Thursday, February 23, 2017

During the internment, Japanese American teens created this heartbreaking scrapbook about camp life: Hope and hardship in the desert

Japanese internment | Racism | Immigrants 

February 17, 2017

Stephanie Busk | timeline

The cover of “Out of the Desert.” (San Francisco State University)      
Masako was curled in a cozy ball listening to the radio when the news bulletin aired. The U.S. government would be forcing Japanese Americans from their homes.

Soon, her friends in Los Angeles began to disappear. First No-bu, then Aiko, then Chiyeko. They were each sent to different camps. Masako wondered, Will I be next?

Then the announcement came. Her family had mere weeks to sell or store their belongings. As Masako walked through her beloved neighborhood, she was close to tears. When she visited her best friend Irene, an Irish girl, she burst with sorrow.

The day finally came. Masako boarded the train that would carry her family away. She reached out the window and clasped Irene’s hand one last time. As they departed, Masako watched her friend become a tiny dot in the distance.

Masako was an autobiographical character invented in 1942 by Nancy Karakane, a high school junior interned at the Poston Concentration Camp. Karakane’s short story appears in Out of the Desert, a scrapbook made by teenagers that depicted life behind barbed wire. Read more...

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