Farewell to Manzanar


8/21/01


Farewell to Manzanar Notes


Chapter 1: What is Pearl Harbor?



o The first weekend in December in 1941, Jeanne is watching her father\'s sardine ships head out to sea.

o She and the other women of the community notice the boats returning. The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor. Jeanne does not know what this meant at the time, but her father is taken away from her on the grounds that he might be delivering goods and secrets to the Japanese.
o Jeanne\'s mother moves her remaining children to Terminal Island, where they live among other Japanese Americans for the first time. There, Jeanne is afraid of the Asians around her, partly because she has never lived among any. Soon, the government moves the
o Japanese Americans to Boyle Heights, a ghetto in Los Angeles. Before they go, Mama must pare down her belongings to what they can carry. She tries to sell her valuable and beloved china, but the buyer will only give her a horribly low price. She smashes the china rather than sell it to him.
Chapter 2: Shikata Ga Nai



o The family is soon sent to Manzanar, a Japanese internment camp inland.

o When they arrive, they are fed terrible food that they politely pick at. For their living quarters, they are crowded into two small rooms. Her older brothers set up blankets as partitions for sleeping. The rooms are not very good defenses against the elements.
o Describes environment while living in the internment camp.
Chapter 3: Different Kind of Sand


· Her house wasn’t reliable because it had holes in the doorways, and the family woke up cold.


· There were holes in the floor that would fill up with sand.


Chapter 4: A Common Master Plan



o Had to stuff paper in the door
o Typhoid shots had made her sick (stomach cramps)
o Chapter was in Spring of 1942
o The government issues the Japanese some surplus army attire,
especially earmuffs and coats. Although it helps fight against the
cold, the clothing also serves as a constant reminder to the Japanese
of their subject status, further stripping them of their dignity. Only
the young Jeanne is amused by the situation; the sight of her mother
in over-sized khaki military clothes is quite humorous to the young
girl.
Chapter 5: Almost a Family



o Jeanne\'s mother and older siblings must work in the camp, so they
are not always around to provide reassurance and stability to the
children.
o Jeanne and the other youth, now unsupervised for much of
the day, must find their own entertainment. To amuse themselves,
the children eat at the various mess halls in the different blocks in
order to try out all the camp food; but this game causes the loss of
family cohesion, since the Wakatsukis no longer eat together.
o Jeanne fondly recalls how her family usually ate together before the
war; she realizes with sadness that that time of unity is far in the
past. In need of some new meaning in her life, Jeanne develops an
interest in Catholicism.
o As time passes at Manzanar, the Wakatsukis begin to relax,
growing accustomed to their new lifestyle. Mama likes her job as a
dietician, for it keeps her from sitting around and worrying. The
family is also relieved when Ko returns from imprisonment, even
though he looks much older; everyone notice that he has also grown
thin and melancholic.
Chapter 6: Whatever he did had Flourish



o In this chapter, the author interrupts the normal history of the
narrative to comment and reflect upon the roles of her father; she
sees him as a political prisoner, a husband, a father, and simply as a
man.
o He worked as a public official, a job that made him feel important and proud. But
over the years, the status of the Wakatsuki family declined. His
father turned to running a teahouse in order to support his family.
Ko, feeling humiliated by his father\'s occupation and the family\'s
decline in social status, left Hiroshima for America, with the
blessing of his favorite aunt.
o The couple settles in Seattle, Oregon; he works as a cook,
and she works as a nurse and dietician until her oldest child is born.
After the first