Imprisoned Apart: The World War II Correspondence of an Issei Couple

Synopsis

This is the poignant story of a young teacher and his bride who came to Seattle from Japan in 1919 so that he might study English language and literature, and who stayed to make a home. On December 7, 1941, the FBI knocked at the Matsushitas' door and took Iwao away, first to a jail cell at the Seattle Immigration Station and then by special train, windows sealed and guards at the doors, to Montana. He was considered an enemy alien, "potentially dangerous to the public safety", because of his Japanese birth and professional associations. The story of Iwao Matsushita's determination to clear his name and be reunited with his wife, and of Hanaye Matsushita's growing confusion and despair, unfolds in their correspondence, presented here in full. Louis Fiset helps us to read between the lines to understand Hanaye's displacement from everything safe and familiar and Iwao's unfaltering commitment to his adopted country, despite his imprisonment and the ignominy of suspicion of disloyalty.

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