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Takashi Mayekawa

English 10B per [period] I

Jan. [January] 25, 1943

My Autobiography

My name is Takashi Mayekawa and I was born on a lonely farm little south of Gardena, California. My mother tells me it was a very cold windy morning of January 31, 1927.

My fathers’ occupation was farmer and he usually use to raise celery, spinach, cauliflower, and cabbage. Most of the time my sisters and I use to help him on his ranch on the weekends or after school. I think my mother is very kind to me because when ever I have a tuff problem or trouble to solve she always cheer me up and tries to clear the trouble away from me. Most of the time when I speak with my parents at home I speak Japanese to them because they do not speak English very well. But when I speak with my sister I use English and Japanese both. When I was almost four or five years of age I always was playing around with my friends which lived next door to me. I could remember how we use to have tricycle race, mud fight, and always having a fight at the end. These ages past quickly and I was old enough to attend the grammar school. The school I attended was a very small and it’s name was

184th Street School. Like most of the friends I know

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I did not like to go to school at first but before I knew it I graduated and was promoted to jr. high school.

When I first went in the jr. Hi. of Gardena it was so large compared to the grammar school that once in a while I use to get lost. But gradually I began to find out where everything was and after that everything went smoothly. For two years I was in Gardena Jr. [Athenians] and if I got it once more I could have a certificate but I did not make it. At the same time I was going to Japanese school. In here we learned to speak and write Japanese and once a year we had a track meet. On this track meet was all the students of the school is divided into two equal team and we have to do all kinds of events. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd winners gets a prize and at the end we add the points of the two team gets the gold cup for that year.

I have a hobby which is stamp collection. I started this hobby about two years ago and I have the album pretty well filled with the stamps of various countries. I am wishing to start another hobby about scrap book. When I have nothing to do at home I usually work on my hobby or listen

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to the radio. On Saturdays I usually go see motion picture shows. I did not go to any of the social gatherings but I was in several clubs. One of them is fencing club and I was a member of this club for three years. Once in a while we have to go to Los Angeles and do fencing with another club.

On summer vacation I did not do much things but help my father on the ranch. Sometimes I use to go duck hunting with my friends on the nearby lake. Once on a while I go fishing with my father on the [barge] and once we caught one sack full of salmon

When we got the notice to evacuate on April 14, 1942, it was so sudden that we had a hard time cleaning the ranch and the equipments we had. But we barely managed to clean everything up and got ready to move. On the morning of April 14 we started a caravan from [Leuzinger] and it was about one mile long with trucks and cars. This day was very [rainy] and most of the peoples blankets were all soaking wet.

But lucky thing we had our truck covered with canvas so none of our stuff was wet. After riding about three hours we finally reached the Santa Anita assembly center.

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When we received our new home and unloaded the goods we brought, it was time to eat so we ate our first dinner in the assembly center at the grandstand. At the assembly center we did not have much thing to do. But we had a Jr. baseball league and I was playing for one time. I went to school which was held at the grandstand. On Sept. 26, 1942 we got a notice to leave to Arkansas. On the train we had very good food and comfortable seats. When I woke up on the morning of Sept. 27, we were already in Arizona and had nothing much to see because it was all mountains and deserts. Next couple of days we passed through New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, and finally in the evening of 29th we were in the state of

Arkansas and reached the Rohwer Relocation Center next morning. This January of 1943 marks the fourth month of my stay at Arkansas and I am really appreciating the government’s kind way of trying to make us comfortable as possible. As long as my home is here, I am doing my to uphold the rules of this center and am trying my best to be a good evacuee.



Date Created and/or Issued


Publication Information

Rohwer Relocation Center

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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Takashi Mayekawa Autobiography,  January 25, 1943