Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The history fair

We've spent the last few days working hard on A's display for the local homeschool history fair. She did a display on the Japanese Internment Camps of WWII. This wasn't just a piece of history, but a piece of her family history.

At the fair people walked around and looked at the booths and received a stamp for each time period. One man read A's entire display and then gushed at her at how she was to be commended for doing such a neat display on her family history. That man's my new best friend. He made me totally feel like all our hard work was worth it!





If you'd like to know what the little bits of info say, keep reading. :)

My great-grandpa , George was born in California in 1917. He was raised in Japan by relatives and came back to California in 1935.


My great grandpa is a nisei. He was born in America. His parents are issei. They came to America from Japan.

He couldn’t speak English. He worked as a dishwasher, a strawberry picker and went to school.
He lived in California and started a produce stand with a friend. His friend had a daughter in Japan that he said Grandpa should marry and she was coming on a boat from Japan.


December 7, 1941 The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor,Hawaii. So his friend’s daughter’s boat was sent back to Japan.

Another friend knew a family who were planning to go back to Japan. But the boat didn’t come because of Pearl Harbor’s attack. In January 1942 grandpa was introduced to Matsuye Takusagawa, who couldn’t go back to Japan because the ship didn’t arrive.

February 9, 1942 President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 to make camps for people of Japanese heritage.

The US government set up internment camps in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, North Dakota, New Mexico, Texas, Utah Arizona and Arkansas.

March 1, 1942 Grandpa learned that even though he was an American citizen he would have to go to camp. Between 110,000 and 120,000 Japanese Americans were sent to camps.


This is a picture of the sign that told the Japanese they had to go to camps.


Japanese Americans were moved off the West Coast because the US was afraid they would spy for Japan. During the war, 10 people were caught for spying but they were not Japanese.
Before they went to camp, Grandpa owned two grocery stores. He didn’t know how long he would be at camp, so he tried to sell them. But everyone knew he was going to camp, so they didn’t buy it because they could just take it when he was gone.

March 28, 1942 Grandpa and Grandma got married so they could go to camp together.
They could move east of the Rockies or go to camp, but since they didn’t know anyone east of the Rockies they went to camp.

They could only take what they could carry. There other things were put into storage. The things in storage were stolen while they were at the camp.

Grandpa went to Turlock, California Assembly Center with Grandma, her three sisters and her mom. They lived there for 6 months and were bored.

Nisan means head of the family and that’s what they called grandpa.

They lived all together in one 12 by 20 foot room that only had beds. They had to make furniture with scrap lumber or boxes.

Next they were moved to Gila, AZ. Grandpa laid flooring in the barracks. He made model ships for the Navy and camouflage nets for the Army. The women helped cook and serve food. they made 16 dollars a month.

In camps they were asked a two question test: 1. Would you fight for America? 2. Are you against the Japanese emperor? Grandpa said yes to both. But he knew someone who said no, and they were sent back to Japan.

This is a picture of the Gila River, Arizona internment camp.


In the camps they had small rooms, cots and sugar, even though sugar was rationed everywhere else.


This is a picture of the houses they lived in at camp.

Pat Morita, who is an actor from the Karate Kid movies, lived at the Gila River camp, too.

After 2 years in Gila, Grandpa left for Omaha, Nebraska to look for a job. He lived in a YMCA and worked as a carpenter. Then he went to work for a small company, called Oriental Trading Company, making $20 per week. He went and got Grandma from camp and they settled in Omaha.

In Omaha, they had a hard time finding a place to live because they were Japanese.

March 1, 1942 Grandpa learned that even though he was an American citizen he would have to go to camp. Between 110,000 and 120,000 Japanese Americans were sent to camps.
In 1988, President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 which gave each surviving Japanese American who’d lived in the camps $20,000.

This is my great grandpa and grandma at their 65th wedding anniversary party.


This is my grandpa, dad and great grandpa.
I got the information for this display from the internet and my great grandpa.

6 comments:

~*~ Jennifer ~*~ said...

OOhhh... this almost made me cry.

Before they went to camp, Grandpa owned two grocery stores. He didn’t know how long he would be at camp, so he tried to sell them. But everyone knew he was going to camp, so they didn’t buy it because they could just take it when he was gone.

Excellent job "A"! I pray you learned a LOT from this project, and will remember MUCH!

Mary (craft addict) said...

A did an amazing job on her project!

Melissa said...

What a great job and I love the picture of the 3 men!!!

Cathe said...

Adrienne, that is WONDERFUL! A really excellent project. It's a good thing to know your family history.

WELL DONE!!!!

Beth said...

GREAT JOB!!

And Ange! Finally a full pic of your hubby! Did he try to get out of this one too? LOL!

Debi said...

I am such a blonde! lol When I first started reading, I thought YOU were writing about your 'great grandpa George going to Japan' and I was like, "What? I didn't know that." lol But, the more I read, I realized A was writing it...duh! lol

What a great job she did! How awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Debi