Hope all is well with you and family. I finished reading your father’s diary recently and wanted to share some thoughts with you. I also did some additional reading from other sources to gain more understanding of the tensions, conflicts, political and generational differences, etc. among fellow prisoners your father eluded to, but not fully clear to me.
What your father experienced in the Stockade prison was much worse and severe than I ever imagined. The stories and accounts Sensei told us interested Senshin students never gave the total harsh texture of what is presented in the diary. He had mentioned the Loyalty Oath, how the “little Diary” with tiny Japanese script was hidden in the wall of a cardboard box and finding “humor” of very nervous army soldiers watching him with pointed guns and bayonets as this “crazed” Judo guy is going to “pounce” at any time!
The overall unfairness, being imprisoned without any real reason given, over-crowded living conditions, harsh weather, separation from family and being seen as “TROUBLE MAKERS,” etc. would probably break the spirit of most people, but Sensei perseveres and manages to find positivity in the situation – a time to physically and mentally discipline himself and to learn and observe.
Broken promises of the army, their spiteful cruel treatment and strange over-kill use of personnel and equipment (tanks, martial law, etc.) finds Sensei determined not to be too resentful. He wanted to focus on maintaining peace in camp and be a good example. Sensei’s love and devotion to family come through so well, and most important in his thoughts.
I found the FBI interview/interrogation very interesting – giving more insight about Sensei’s Japanese character and thinking/feeling for Japan and as a Kibei.
Kyoko, thank you for publishing this important document of your father’s experiences and revealing more of the truth behind the truth of the grave social injustice done by our country. This is especially relevant in today’s crazy world.
Sandan – Senshin Dojo