Compensation? More like compe’nothing’

January 22, 1945

I am so sorry for being gone so long! I have been so busy with college and wedding plans. Yes, Jurou and I finally are married. Also, the government has finally decided to close down all the Internment Camps and give all the Japanese Americans compensation. The only problem, most families only received $20,000 in compensation, if at all. We lost our houses and our entire lives for years and all they give us in return is less than half of what we lost?! What a disgrace. Honestly, I am losing confidence in this government, but in comparison to others, it is great.

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Here I Am… In college

June 17, 1943

College life hasn’t been bad. I was scared about being treated badly and it turns out I had nothing to worry about. Most people here have actually been really nice to Jurou and me, except for those few that for some reason cannot stand being kind to anyone. We are being treated really well here. I am excited also because I have been hearing rumors that sometime soon the government is going end the exclusion of us Japanese Americans and close down all the Internment Camps.

Information taken from: “Japanese American Women During World War II” by Valerie Matsumoto

College here I come!!

December 18, 1942

I’m so sorry I have been gone for so long. I have been extremely busy with Jurou, and convincing my parents of our love. Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to talk about. There is an organization called the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council that is helping Jurou and me, as well as the other Nisei, leave the camp and go to college. Jurou and I plan to leave by the end of the month. We are kind of sad, as well as angry, that we had to leave our California homes and now our camp because of the war, but we are much better off than a lot of other people. Sara has been telling me all the things that have been happening back home to her and her family and it makes me feel lucky. Her younger brother, Eduardo, and his friends had gotten into this new clothing fashion called the zoot suit. Apparently, the Americans have been led to believe that anyone who wears that type of clothing is involved in violence. The other day, she told me that they arrested her brother simply for wearing the zoot suit and put him in jail. She told me that the officers brutally harass Eduardo and she has no idea when he will be released. She believes him to be innocent of whatever it is they are charging him with and I believe her. I think it is completely uncalled for to bother a kid who has done nothing wrong simply because he is part Mexican. He is also part American! Sara told me that it doesn’t even stop there. There is a community pool by her house and Mexican and African Americans are banned from there except for Tuesdays. 95% percent of the time they are allowed to go to the pool, it has been drained. Sara and her family, as well as the rest of the Mexican American community is extremely angry at all this discrimination and racism and so am I. After hearing the things going on with her, I feel lucky to be in this camp, but I also feel scared that I will be treated that way, or worse, when I go off to college. I am having second thoughts about leaving. I don’t know what I should do.

Information taken from: “Japanese American Women During World War II” by Valerie Matsumoto

The mess halls in Internment Camps did not allow for families to eat together. http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014578236 The mess halls in Internment Camps did not allow for families to eat together.

The mess halls in Internment Camps did not allow for families to eat together.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014578236

Magazines were very influential in "americanizing" the adolescent Japanese Americans in Internment Camps.  http://www.seventeen.com/fun/articles/65th-anniversary-cover-archive#slide-1

Magazines were very influential in “americanizing” the adolescent Japanese Americans in Internment Camps.
http://www.seventeen.com/fun/articles/65th-anniversary-cover-archive#slide-1

I Met A Boy!!

May 3, 1942

His name is Jurou. We have been getting to know each other very well during dinner. We sit together at the mess halls along with all our other friends and just talk. Usually, I would eat dinner with my parents, but since my father is working and my mother sits with the other women, I just sit with the other Nisei my age. Jurou asked me out on a date so we went to a film about a month ago and we have been dating since then. My mother and father want me to stop fooling around with Jurou since they have already chosen a man for me to marry. The problem is that I am in love with Jurou and my parents don’t understand that. I just don’t understand how all those magazines can talk about love and flirting and dating like it’s such a normal thing when my parents don’t even believe that love is real. All my friends here think I should stay with Jurou because they think it’s true love, and Sara thinks so, too. If my parents don’t accept Jurou then I will have to simply run away (whenever it is that we get out of this camp). I have a job here at the camp and it’s so cool that I am getting paid just as much as all the boys doing the same job. Finally some equality! Anyway, I plan to use that money for college when the government lets us leave this place. Oh no! Speaking of work, I’m late! I have to go. Bye!

 

Information taken from: “Japanese American Women During World War II” by Valerie Matsumoto

The United States government sold all of the items owned by the Japanese Americans when they were transferred to the Internment Camps. http://aletho-news.blogspot.com/2012/02/george-takei-on-japanese-internment.html The United States government sold all of the items owned by the Japanese Americans when they were transferred to the Internment Camps.

The United States government sold all of the items owned by the Japanese Americans when they were transferred to the Internment Camps.
http://aletho-news.blogspot.com/2012/02/george-takei-on-japanese-internment.html

What’s With All the ‘intern’ships?

March 17, 1942

So here we are the Internment Camp. Just me, mother, and father (Yuki was shipped off to Japan). We were told a week ago to get ready to leave so that we would be here yesterday. We packed all our bags but when the time came, the officers told us we were only allowed to bring whatever we could carry. I brought one suitcase with some clothes and some books, but that’s it. Everything that was left behind was sold by the government and we didn’t get ANY of the money. Yeah, I’m mad about that, but there’s nothing I can do about it so I just suck it up and sit here in camp doing nothing. Besides not having anything to do, it’s not too bad here. The only thing is that there’s no space and barely any work for anyone. Father has been volunteering to work in some farms around our camp that are having issues with labor shortages because of the war. Camp life is nothing like California was. My mother has always been used to cleaning and cooking, but because we don’t have a big enough house to clean and since food is cooked by the entire community, my mother has nothing to do anymore. She and I are getting quite bored in this camp. I hear there are some night classes for knitting and such that my mother might start to take. I don’t like doing any of those girly things so mother has just been telling me to write to take my mind off of things. The only problem: everything I write has to do with the war and everything that has been going on. Just read my blog, HAHA. Well, dinner is going to start soon so I better get ready. I’ll be back soon.

Information taken from:  “Japanese American Women During World War II” by Valerie Matsumoto