Japanese Internment Project
By: Audie Moore and Noah Edwards
My name is Yoshi Uratsu and I am going to show you my personal experience in dealing with the aftermath of Pearl Harbor.
Life Before Pearl Harbor
As you can see from the picture, I was just part of a normal family and me and other Japanese people were trying to chase the american dream. I grew up differently from some american children, as I was put in a closet for disciplinary actions (1). At that age, most of my friends in the neighborhood were Japanese people, but I still had some Caucasian friends (2). Even though we lived in America, we were still adamant about keeping our Japanese culture (3). I was never teased based on my heritage by others, because I lived in a town that had a segregated section for Japanese people, but that started to change immediately after Pearl Harbor.
Where I Lived
As I said before, I lived in mainly lived with other Japanese Children. Everyone in out neighborhood though of ourselves as Americans and reacted like a typical american would. From my personal experience, the majority of Caucasian people understood that we were just typical Americans and not at fault. While I didn't face any persecution, one of my relatives, who lived in a less segregated area, said that he felt like all the Caucasian people were examining him all the time and was teased constantly (4).
I was taught by my family when the executive order of 1906 came in to not question authority (5) . I was naive at the time and didn't really fully grasp what was going on. I was mainly concerned with what was going to happen to my mom (6). It was overwhelming in a way, because the notice happened so quick.
Luggage and Businesses
You were only allowed to bring a limited amount of items to Pearl Harbor (7). I brought The Bible, another book to read for fun, and a lot of clothes (8). I didn't really have room for too many more items (9) . As a result of Pearl Harbor, many people were forced to close their businesses unexpectedly (10). My cousin's business ended up being closed and eventually sold to another man, and he didn't get a dime for it (11).
I ended up taking a train ride to Heart Mountain, which was the internment camp I went to (12) . Many others that I knew had to take a crowded bus. The train was full of fellow Japanese-american citizens and military personal that were going to the camp and watching us (13). There was no place to lie down, as we had to sleep propped up in our seats (14). There was nothing to control temperature, so it could have been really hot or cold on the train at any given time (15). Overall, it was very crowded and an unpleasant experience.
Conditions of the Camp
At camp, me and all of my family members lived in one single room, in total that is nine people (16). The beds that were there were made out of pure steel and very uncomfortable to lie on (17). I was forced to work at a milking station, since there were mothers who needed milk for their babies (18). There was no way of staying connected to the outside world from in here, and there was no chance to express yourself through art (19). The food there was atrocious, and there was a lack of it (20). It obviously was one of the worst experiences of my life.