Okay, so you’re probably wondering what my kids think of their new multiculti president. Or not. But I’ll tell you anyway.
My son became interested early on. He’s read a few biographies of American presidents in manga form, including those of Lincoln and Kennedy, so he’s been worried about Obama’s personal safety. And he’s been thinking about race. We’ve had some interesting talks. “A long time ago,” he said,” “Aunt K. and Uncle T. wouldn’t have been able to get married, he mused. I guess he’s more aware of skin color than race, since Aunt K. is Indian, not African-American, and about the same color as President Obama. But actually, my son isn’t so far off the mark, since not so long ago, it would have been illegal for Yoshi and I to marry in the United States.
Anyway, over the past few months I shared bits of trivia with him – Obama had a pet monkey! Obama’s dad wouldn’t let him watch TV even after he’d finished all of his homework! Obama likes Spider Man! And his daughters like the Jonas Brothers, too! Of course this piqued his interest.
Happily, a bio of Obama for children was recently translated into Japanese. I bought a copy for my son, and he read it immediately.
My daughter, on the other hand, recognizes Barack Obama from the newspaper. Lately, whenever I’m reading the paper she becomes very interested in the photos and asks me about them. “Who is that?” she signed. First, I taught her his name via fingerspelling. However, I don’t know how to sign “President” or “leader.” The closest thing I could come up with was “king.” “He is like a king,” I signed. “The King of America.”