Найдите свой следующий любимый книге

Станьте участником сегодня и читайте бесплатно в течение 30 дней
Farewell to Manzanar

Farewell to Manzanar

Читать отрывок

Farewell to Manzanar

4/5 (22 оценки)
171 pages
2 hours
Apr 29, 2002


During World War II a community called Manzanar was hastily created in the high mountain desert country of California, east of the Sierras. Its purpose was to house thousands of Japanese American internees. One of the first families to arrive was the Wakatsukis, who were ordered to leave their fishing business in Long Beach and take with them only the belongings they could carry. For Jeanne Wakatsuki, a seven-year-old child, Manzanar became a way of life in which she struggled and adapted, observed and grew. For her father it was essentially the end of his life.

At age thirty-seven, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston recalls life at Manzanar through the eyes of the child she was. She tells of her fear, confusion, and bewilderment as well as the dignity and great resourcefulness of people in oppressive and demeaning circumstances. Written with her husband, Jeanne delivers a powerful first-person account that reveals her search for the meaning of Manzanar.

Farewell to Manzanar has become a staple of curriculum in schools and on campuses across the country. Last year the San Francisco Chronicle named it one of the twentieth century’s 100 best nonfiction books from west of the Rockies.

First published in 1973, this new edition of the classic memoir of a devastating Japanese American experience includes an inspiring afterword by the authors. 

Apr 29, 2002

Об авторе

Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston was born in Inglewood, California, in 1934. She studied sociology and journalism at San Jose State University, where she met her husband and cowriter of her memoir Farewell to Manzanar, James D. Houston. For their teleplay for the NBC television drama based on Farewell to Manzanar, they received the prestigious Humanitas Prize. Jeanne’s widely anthologized essays and short stories were first collected in Beyond Manzanar: Views of Asian American Womanhood. Her works have earned numerous honors, including a United States-Japan Cultural Exchange Fellowship; a Rockefeller Foundation residence at Bellagio, Italy; and a 1984 Wonder Woman Award, given to women over forty who have made outstanding achievements in pursuit of truth and positive social change.  

Связано с Farewell to Manzanar

Похоже на «Книги»

Предварительный просмотр книги

Farewell to Manzanar - Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston


Title Page





A Chronology

Terms Used in This Book


Part 1

What Is Pearl Harbor?

Shikata Ga Nai

A Different Kind of Sand

A Common Master Plan

Almost a Family

Whatever He Did Had Flourish

Fort Lincoln: An Interview


The Mess Hall Bells

The Reservoir Shack: An Aside

Yes Yes No No

Part 2

Manzanar, U.S.A.

Outings, Explorations

In the Firebreak


Free to Go

It’s All Starting Over

Ka-ke, Near Hiroshima: April 1946


A Double Impulse

The Girl of My Dreams

Part 3

Ten Thousand Voices


About the Authors

Connect with HMH on Social Media


Copyright © 1973 by James D. Houston

Afterword copyright © 2002 by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston

All rights reserved. Originally published in hardcover in the United States by Houghton Mifflin, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 1973.

For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to trade.permissions@hmhco.com or to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 3 Park Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10016.


The Library of Congress has cataloged the hardcover edition as follows:

Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki.

Farewell to Manzanar / Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston.

p. cm.

Summary: Farewell to Manzanar; a true story of Japanese American experience during and after the World War II internment [by] Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston

[1. Manzanar War Relocation Center. 2. Japanese Americans—Evacuation and relocation, 1942–1945. 3. World War, 1939–1945—Concentration camps—California.] I. Title.




ISBN 978-0-618-21620-8 hardcover

ISBN 978-1-328-74211-7 paperback

For permission to reprint copyrighted material the authors are grateful to the publishers and copyright proprietors: Harms, Inc., for the lines from Don’t Fence Me In on page 91: © Harms, Inc. Copyright Renewed. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission of Warner Bros. Music. Mills Music, Inc., for the lines from Girl of My Dreams on pages 162 and 163: Copyright 1927 by Mills Music, Inc. Copyright Renewed 1955. Used By Permission.

Excerpt from Viet Nam Poems, reprinted from Call Me By My True Names (1999) by Thich Nhat Hanh with permission from Parallax Press, Berkeley, California. www.parallax.org

eISBN 978-0-547-52861-8


to the memory of Ko and Riku Wakatsuki and Woodrow M. Wakatsuki


When we first considered writing a book about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War Two, we told a New York writer friend about the idea. He said, It’s a dead issue. These days you can hardly get people to read about a live issue. People are issued out.

I know it, my husband said. I’m issued out myself. The issue isn’t what we want to write about. Everybody knows an injustice was done. How many know what actually went on inside? If they think anything, they think concentration camps. But that conjures up Poland and Siberia. And these camps weren’t like that at all.

So we set out to write about the life inside one of those camps—Manzanar—where my family spent three and a half years. We began with a tape recorder and an old 1944 yearbook put together at Manzanar High School. It documented the entire camp scene—the graduating seniors, the guard towers, the Judo pavilion, the creeks I used to wade in, my family’s barracks. As the photos brought that world back, I began to dredge up feelings that had lain submerged since the forties. I began to make connections I had previously been afraid to see. It had taken me twenty-five years to reach the point where I could talk openly about Manzanar, and the more I talked, the clearer it became that any book we wrote would have to include a good deal more than day-to-day life inside the compound. To tell what I knew and felt about it would mean telling something about our family before the war, and the years that followed the war, and about my father’s past, as well as my own way of seeing things now. Writing it has been a way of coming to terms with the impact these years have had on my entire life.

To complete this book we have had to rely on a good deal besides my own recollections. Many people helped make it possible, more than we can name here. We are especially grateful to all the members of the family who shared their memories, and to these friends: Jack and Mary Takayanagi, Don Tanzawa, and Mary Duffield. We are indebted to the numerous writers and researchers whose works have been indispensable to our own perspective on the period. And we thank the University of California at Santa Cruz for a research grant that made it possible to begin.

Because this is a true story, involving an extraordinary episode in American history, we have included a list of dates and laws we hope will make it easier to follow. It needs some historical context. But this is not political history. It is a story, or a web of stories—my own, my father’s, my family’s—tracing a few paths, out of the multitude of paths that led up to and away from the experience of the internment.

Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Santa Cruz, California, March 1973

A Chronology

1869 The first Japanese to settle on the U.S. mainland arrive at Gold Hill, near Sacramento, California.

1870 U.S. Congress grants naturalization rights to free whites and people of African descent, omitting mention of Asian races.

1886 The Japanese government lifts its ban on emigration, allowing its citizens for the first time to make permanent moves to other countries.

1911 U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization orders that declarations of intent to file for citizenship can only be received from whites and from people of African descent, thus allowing courts to refuse naturalization to the Japanese.

1913 Alien Land Bill prevents Japanese aliens from owning land in California.

1924 Congress passes an Immigration Act stating that no alien ineligible for citizenship shall be admitted to the U.S. This stops all immigration from Japan.

December 7, 1941 Surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.

February 19, 1942 President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, giving the War Department authority to define military areas in the western states and to exclude from them anyone who might threaten the war effort.

March 25, 1942 Evacuees begin to arrive at Manzanar Camp, in Owens Valley, California, the first of the permanent camps to open.

August 12, 1942 Evacuation completed, 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry removed from the West Coast to ten inland camps.

December 18, 1944 U.S. Supreme Court rules that loyal citizens cannot be held in detention camps against their will, the first major step toward the closing of the camps.

August 14, 1945 Japan surrenders, ending World War II.

November 21, 1945 Manzanar Camp officially closes.

June 1952 Congress passes Public Law 414, granting Japanese aliens the right to become naturalized U.S. citizens.

Terms Used in This Book

Issei The first generation. The Issei were born in Japan. Most of them immigrated to the United States between 1890 and 1915.

Nisei The second generation, the children of the Issei. American citizens by birth, almost all Nisei were born before the Second World War.

Sansei The third generation of Americans with Japanese ancestry, most of them born during or after the Second World War.

It is sobering to recall that though the Japanese relocation program, carried through at such incalculable cost in misery and tragedy, was justified on the ground that the Japanese were potentially disloyal, the record does not disclose a single case of Japanese disloyalty or sabotage during the whole war . . .

—Henry Steele Commager, Harper’s Magazine, 1947

Life has left her footprints on my forehead

But I have become a child again this morning

The smile, seen through leaves and flowers, is back, to smooth

Away the wrinkles

As the rains wipe away footprints on the beach. Again a

Cycle of birth and death begins.

—Thich Nhat Hanh, Viet Nam Poems, 1967

Part 1


What Is Pearl Harbor?

ON THAT FIRST WEEKEND IN DECEMBER THERE must have been twenty or twenty-five boats getting ready to leave. I had just turned seven. I remember it was Sunday because I was out of school, which meant I could go down to the wharf and watch. In those days—1941—there was no smog around Long Beach. The water was clean, the sky a sharp Sunday blue, with all the engines of that white sardine fleet puttering up into it, and a lot of yelling, especially around Papa’s boat. Papa loved to give orders. He had attended military school in Japan until the age of seventeen, and part of him never got over that. My oldest brothers, Bill and Woody, were his crew. They would have to check the nets again, and check the fuel tanks again, and run back to the grocery store for some more cigarettes, and then somehow everything had been done, and they were easing away from the wharf, joining the line of boats heading out past the lighthouse, into the harbor.

Papa’s boat was called The Nereid—long, white, low-slung, with a foredeck wheel cabin. He had another smaller boat, called The Waka (a short version of our name), which he kept in Santa Monica, where we lived. But The Nereid was his pride. It was worth about $25,000 before the war, and the way he stood in the cabin steering toward open water you would think the whole fleet was under his command. Papa had a mustache then. He wore knee-high rubber boots, a rust-colored turtleneck Mama had knitted him, and a black skipper’s hat. He liked to hear himself called Skipper.

Through one of the big canneries he had made a deal to pay for The Nereid with percentages of each catch, and he was anxious to get it paid off. He didn’t much like working for someone else if he could help it. A lot of fishermen around San Pedro Harbor had similar contracts with the canneries. In typical Japanese fashion, they all wanted to be independent commercial fishermen, yet they almost always fished together. They would take off from Terminal Island, help each other find the schools of sardine, share nets and radio equipment—competing and cooperating at the same time.

You never knew how long they’d be gone, a couple of days, sometimes a week, sometimes a month, depending on the fish. From the wharf we waved goodbye—my mother, Bill’s wife, Woody’s wife Chizu, and me. We yelled at them to have a good trip, and after they were out of earshot and the sea had swallowed their engine noises, we kept waving. Then we just stood there with the other women, watching. It was a kind of duty, perhaps a way of adding a little good luck to the voyage, or warding off the bad. It was also marvelously warm, almost summery, the way December days can be sometimes in southern California. When the boats came back, the women who lived on Terminal Island would be rushing to the canneries. But for the moment there wasn’t much else to do. We watched until the boats became a row of tiny white gulls on the horizon. Our vigil would end when they slipped over the edge and disappeared. You had to squint against the glare to keep them sighted, and with every blink you expected the last white speck to be gone.

But this time they didn’t disappear. They kept floating out there, suspended, as if the horizon had finally become what it always seemed to be from shore: the sea’s limit, beyond which no man could sail. They floated a while, then they began to grow, tiny gulls becoming boats again, a white armada cruising toward us.

They’re coming back, my mother said.

Why would they be coming back? Chizu said.

Something with the engine.

Maybe somebody got hurt.

"But they wouldn’t all come back," Mama said, bewildered.

Another woman said, Maybe there’s a storm coming.

They all glanced at the sky, scanning the unmarred horizon. Mama shook her head. There was no explanation. No one had ever seen anything like this before. We watched and waited, and when the boats were still about half a mile off the lighthouse, a fellow from the cannery came running down to the wharf shouting that the Japanese had just bombed Pearl Harbor.

Chizu said to Mama, What does he mean? What is Pearl Harbor?

Mama yelled at him, What is Pearl Harbor?

But he was running along the docks, like Paul Revere, bringing the news, and didn’t have time to explain.

That night Papa burned the flag he had brought with him from Hiroshima thirty-five years earlier. It was such a beautiful piece of material, I couldn’t believe he was doing that. He burned a lot of papers too, documents, anything that might suggest he still had some connection with Japan. These precautions didn’t do him much good. He was not only an alien; he held a commercial fishing license, and in the early days of the war the FBI was picking up all such men, for fear they were somehow making contact with enemy ships off the coast. Papa himself knew it would only be a matter of time.

They got him two weeks later, when we were staying overnight at Woody’s place, on Terminal Island. Five hundred

Вы достигли конца предварительного просмотра. Зарегистрируйтесь, чтобы узнать больше!
Страница 1 из 1


Что люди думают о Farewell to Manzanar

22 оценки / 17 Обзоры
Ваше мнение?
Рейтинг: 0 из 5 звезд

Отзывы читателей

  • (3/5)
    Honestly, books about events like this make me burn with shame to be an American. Sadly, the story of the Wakatsuki family is just one of thousands sent to "internment" camps after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston's slim memoir depicts how terrible it was to be Asian, Japanese, and female during WWII and after. This should be required reading.
  • (3/5)
    This is a very interesting topic and the book showed promise. I bought it in the gift shop when I toured Manzanar because I wanted to read a first hand, biographical account. That said, the writing is simply uninspired. It's an easy read and the information is historically valuable; however, the story was so dully written that I felt no connection to the characters. I'd rate this book more for its cultural value than its entertainment value.
  • (4/5)
    Brushed under the carpet? When Japan attacked Pearl Harbour and America and Japan were at war, a problem arose as to what to do with the thousands of naturalised Japanese living in the States. They couldn't be returned to Japan but nor could they be left to live freely within the US. The country's solution to the problem was to build huge internment camps in the American desert and ship everyone out there for the duration of the war. This was done very hastily and when 7 year old Jeanne and her family arrived they found only the most basic of provision. They lived in cramped "barracks" with foul toilet facilities and suffered repeated sickness due to insanitary food storage. Conditions improved during their stay; schooling was provided and recreational facilities, classes to keep internees occupied, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts etc. Eventually, when the whole enterprise was ruled illegal by American legislation, many of the internees did not want to leave. They had heard tales of Japanese "on the outside" receiving abuse from Americans for their country's part in the war, even though many Japanese chose to prove their loyalty by fighting for America in the armed forces. They had become so conditioned to life in the camps that they could not envisage starting up again elsewhere. The younger members of Jeanne's family left to make a way for themselves but her parents, herself and her brother stayed until the last moment - when Jeanne's father saved face by leaving with a flourish! The book is an interesting comment on the effects of this loss of freedom on the Japanese culture, particularly its effect on her father's pride. It's a short little book but says all that is needed within its concise 145 pages.
  • (5/5)
    A Japaneese American family is forced to leave their home and move to an internment camp "for their protection". The family begins to become less and less of a unit and basically begins to live seperate lives as they adjust to life in the camp. Jeanne, one of te youngest children, tells of her familie's life before, during, and after the camps. Families were forced to sell most of their possessions for little or nothing and arrived at camps that were not equiped to house familes. The transitions from neighhood to camp and camp to neighborhood were tremendously difficult. This book is appropriate for middle school readers and above.
  • (5/5)
    This is a book everyone should read at least once in their lives. The Japanese Internment experience is one that should not be forgotten, and this memoir does a great job of illustrating what it was like.
  • (3/5)
    I decided to read this book because it is a supplemental novel at the tenth grade level at my school. That means, that if we choose to, we can use this book in our curriculum. It is a favorite of many of the teachers on my campus. The story describes the life of a Japanese-American family from the beginning of Japanese Internment to a trip back to their internment camp----Manzanar---years later by the narrator in the story the youngest daughter. I found the novel easy to read and understand. I can see why teachers would use it with students. There are many ways to connect to themes of civil rights, racism, and California history. I feel that English Language Learners would also benefit from a novel they may be able to connect to. I do not feel the book has any weaknesses. I will teach this book next year as everyone in this country needs to remember what happened to prevent it or things like it from happening again.
  • (4/5)
    Straitforward memoir of the events that led up to Japanese internment during WWII as well as the author's experiences in one of the camps. She also deals with both the short term and long term effects of the internment and the pervasive racism that attempted to excuse it.
  • (5/5)
    An insider's look at a shameful piece of our past.
  • (5/5)
    Very great book I really enjoyed reading it and recommend it to everyone.
  • (5/5)
    As a 7th Grade ELA teacher in rural North Carolina, I can tie this novel to my students' social studies lessons as well as themes explored in earlier novels we read such as Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. The themes of isolation should resonate with them during the COVID 19 hiatus as well! I love the poetry in the language and vivid images of the characters as well.
  • (5/5)
    Told from the viewpoint of Jeanne Wakatsuki, this covers her experience as a child in the Internment camps for Japanese-Americans during the Second World War. Jeanne left California at seven and spent over three years in the camps. Not only does she speak about the trip there, and life in the camps, but she speaks intimately about how being in the camps effected the rest of her life. This is what makes the book so powerful. Not only to we walk through the camps with her, but we walk through the camps after. Several times she states that her Father died in the camps, although he lived for twelve years after. This is a profound statement in that illustrated how the camps followed those imprisoned there long after the camps were reduced to rubble and dust. When I learned about this part of our history, we never spoke about life after, so this was the first time I understood the lasting effects of what our government did to our citizens. Given today’s particular social and political climate, this book is a vital read.
  • (4/5)
    a teen book. maybe this would be interesting if this was the first you'd heard of this government treatment.
  • (4/5)
    Interesting. And not heartbreaking. Of course our treatment of the people of Japanese heritage was reprehensible - but after all, Manzanar wasn't a concentration camp. This is much more than a story of the camp, it is a story of a family, and of two nations and their war. All in a relatively short read accessible to all readers from young teens through adult.

    I particularly liked the father's response to an interrogation about his loyalty, whether it was to Japan or to the US. The examiner asks which nation the father would like to win, and is answered: When your mother and father are having a fight, do you want them to kill each other? Or do you just want them to stop fighting?"

    The description attached to this edition is much more true to the book than the one on the back of the book, which is the one attached to the currently most popular edition, so I'm copying it below:

    Jeanne Wakatsuki was seven years old in 1942 when her family was uprooted from their home and sent to live at Manzanar internment camp. This is the true story of one spirited Japanese American family's attempt to survive the indignities of forced detention . . . and of a native-born American child who discovered what it was like to grow up behind barbed wire in the U.S.

  • (3/5)
    I bought this book in the "classics" section of a used bookstore. I wouldn't classify this book as classic but it's still a very nice read. The characters are a bit shallow and it's hard to feel anything for them because of it. The story held me enough to want to read more but also kept me from 'loving' it. A solid book about a Japanese American family during WW2.
  • (4/5)
    Author Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston has succeeded in writing a book that is readable and worthwhile for any reader -- I would say ages 12 to adult. I wish I had been assigned this in school, for I did not learn about Japanese internment camps until much later, probably my senior year in high school. I'd be willing to venture that even many high school students don't learn much about this part of American history.

    The author wisely avoids pathos and melodrama, which allows the situation to speak for itself, standing out in stark relief against the backdrop of a "normal" life outside the camp. She manages to show us the dissolution of a family, the struggle to find and maintain an identity in an artificially created city, populated by law, not by choice. These are bitter, difficult things and Wakatsuki Houston allows the impact to sneak up on the reader.

    This is no finger-pointing, harshly worded attempt at implicating the reader and forcing an emotional response. Instead, it is a deeply personal account which leaves one to absorb its impact slowly, wanting to learn more, and wanting to know how we can stop this from happening again. More than once, we've since been on the brink of repeating these past mistakes, which makes this book a timely and important read.
  • (1/5)
    Reviewed by: Matt (Class of 2013)Egad, is a hook! This is a film, but "Farewell to Manzanar" is a book and what this review is about. It’s a book about Japanese Americans in an internment camp. It starts in 1941, just before the attack on Pearl Harbor, in a fishing community near San Pedro, California. The story follows Jeanne Wakatsuki and the Wakatsuki family.Jeanne is a Nisei, which means that she’s the child of Japanese immigrants. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, her father, a fisherman, because that’s what all Japanese people do, is arrested by the FBI. Not long after though, the rest of the family is taken to a Manzanar War Relocation Center. At the camp Jeanne finds solace in the local nuns a mile from the barracks, while the elder members of the family take up small jobs around the camp. Jeanne succumbs to sun stroke in the hundred degree temperatures of the desert one day and is on bed rest for days. Her dad returns from a North Dakota prison in late 1942, almost a year after his imprisonment.At his return he is deeply depressed. The other prisoners call him a dog because they assume that he informed on Japan to earn his freedom. He becomes an alcoholic, and almost hits his wife, but is stopped by his youngest son, Kiyo.An event called ‘The December Riot’ occurs sometime between 1943 and 1944, when three prisoners are arrested for beating a man they consider to be a traitor. It ends with the guards fatally shooting two, and wounding ten others.The end section of the book details Jeanne’s life and school experience, but it’s incongruous with the rest of the book, so it confused me. It’s something like how she becomes best friends with a white girl, but later on they drift apart and how the teachers plot to stop her from becoming what sounded like homecoming queen, but she wins anyway.The family goes through a series of ups and downs, but is eventually okay. That’s it. It’s a short book at only 170 pages or so. I thought it only appropriate that a review be short as well. I didn’t really enjoy the book. It feels long and it’s dull, but then again I’m emotionally jaded. There’s not much else that I can say. The book is an autobiography by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, so I guess I could have just read an about the author section and got the same experience, but whatever. She was born in 1934 in Inglewood, California, and she wrote two or three other books that weren’t as popular. The end is nigh.
  • (4/5)
    Haunting first person narrative of Japanese American girl caught up in the internment during World War II. “Farewell to Manzanar” deftly deals with racism and internal clashes the second generation of Japanese people in USA experienced. Recommended for anyone who does not believe in racism.