A Child in Prison Camp by Shizuye Takashima

By Shizuye Takashima

When Shizuye Takashima, "Shichan" as she was once known as, used to be 11 years outdated, her whole global replaced without end. As a Japanese-Canadian in 1941, she was once between millions of individuals compelled from their houses and despatched to dwell in internment camps within the Canadian Rockies. even if none were convicted of any crime, they have been thought of the enemy as the kingdom was once at conflict with Japan. during this precise tale of disappointment and pleasure, Shichan remembers her existence within the days top as much as her family's compelled circulate to the camp, her worry, anger, and frustration because the warfare drags on, and the fantastic joys within the camp: a Kabuki play, vacation celebrations, and the ever present fantastic thing about the stars.

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I hear Mr. Kono talking to my father. “It’s a blessing our children are healthy and do not mind this. Imagine eating by candlelight. C. Security Commission again. We won’t give in. ” Mr. ” Father’s voice is impatient: “They will have to. ” A strike is called Tonight father returns home angry. He tells us this story: “The men who are disabled or too old to work have been getting twenty-three dollars a month from the Provincial Government. They were told from now on they must pay eleven dollars monthly rent for their shacks.

She does not speak; she goes to bed. Mother ignores her. I too creep into bed. I touch my sister’s feet. She draws away and turns her head. I can hear someone crying. It’s muffled. I remain still. I hear the wild dogs howl. The owls screech in the wilderness. They add to the awful feeling in our house. I long to be with the owls, the wild animals, away from all this. I wish I were older, then I could go away. At last, slowly, sleep overtakes me and I soar into another happier world. 3 School October 1942 The strike does not last long.

The Tartar comes to life, hands me splendid jewels to be placed around my hair. He takes my hand and guides me gently into the garden. I am not afraid as I reach for another world. 4 Winter 1942 We must walk over a mile into the village for our drinking water. The water from the lake is not pure, and we are told not to drink it, even if it is boiled. There is an old mine up in the mountains, not far from New Denver. It is closed now, but during the time it was open, the miners threw all their waste into the stream which gushes down the mountains into Lake Slocan.

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