Kiyo Sato: From a WWII Japanese Internment Camp to a Life of Service
Kiyo Sato: From a WWII Japanese Internment Camp to a Life of Service
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Annotation: Our camp, they tell us, is now to be called a 'relocation center' and not a 'concentration camp.' We are internees, not ... more
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #218176
Format: Library Binding
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Pages: 136
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-541-55901-0
ISBN 13: 978-1-541-55901-1
Dewey: 921
Language: English
ALA Booklist
The eldest of nine children, Kiyo Sato was living on her family's California strawberry farm in 1942 when a government order forced them and other Japanese Americans on the West Coast to abandon their homes and board trains taking them to internment camps. Goldsmith describes the harsh, overcrowded, unsanitary conditions there as well as the courage and dignity that Sato's parents brought to the situation. When Sato was allowed to leave for college, she did, though she missed her family, particularly at Christmas. While the book concentrates on the years during and immediately following WWII, it also traces Sato's life as a nurse in the Korean War and in California schools, while focusing on her tireless, ongoing activism and public speaking related to her family's painful experience of unjustified incarceration based on prejudice and wartime hysteria. Goldsmith's thorough research includes Sato's autobiography and a series of interviews with Sato and with other family members. Illustrations, particularly photos, appear throughout the book. This informative biography sheds light on a dark chapter in American history.
Kirkus Reviews
Illuminates the story of a Japanese American activist’s experiences with internment and her perseverance in rebuilding her life.In 1941, Sato’s family was living near Sacramento, California, on her family’s small but successful farm. Seven of her younger siblings were in school, another was in the U.S. Army, and Sato herself had just entered college. A year later, everything had changed: In February 1942, the U.S. government forced anyone with one-sixteenth or more Japanese ancestry into incarceration camps. In a straightforward and affecting narrative, the authors take readers through a personal journey well embedded in its historical context. The Satos’ experience is recounted alongside the dominant sentiments and political policies of the times. Sidebars further elucidate events, enhanced by photographs and archival documents. One such inset explains the contracting of photographers to paint internment in a positive light. Another examines the euphemistic language used to influence public perceptions of this suspension of civil rights. After the war, Sato pursued a career in nursing in the U.S. Air Force and in public health. A Korean War veteran and president of the Sacramento branch of the Japanese American Citizens League, she has been active as a public speaker, making school visits to educate youth about internment and advocating for human rights. This timely and important story puts a human face on a shameful chapter in American history.A moving, insightful portrait. (foreword, author’s note, family tree, timeline, glossary, source notes, bibliography, further information, index, photo credits) (Biography. 12-16)
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ALA Booklist (6/1/20)
Reading Level: 8.0
Interest Level: 7-12

Our camp, they tell us, is now to be called a 'relocation center' and not a 'concentration camp.' We are internees, not prisoners. Here's the truth: I am now a non-alien, stripped of my constitutional rights. I am a prisoner in a concentration camp in my own country. I sleep on a canvas cot under which is a suitcase with my life's belongings: a change of clothes, underwear, a notebook and pencil. Why?--Kiyo Sato In 1941 Kiyo Sato and her eight younger siblings lived with their parents on a small farm near Sacramento, California, where they grew strawberries, nuts, and other crops. Kiyo had started college the year before when she was eighteen, and her eldest brother, Seiji, would soon join the US Army. The younger children attended school and worked on the farm after class and on Saturday. On Sunday, they went to church. The Satos were an ordinary American family. Until they weren't. On December 7, 1941, Japan bombed the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The next day, US president Franklin Roosevelt declared war on Japan and the United States officially entered World War II. Soon after, in February and March 1942, Roosevelt signed two executive orders which paved the way for the military to round up all Japanese Americans living on the West Coast and incarcerate them in isolated internment camps for the duration of the war. Kiyo and her family were among the nearly 120,000 internees. In this moving account, Sato and Goldsmith tell the story of the internment years, describing why the internment happened and how it impacted Kiyo and her family. They also discuss the ways in which Kiyo has used her experience to educate other Americans about their history, to promote inclusion, and to fight against similar injustices. Hers is a powerful, relevant, and inspiring story to tell on the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. -- "Journal"

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