35 pages 1 hour read

George Takei

They Called Us Enemy

Nonfiction | Graphic Novel/Book | Adult | Published in 2019

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Pages 101-150Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Pages 101-150 Summary

Winter arrives, and George sees snow for the first time. During their first Christmas, he cannot wait for Santa Claus to arrive. He notices that the Santa who visits their Christmas party is Japanese but does not tell his siblings. He remembers meeting the “real” Santa the previous year in a California mall; that Santa had not been Japanese. George does want to spoil his siblings’ excitement, however, and keeps his knowledge to himself.

In January 1943 the US military encounters some of the harshest fighting of World War II. America needs more soldiers for the war. Rather than ask for help from the Japanese American citizens it is mistreating, the government decrees that “loyal citizens” (113) now have the right to participate in the military. Previously, Japanese Americans who were already serving prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor had been forced to surrender their weapons. Now they can have them back if they are willing to prove their loyalty—on the government’s terms.

A loyalty questionnaire begins circulating through the camps at the behest of the government. The questionnaire is filled with leading questions and constructed using unethical methodology, but questions 27 and 28 are particularly controversial.