September 26, 2011

Days Of Waiting Response

In Language Arts, we wrote responses to a short film called Days Of Waiting, which is about a woman named Estelle Ishigo and her experiences in a Japanese Internment Camp in World War II. This is my response:

Days Of Waiting Response

How can humans be so heartless? That was the first question that arose in my mind after seeing Days of Waiting. This short film made me realize how much rash and foolish decisions can effect people’s lives. 28 minutes of pictures and narration really opened my eyes to the extremes humans are willing to reach in order to obtain a feeling of self-importance, self-righteousness, safety, and to obtain the trust of others. During World War ll, after the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, FDR made a decision to “relocate” 20,000 Nisei and Sansei who had as little as 1/16 Japanese blood in their veins to Internment Camps all over the West Coast. 2/3 of the people relocated were born American Citizens. The majority of these people considered themselves American, and many didn’t understand why they were being taken away. FDR should have taken time to think about all the possible outcomes of his actions, but he hastily made a decision out of anger, fear, and a sense of insecurity. During World War ll, not one act of treason or espionage was committed by a single Japanese American.

Estelle Ishigo’s story was both sad and enlightening. She was the Caucasian wife of a Japanese American man named Arthur Ishigo. When he was ordered to relocate to the Pomona Assembly Center, she had the choice to go with him or stay. She chose to go with him. Later, the couple was shipped to Heart Mountain Relocation Camp in Wyoming. Estelle had formerly gone to art school, and was a skilled painter and was good at black and white sketches and drawings. While in Heart Mountain Relocation Camp, she painted and sketched the people and the landscapes. In her paintings, she captivated the lives of the people in the Internment Camp using accurate and dismal facial expressions and body positions that outlined the forlorn and miserable lives these people were faced with. In the movie, the bit of narration that stuck out to me the most was when Estelle said that the people in the Camp and the Assembly Center accepted her as a Japanese American, for that is who she felt she was. Even though she had Caucasian parents and ancestry, the people treated her for who she was and not who people of her ethnicity were. Even though it was her race who insulted and severely mistreated these people, they treated her with kindness. Like an equal. They did not discriminate her because of her looks and ancestors. They did not take their anger out on her.

An instance like this is enlightening in a few extremely opposite ways. It shows how conceited and terrible humans can be; how miserably they can make other human’s lives. On the other hand, it evinces that even in the bleakest of moments, humans have the undying power of hope and a willingness to prevail that can trample any feeling of hatred, fear, or hostility. The dream these people had was death defying. Is death defying. These people were the true patriots. They were the ones that never gave up. They didn’t act out of fear and anger. They are true Americans.

More Information On:

- Estelle Ishigo

- Japanese Internment Camps

1 comment:

  1. Tillie, Your post made me think of all the injustice that happened during this period of history. What worries me is how do we stop this kind of thing from happening again.