Narratives are personal stories that help enrich the reader’s understanding of a time period, person, place, or event. These are first-person views of history taken from personal recollections, memoirs, diaries, and oral histories.


Information included in this section is not fact checked by the Encyclopedia staff. The author of the Narrative is entirely responsible for its content.


Before my family lived at Rohwer in Arkansas, my father was in Japan, where he was interned during the first part of the war.
Daddy sent my mother and my sister back to the States for safety but elected to stay, believing that Christianity was for ALL and had nothing to do with race or nationality. He wanted to stand with his already persecuted Japanese Christian brothers. He was also a conscientious objector (CO).
The morning of the Pearl Harbor attack, Daddy’s “guardian angel” came and told him to bring essentials; their nations were at war. The non-Japanese (many Europeans, as well as Americans) were housed on the campus of a Catholic girls’ school located between Tokyo and Yokohama.
Some time after the men were interned, they were allowed to request belongings from their homes. Daddy asked for, and received, their baby grand piano, which was enjoyed by all. The day the things were brought to them, Daddy’s “angel” called him out into the hallway and reached under his shirt for a package. He brought out a framed photograph of my mother and sister, which my father had not requested, having a copy in his billfold and not wanting to ask for too much.
Daddy was repatriated on the Gripsholm, with the first group of prisoners to be exchanged. When my mother went to New York to meet Daddy, she waited at the hotel as internee after internee arrived, but not Daddy. Our government, knowing Daddy’s status as a CO, had detained him to question him on his loyalty. Daddy finally convinced them that while he would do nothing to further the U.S. war effort, neither would he hinder it or further the Japanese cause. They continued their ministry with Japanese-speaking congregations in Houston before moving to McGehee (and Rohwer).

 


Alice Garrott Hooker
Berea, KY