April is here already, and our mild winter has come and gone. I felt grateful that we did not have to endure the harsh winter of those in the Midwest and eastern coast. However, I now look forward to the summer for our San Fernando Valley with questions in my mind.
It is very easy to keep doing what I have been doing in the past. It takes less effort than to make drastic changes. I’m referring to our drought conditions and the rising water and sewer charges. From a practical dollars and cents viewpoint and from a viewpoint of civic responsibility, I realize that I need to make some changes. A nudge from others would be helpful.
We have experienced and knowledgeable people within our chapter and within the community center, and I encourage them to share their knowledge and experience with others. Yas Gohata has taken steps on water conservation, and others may have done as well.
My brother in Orange County drove down to San Diego to see George Takei’s play Allegiance last year, and as a result, felt compelled to participate in the Tule Lake Pilgrimage this year. Ellen and I will join my brother Andy and Suzanne in a 4 bedroom Village Apartment unit on the Oregon Technical Institute campus in Klamath Falls. The Tule Lake Pilgrimage takes place on the 4th of July weekend on even numbered years.
Phil Shigekuni was planning to attend, but had a change of plans. However, he still plans to present a resolution at the national JACL conference in San Jose in the 2nd week of July. His resolution is intended to offer an apology to the Tule Lake draft resistors for some of the positions taken by JACL during and after the confinement.
There’s a saying “In my youth I saw the world as black and white. Now I see the world painted in shades of gray.” A multicolored kaleidoscope might be a better description for the stories of Tule Lake.
Hiroshi Kashiwagi spoke at the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians public hearings in San Francisco in 1981. He described how the government used strong threats (that was later found to be false and illegal). Those threats broke down the resistance to the draft, but not without tragic consequences: “In our frustration and anger we turned against each other … Can you imagine the confusion and the turmoil? What to do? We had no recourse to counsel.” He also described Tule Lake as “a psychologically abnormal, unhealthy place.
There are no doubt thousands of views of the injustices and conflicts arose in Tule Lake. The next few months will be interesting. Old feelings and grudges might be rekindled. My hope
is that people will also be able to step back and take a longer view of history, and
offer it as another component to the overall narrative.
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