Esther Newman

Esther Newman recently moved back to her hometown of Encinitas, California. After college and a career in marketing and media production for Ohio’s Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, she returned to school to study twentieth century American history. While in graduate school, she became interested in her family’s history and now plans to continue independent research on topics affecting the Japanese Diaspora including internment, migration and assimilation.

Updated July 2010

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Yoshitaro Amano, Canal Zone Resident and Prisoner #203 - Part 2

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In a July 1941 meeting, representatives from both the Department of Justice and the Department of War formalized injunctions that barred enemy aliens from restricted areas such as the Canal Zone, and forbade possession of firearms, ammunition, cameras, short wave radio receivers, and signaling devices. Fishing boats frequently contained these items, raising suspicions that the fishermen could assist Japanese submarines. The United States’ House Committee on Un-American Activities claimed that federal investigators possessed a map, allegedly distributed among Japanese aliens, which contained vital military information on the Panama Canal, justifying fears of a “fishing boat menace.” The map ...

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Yoshitaro Amano, Canal Zone Resident and Prisoner #203 - Part 1

My grandfather, Yoshitaro Amano, was one of the more than two thousand Japanese Latin Americans seized abroad, shipped to the United States, and interned without charge during World War II. For a graduate research project on this topic, I read Seiichi Higashide’s memoir, Adios to Tears and watched Casey Peak’s documentary, Hidden Internment: The Art Shibayama Story, but there had to be more sources. After at least a semester-long search for additional first-person accounts, my mother casually announced that her father had written a book in 1943 about his experiences and asked, “Would that help?” It certainly would ...

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