Joe Ide's grandfather's sword

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Joe Ide's grandfather's samurai swords
Joe Ide's grandfather's samurai swords

My grandfather collected samurai swords. He had quite an extensive collection. We don’t know where he got them. He came here in the ‘30s, he landed in Vancouver, and worked as a migrant laborer down toward Los Angeles so I’m not sure at what point in life he got this fabulous collection. They’re so vivid because they were so precious, and we weren’t allowed to go anywhere near them. One day I thought no one was home. I think I’m about 11. I open the big drawer, I take out the sword, and it’s wrapped in this big beautiful silk covering. I whip it out. It looks absolutely brand new, and it is sharp. I decide I’m gonna jump around in the living room and play pirate. I got this 700-year-old sword, and I’m prancing around swinging. There was this wooden stand-up lamp, and I cut it in half. I’m stupid so I’m worried about the lamp, and there’s my grandfather. We were about the same height. He’s purple with rage, just purple. He grabbed me, and he threw me through the screen door. Not against it, through it. So the sword has a lot of meaning.

Learn more: www.my-america.org 

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant