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Internment camps

Terry Ishihara
Spring 2015

Terry Ishihara ’49—“You can’t be happy and bitter”

As a teen in Tacoma, Terry (Teruo) Ishihara had his life planned out. The oldest child in his family, he was going to take over his father’s laundry business.

That all changed in the summer of 1942 when he and more than 150,000 people of Japanese ancestry living on the west coast were imprisoned as the United States entered World War II.

More than seven decades later, Ishihara clearly recalls the particulars of his internment, including names of fellow prisoners and a prized comic book collection that he had to leave behind. He recounts the nightmarish details without rancor. “You can’t be happy and bitter,’’ … » More …

Looking like the Enemy cover
Spring 2015

Looking Like the Enemy: Japanese Mexicans, the Mexican State, and US Hegemony, 1897-1945

Looking Like the Enemy: Japanese Mexicans, the Mexican State, and US Hegemony, 1897-1945 by Jerry Garcia '99 PhD
Jerry García ’99 PhD

The University of Arizona Press, 2014

Eizi Matuda and his wife Miduho Kaneko de Matuda were Japanese immigrants who had become Mexican citizens and had lived there for 20 years when agents of the Mexican government came to their home to relocate them. However, unlike thousands of Japanese Americans and some Japanese Mexicans who were relocated during World War II, the Matudas were not forced to move. Instead, local Chiapas leaders vouched for their loyalty … » More …

Nikkei Baseball
Winter 2014

Nikkei Baseball: Japanese American Players from Immigration and Internment to the Major Leagues

Nikkei Baseball

Samuel O. Regalado ’83 MA, ’87 PhD
University of Illinois Press, 2013

Since Sam Regalado received his doctorate in history in 1987, he has established himself as one of the leading authorities on the history of baseball and the Hispanic population in the United States. Now a professor at California State University Stanislaus, Regalado has penned an eminently readable history on how baseball helped Americans of Japanese descent construct an identity.

Regalado’s interest in … » More …

Spring 2012

Gallery: Life at Heart Mountain internment camp

George Hirahara and his family, including Frank ’48, had their lives in Yakima disrupted in 1942 when they were forced to relocate with about 10,000 other Japanese Americans to Heart Mountain, Wyoming.

Frank’s daughter Patti Hirahara has shared a number of items with Washington State University from her family’s internment experience. They include about 2,000 photographs and negatives, many of them showing daily life at Heart Mountain.

The gallery below shows a few scenes from the Heart Mountain internment camp: celebrations, school days, sports events, and daily routines.

The complete collection is housed at WSU’s Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, where students, scholars, and descendants … » More …

Internment camp children photo by Frank Hirahara
Spring 2012

A Hidden History

In 1992, Frank Hirahara ’48 sent his daughter Patti to Yakima to help his elderly parents pack up their home for their move to Southern California.

What had at first seemed a chore turned into a treasure hunt as Patti unearthed letters, photographs, and official records that chronicled her family’s experience as Japanese Americans who had spent World War II in an internment camp. “These things were hidden all around the house,” she says. She discovered notes in the buffet, letters in the kitchen cupboard, and photo negatives tucked into books.

Frank’s grandfather Motokichi Hirahara came to Washington from Wakayama Prefecture in Japan in 1909. … » More …