Internment – Time of Remembrance – Marielle Tsukamoto
First-Hand Accounts of the Japanese American Internment Experience. It is our hope that these stories will build on the work and legacy of the late Mary Tsukamoto, who devoted her life to promoting social justice for all, regardless of race, creed, or ethnicity.
Marielle Tsukamoto Interview
Marielle shares her perspective on the impact of the internment years on her family and the Florin community during and following the war years – along with memories of “unsung heros.”
00:00 – Introduction
00:18 – Clip 1: Marielle remembers pre Pearl Harbor tensions and the day of Pearl Harbor. She briefly shares the experience of receiving the news while at church. She retells a story of a stroke victim who committed suicide. Marielle recalls the candlelight service on December 7th and the religious message from the pastor. Her mother helped the community understand the details to Executive Order 9066. Her mother had to deliver the message to community member that her disabled son would not be permitted in a camp.
06:32 – Clip 2: Marielle states that there were many rumors after Pearl Harbor. Her grandfather burned and buried precious family heirlooms from Japan so as not to be perceived as loyal to Japan. Marielle talks about the land and property issues.
10:53 – Clip 3: Marielle comforts her grandmother crying in family garden. Conditions in camp were very harsh and the death rate was higher in camps. Farmers had to leave at peak of season, many lost their homes and property.
16:16 – Clip 4: Train ride to Fresno was long and difficult. Lucky to be housed in temporary barracks, her family avoided living in horse stables. No one knew their destination on the night train ride; the public was unaware that Japanese were being moved through the area.
20:33 – Clip 5: Citizens of Arkansas were jealous of the Jerome compound’s amenities. Camp life was hot and humid with many snakes and bugs. Marielle discribes camp life; bathrooms, mess hall, no sidewalks, no streetlights all made for horrible living conditions. Her greatest fear was getting lost.
28:00 – Clip 6: Schools were open for older students first because there were very few teachers initially. Her father was in charge of the rec hall for block nine. Her mother was in charge of YWCA program for the whole month.
30:37 – Clip 7: The 442 was an all Japanese segregated unit.This unit included Hawaiian Japanese and Californian Japanese. Initially, there was a clash between their two cultures. The 442 had a 319% casualty rate and one of the most highly decorated unit in American history.
37:52 – Clip 8: 442nd military unit created. Discord between Hawaiian and mainland Japanese American soldiers and how they became one unit. Merging of the 442nd and the 100th battalion. The many battles and hardships they faced as well as how they distinguished themselves as the most decorated battalion in U.S. history.
47:06 – Clip 9: Japanese Americans and their loyalty in camp. Dissention between the Japanese Americans in camp.
56:27 – Clip 10: Going back to Florin, California after the war ended. Marielle’s family was able to go back to their farm and their family supported other Japanese American families who needed assistance.
59:02 – Clip 11: Marielle shares lessons we can from history and her take on how Americans should speak out so that we don’t repeat history.
1:02:25 – Clip 12: Marielle talks about the people that helped. The upstanders.
1:07:42 – Credits
To learn more about the Time Remembrance Project, please visit: http://blogs.egusd.net/tor/
For more information about the Vietnam War, please visit:http://blogs.egusd.net/tor/interviews/vietnam-war/