George Takei gave a detailed account of the morning he and his family were sent to an American concentration camp in a new interview.
On Monday, the 85-year-old actor made an appearance on “Good Morning Britain” to talk about the inspiration behind his West End musical, “Allegiance.”
In 1943, two years before the end of World War II, Takei and his family were among the 120,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast who were taken to American incarceration camps during World War II.
“This story has been underplayed throughout history,” Takei said, noting that there were approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast at the time.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
I was 5 years old, but I will never be able to forget that morning when my father came into the bedroom that I shared with my brother… and told us to wait in the living room while my parents did some last-minute packing.
Henry and I were at the front window just gazing out and suddenly we saw two soldiers marching up our driveway carrying rifles with shiny bayonets on them. They stomped up the front porch and started banging on the door. Henry and I were petrified. My father came out and answered the door and they pointed the bayonet at him and they said, “Get your family out of this house.” Our home.
I will never be able to forget that horrifying, terrifying morning.
Takei added that the attorney general of California at the time, Earl Warren, claimed that the Japanese were “inscrutable” and advised that they be locked away despite a lack of reports of spying or sabotage.
Takei and his family were released in 1946, three years after they were imprisoned.
The “Star Trek” star also spoke with Metro about his experience, describing his curiosity about what he had endured years after he was released. He began to question, “How could the government that’s supposed to be a democracy treat innocent people that way?”
Takei’s musical, “Allegiance,” tells the story of the Kimura family and their struggles after the Pearl Harbor Attack.
He explained that the story’s medium fits the subject matter as many people in the concentration camps found joy through music during their suffering.
“Allegiance” held its world premiere in 2012 at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre. After setting box office records, the musical traveled to London for its European premiere at Charing Cross Theatre, where it will be playing until April 8.