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Snapshot, 1944 (short story)

Creators: David Mas Masumoto


Short story by David Mas Masumoto told in the first person voice of a Sansei young adult reflecting on the meaning of an old snapshot of his father's family taken at Gila River in 1944. The occasion is the funeral of his Uncle George, killed as an American soldier in the war . In the photo, the narrator's grandfather holds a flag and his grandmother holds a picture of George, while his father and aunts and uncles stand uneasily to the side. The narrator writes in turn about the postwar fates of his grandfather, who died before he was born; his grandmother, who lives with the family, but suffers from dementia; and his father, who struggled to buy a farm after the war and now grows raisins and other crops on eighty acres. Each in his her own way remains as silent to the narrator as in the photograph.

"Snapshot, 1944" was published in the 1979 Rafu Shimpo holiday edition (credited as "Fiction by D. Mas Masumoto") and reprinted in Masumoto's 1984 short story collection Silent Strength and in the 1995 anthology Many Voices: True Tales from America's Past . Though fiction, many of the aspects of the story conform to Masumoto's family story.

Authored by Brian Niiya , Densho

Might also like " The Legacy of a Cemetery " by Joe Oyama; " Memories of Pop " by Jiro Saito; " Kubota " by Garrett Hongo

Media Details
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Author David Mas Masumoto
Publication Date 1979
For More Information

For More Information

Masumoto, David Mas. "Snapshot, 1944." Rafu Shimpo , Dec. 20, 1979, 11, 14, 19, 22. Reprinted in Silent Strength by David Mas Masumoto. Tokyo: New Currents International, Co., Ltd., 1984; Mary C. Weaver, ed. Many Voices: True Tales from America's Past . Jonesborough Tenn.: National Storytelling Press, 1995.