by Dave Skylark (David Lee 8B)
The Interview with Keiko Okabe
Dave: Hello everyone welcome to Skylark Tonight with your host, Dave Skylark. As you can see, I am a comedian who does comical interviews to embarrass celebrities all around the world. It’s my job and I try my best with my producer Aaron Rapoport. But today I wanted to take my interviews seriously, and I wanted to bring them up to the next level. Therefore, we have an exclusive interview with a victim of the War between the U.S. and Japan during World War II. She is a very brave woman who had the painful experience of living in camps, and she was separated from her first love. Please welcome, Keiko Okabe!
Keiko: Thank You Dave. It’s a pleasure to meet you.
Dave: I know it is, and it is nice to meet you too. So lets start to the parts where everyone wants to know. How was the food in the camps?
Keiko: Well Dave, the food was okay considering that we had to eat anything we were served.
Dave: How did it feel when you and your family had to evacuate your homes and leave everything behind?
Keiko: It was very sad and depressing because I didn’t understand why I had to vacate, because I am an American.
Dave: By the way, where did you leave all your things behind? I heard some Japanese people had to burn their possessions down to be untraceable for the war, including photos, clothes, and other personal belongings.
Keiko: Well, I had left many memorable and valuable things behind in the Panama hotel. I remember, right before I left I gave photos of my family that I was supposed to throw out, to my friend and my first love Henry. He hid them for me.
Dave: Oh, who is this Henry you speak of? Was he your first love that you were separated from when you were a child?
Keiko: Yes he was the one. I met him when I was in the sixth grade. We were twelve and I was the new student at Rainier Elementary. Henry had a scholarship. He was a boy from China that was very brave and Skinny. He was my first dear friend at school.
Dave: Oh, that all makes sense now. Anyways, I heard you were quite the jazz fan. What was one of your favorite artists? Songs?
Keiko: Yes that is very true. I love jazz. Henry and I really liked the Black Elk’s club. We had great memories there. Oscar Holden, and Henry’s friend Sheldon were some of my favorite artists. My favorite song has to be the song Mr. Holden played for Henry and me: “The Ally Cat Strut”.
Dave: Wow, so he played a song for you, I feel like such a loser. No one ever played a song for me. Anyways, how did it feel with all the bullies in America treating you unfairly just because of your looks of being Japanese?
Keiko: Oh Don’t be so harsh on yourself Dave. One day you will get your song. The bullying did feel bad. Like I said, I am an American, and I didn’t deserve to be treated the way I did.
Dave: Wow you are a very strong and independent woman. How did you make it through the harsh living conditions of the camp?
Keiko: Well I always tried to bring out the best of things, obviously I’ve been through a lot, but it’s life, and I had to overcome it to live happy.
Dave: Wow. Inspiring. Just Inspiring. Now that all this time has passed, how are you and Henry know? Do you guys still talk?
Keiko: Actually, we recently met up! Thanks for asking. We talked after a long while. Henry is a great man.
Dave: Do you think you and Henry could have possibly been married if your letters have been delivered properly?
Keiko: Honestly, I’m not sure what might have happened to me. Honestly anything could have happened. Maybe we weren’t meant to be for marriage. Maybe we were. It was the event that never happened.
Dave: By the way, how come your letters were never delivered?
Keiko: Henry’s father made sure that the letters weren’t sent or received. Henry found out after his father had caught a stroke. Even though it was petty sad how we lost contact, but Henry’s father wanted the best for him.
Dave: That’s very nice of you to say that. Now, lets talk more about your hobbies. I heard you are quite the artist. What is in your precious sketchbook? Is there anything that represents you?
Keiko: Well I draw to express myself and how I’m feeling. I always loved to draw. I always loved art. Drawings of my expressions are in my sketchbook.
Dave: Well that’s great. You are an inspiration to us all. Do you have any advice for the youngsters watching at home?
Keiko: Just be yourself, never change who you are, and if you are ever going through a hard time, just remember that you will overcome it, and a positive change will happen. After every dark night, there is a bright morning.
Dave: (chuckles) That was the most corny and cliché answer I have ever heard. Are you serious? That’s like a fat five-year-old saying “live to eat, don’t eat to live”
Keiko: Well I’m sorry Dave; I didn’t know you would become so ignorant.
Dave: Well than. Anyways I have a few more questions. What is your favorite food?
Keiko: I like anything that is healthy.
Dave: BORING, anyways last question. What do you think about modern technology?
Keiko: Well thank you for being rude, and I think that technology has improved throughout time tremendously that right now, anything can be made.
Dave: Again Cliché, but it was a pleasure meeting you!
Keiko: It was a pleasure for me as well Mr. Skylark. Hopefully you can mature after I leave.
Meet the one and only Keiko Okabe. She witnessed all the harsh living conditions of the camps the Japanese had to live in. The sad part was, she wasn't even Japanese! She was American. She is an inspiration to us all.
The Evacuation of the Japanese
This is what the Japanese had to go through. Some people burned their own property such as clothes, houses, beds, etc. Many people were even accused for being spies!