TED Talk by George Takei in recalling his experience with the Japanese internment camps that he was placed in at the age of 5. He explains that he was not understanding of the situation that he was in and that his siblings, younger brother and sister, were even younger than he was when he was sent to the camp with his parents. Describing from the time that they had a knock at the door to the time that they were released, George explains that he came to understand that his adaptation to the caged environment was not that of a normal childhood and that the place they had grown to call home was actually a place of confinement. I thought that this TED Talk was very interesting and I felt that it was good to see the experience through the eyes of a young child that grew to be more mature and knowledgeable about his situation with time. He mentioned that the children are very adaptable and that him and his siblings had come to see that their Japanese Internment Camp was their home. This can be related to that of a sense of abuse that is conditioned into people due to their segregation from normalcy. I feel that his ability to forgive his country for its mistake but also help to educate on it and his experience makes him a very reliable source. MLA Citation: “Why I Love a Country That Betrayed Me | George Takei.” TED Talks, YouTube, 4 July 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeBKBFAPwNc.
The letter was from two girls who were residing at a Japanese Internment Camp (exact camp unknown), to a largely celebrated supporter for Japanese-American children’s rights during World War II. It reflected on their daily life as well as their questions for Miss Breed about how she was doing. It discussed the girl’s favorite books at the time, seeing as Miss Breed herself was a librarian. In discussing the books, they also request to be sent a few titles by Miss Breed so that they could read those as well. I believe that this letter aids in depicting the lifestyle and mindset of the children who were held in the Japanese Internment Camps. It shows how the innocence of the children flourishes and their curiosity still thrives though they are being restricted as the two girls mention in the sense that there was not much going on in the prison-like camps. I believe it also shows their longing to return to society, as their pushing questions for Mrs. Breed about her daily normal life in California was. MLA Citation: Ishino, Florcence, and Margaret Ishino. “April 23, 1942.” Received by Clara Breed (Miss Breed), 23 Apr. 1942.
The painting is a depiction of one of the camps, The Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming, painted by Estelle Peck Ishigo. The painting displays a larger group of individuals in regular clothes entering the dark internment camps, and welcomed by a sky of dark smoke. The left hand side of the painting shows a wall that indicates the start of the camp while the right hand side shows the darker ‘cabins’. The painting implies the attitude towards their situation with the colorful individuals entering the darker space of the internment camp that they would be held for the remainder of the war. The people entering seem very normal near the front of the painting, though you can see that the farther that you look into the camp, the people become darker and less individual. This implies that the people become almost systematic and robotic when in these internment camps, and that these normal people are being turned into this. MLA Citation: Ishigo, Estelle Peck. “Watercolor Painting of the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming by Artist Estelle Peck Ishigo.” Artnet News, 4 May 2015, news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2015/04/japanese-internment-camp-painting.jpg.
The collection of photos from a photojournalist during the time of the war and the Japanese Internment gives a perspective to the visual realities of their situation within the Japanese Internment Camps. The pictures include those from the California Internment Camp, Manzanar; Newspaper headlines from the time; a camp in which living quarters were made from old horse stalls at a race track; a dust storm within the desert camp; a young girl named Joyce Yuki Nakamura; the view of a camp from a guard tower; baseball at camp; a “town hall meeting; and more. These give visual depictions of the camps that were used to house hundreds of Japanese Americans during this time. Throughout looking at these photos, I feel that the journalists who took them felt the importance that they would hold later on as a sentiment to the horrible history of these times. The depiction of the camps, most all of which that were located in isolated desert, shows the horrible conditions that these citizens were put in. The upbringing of dust and the lack of civilization nearby paired with the prison like housing brought their situation to understanding. MLA Citation: “Photos: 3 Very Different Views Of Japanese Internment.” Photos: 3 Very Different Views Of Japanese Internment, 17 Feb. 2016, www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2016/02/17/466453528/photos-three-very-different-views-of-japanese-internment.
The article by George Takei, a Japanese American who personally experienced the Internment Camps, begins with a large amount of background and information to the situation about the Japanese Internment Camps. Explaining about the camps and using one of the most well known camps, the Manzanar War Relocation Camp in California, Takei explains that families were taken away from their homes to be put in the camps without real cause. Furthering his explanation with his own personal experience, the anecdotes help the reader to experience his story. I believe that the combination of the historical facts about the incident and Takei’s personal experience is a great benefit to the understanding of the situation. In his explanation of his experience in relation to his innocence as a child and his current travels to the places that he and his family where held as well as the others that were put in his same situation. He expanded his experiences through these travels as an adult and shares that with the reader. MLA Citation: Takei, George. “George Takei: Internment, America’s Great Mistake.” The New York Times, 28 Apr. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/04/28/opinion/george-takei-japanese-internment-americas-great-mistake.html.
The article discusses the topic of the life within the Japanese Internment Camps and specifically revolves around the diary of a man, Yonekazu Satoda, who was placed in the Camps at the age of 22. He explains his life there, the conditions and at one point says that there were “3 or 4 hundred sick” within his diary. The legacy of the experience and the artifacts left behind are placed in exhibition such as “Out of the Desert: Resilience and Memory in Japanese American Internment”. I feel that this article give a great perspective as it not only discusses the topic of the personal experience by individuals such as Yonekazu Satoda, but the aftermath of the situation through the eyes of big communities like Yale. This article explains how Mr. Satoda struggled to get the recognition of the museums and communities, personally contacting as many as he can contact to get his experience and artifacts in exhibition to help educate about the camps. MLA Citation: Brown, Patricia Leigh. “Life in a Japanese-American Internment Camp, via the Diary of a Young Man Image.” The New York Times, 1 Dec. 2015, www.nytimes.com/2015/12/02/arts/design/life-in-a-japanese-american-internment-camp-via-the-diary-of-a-young-man.html.