Intercepting Message

How Effectively Personal Messages are Communicated

by Mohammad Iqbal

Letter from Iwao Matsushita to Hanaye Matsushita, March 6, 1942

This letter is from Iwao Matsushita, a Japanese man living in America, to his wife in Japan. The tone and arrangement of words are directly coming from his heart, words that describe loneliness, happiness, and sadness he is experiencing as a result of being far from his family. Despite there being a word limit for the letter, he mentions his perspective of the situations back home and hopes his wife to resolve them as he himself is desperate to help but restrained due to his service in the United States (Iwao). He seems firm and confident and genuinely cares for his family. This is important to the concept of ‘leaving home’ as it incites readers to experience a feeling of a person who used to be part of their family. There is nostalgia, personal communication, and intimate connection involved which expands to homesickness, and showcases significance of a family’s bond that remains regardless of distance (Matt, 23). People may or may not lie in their letters; that is a different story. But if that case is overlooked, homesickness proves  true and to be throbbing in people’s hearts through every memory.

“Midst the snows of Missoula 700 miles away I celebrate alone my Hana’s 1 day of birth.”

Excerpt from “Letter from Iwao Matsushita to Hanaye Matsushita” March 6, 1942. Image courtesy of solomon.imld.alexanderstreet.com.

Letter from Shigezo Iwata to Sonoko Uyematsu Iwata, April 13, 1942.

Shigezo Iwata, a Japanese man living in US, sends a letter to his wife Sonoko Uyematsu Iwata living in Japan. To quote him, “The world trend is changing and the road we must take will see a big change” (Shigezo). If analyzed, this statement proves to be valid and strong in terms of determination to resolve family problems. Shigezo must be family driven, passionate, and a powerful figure in the family to make such decisive and bold moves on behalf of the family. The words he wrote meant serious business. There was a reason as to why he left his home – to support his loved ones in the long run. When the main part of the family, the benefactor, leaves home, the situation at home is likely disturbed, and responsibilities, anxiety and bonds are likely to be affected. Through distance, no objectives can be achieved as a unit. Iwata and Uyematsu needed what was mentioned in the letter to keep the relationship active and give family members a better life. Iwata worked for a better home while staying away from home, so writing such a poignant letter would only encourage family members to support him in his cause.

“It’s hard to know when I’ll be cleared and will be able to see you. There is no other way but to keep calm, be prudent, not be hasty and do the best we can. “

Excerpt from “Letter from Shigezo Iwata to Sonoko Uyematsu Iwata” April 13, 1942. Image courtesy of solomon.imld.alexanderstreet.com.

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The poem is written by Daisy Sanial Gill in 1909. The author of this poem is a lonely man who mentions the characteristics and core examples of home. The urge to go home and be with his family is what he had been longing for because he could not find homely qualities while alone. Lines throughout this poem were meaningful and seem to give the author comfort – the comfort of being able to express himself freely as if he were at home.

“Home…  Daisy Saniel Gill, NYC, Andrew H. Kellogg,” 1916. Courtesy of memory.loc.gov.

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This letter is by Agness Wilson, a female cousin of George Wilson, living in Cincinnati, Ohio.  She is stating troubles at home. She sounds serious and seems earnest about her marital matter. By analyzing and understanding her tone, George can reconsider his decision in becoming involved with her ‘arranged’ marriage and, perhaps, resolve the situation. Words can mean many things but it is the background and emotions that validate and polish communication.

“Letter from Agness Wilson to George Wilson,” 1821. Courtesy of memory.loc.gov.

This post was completed as an assignment for the American Studies course, “The Concept of Home.”  A list of the readings that informed this assignment can be found here: https://americanstudiesmediacultureprogram.wordpress.com/assignments-the-concept-of-home-spring-2013/ 

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2 thoughts on “Intercepting Message

  1. As a young man myself, going off to college was difficult due to my family troubles. I couldn’t imagine having a family of my own and leaving them to go to war. The feeling of homesickness is a burden on the males who left for war and their families at home. The male longs for his family, and the family is in a state of un-stabilization with out him. i seems from this post that males dealt with the bulk of homesickness.

  2. Daisy Sanial Gill’s poem about a man’s pursuit of finding home gives another perspective of what makes up a home. His inability to find homely qualities because he is alone suggests that home is made up of more than just objects but relationships with others whether it is a spouse, child or a pet. Several different factors contribute to one’s perspective of home and it varies by the individual and their background.

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