I know it's too early to review but i don't want this post-effect be vanished if i just wait till the end of this month, p.s i also don't think i can read more book for the rest of this month haha
So it started last month, i stumbled upon @bobbyhundreds' (LA-based streetwear designer) long instagram story posts about his tour in the Japanese-American internment camp of Manzanar, California. As foreigner here, i did know nothing about this so it was kinda grasp my hungry spirit of inquiry (did i use this term correctly lol) and i ended up let myself googling and finally read 2 books related to how WWII affected Japanese in Japan and Japanese-American here in the US.
Sachiko: A Nagasaki bomb survivor's story
Author: Caren Stelson
Genre: Nonfiction, History
The ten-year-old froze. Sachiko threw herself facedown on the mat, covered her ears and squeezed her eyes shut. Was this pretend?
PIKADON! (flash boom in Japanese)
This is a narrative nonfiction about Sachiko Yasui, one of the Nagasaki's nuclear bomb survivors. The first part of this book starts with the heart breaking memory of August 9th morning when the second nuclear bomb dropped in the city of Nagasaki, while Sachiko and her siblings went out to play. The rest of the book tell us Sachiko's life after that, the loss, the trauma, sickness, tears and hopes. Sachiko also told us several figures that inspires her, which we can learn how to stay in the positive way even after a terrible tragedy. I bet you don't have to worry spending more time to read this book because it is only 144 pages long with many pictures especially if you are interested to know more about the final stage of WWII and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I always felt myself have sufficient knowledge about WWII but then this book made me realize how little i know about what really happened and how this made a huge impact in many perspectives. This book not only focus on Sachiko's story, Caren Stelson also provided us with the consecutive short articles about the history itself. I feel like this book is even suitable for young ages to learn about history. For me personally, as Indonesian, who once saw the surrender of Japan in 1945 brought us the independence, this book was sorta reminder for me to not ever take what happened in the past for granted, cause it wasn't just about the Indonesian independence or the loss of Japanese or the occupation of other countries over other countries. We are all the victims of the war.
"And when you grow up, remember to tell my story. Have your children tell my story and their children and theirs...what happened to me must never happen to you."
Infamy: The shocking story of the Japanese American internment in World War II
Author: Richard Reeves
Genre: Nonfiction, History, Journalistic
Before I just knew it was because the attack of Pearl Harbor then the US finally dropped bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, i did know nothing about the Japanese American internment here in the US. I really wish i knew it earlier, even i'm not American myself but i was ashamed that i missed this cause this is important particularly because now the racial issues still a thing. This book provides us the real tension over Nikkei (Japanese American, both citizens and aliens living in the US) after the attack of Pearl Harbor, when there were a huge racism towards the Japanese American (the US mentioned them as "Japs"), when all of them being investigated by FBI without any forewarnings and finally evacuated to the concentration camps (there were 10 relocation centers in the US for Japanese American that time) just because they inherited Japanese blood and also the life in the concentration camp in the middle of Californian dessert with only hay beds and uncovered restrooms. Some people might not like the order of how Richard Reeves told the stories cause the stories kinda jump around between paragraph to paragraph but because the fact that this book came from one to one interviews of the people affected, for me it was fine. This book more like reading all the informations in museum (or maybe because i watched bobby hundreds' tour first so that i can visualized more clearly). What happened to Japanese American is as important as what happened to Jews during the holocaust, the African American and all other races who were and still being oppressed. Well, the important part of the history is not about how good or how bad our ancestors were in the past but more how can we learn from that, how we can anticipate something bad and how we can be better even from the infamy. I hope that someday we all can reach the same understanding of the racism so that one can never feel more superior than each other. Citing the thought of Connie Nice, the Hood River Valley of Oregon's museum director..
"I'm hoping that people will just stop and think: could we do that again? Are we doing that again, with Latinos or Muslims?..I'm not saying this will change the world but i want people to walk away and say, 'Maybe we didnt do that right' and i hope then that they're not going to repeat history"