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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
CHAPTER 16: Free to Go
The government announces that in the next twelve months, all the camp detainees will be released; but no provisions are made for their return and assimilation into society. Additionally, nothing is done about the property, possessions, and positions lost when they were detained. Those remaining at Manzanar are fearful about living outside, for they have heard about the ongoing hostility towards the Japanese. The Wakatsukis are definitely fearful. They have no place to go. Jeanne's parents want to return to California, even though most of the family has moved to New Jersey.
The news of the camp closings is a mixed blessing for the Japanese- Americans. Of course the Wakatsukis have longed for freedom since the day of their detainment; but their release puts them in a predicament. They have lost everything and have no place to go. Just as they have adjusted to Manzanar and made their quarters habitable, they feel they are being forced into the world with no help or remuneration. They also have a very real fear of being marked as the enemy by their American neighbors. Finally, Ko, now bitter and old, has no ideas about how to start over again.
CHAPTER 17: Starting All Over
It is announced that December 1, 1945 is to be the final closing date for Manzanar. As the Wakatsukis begin to make plans for their departure, Hiroshima is bombed in August, and the war soon ends. Ko is tormented, for he does not know if his extended family in Hiroshima is dead or alive. Even his immediate family has been permanently affected by the war and its attendant prejudice against the Japanese. Several of his older children have moved to New Jersey, hoping to escape the racism so prevalent in California during and after the war.
By October, the family knows its departure is eminent; but no definite arrangements have been made. Ko is in a total quandary about what he can do. Since he is an immigrant, he is no longer able to hold a fishing license in the United States as a result of the California Law passed in 1943. Because his old career is forbidden to him, he must find some other way to provide for the family. He plans a co-operative housing project with the help of the other Japanese who have lost their livelihoods because of Manzanar.
The bombing of Hiroshima is a shocking event for Ko, and he is extremely worried about the safety of his extended family that lives there. He is also troubled that his immediate family is now split up, with several of his children moving the New Jersey after the war.
His primary concern, however, is how the remaining Wakatsuki family will live after they depart from Manzanar. Ko can no longer provide for them by being a fisherman. It is not surprising that he feels tormented; his emotions range from frustration to outright rage and arrogance at the slightest provocation.Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version