Life Behind Barbed Wire: The World War II Internment Memoirs of a Hawai'i Issei

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by Yasutaro Soga

An exceptional firsthand account of the incarceration of a Hawaii Japanese during World War II. On the evening of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Soga the editor of a Japanese-language newspaper, was arrested along with several hundred other prominent Issei (Japanese immigrants) in Hawaii. After being held for six months on Sand Island, Soga was transferred to an army camp in Lordsburg, New Mexico, and later to a Justice Department camp in Santa Fe. He would spend just under four years in custody before returning to Hawaii in the months following the end of the war.

Most of what has been written about the detention of Japanese Americans focuses on the Nisei experience of mass internment on the West Coast - largely because of the language barrier immigrant writers faced. This translation, therefore, presents us with a rare Issei voice on internment, and Soga's opinions challenge many commonly held assumptions about Japanese Americans during the war regarding race relations, patriotism, and loyalty.

Printed in the USA. Softcover. 255 pages. Includes appendixes listing number of internees sent to mainland, status of Japanese at Santa Fe Camp as of August 10, 1944, as well as listing of internees by name.




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