Long before George Takei braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father’s — and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future.
In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten “relocation centers,” hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard.
They Called Us Enemy is Takei’s firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother’s hard choices, his father’s faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future.
For the longest time, I had no idea that the US had concentration camps let alone that Geroge Takei had been imprisoned there with his family.
This book is a graphic memoir of Takei’s life concentrating on his time in the camps. As a child of just 4 years old, he and his family were forcefully removed from their home and sent to the first camp. As a child, Takei and his brother and baby sister had no idea what was going on and his parents told them that they were going on a vacation.
This book is so hard to read because you’re hearing it from a person who actually went through it. He may have been only a child and not have understood the full extent of what was going on but he was still there and was able to hear the truth of what happened from his father.
Reading this memoir was both heartbreaking and insightful into Mr. Takei’s life. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone.