Asian America: The Ken Fong Podcast

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General Highly Recommended

EP 416: Shirley Ann Higuchi On Setsuko’s Secret and Intergenerational Trauma Stemming from EO9066

Attorney and author Shirley Ann Higuchi was puzzled when her dying mother asked that the koden money from her pending funeral be donated to a place called Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming. After her mom died, Shirley was even more mystified when a committee claiming to represent HMRC asked a representative of her family to attend a ceremony at there as they dedicated a trail to the late Setsuko. Her reluctant decision to travel to this remote site that had unjustly imprisoned nearly 11,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry after the attack on Pearl Harbor, HI, not only started her on an in-depth journey into this dark chapter of America’s racist past, but it slowly opened her eyes to the long-term, lingering effects that this traumatic experience had on her parents and on her and her sibling. Her book “Setsuko’s Secret: Heart Mountain and the Legacy of the Japanese American Incarceration,” not only chronicles the injustices and the in-fighting, but is also illustrated with little-known stories of the suffering that some of the Japanese Americans had to endure.