Approximately 15 years ago, my mother's sister in Sendai sent t-shirts for all of us after our trip to Japan. She thought it would be fun for us to have a t-shirt with a different kanji that she would personally select, keeping our personalities in mind.
We could hardly wait to see what she had chosen for us. Tiffany's kanji was hana which means flower. Jon's kanji was kaze for wind.
This was really special and perfect for them. Tiffany loves flowers and all beautiful things. Jon is like the wind, constantly moving around the world and rarely staying in one place very long.
My kanji on this orange t-shirt was yume which means dream. I like that. I do have dreams that I wish would come true for everybody and the world. Yesterday, Art decided to wear his t-shirt.
As we passed by the hallway he noticed a wooden plaque that his mother sent to Oahu after Art's dad passed away in 1978, just before she moved to California to live with his sister.
My mother hung the plaque on the wall so Art would always have this remembrance of his dad.
After all this time, Art stopped and stared at it. "Doesn't this kanji on the plaque look familiar?" he asked. "Isn't this what's on my t-shirt?"
"No, it can't be." I told him.
We called my mom over and we all stared at it. Yes, the kanji was the same! It is wa which means harmony or peace. Out of 50,000 kanji characters, it was pretty amazing that my aunt in Sendai, who never met Art's parents would choose this particular word for Art that is identical to the one on the plaque from his childhood home in Honokaa!!! Art never knew the meaning of the kanji when he was growing up and never thought to ask.
Now, I doubt he'll ever forget it.