Yukiko Miyano and 5 children await their father/husband’s return from Lordsburg, N. Mex. prison camp

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Reverends Giichi & Yukiko

Tribute by Ruth Tamaki Miyano Beadles

It is my parents, Rev. Giichi and Yukiko Miyano whom I wish to honor in this tribute. They came to the USA in 1928 and 1934 as missionaries of the Tenrikyo Church. They lived in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, with 4 children when December 7, 1941, began the World War II for us.

In February, 1942, the FBI arrested my father because, I guess he was considered dangerous to the security of the country because he was a minister of his church. My mother did not know where he was taken and was left with 4 children, Yukihiro, Sakae, Tamaki, and Seitaro, and expecting their 5th child. In May, 1942, we were evacuated taking only what we could carry ourselves, with all the Japanese Issei and Nisei in Los Angeles and incarcerated at the Santa Anita Racetrack Assembly Center where the youngest, Masao, was born in July. Then, in September we were taken by train to Rohwer Camp, Arkansas. We lived in Block 11-9-F and did not see our father until 2 years later.

This attached photo was taken in Rohwer Camp, with a camera, borrowed from a Nisei soldier of the 442nd Infantry Battalion when he was on leave visiting his parents imprisoned at Rohwer. This photo accompanied a letter my mother had a friend write for her to request that Mr. Dillon, of the War Relocation Authority, to please send her husband to join them from the prison in New Mexico to Rohwer Camp. Eventually, when he rejoined our family at Rohwer, my oldest brother said our father was a very angry, bitter man, but eventually, through his spiritual strength he was able to take up his life as a minister after the war when we returned to Los Angeles.

Our parents did not talk about the camp years—I guess because it was “shikata-ga-nai”—what happened can’t be changed—just get on with our lives. I am grateful to the many people, especially the Sansei and Yonsei generations who helped agitate for reparation and an apology from the U.S. government. Our parents were no longer alive when we received our reparation checks—I accepted the money on their behalf and in their memory—I wrote a “thank you” note to President Bush from whom we received the official letter of apology—to tell him that we received the check to honor our parents and will continue to be grateful for their legacy of their faithful spiritual dedication and “gambare”!