Jamillah Gabriel: Moments in Time

The Tule Lake exit phone book (FAR) data represents the majority of information available about the many Japanese American citizens who passed through the internment camp system. In most cases, this in conjunction with the limited data from the entry file, represents all of the information that is available. While there is not much here that allows us to paint a complete picture of their lives, we are at least able to conceive of some select moments in time, which I attempt to do in the case of Mrs. Kashi.

A screenshot of a computer Description automatically generated

Above: FAR exit file


A screenshot of a computer Description automatically generated

Above: Exit record for Mrs. Mitsuye Kashi

Mrs. Mitsuye Kashi was born on April 24, 1898 in the southern division of Honshu, Japan. Eighteen years later, she would arrive in the US, and later become an American citizen, marry Jutaro Kashi, and have a son, Tomio. Before internment, she and her family lived in Sacramento, California. But in 1942, the family was moved to a local assembly center located on Walerga Road, and soon after, assigned to the Sacramento internment camp. At some point, the family was transferred to the Tule Lake internment camp, where sadly, Mrs. Kashi would spend her last days. On June 4, 1943, less than a year after arriving at Tule Lake, Mrs. Kashi committed suicide. She was 45 years old. We have no record of why she committed suicide, but one can assume that life in the internment camp was unbearable for her.

In September, just three months later, Mrs. Kashi’s son was sent away to Central Utah Project, or the Topaz camp, which was a segregation center for dissidents. There are no records of what happened to Tomio afterwards. Her husband was released on June 28, 1944 and upon final departure from the camp, became a resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

3 thoughts on “Jamillah Gabriel: Moments in Time”

  1. Oh my gosh. Reading through your narrative for Mrs. Kashi and her family was heartbreaking. All things considered, you were able to piece together a pretty significant story here. I wonder if this database information could be matched against any other records (in Japan?) in order to create a fuller story.

  2. I agree – what a sad story! In my mind I can see the comparisons and contrasts with what is happening now with the immigration camps on the US southern border, and the fact that there are inadequate records in both situations. Is there any indication that small children were separated from their parents in the Japanese camps?

  3. I think I most interested in the lives of these citizens while in the camps, and those details are what are so hard to find, of course. I haven’t read anything about children being separated from their parents. From what I know, families lived together as a unit. There are some instances though where husbands were separated from their families and sent to other camps if they were identified as dissidents. So I imagine that there were probably some cases of separation.

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