|1936: Azusa, California.|
Back row: George, Henry, Minoru, Saburo, Yoshinao, Yoshio
front row: John, James, Kagi (my grandmother), with Stephen and Hannah, Ginzo (my grandfather), and Grace.
|1942: A train stop on the way to Heart Mountain.|
Dad, Uncle Jimmy, and Auntie Grace are on the right, looking out the window.
|1942: Heart Mountain, Wyoming.|
back row: Hannah, Yoshio, Yurikichi Ikehara (cousin), James
front row: Stephen, Ginzo, Kagi, John (hiding), Grace.
|1943: Gila Rivers, Arizona.|
Yoshio, John, Hannah, Kagi, Ginzo, Stephen, Grace.
While the family was in internment camp, the Department of Agriculture confiscated and sold the family's farm equipment. Their trucks were left behind because the family had sealed the tires in a basement. Uncle Sab and Uncle Henry took leave and went to the farm to drive the trucks to a friend in Colorado, but they were stopped by local police. Although they were released a couple of days later, they weren't able to deliver the trucks. So, Yoshinao asked for a leave to settle this business and visit the family at Gila Rivers. There, he was reunited with an old girlfriend. They married a year later. That is one silver lining Uncle Yosh talked about from this era.
|The caption on the Online Archive of California reads:|
"Mr. G. Nakada of Azusa, California states he has had no difficulty
selling his products. He is the father of 11 children,
7 of them serving in the U.S. Army." photo by H. Iwasaki.
|photo by H. Iwasaki.|
Dad is in the hat and striped shirt.
|photo by H. Iwasaki.|
Dad rarely smiled for the camera, but here you see his charming grin.
In 1945, the family returned to their farm in Azusa. These photographs, part of the UC Berkeley Bancroft Library, show how well this Japanese American family adjusted once they were back home. My dad, however, doesn't really remember it that way. He got into fights whenever someone called him a Jap, and he fought quite a bit.
There is much being written right now about FDR's Executive Order 9066 and comparing these injustices to our country's current shifting immigration policy. In the Japanese American community we like to say, "Never forget" and "Never again." This is just one family's story, and I hope we will do all we can to hold up the promise of "Never again."