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NewSage Press
Looking like the Enemy: My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese-American Internment Camps

Looking like the Enemy: My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese-American Internment Camps

by Mary Matsuda Gruenewald
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The author at 16 years old was evacuated with her family to an internment camp for Japanese Americans, along with 110,000 other people of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast. She faced an indefinite sentence behind barbed wire in crowded, primitive camps. She struggled for survival and dignity, and endured psychological scarring that has lasted a lifetime.

This memoir is told from the heart and mind of a woman now nearly 80 years old who experienced the challenges and wounds of her internment at a crucial point in her development as a young adult. She brings passion and spirit to her story. Like "The Diary of Anne Frank," this memoir superbly captures the emotional and psychological essence of what it was like to grow up in the midst of this profound dislocation and injustice in the U.S. Few other books on this subject come close to the emotional power and moral significance of this memoir.

In the end,the reader is buoyed by what Mary learns from her experiences and what she is able to do with her life. In 2005 she becomes one more Nissei who breaks her silence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780939165537
Publisher: NewSage Press
Publication date: 04/18/2005
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 165,970
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

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Looking like the Enemy: My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese-American Internment Camps 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school student and I read this book for my research project in English. When I first started reading the book I had no clue what the concentration camps were, and now I have a good understanding the lives people had in the concentration camps. The main character of the book is also the author and I liked how she shared her personal life. The book explains the history that came before the Japanese Internment camps and what led up to it. The book was very detailed on explain the way Japanese lived in the camps and they harsh living conditions they had to go through everyday. The book really made me feel sad for all the Japanese that had to go through the camps, even if you were born in the United States and your parents were born in Japan the kids still had to go the camps because they still had Japanese blood in them. I totally recommend this book because it gives you a better understanding of the Japanese Internment Camps and the history, but also because it makes you thinks that our lives aren't as bad as those who had to go through concentration camps.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophomore and I read this book for my English class. I didn't know much about the camps until l read this book and after reading it I feel more informed. The best part of the book is the fact that there are very personal moments in this book.
juglicerr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a very moving memoir of a Japanese-American woman who was interned as a teenager. It may be of particular interest to fans of Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars: the Matsudas were strawberry farmers living on Vashon Island in the Puget Sound. It is also interesting to compare and contrast it with Jeanne Wakatusi Houston's classic Farewell to Manzanar.Even though I was aware of the basic history of the internment and knew it to be a horrible injustice, I could not begin to feel the awful indignities and terrors without reading such a first-hand account. On a more general level, it helps me to understand that the effects of any catastrophe on its victims can linger long after the intense crisis. Even if one could argue a justification for interning or profiling people, it remains that, although it wasn't as bad as it could have been, it also wasn't conducted with due regard for the possibilities, indeed the near certainty, that a large number of the people were innocent. I am not certain that any such program ever would be handled with the care that such a drastic step would require.I recommend this not only for understanding this terrible event in American history, but also a a more general cautionary tale about the dangers of letting suspicion and fear override our sense of fairness.Includes a significant bibliography of other works on the subject.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophmore who had to do a research project on the Japanse Internment camps. Mary Matsuda Gruenwald, who is both the main character as well as the author of this book, portrayed the experience as though I was right there with her. Since I wasn't around during the time of World War II, I liked how this book gave some detail explaining the background and series of events prior to the camps. This book also has a very detailed description of life in the internment camps. So much so that it even went on to explain that they had little to no privacy because guards were constanlty watching. One of the lines in this book that really caught my attention was when Mary's brother, Yoneichi was being sent to war after being detained in the internment camps for so long. The line said, "My only brother has gone off to fight a war for a country that is keeping us imprisoned like criminals" (Gruenwald 157). It really made me feel sorry for this family and all the families that were involved in these camps located across America to have been so loyal to America and have us do nothing but wrong towards them because there labeled as Japanese. Overall, this book is very resourceful and full of useful information and I would reccommend it to anyone who need to educate themselves on the history of the Japanese internment camps.
JPina More than 1 year ago
This book is fascinating and well written as it takes you back through the eyes of a young Japanese-American citizen trying to understand why she and over 120,000 other Japanese and Japanese-American citizens could possibly have their freedom taken away in this great nation of ours. Mary Matsuda Gruenewald's chronicled events answered for me many questions I've wanted to ask of Japanese-American classmates or their parents, but out of respect knew not to ask. The frustrations, stigma, and disbelief Mary suffered are clearly expressed. This book provides an understanding of how and why these American citizens could be so disillusioned with our government, yet their resolve allowed this group of American citizens to rebound after WWII and become highly successful for generations to come. Mary's proud depiction of her brother Yoneichi, who along with over 18,000 other young, patriotic Americans enlisted in the U.S. Army and fought in the highly decorated 100th/442nd Battalions in the North Africa and European Theatre is inspiring. As a proud son of a father who also served in the in North African/European Theatre during WWII. I can not imagine the frustration of these young Nisei men fighting heroically for our country and having to deal with their family members being held prisoners back home in addition to many suffering the loss of their properties, businesses, and personal belongings. This story of reality being dealt with at home by Japanese-Americans and a tribute by exposure for the proud Nisei American patriots who served courageously in the 100th and 442nd Battalions is ripe for a pending screen play. Perhaps, Tom Hanks who has proven to have a very high respect and admiration for the "Greatest Generation," will pursue such a project in the near future. These young Americans bravely took part in an important segment of U.S. history.
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