They Called Us Enemy

Hello! My name is Amelia Kawaguchi and I am a sophomore here at FVHS. Currently, I am writing a thesis claim for my honors English course and I was hoping you’d be interested in reading a graphic novel! 

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei is one of the most unique graphic novels that I’ve read in a long time, for a wide variety of reasons. First, it conveys the trauma and hardships that Japanese Americans faced during their internment of World War II. The story is told from the perspective of five-year-old George Takei and readers can clearly see the emotional conflict and fear he faces. With no real understanding of what’s going on, he struggles to try and protect himself and his family during such an uncertain time. The story is so moving and emotional because many readers can’t even begin to imagine being in such a situation at such a young age. 

For those that love history and social studies, this novel is a great way to learn about the Japanese American internment during WWII and Executive order 9066. Anyone can go to their local library and find a history textbook or novel to read. Anyone can open google and find an article. However, graphic novels such as They Called Us Enemy are a new and refreshing way to consume information and learn about different historical events. If you’re a history geek you’ll definitely love this graphic novel. Or maybe you’re a reader that has a hard time-consuming information with bulky text? This novel effectively informs you of important events through much simpler methods like drawings and short dialogue! 

Lastly, the graphic novel’s ability to convey raw emotions allows readers to learn from the mistake of our country and be sure that nothing like this ever happens again. This may be the most important reason why one should read They Called Us Enemy. Even within the past 30 years, we almost saw history repeat itself after 9/11. After the Twin Towers had been destroyed and hundreds of people killed, Americans all over the country feared Muslim Americans. They soon began talking of throwing them into internment camps, just as they had 60 years earlier. Do you know who stood firmly next to the Muslims in the face of hatred and fear? Japanese Americans. This was only thanks to the fact that we were aware of the internment of WWII and were not going to let it happen ever again. Hopefully, through outlets such as Takei’s novel, we can continue to raise awareness of atrocities such as the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. 

With that, I thank you for taking the time to read this writing. Hopefully, I’ve compelled you to read this graphic novel! So… when do you plan on checking it out?

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