George Takei releases children’s book about his childhood in WWII camp

George Takei releases children’s book about his childhood in WWII campGeorge Takei releases children’s book about his childhood in WWII camp
via George Takei, Today
Bryan Ke
April 18, 2024
Actor and advocate George Takei has released a children’s book detailing his experience as a child in a World War II incarceration camp in Arkansas.
Key points:
  • Released on April 16, the book, entitled “My Lost Freedom,” was published by Crown Books for Young Readers and illustrated by Michelle Lee.
  • In an Instagram post on release day, Takei, 86, said “My Lost Freedom” is a true story based on his childhood experience during WWII. He wrote, “I looked back at my own memories to help children today understand what it feels like to be treated as an enemy by your own country. This is a story of my family’s courage and the importance of staying true to yourself in the face of injustice.”
The details:
  • The books tells the story of how Takei’s family, including his siblings and parents, were forcibly relocated from their Los Angeles home to a camp at Santa Anita racetrack in California shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This event took place when Takei was 4 years old.
  • Afterward, they were permanently relocated to a camp in Rohwer, Arkansas, where they spent the entirety of the war under surveillance by the U.S. government.
  • Takei wrote that even as American citizens, “America saw us as the enemy simply because we looked like the people who did the bombing.”
  • After the war, Takei recalled how the government released people from the camp and provided them with $25 and a “one-way ticket to anywhere in the United States,” which the family used to go back to Los Angeles and start over.
  • The McGehee Japanese American Internment Museum, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year with an event attended by Takei as a special guest, noted that around 17,000 Japanese Americans were relocated to two incarceration camps in Rohwer and Jerome, Arkansas, during the war.
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