Digital History>eXplorations>Japanese American Internment>The Internment Experience>Emiko Kamiya

Have you ever lain awake on Christmas Eve with everything about you strange, quiet and still as death?… As Christmas drew nearer, we older children knew that this year there wouldn’t be gifts and much fun for the little children, for out here in a concentration camp we thought no one would think of us. So we tried extra hard to make Christmas as happy as possible for the tots. Christmas was ushered in with cold, howling winds…. Refusing to be discouraged, we panned for a party for which everyone gladly donated some money. We decorated the Mess Hall with red and green crepe papers and wreaths made of desert holly…. As if with the waving of a magic wand the bare cold mess hall was changed into an enchanting place.

Emiko Kamiya, who was interned at the Poston Relocation Center, quoted in Werner, Through the Eyes of Innocents, p. 94

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