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Oda says her mother struggled to participate, spending each day feeling like a prisoner in her own country.“My mother would cry when they would do the Pledge of Allegiance with soldiers with armed guards.
It was very hard for her to even tell us it was that hard,” she said.
During a hot summer day in the Valley, volunteers at Dr.
By making a record of the events was his contribution,” said Oda.
Senior hot meals are served twice a week by long-time members of the Center, along with a range of activities like ballroom dancing, Mahjong games, Japanese calligraphy, and judo.
Many of the regulars spend time in the gymnasium where they embrace the sounds of the taiko drum and the ukulele. They play Mahjong, ukulele, and you can see lots of energy. Her family - along with other families that settled in the San Fernando Valley - have had a long history and connection to the Center’s roots.
Before leaving, Oda’s father locked many philosophical books that provided him comfort and strength in the basement of his home. Her father, she says, felt compelled to answer "no," because his brothers were still living in Japan.
“He put a lot of his precious things in the basement," Oda recalled, "whereas a lot of people burned their Japanese memorabilia.”Oda’s father rounded up the family, went to Lancaster to gather the rest of the family, and reported back at a relocation camp in Poston, Arizona, where he was a judo instructor. Answering "yes" would put him at war with his own family.