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Caucasian Boy at a Japanese Camp (book)

Creators: Thomas T. Harkness

image
Book cover. Courtesy of Tulahark Press
View in the Densho Encyclopedia

The son of the superintendent of schools at Tule Lake concentration camp recounts his experiences as a young boy there.

The author begins by explaining that he is recounting events that happened sixty years ago, when he was 11, when his father was appointed the superintendent of schools at Tule Lake. He then provides a brief overview of the events leading up to incarceration, as well as how his family relocated from South Dakota so his father could work at Tule Lake. He describes the arrival of the first inmates, as well as his lack of understanding of what was occurring at the time. He also provides a detailed description of the local topography and environment.

The book focuses on his experiences, including how his family faced hostility from residents of the nearby town of Tulelake, his friendships with several Japanese American boys his age, his friendship with the son of the high school principal, different boyish antics he and his friends got into, and his schooling in various settings. His family eventually returned to South Dakota while his father was recruited to work on the new school curriculum for Japanese schools as part of the Allied Occupation.

Author Background

Tom Harkness (1930-2016) was born to missionary parents in Mozambique. He spent most of his childhood in the Midwest, with the exception of the years he spent in Tule Lake. He earned his M.D. from Yale University, and helped to develop new triage techniques while stationed at an air force base in California during the Vietnam War. He also helped oversee the building of the Redlands Medical Center in Redlands, California, where he was for most of his career. He spent most of his retirement in Sonora, Mexico.

Media Details
Author Thomas T. Harkness
Pages 64
Publication Date 2004
For More Information

For More Information

Kristina Hernandez. " Tom Harkness, longtime Redlands physician, has died ." Redlands [California] Daily Facts , Oct. 26, 2016.

Authored by Emily Anderson

Might also like Song of Anger: Tales of Tule Lake by Barney Shallit; Dusty Exile: Looking Back at Japanese Relocation During World War II by Catherine Embree Harris; The Climate of the Country by Marnie Mueller