Gasa Gasa Girl Goes to Camp, follows Lily Yuriko Nkai Havey’s life in the Japanese internment camps (Santa Anita and Amache). She writes about her and her family’s experience in the internment camp, their everyday lives, and their life before the camps. Yuriko was 10 years old when her and her family were kicked out of their home and into a “temporary” camp. The camps were said to be a temporary solution, and thousands of Japanese Americans and other “enemies” of the state were forced into these camps to contain any potential threats. I found it interesting how whenever she and her mom talk about the situation they are living through, she says “my America” or she says “I am American,” whenever she says so her mother always corrects her and tells her that she is Japanese because she looks Japanese and that, that is the only thing the government or Americans will see. Another thing that is discussed was how the Japanese tried to be more American and tried to lessen their Japanese culture. An example is when she mentions how many of her mother’s friends had their eyes “fixed” to make their eyes look wider like Americans eyes.
Another part of the story was religion, once again we see religion as a way of coping with reality and how it helped maintain ties to their native land. Yuriko’s mother followed Buddhism closely, she went to the sermons and prayed as well. She blames her karma for what was happening to them. On multiple occasions she would mention how because she had done something bad in her past life she was now suffering. This was different from the other readings we had because in the prior readings they used religion as relief from their lives, while in this reading it was both relief and it was also the cause of their suffering.