On the Impact of the Camp Experience

Transcripts available in the following languages:

I was interned with my family—first at the Santa Anita racetrack as a wee babe, then at Heart Mountain in Wyoming, and then at Tule Lake in northern California. […] I was so young at the time. I have some very limited memory of some experiences there. It’s not really that so much, but the whole environment of the family coming back and the difficult times that everyone had, and then learning more about it, and the sort of silence that prevailed about it. Except for with references to “before camp” or “after camp”—things were always in terms of “before camp” or “after camp”—people didn’t talk about the internal [sic: internment] experience very much, but you just got a sense of it, and I certainly did, and I think it had a significant impact on my worldview to have been part of that, to have been excluded just because I was of Japanese heritage. My parents and I were American citizens. So it did influence my thinking.

Date: July 10, 2012
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Lawrence Lan
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum; Japanese American Bar Association

camp heart mountain identity incarceration santa anita tule lake World War II

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