"A Farewell To Manazanar", Written By Jeanne Wakatsuki And James Houston

855 words - 3 pages

A Farewell to Manazanar, written by Jeanne Wakatsuki and James Houston begins in a pre-war United States when racial tension between Caucasian Americans and there Japanese counter parts was at a relative low. The story itself is about Jeanne Wakatsuki and her family and the hardships they had to contend with during and after the Second World War. Her parents are first generation Japanese immigrants who have emigrated from Hiroshima, Japan to the United States. The children themselves were born in the United States and so, are citizens of their land. The story begins on a weekend in December 1941 when her father and brother depart for work one morning and are turned back Coast Guard boats because of the shocking announcement that the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor. This breaking news that her parent's native country has bombed the country they call home comes as a great surprise to Jeannie and the rest of her family, with the exception of her father (Japanese Immigrant) Ko Wakatsuki. After America becomes involved in World War Two, her father is arrested on false charges for selling oil to the Japanese submarines of the coast of Long Beach. This sparks the beginning of their four year head ache and the up hill battle they will fight to survive in a homeland which denies its citizens equal opportunity based on the color their skin and the origin of their blood. In this violation of civil rights the family is forced to move from their home to Terminal Island, where the oldest son Woody lives. Eventually, President Roosevelt issues an executive order authorizing the interment of all Japanese Americans into large camps (prisons). After much struggle the family is sent to one of these camps in the middle of the dessert, called Manzanar. It is here that they will call home for the next few years. With out there father for the first few months, Jeannie's mother leads the family and keeps their eyes set on a blue horizon in the vain hope of overcoming this obstacle in life. Soon after this, Jeannie's father joins them, but his imprisonment has left him very bitter and resentful about this god forsaken situation (rightfully justified). It is under these circumstances that Jeannie's life unfolds to the realities of nation divided and at war. For the internees of Manzanar, this disgraceful chapter of their lives sparks a lot of anger toward their "so called nation" and the obligation they hold to nation that...

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