The stubborn twig is a book authored by Lauren Kessler and which explores a story of Yasui as well as the entire family of the Japanese-American. The book highlights the identity of the American people from the immigrants’ point of view in the history of the United States. This essay supports the fact that the Yasui family story is a true representation of the twentieth Century family immigrants who were being faced by identity problem (Kessler 10).
This was aggravated by the moving headlines in famous newspapers, famous radio dramas and prominent newspapers. At a time when people were not allowed to question reports given by the press, the opinion of the public kept on being intensified against the Japanese.
Few people could differentiate the Japanese staying in Japan from those who had decided to live in American and were seeking for an American identity. This pressurized the government to consider the Japanese issue concerning the American identity (Kessler 13).
This is typical of the twentieth immigrants who used train as a means of transport during migration. Just like many of the immigrants, Masui went to Hood River with empty pockets and big dreams. Many Japanese-Americans lived in Hood River where they worked mainly in fruit tree farms, saw mills including logging camps.
The Yasui family worked diligently in their orchards which later own flourished in Hood River. Masuo Yasui was a renowned businessman, an acknowledged community leader as well as one of the most successful orchard owners in Oregon Having been a successful in his businesses, Masuo provided fiscal help to Japanese –Americans who were in need.
He also supported the immigrants with legal advice alongside being an advocate especially when the Japanese needed help from the Americans4539. He also helped most of the Japanese immigrant in buying their own land (Kessler 17). This is typical of the twenty first immigrants where those who were placed in strategic position like Masuo assisted their fellow immigrants in finding their American identity, acting as a link between the white community and the immigrants.
Pearl Harbor bombing arouse notable suspicion and fear among the Japanese living in America. After the war, each asset belonging to the immigrants was seized by the United States government. This led to the closure of the store belonging to the Yasui family and banning the family from neither taking any goods from the warehouse nor withdrawing any money.
This was followed by the seizure of the land belonging to this family. After the wars, the federal bureau of investigation representatives arrested Yasui. This is because the American government viewed him as being a very dangerous alien with a great potential of causing harm to the American people. (Kessler 38). Most of the immigrants faced such kind of treatment from the white community to suppress their efforts of finding the Americans identity.
The United States government was afraid of the Japanese because this was a group that seemed so powerful compared to Asians and the Germany. That is why these group of faced all forms of discrimination as a means of suppressing their efforts of finding an American identity.
The Yasui family was then forced out of their dwellings and was taken to an internment camp. The camps were located were located in isolated deserts in the mid-west and west of the United States. The camps were enclosed with barbed wires and fully guarded by the armed officers a characteristic of the twentieth century immigrants.
Most of the immigrants were held in captivity without trial, charges or hearing. The American community only branded them as probable dangerous aliens based on their being of a different race. The immigrants were discriminated against race among other things. This did not however, stop them from forging towards attaining the American identity (Kessler 50). Racial discrimination has been highlighted when Yuka who was the first student of the Japanese ancestry to go back to UO (University of Oregon).
Yuka encounters a hostile environment at UO which results from the imprisonment of her family members. The Yasui family were imprisoned for being spies Discrimination made it difficult for Yuka to pursue her career at the medical school. This is because Japanese-American women were discriminated against attending medical schools.
Yasui imprisonment including the loss of his belonging raised much suspicion making Hood River inhabitable following the war (Kessler 87). Since the Japanese-Americans were out to find their American identity, Yasui did not give up the hope even after being imprisoned and his family evacuated from homes. Having moved to Portland, Masuo Yasui decides to have his energy directed to assisting his fellow immigrants who had been evacuated to go back to their lives and homes and become United States citizens. He devoted his time to teaching the Japanese women and men most of who were elderly to get ready for citizenship.
He even gives challenge to other immigrants’ by becoming the first person to have passed the tests offered and hence becoming an American citizen by naturalization at sixty six years old. The twentieth century immigrants devoted themselves in helping their fellow immigrants so that they could attain the America identity as one people. Having been evacuated from their homes to internment camps, they still recollected themselves back to their homes.
The Yasui family was ravaged by the 1966 executive order by which the immigrants were stripped of their rights as well as property alongside being interned. In the stubborn twig, Lauren Kessler chronicles the experiences the Yasui family, for instance when the federal bureau of statistics agents searched the homes of the Japanese for fire arms, cameras, radios as well as anything that appeared suspicious.
After searching Yasui’s home and confiscating maps drawn by Yasui’s children meant for school tasks, Yasui was then seized from his family by the FBI agents to unknown destiny. The twentieth century immigrants worked out all the possible ways to have justice (Kessler 58).
This can be seen when Yasui’s eldest son lost his life as a result of fighting for justice. After the strive ,Min devoted his time ,energy and skills in helping the immigrants in the fight towards attaining the American identity. Min was awarded for averting race related riots that spread to other cities.
He devoted his time and life to civil rights and public service and also to rectify the discrimination against the Japanese at the time of war (Kessler 12). Whilst the Yasui family battled for redress for those the all the immigrants and themselves having been distressed by the order, this act was very crucial in building a new world.
Following the struggle by the Yasui family to fighting for Justice, Kessler explains the events the events that took place such as compensation by the United States government.
This is important because shades some light to the victory achieved by the Yasui family. This is very typical of the Twentieth century immigrants because the American government compensated all the immigrants who were held up in enchantment camps. This is an important feature of the immigrants during this period of time in history.
It explains the struggle taken by the immigrants and finally the triumph victory against their enemies. The stubborn twig outlines measures which were put in place to solve issues of racism for instance students and pupils in school were prohibited from looking down upon the Japanese-Americans. This was a very big step towards attaining their American identity.
In conclusion, the Yasui family story gives a true account of the twentieth century immigrants. Having been faced with a lot of challenges such as discrimination against race, language barrier as well as hard work and low pay, the Yasui family struggled through these constraints with the aim of attaining their goal that is getting the American identity.
Despite the infliction caused to the Yasui family, the scattering of the family and the internment of the families, the Japanese community does not lose hope in fighting for their identity.
Most of the family members devote their lives as well as careers in assisting the fellow Japanese-Americans in fighting for justice (Kessler 214). The family however, continues to encounter success in the fight against racism and has finally managed to attain the American identity. The story is a true representation of the twentieth century Japanese immigrants to America.
Kessler, Lauren. Stubborn Twig:Three Generations in the Life of a Japanese American Family. Oregon Historical Society, 2005.