Life Behind Barbed Wire
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
This book, Life behind Barbed Wire, is a daily record of Soga's internment experiences. In his preface, he writes: "In what follows I have tried to record my observations and experiences as truthfully, fairly, and simply as possible." Regarding his description of internee life, Soga more often wrote about what he saw than what he felt. However, one can gain some...
The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i (JCCH) and its Resource Center, for assistance and support. The following individual Resource Center volunteers: Yaeko Habein for checking the accuracy of the translation against the original text; Florence Sugimoto for proofing the grammar and writing; and Shigeyuki Yoshitake for verifying the accuracy of names...
During the Second World War two dramatically different scenarios confronted persons of Japanese ancestry in the United States and the territories of Alaska and Hawai'i. Many knowledgeable Americans now understand that in the continental United States and Alaska, their resident persons of Japanese ancestry, identified as the Nikkei, became involuntary victims of...
After four years, I returned to this green island in the Pacific Ocean from the snowy mountains of Santa Fe. The differences between this world near sea level and where I had been, 7,500 feet above the sea and surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, were never so apparent to me than upon my return. Honolulu seems to have changed much, but I truly...
1. THE BOMBING OF PEARL HARBOR
"Like a thunderbolt out of the blue" literally describes the news of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. Near the end of 1941, the situation between Japan and the United States had become serious, but most of the people in Hawaii believed something would be done at the last moment and war would be avoided. This was the thinking not only of Japanese here, but...
2. SAND ISLAND DETENTION CAMP
Sand Island lies just a short distance away from Honolulu. From the pier, we walked for about thirty minutes before we were lined up in front of the barracks. The 35th U.S. Army Regiment Commander, who was responsible for the security of the area, addressed us: "The United States and Japan are at war. I am aware of the outstanding characteristics...
3. THE VOYAGE TO THE MAINLAND
We remained in port for one night before leaving Honolulu on the SS Matsonia at 2:30 on the afternoon of the seventh. The commander in charge of our transportation was Colonel Craig and our spokesman was the Reverend Keizo Miura, a Nisei. Both proved to be responsible and efficient. I understand that the treatment of internees and conditions...
4. SCENERY SEEN FROM A TRAIN WINDOW
About one hundred and forty of us left Angel Island at four o'clock in the afternoon on August 27, 1942. As usual we were not told of our destination. I felt I did not care where I went. Following the example of those before me, I left my graffito mark in a corner of the room before leaving: "So we are Japs. Let us stomp defiant over sea and...
5. LORDSBURG CAMP
As we approached the camp gate, the third and fourth groups from Hawaii, having arrived earlier, gathered to greet us. I nearly wept for joy at being reunited with the following old friends: Mr. Kango Kawasaki, Mr. Sadato Morifuji, Mr. Tokuji Adachi, Rev. Shunsei Shiratori, Mr. Shin Yoshida, Rev. Sutekichi Osumi, Mr. Ryoichi Tanaka, Mr. Takegoro Kusao...
6. SANTA FE CAMP
The official order to move to Santa Fe Camp was issued on June 10, 1943. The first group was comprised of 350 internees, all of the second battalion's fifth through seventh regiments and several members of the eighth. They left on Monday the fourteenth. The second group of 350 included the remaining members of the eighth regiment and all of the...
7. RETURN TO HAWAII
As we were driven out of the barbed-wire enclosure of Santa Fe Camp, the relief we felt showed in our faces. I inhaled deep breaths of freedom for the first time in four years. Of course we were not entirely free yet. Until our release from custody and the designation "internee" was struck from our records, we were still subject to many restrictions. In this way, life...
Three years have passed since those of us who were sent to camps on the Mainland returned to Hawaii. This book stems from a series of articles I wrote for the Hawaii Times from January to July 1946. I received encouragement for these pieces as well as criticism. (Some readers felt I had been too candid.) However, many friends advised me to publish the articles in...
Publication Year: 2008
OCLC Number: 251640295
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