Susumu, My Name by Russell Endo

Summary: Susumu, My Name by Russell Endo is a poem about the thoughts about "progress" of a man named Susumu back in the Japanese Camps of World War II.


Susumu - A Japanese-American that was forced to live in a Japanese War Camp in the United Stated during World War II; The speaker

Section 1:

  • Susumu says that the audience is welcome to listen to him whisper
  • Susumu tells the audience that his name in Japanese means "progress"
  • Susumu tells us that it is meant to mean "progress of prosperity and of good fortune" normally when one is not confined and in this case he refers to a Japanese American war camp in Arizona during WW II
  • Susumu says that being in the barracks made his parents want a "taste" of the American Dream even more
  • Susumu says that his luck is "different" because he is in the barracks
  • Susumu talkes about his wheels spinning and skimming to relate to the amount of progress that he wants to make
  • Susumu asks the audience if they understand what he is saying and invited the audience to not only listen but to take part in the "whispering" that he must do in the summer breeze
  • Susumu calls this progress

Other Notes:

  • This poem brings out the fact that he is both American and Japanese because he explains elements of progress in both cultures

© 2009 copyright Susumu, My Name | Russell Endo