocent people were brutally executed. The anger and hate between nations and peoples followed too. After the war in 1945, these foreigners were repatriated to their own country.
Today, many years after the fateful bombing of our city comes a Baguio-born Japanese boy, who was barely ten years old when war struck in the Philippines. His family had lived here many years before the war started.
Einosuke Rudy Furuya comes back to Baguio through his fantastically nostalgic photo and art exhibit at the SM mall. His photos and the ingenious art he made of them breaks a silence in the heart of many Baguio-born residents. We ask, “He too...loves Baguio...?” Yes, he too was born here and played in the same sites as we did...Burnham Park, Session Rd., our main sites. The city was his playground too as it has been ours in our growing years. He too loved our skies, our moon, and our sun and all the things that only Baguio has.
Back in Japan when he was a little boy, he felt discriminated against
because he was born in the Philippines. Japan was a strange place, through the eyes of a ten-year old Einosuke Rudy Furuya. His mind and his joys were of Baguio. His photos speak of deep and quiet longings for this city. His family wanted to come back after the war, but there was a lot of anger and hatred against the Japanese then. So, Rudy Furuya had to keep pace with his new world and new home through the following years.
His art strangely includes the moon in different stages. He explains this as his nostalgia for his hometown, his birthplace. The moon to him is his memory of this city, it is his symbol of Baguio itself. In each picture, the moon slips out or peeps out from unexpected places. Is this the way that Baguio’s image comes to his mind? Does our city sadly haunt him at unholy hours and beckons his vision as he sees other places? His photo shows a strong attachment to the Baguio we love, like a baby whose umbilical cord is attached to his mother’s womb. Does he feel he was weaned too early from his mountain mama’s breasts? Perhaps. But only the artist in him, and the soul inside this man can say.
For each of us who was born and grew up in Baguio, the attachment lasts and lasts forever. A birthplace spells the identity of a human being. Like a newborn, the first image within one’s vision becomes home, whether this be a person, an object or a place. The first ten years of growing define many things for a child. This is the time of knowing, of discovery and of finding friendship in other people. At this stage a child realizes what is good and bad, what is pleasant or unpleasant, which is loving or not loving at all. No matter what blood runs through our veins, no matter our color or race, when we are born of one place, we are one family, loving one mountain mama...our Baguio! Today Einosuke Rudy Furuya is free to soar the places he used to be part of, to smell the pines and the eucalyptus again!
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 04, 2013.