Autobiography of Yoshika Uchida

Report by Latham Piper

THIS book is the autobiography of Yoshiko Uchida; who was uprooted with her Japanese American family and put in a concentration camp. Uchida lived with her mother, father, and sister just a few miles outside of Berkeley, California. Uchida was born in the U.S. Even though she was a citizen of the United States, every one treated her as a foreigner. Uchida had attended California high school and had many American friends. Yoshika and her family were only one family out of the hundreds of others that were put into the concentration camps during WW 2. When Yoshika went out to the library on the day that Japan bombed pearl harbor she came back home to find an FBI agent who had come with three other agents earlier and taken their father away to a concentration camp in Wyoming.

A few months later they were told to pack their bags and get ready to leave the next week. Yoshika and her family loaded onto a train and were taken to a concentration camp. After being in the camp for a while, her sister and a few other educated women started a school. The schools eventually closed down. The children were no longer able to go to school and the teachers could not teach. Later their father got out of Wyoming and came down to the concentration camp to be with them.

After being in the camp for a couple of months a soldier came to the horse stall that they were staying in and told them to pack their bags. They were going to another concentration camp in Utah, called Topaz. The next day a soldier came and took them to the train [every one else in the concentration camp was going too] that would take them to Topaz. Uchida spent five months in Topaz.

During those five months she helped organize another school and had to deal with ferocious dust storms that covered her completely with dust One time while she was in Topaz, a guard shot and killed a man who he said was trying to escape. At the end of the fifth month Yoshika Uchida and Kay got permission to leave. Yoshiko was going to live with one of her friends over the summer. After the summer, Yoshika went back to college to get her degree for teaching.

Yoshika substituted teaching at a school in New York. I thought that this book was very interesting and I think that it is good that Yoshika Uchida wrote it. She had a very interesting life and I am disappointed in our government for doing this to our own citizens.