Japanese Internment Memorial Essay

The city of San Jose is filled with many gems, from artwork to street vendors and captivating museums. One may easily walk past an important part of San Jose on 2nd Street, but if it does catch the eye, the sculpture is entirely riveting. The Japanese Internment Memorial is a tribute to the Japanese Americans who were sent to internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which permitted the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans on the West Coast. The Japanese Americans were forced to evacuate their homes and relocate and remained in the camps for up to four years. There were countless property and personal losses since only 150 pounds per person was allowed on the transportation used to get to the relocation centers.

In San Jose, Japantown was set up right next to Chinatown by 1902. There was an abundance of businesses in Japantown catering to Japanese American men. After the relocation, almost all of Japantown’s businesses closed down. Once the executive order was revoked in 1944, some people returned from the internment camps to San Jose and were able to restore the livelihood of Japantown. The neighborhood still exists today on Jackson Street. Interestingly, Yoshihiro Uchida Hall (a classroom building at San Jose State University) was a transfer point for Japanese Americans when sending them to the internment camps. Yoshihiro Uchida is a judo coach at SJSU, and his parents and siblings were also concurrently transferred in Yoshihiro Uchida Hall during World War II.

Ruth Asawa was born in Los Angeles County on January 24, 1926. She worked in farms and attended a Japanese cultural school as a child. She was separated from her father when her family was sent to a separate internment camp from him in 1942. Asawa spent time in the Santa Anita and Rohwer internment camps. She received her education in the arts at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, CA.

The bronze memorial in the city of San Jose depicts scenes from the Japanese Internment camps, from relocation to the camps themselves. One of the most striking details is the barbed wiring on both sides of the wall. After further research, I discovered that it is curled on one side, representing the Japanese farming community in California before relocation. The wire is straight on the other side of the wall, representing barriers for the internment camps. Each detail on the bronze sculpture is so intricate; from the women’s skirts and aprons to the young children’s toys and even the people’s hands and fingers. A second vignette that I will forever remember is the loss of personal belongings when a family is being relocated. There is a part of the wall which displays the family getting rid of their things, with an “Evacuation Sale” sign on the front porch of their home. A young girl is crying as her father is getting rid of her doll; it is heartbreaking to see people losing the things that keep them sane.

WC: 503


WOW #10: Pilfer

1. Pilfer

2. Source: The NY Times, link

3.  After months of tense negotiations over the size and role of a postwar presence in Afghanistan, senior North Atlantic Treaty Organization officials say they are planning a more minimalist mission, with a force consisting of fewer combat trainers and more military managers to ensure that billions of dollars in security aid are not squandered or pilfered.

4. Pilfered: v. To steal, especially in small quantities

5. Aladdin pilfered some apples from the market to feed himself and Abu for the night.

WOW #9: Threadbare

1. Threadbare

2. Source: The New York Times, link

3. A few times every day, the high-speed train between St. Petersburg and Moscow barrels through the threadbare town of Lyuban.

4. Threadbare: adj. (of cloth, clothing, or soft furnishings) becoming thin and tattered with age; (of a person, building, or room) poor or shabby in appearance; (of an argument, excuse, idea, etc.) used so often that it is no longer effective

5. The U.S. government’s threadbare excuses to go to war with every third-world nation began hurting the nation’s global credibility.

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere

 Z.Z. Packer uses various storytelling techniques in her book Drinking Coffee Elsewhere. She is constantly using figurative language, such as similes, metaphors, personification, and hyperboles. She personifies things like the sunset and leather in The Ant of the Self when she writes, “The sunset has ignited the bellies of the clouds,” and “He settles deeper into his car seat…the leather sighing and complaining under him,” (p. 73, 78). Packer uses an abundance of similes, such as “He…[looks] into the unlit burner as though staring into the future,” or “He’s banging words into the dash as if trying to get them through my thick skull” or “The birds could land anywhere on Lupita and she’d wear them like jewelry” (p. 73-74, 79). She uses italics and capital lettering to emphasize dialogue, such as, “Do you know who you’re talking to?” (p. 75) or “THAT’S RIGHT! YOU’RE TALKING TO RAY BIVENS JUNIOR!” Packer sets the scene with comparative description and more figurative speech, like “Indiana farmlands speed past in black and white. Beautiful,” and “It is completely dark and the road is revealing its secrets one at a time.” She paints her characters in a humorous light, even when the situation is serious. In The Ant of the Self, the deadbeat dad—Ray Bivens Junior—is seen as pesky and unproductive, who “sucks his teeth, making a noise that might as well be a curse,” (p. 81). When he speaks, he “starts up,” and he calls his son words like “pussy,” (p. 81, 84).

WC: 247

NPR Radio Interview Analysis

I listened to a story called Taken by the Taliban: A Doctor’s Story of Captivity, Rescue on October 12 on the program All Things Considered on NPR. Before beginning the actual interview, the interviewer got three to four quotes from the the interviewee, Dr. Dilip Joseph, to introduce him and give background on his career. Dr. Joseph then told the story of his tenth trip to Afghanistan, where he came face-to-face with the Taliban. The interview was presented as both a traditional interview, with bits of narration by the interviewer throughout the story. Rather than asking lots of questions or building up to questions, the interviewer seemed to have a step-by-step plan. He filled in information throughout the interview. It was almost like a performance, where the interviewer would tell listeners what happened while Dr. Joseph described each scene of the incident. The interview was definitely more organized than impromptu. There were few inadequate answers, if any at all, but if a response did not satisfy the interviewer, he encouraged Dr. Joseph to say more by commenting on his statements. The interviewer and interviewee’s relationship was formal. They did not directly speak to one another; instead they cohesively reported Dr. Joseph’s story. I learned that doing your research and knowing your subject is everything in an interview. This interview (like most NPR interviews) was so well-developed that the listener could listen with ease, without confusion, and with certainty that the interviewer knew his subject without question. The story was delivered with perfect timing and different aspects of the story were revealed at the right time (one soldier did die in the Taliban encounter, this was revealed in the last two minutes of the interview).

WC: 283

WOW #8: Quash

1. Quash

2. Source: NY Times, link

3. There is no evidence that Mr. Christie ordered the dismissal of the charges against Sheriff Trout. But his attorney general, Paula T. Dow, who had served as his counsel at the United States attorney’s office, supervised the quashing of the indictment and the ouster of the respected prosecutors.

4. Quash: v. reject or void, especially by legal procedure; put an end to; suppress

5. The rumors about the President’s affair were quashed by his wife at the press conference.

Copy Edit the World 2

These are screenshots of errors I’ve found. I’ve highlighted the errors in the screenshots as well.


This in-class assignment for our class has a typo in the title. The word “writing” is missing an i.

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 6.28.01 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 6.28.10 PM

The first screenshot has a critical error: the reporter spelled the woman’s name wrong. The second screenshot shows the same story on a different news site with the woman’s name spelled correctly. It is spelled “Veronica,” not “Vernica.”

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 6.54.20 PM

This flyer for San Jose State University’s PHEW (Peer Health Education Workshop) has a couple of errors in the green section. “Latecomers” is not hyphenated. It is one word. Changing the second sentence by adding the word up (“classes will fill up“) makes the sentence more cohesive.