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The Japanese Internment of World War II, Part 9: The Tule Lake War Relocation Center

Tule Lake War Relocation Center_LOC_15Feb15

Above image of Tule Lake, circa 1943-44, courtesy of Library of Congress

This blog is Part 9 of a series discussing the internment of Japanese in the United States during World War II. This sequence is meant as an accompaniment to my historical novel, How Much Do You Love Me?

Part 6, “One Family’s Journey to their Internment Camp,” discussed one family’s journey in the spring of 1942 from Bellevue, Washington, to their permanent camp in Tule Lake, California, one of ten permanent camps created for the Japanese in the United States. They got there by way of Pinedale (central California, near Fresno), one example of an Assembly Center used to house internees before the permanent camps were completed. Construction of Tule Lake had begun more than a month before the Japanese left Bellevue.

The Tule Lake War Relocation Center was located in Northern California, it’s post office address Newell, California. Tule “Lake” was a misnomer; to create fertile farmland, the original lake had been systematically drained, starting in 1907. As they disembarked from the train, the internees peered at what again (like Pinedale) looked like a desert, with not a tree in sight. But replacing the 100-degree-plus extremes endured at Pinedale in July were temperatures some fifteen to twenty degrees cooler because, at just over 4000 feet, Tule Lake was 3700 feet higher than Pinedale.

Designed for over 18,000 Japanese Americans, Tule Lake had three times the capacity of Pinedale. Defined by the government as a permanent facility, more thought and preparation had gone into its construction than at the Pinedale Assembly Center, and things were more organized. The tarpaper-covered barracks were the same, but there were more windows. This time the floors were concrete. After a while, plasterboard became available to cover the interior walls, providing some insulation against outside temperatures, dust, and dirt.

 

Tule Lake_Densho_3Nov14

Above image of Tule Lake courtesy of Densho.org.  See note below.

Up next: The Japanese Internment of World War II, Part 10: Life at Tule Lake

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Note: Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project is a digital archive of videotaped interviews, photographs, documents, and other materials relating to the Japanese American experience. Additional information on the project is available at www.densho.org.

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Wine and Dine Literary Society

Beach Book Club_One_25Feb15

 

This past Wednesday evening Becky and I had the pleasure of attending a book-club meeting in Livermore, California where I addressed the Wine and Dine Literary Society. They had chosen How Much Do You Love Me?, my historical novel on the Japanese internment of World War II, as this month’s read. In the picture you see Rex and Linda Beach who hosted the event. Consistent with the group’s title, Becky and I were initially wined and dined in the form of a fabulous dinner (including Teriyaki Salmon as the entree and lemon meringue pie/strawberry shortcake for dessert). Then followed the book discussion.

The discussion was fun for me because all of the members had already read the book. As a result, we were able to discuss all aspects of How Much?, from the “secret” to the various moral implications inherent in the plot.

Beach Book Club_Four_28Feb15A very special guest (see photo to right) at the meeting was Dave Okasaki, a Japanese American who had been born at the Rohwer Relocation Center in Arkansas. Although he was too young to remember the internment, the event was pivotal in his life because of the effect the experience had on his family. He explained to us how important President Reagan’s 1988 signature of the Civil Liberties Act was to him. In that declaration, the U.S. apologized for the World War II internment. Mr. Okasaki said that the monetary grant he received was not nearly as important as the government’s official acknowledgment that sending them to the camps had been an injustice.

Feel free to share this blog. Also, please e-mail (tag@peoplepc.com) me if you have questions.

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Stories you can listen to, #9: Lemonade or Iced Tea

Lemonade_6Feb15

 

In my continuing series of short stories, Lemonade or Iced Tea, although relatively short at 900 words, is told from three points of view: mother (Emily), daughter (Janet), and fiancé (Timothy). Will Timothy end up marrying Janet? You decide.

Click here to either listen to or read the story.

Feel free to share this blog. Please e-mail (tag@peoplepc.com) me if you have questions.

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White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy receives acclaim from Kirkus Reviews

    White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy is the third in my trilogy of thrillers. Here is a copy of the Kirkus review: KIRKUS REVIEW In Tag’s (Category 5, 2005, etc.) thriller, a scientist learns that Nazis are planning a return to power with an attack of worldwide proportions—and that her family in Colombia may… View Article


Stories you can listen to, #8: Jimmy Boy

In my continuing series of short stories, “Jimmy Boy” is told from the point of view of Delores Weaver, an elderly woman riding out Hurricane Iniki in Kauai, Hawaii, in September of 1992. It isn’t long before Delores and her husband, who has Alzheimer’s, have to move from their apartment to a storm shelter. It’s… View Article


The Japanese Internment of World War II, Part 8: Internment in Hawaii

This blog is Part 8 of a series discussing the internment of Japanese in the United States during World War II. This sequence is meant as an accompaniment to my historical novel, How Much Do You Love Me? To cover an aside, Part 8 takes a slight detour to the flow established in the previous… View Article


Stories can be really short! Stories you can listen to, #7: The Long Walk Home

I wrote this story specifically, and was lucky for it to be accepted, for publication in Storybytes, an online magazine.  Stories published in this magazine have word counts of a power of 2. My story is 128 words long, which is 2 to the power of 7. Click here to listen to or read the story…. View Article


New review just posted for Category 5

As most of you know, until I switched genres to historical fiction with How Much Do You Love Me? I wrote thrillers, a trilogy: Category 5, Prophecy, and White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy.  The first in this series, Category 5, which focused on weather modification and hurricanes, has a brand new review. I am posting it here because this reviewer,… View Article


The Japanese Internment of World War II, Part 7: Assembly Centers

Image courtesy of www.pinedalememorial.org This blog is Part 7 of a series discussing the internment of Japanese in the United States during World War II. This sequence is meant as an accompaniment to my historical novel, How Much Do You Love Me? Part 6, “One Family’s Journey to their Internment Camp,” discussed one family’s journey… View Article


Stories you can listen to, #6: Jailbait

In my continuing series of short stories, Jailbait is told from the point of view of a young woman who finds herself in serious trouble after accepting a ride while hitchhiking.     As youngsters and teenagers, we’ve all made stupid decisions that have landed us in trouble. Some of us have even made them… View Article