By Jeanette S. Arakawa.
Though the names and specific details are fictional, this story is based on the author’s own pre-World War II and post-war life experiences. The story is told from the point of view of young Marie Mitsui who lives a rather typical life in San Francisco California until the onset of World War II and the forcible relocation of her family along with 120,000 others of Japanese ancestry to internment camps. Arakawa deftly conveys through her vivid narrative the innocence, the shock, outrage, despair, friendships, and resilience of spirit of living through those years. Deeply moving and poignant, The Little Exile is an exceptional read not only for those who lived through this era and identify with Arakawa’s story, but particularly for those who did not experience it firsthand. As world renowned Professor Michio Kaku asserts, The Little Exile should be required reading in our schools. For the many people who have little or no knowledge of this time in U.S. history, The Little Exile provides an intimate personal account of its devastating impact.
Jeanette Arakawa is a member of the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple and is on the committee coordinating the upcoming World Buddhist Women’s Convention to be held August 31-September 1, 2019 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.