Stuff contributed by esnewman

Yoshitaro Amano, Canal Zone Resident and Prisoner #203 - Part 7

Esther Newman

Part 6 >>Amano and the others stepped off the train at Pennsylvania Station on June 16. Guards escorted the group across the street to the Pennsylvania Hotel, onto a freight elevator and up to the fourth floor. They joined “about thirty other people quartered in rooms close to us. Most …

Yoshitaro Amano, Canal Zone Resident and Prisoner #203 - Part 6

Esther Newman

Part 5 >>Few prisoners spoke directly to the enemy in protest but some were willing to speak up when ordered to do so. According to Amano, the military conducted a court martial of the soldier accused of shooting Kanesaburo Oshima, calling ten Japanese as witnesses. One courageous witness, Shindo Tamezo, …

Yoshitaro Amano, Canal Zone Resident and Prisoner #203 - Part 5

Esther Newman

Part 4 >>Spirits spiked and plummeted throughout the next several months that included the anxiety-ridden voyage aboard the Florida from Panama to New Orleans followed by long hours on a train through desolate territory to an unknown destination. A high point for the prisoners occurred on the train.  An American …

Yoshitaro Amano, Canal Zone Resident and Prisoner #203 - Part 4

Esther Newman

Part 3 >>On the evening of December 7, 1941, Amano recalled ordering his two Panamanian maids to bring whiskey and three glasses.  He poured for the three of them and offered a toast to Japan’s victory and a toast to his love of Panama.  On impulse, he grabbed the Japanese …

Yoshitaro Amano, Canal Zone Resident and Prisoner #203 - Part 3

Esther Newman

Part 2 >>Amano confirmed that military personnel did more than mistreat prisoners for entertainment; they gathered intelligence in concert with the FBI.  Amano revealed in his statements that his highly suspect activities and defiant attitude made him a target.  While captive, the Americans identified Amano only by the number on …

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

Esther Newman

Part 1 >>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 …

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

Esther Newman

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 …

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Esther Newman recently moved back to her hometown of Encinitas, California. After a career in marketing and media production for Ohio’s Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, she completed an M.A. in twentieth century American history. She plans to continue independent research on her family’s history and topics affecting the Japanese Diaspora including internment, migration and assimilation.

Nikkei interests

  • community history
  • family stories

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