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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Grow

DNA Part 2: Revenge of the Murao Family!

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

So now part two of the question: Where did Sanshiro get his athletic ability? I have clearly made a case for the Grow Family (not being a leading contender). Ah well....we made other contributions!

How about the Murao Family? Any special athletic ability on this side or his ability just a fluke or hard work?

When you shake any family tree, you rattle a few skeletons.

The Grow family came to America very early on. I am tenth generation American. My father's family came to America (Ipswich, Massachusetts) in the 1660's not long after the Mayflower landed. John Grow was a farmer from Oxford, England who came to seek his fortune in the United States. So when you shake the Grow family tree, you find a lot of farmers and Baptist preachers.

However, when the shake the Murao family tree, you find something really interesting...Pirates! Yes, pirates! Not of the Caribbean but of the Inland Sea of Japan. Were they the robbing pirates or the protecting kind of pirates (there was also that sort)? ....We are not sure...

Japan has a long, long history and families trace their roots through the local shrines and temples. Curiously, the water and the navy figured into history with the Murao family (just like farming and preaching with mine), both the grandfathers on the Japanese side were in the Japanese navy. ....

Nancy Drew - Where are You?

But actually my own father and two of his brothers were also in the navy. Mmmmm My father was stationed in Japan in Fukuoka (Kyushu) and his brother, Joe, was stationed in Sasebo (where the Murao family home was for many years - my in-laws were married and living just up the hill from where he was stationed). Any connections, there?

The Murao Pirates were connected to the Fujiwara Uprising...

I didn't really get why my children got so excited about the sixth-grade history books in Japan (where they study about the warring states in Japan) until I learned one of their ancestors was featured in the book. The Fujiwara clan dominated the Heian Period of Japan 794-1195 and married into the Emperor's family line. At one point, the Fujiwara line tried to unite with another insurgent group from southern Japan and take over the Emperor. Alas, the Fujiwara insurgent was killed and the Fujiwara clan had to retreat. According to our family history, this meant they retreated to Nagasaki to the town of Omura and went to the end of the village (or the village tail "0" in Japanese) - The meaning of Mura is a village and the meaning of 0 is tail. And so we became Murao. Meaning "Village Tail" where they owned land and became... go figure.... farmers to escape persecution! More farmers! Did you catch that George and Bess? (Sorry dated reference for younger viewers - ask your mom)!

Ok- enough about pirates and farmers - tomorrow I will definitely get to the part about the athletic ability of the Muraos ( so we can debate if they are considerably more than the Grows -but then again they do have Pirates!)

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