HomeJapanese AmericanGeorge Takei releases children's book "My Lost Freedom"

George Takei releases children’s book “My Lost Freedom”

George Takei shares his experiences at an Arkansas incarceration camp during WWII with water-colored illustrations of barbed wires and armed soldiers, in his new children’s book My Lost Freedom.

The Star Trek actor, activist, and author wanted to help children understand his experiences as a Japanese American during a time of adversity and discrimination, KARK reports.

“I looked back at my own memories to help children today understand what it feels like to be treated as an enemy by your own country,” Takei said in an Instagram post. “This is a story of my family’s courage and the important of staying true to yourself in the face of injustice.”

Two months after the Pearl Harbor bombing, Takei (4) and his family were forced to leave their home in California.

“Americans saw us as the enemy simply because we looked like the people who did the bombing,” Takei wrote in his book.

According to Penguin Random House, him and his family would move around between three different camps, Santa Anita, Camp Rohwer, and Tule Lake. The Takei family, alongside the other 120,000 Japanese Americans sent to camps endured poor living conditions and unjust treatment.

“The generation that went through that experience were so wounded by it and also felt so ashamed by it, which is actually not their shame,” Takei said. “The shame is that of the governments because they’re the ones that acted in such an irrational and cruel undemocratic way.”

After four years in camp, when World War II the Japanese Americans were released. Each prisoner was given $25 and one-way ticket to the U.S. destination of their choice. The Takeis, with nothing, returned to Los Angeles and started over.

When they returned home, Takei wanted to talk about their experiences, People reports. Takei said that him and his parents “had many after-dinner conversations.”

And, now, Takei hopes to continue these conversations for generations to come. In his book, he writes for children ages 6 through 9. Targeting this age group, he is able to educate and reach more people.

“My Lost Freedom tells a very elementary story, but maybe even on that elementary level, it puts the curiosity of daddy and mom to learn a little more about it,” Takei said. “And for their children, they are introduced to that story.”

((Note: 10% of the sales of this book purchased through this link will be donated to Asian American Media Inc))

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