On this “Day of Remembrance” for the Japanese Internment Camps, I remember my mom and her family as well as all the other families that had to endure this hardship. I understand now that with their courage and self sacrifice it paved the way for all Japanese Americans as well as any Asians here in America. I can’t imagine the fortitude of all these families coming back after the war to prejudice, having lost homes and land, lost income, and most of all lost pride. I know how hard all these families fought to regain that pride and make a good life for their children. So many people…especially other Asians don’t realize, without these contributions it would have been a much tougher road ahead to be assimilated into American society. If there was no 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team or Military Intelligence Service Japanese linguist to prove their loyalty, it may have set us back for years to come. In the face of injustice the Japanese American people stood strong and in their communities for years to come.
Now in 2017, with so many controversies surrounding the President and his policies, I can only think of my mom who was quiet and never very outspoken. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks she was so angered that American people were thinking of rounding up a group for their race or religion. She kept saying, “That’s not right!” in about as angry a tone as you could get from a 95lb, 4’10 lady. She never much talked about the camps, but in those few weeks I understood how much it had affected her and the lives of her fellow Japanese Americans.
With this in mind I proudly announce a book that is a personal passion project. The Go for Broke Spirit: Portraits of Courage is a portrait book of some of the Japanese Americans who fought in WWII. They are portraits of Japanese men who fought for their country when their country did not fight for them. Some came from Hawaii, others from “interment” or concentration camps on the mainland. Many didn’t even like each other, however they came together to form the 442nd, the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in US military history. With the political climate in America the way it is, I feel it is an important time for this book. I hope that these portraits and the personal stories help gain interest in this project. That these Japanese Americans inspire you to learn a little more about this segment of American history and how a group came together. With an even more important lesson of how we need to remember the past to not make the same mistakes in the future.
I ask you the question, “Would you fight for a country that took away your constitutional rights and put your family in prison?”