Captain’s Log   4,481

Every now and then the world hands you an enormous surprise of goodness.  Such was the case last night.  One of the museum volunteers has season tickets to the Old Globe Theatre, and two of his seatmates could not attend.  He offered the tickets to me.  I had a very short time to find someone to go with me, and I scored on my first call.  So off I went with BB to see the show.

The show is Allegiance, a new musical about the internment camps here in the United States during WWII.  Japanese Americans were imprisoned because they looked like the “enemy.”  Countless innocent people were taken from their homes and put into these camps for the duration of the war.  When they returned, most of them had nothing.  There was a lot of political tension that arose when young Japanese men from the camps were allowed to enlist in the army – to prove their loyalty to the United States.  Many resisted.  Others jumped at the chance to try to make the situation better.

This show is a world premiere.  We had no idea what to expect.  There was an exhibit of life for Japanese Americans before the war and during their imprisonment.  We wandered into the exhibit hall and were immediately silenced by the power of the artifacts and photographs.  Up until yesterday, I had no idea the camps stretched as far east as Arkansas.  Shocking.  Shameful.  Another truly black mark in our history.

BB is of Japanese descent.  The images and stories hit her quite hard.  She is very in touch with her roots.  The show was deeply moving – especially for BB.

Yes, George Takei from Star Trek is in the cast.  He plays two characters – a grandfather (pictured above) and an old soldier who comes to realize what a mistake it had been to try to prove anything to this country during those times.  And yes, George spent time in two of those camps.  He has first-hand experience with the issue.

Note the tags they are wearing on their coats in the photo above.  Every one of the 120,000 detainees was forced to wear that tag with their information.  Sound familiar?  When we exited the theatre last night, I noticed some long, flowing sculptures hanging from the ceiling.  I did a little research and found out they are part of the Tag Project.  A local San Diego artist has made 120,000 tags (with names and information) into hanging sculptures.  The effect is…astonishing.

Several of these were suspended in the theatre lobby.

I did even more research and discovered that Canada also did this horrendous thing to their own citizens living on the western edge of the country.  Racism knows no borders.

Feel it.  Know it.  Change it.  One step at a time.

Bless you all.


Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

20 responses to “Allegiance

  1. I’m very glad you had a chance to go to the program, but saddened that we as a nation continue to use any excuse to manufacture enemies – especially when they are manufactured from our own people.

  2. Bobbie and I visited the Japanese museum downtown LA and were truly moved. They have one of the buildings in their museum, and I shall never forget it. Take the train up.

  3. I’ve read a few books about Japanese families that were taken to those camps…..they lost everything they had including some sacred objects from their ancestors. Currently I am reading about the Armenians in Syria during 1915….it’s the same thing……how horrible our “civilized” world has been for centuries….and it goes on every day.

  4. Oops, forgot to mention how much we loved the Globe Theater. We saw Inherit the Wind when we were in SD. Fabulous facility. Also, I know I’d have stood and cried at those tag sculptures.

  5. When we went to Alaska in 1998, we were appalled to discover that the natives in the Aleutian Islands had been interned during WW2 also. They were a part of the restitution suit filed by the Japanese-Americans interned. Part of their award was the making of a film documenting this issue. We watched it at a museum in Fairbanks.

    Many of the internees were so ashamed that they never talked about it, and their children were never aware of it until this film was made.

    Here’s one of a number of links that came up with a google search.

  6. I’m glad you saw a good, worthwhile show. I love that George Takei – he was in a show here where they dump celebrities in the jungle with no amenities and he was a charming, graceful man. America was not alone in this behaviour during WWII. Here’s a link to a great novel about what happened to German Jews in Britain Also, Italians were impounded in Scotland, which is why we now have a bunch of famous Scots with Italian names, like Armando Ianucci (creator of Veep) and the lovely Paolo Nutini. ps – you saw that creep commenting again on my pics! EEEEEK! He’s vile, but he’s Bloke’s best and only birdwatching pal, so what’s a gal to do? Suck it up. Hugs xxx

    • poolagirl

      I did see him commenting on your pics. You can block him so he cannot see your photos but he is still considered a “friend on Facebook.” I did that to some people.

  7. As I’ve said before, I am always horrified at mans’ inhumanity to man.

  8. How often the U.S. has failed to live up to its own ideals! We know it is human nature to fear the unknown; somehow I think a wiser course is to learn enough that the unknown becomes the known and familiar.

  9. betty boop

    Paula, it was an incredible experience. Quite emotional for me, but I am so glad that I went. Extremely powerful, heartbreaking, shocking. But something everyone should know about. Thank you again and thank Richard.

  10. Penny Tushingham

    Wow, how lucky were you to experience this. Something that will stay with you the rest of your life!

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