By Louis Fiset
“Please don’t cry,” wrote Iwao Matsushita to his spouse Hanaye, telling her he was once to be interned at some stage in the battle. He was once imprisoned in castle Missoula, Montana, and he or she used to be incarcerated on the Minidoka Relocation heart in southwestern Idaho. Their separation might proceed for greater than years.
Imprisoned Apart is the poignant tale of a tender instructor and his bride who got here to Seattle from Japan in 1919 in order that he could learn English language and literature, and who stayed to make a house. at the evening of December 7, 1941, the FBI knocked on the Matsushitas’ door and took Iwao away, first to penitentiary on the Seattle Immigration Stateion after which, through certain educate, home windows sealed and guards on the doorways, to Montana. He used to be thought of an enemy alien, “potentially harmful to public safety,” as a result of his jap start associations.
The tale of Iwao Matsushita’s selection to transparent his identify and be reunited together with his spouse, and of Hanaye Matsushita’s becoming confusion and depression, unfolds of their correspondence, offered right here in complete. Their playing cards and letters, so much written in jap, a few in English whilst censors insisted, supplied us with the 1st examine existence within fortress Missoula, one of many Justice Department’s wartime camp for enemy extraterrestrial beings. simply because Iwao was once fluent in either English and eastern, his communications are continuously articulate, even lyrical, if restricted. Hanaye communicated in short and awkwardly in English, extra totally and brazenly in Japanese.
Fiset offers a so much affecting human tale and is helping us to learn among the traces, to appreciate what was once taking place to this light, delicate pair. Hanaye suffered the emotional torment of disruption and displacement from every little thing secure and regularly occurring. Iwao, a scholarly guy who, regardless of his imprisonment, didn't falter in his committment to his followed nation, suffered the ignominity of suspicion of being disloyal. After the conflict, he labored as a subject matter professional on the college of Washington’s a long way jap Library and served as imperative of Seattle’s jap Language university, devoted to the japanese American neighborhood until eventually his loss of life in 1979.
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Additional resources for Imprisoned Apart: The World War II Correspondence of an Issei Couple (Scott and Laurie Oki Series in Asian American Studies)
12 In Seattle, FBI agents armed with three-by-five cards containing data on each individual to be apprehended, and assisted by nearly a dozen police officers who had received previous training in search-and-seizure methods, moved systematically through the Japanese community, making arrests and confiscating cameras, shortwave radios, firearms, personal papers, and other belongings. 14 The earliest arrests came without warning. Takeo (Tom) Matsuoka, a farmer in rural Bellevue, east of Seattle, was a member of the Japanese Association of America, an organization included among those on the ONI'S list of the twenty-two groups alleged to be the most actively subversive.
What resulted was an executive arrangement known as the Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907-1908, by which Tokyo agreed to issue no more passports to "laborers" attempting to enter the United States, in exchange for the objectionable school order being rescindedY The agreement, however, failed to stem the flow ofimmigrants because of a loophole permitting issuance of passports to the parents, wives, and children of laborers already living in the country. Immigration actually increased as husbands sent for wives and children and bachelors returned to their native villages to find brides.
The medical staff included two public health physicians, an Italian surgeon, and three Japanese physicians. Inmates filled the ancillary positions and also ran the infirmaries, two twelve-bed facilities located within each compound. 10 Other health services included a pharmacy run by a Japanese pharmacist and dentistry provided by a public health dentist and a contract dentist from Missoula. Several Japanese detainee dentists also volunteered their services, although the dental procedures made available were limited to extractions and dentures.