I Have the Original Story | Jack Rominger
On this episode of Argot: Audio Short Stories from the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Collection, we hear a Japanese story. Jack Rominger shares a story originally told on June 19, 2011 to the Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Initiative in O’Hara Township, Pennsylvania. This audio short story is engineered and produced by Kevin Farkas.
It was written in English by Yoshuishi Okaburo, the brother-in-law of the story’s protagonist. The story is called, “The Family of My Elder sister,” and it describes the awful plight of one Nagasaki family from the point of view of the father (and brother-in-law of Yoshuishi). Jack first heard it one quiet night while on patrol duty among the surviving homes of Nagasaki. It was being used to teach English to Japanese children; a language primer of sorts.
The actual text of the story was presented to Jack as a gift from Yoshuishi Okaburo, who eventually became a lifelong friend after the war.
“I’d call this a morality play,” Jack says of the precious yellowing papers that he has preserved for over seventy years. “There’s no mention of any hatred for us, the enemy. What’s most important in the story, through the ashes, deaths, and terrible destruction, is the importance of peace.”