Walter Imahara and David Meltzer: “Memories of Japanese American Internment in World War II Arkansas”
CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies Presents LEGACIES & LUNCH
Speaker: Walter Imahara and David Meltzer
Not long after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the federal government rounded up more than 100,000 people of Japanese descent—both immigrants and native-born citizens—and began one of the most horrific mass-incarceration events in U.S. history. Jerome and Rohwer: Memories of Japanese American Internment in World War II Arkansas is a collection of brief memoirs written by former internees of Jerome and Rohwer, the two camps located in Arkansas, and their close family members. Dozens of individuals, almost all of whom are now in their eighties or nineties, share their personal accounts as well as photographs and other illustrations related to their life-changing experiences. The collection, likely to be one of the last of its kind, is the only work composed solely of autobiographical remembrances of life in Jerome and Rohwer, and one of the very few that gathers in a single volume the experiences of internees in their own words.
Walter Imahara was born in California, where his family were prominent members of the local Japanese American farming community before World War II. After being interned at Jerome and Rohwer, he became a U.S. Army officer, the owner of a successful nursery and landscape business, and a national champion weightlifter. He is the author of I Am an American: Japanese American, Asian Cajun.
David Meltzer is associate professor in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at Arizona State University in Mesa.
Legacies & Lunch is a free monthly program of CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies about Arkansas-related topics.
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