BITTER MEMORIES OF SWEET POTATOES

Our breakfast this morning was steamed purple sweet potatoes (or in Japanese, Murasaki Imo 紫芋)which we bought at Isetan Supermarket when we went to its Okinawa Fair two days ago.

Murasaki Imo

I would say it was a luxurious treat because these four purple sweet potatoes cost us S$20.64, and this is far more costlier than a typical local breakfast.  I am still wondering why they are so expensive although, as a matter of fact, they are very delicious and the best we have tasted so far.

DS and I don’t eat sweet potatoes often but eating them always reminds me of my mum’s stories about Japanese occupation during the  World War II, and the hardship they had suffered.  Then, as a young kid, my mum and her family survived on raw groundnuts and sweet potatoes many a times.  In fact, it was considered a luxury to be able to have sweet potatoes!  Life was really tough then and it is something that we, the lucky younger generation, can’t possibly imagine.

Coincidentally, I happened to watch two movies related to Japanese on World War II recently – the City of Life and Death on the Rape of Nanking (by the Japanese) in 1937 and Kabei (aka Our Mother).  The latter, a Japanese movie, depicts the great love of a Japanese mother during the early 1940’s when Japan was in war.  It also brings about a message for peace.  I was greatly moved to tears by both movies.

City of Life and Death (南京!南京!)Movie Trailer

Kabei

Kabei Movie  Trailer

It is a great blessing that we are now living in a peaceful era although sadly and unfortunately, there are still wars somewhere on this world.

Why is peace so elusive? Human beings resort to war to fight for power.  It seems natural since war is not limited to the human species.  In the animal kingdom, whether big or small animals, like tigers, lions and even ants, also engage in wars and fights in order to establish their own dominions. So, human beings are just like animals.  Just how sad, isn’t it?

War is cruel.  I just hope mankind will always remember the pains and sufferings of our forefathers.  No one shall ever take peace for granted, and  there will never ever be another world war on this earth.

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