Asian American Experience
Carlos Bulosan and Ko Wakatsuki arrived in the United States filled with vast dreams of accomplishment and endless possibility. However, though each was strong in character, and determined to succeed, neither was prepared for the paths that their lives would ultimately take. Furthermore, neither of these men realized that, in the end, one man would discover that his ability to endure hardship was limited. The other man would forgive the hardships he experienced in exchange for a few moments of glory that were enough to sustain him. In theory, both of these men held the inner strength and intelligence to become a success in the country of their dreams. Yet, no one can predict at what moment, or event, he or she will let go of a dream. No one can be certain what one can withstand until one is living that moment.
Persons of Japanese Ancestry
Ko Wakatsuki was the primary figure in his family. Through tradition, culture, and age he became a man that was revered and respected by his family and in his world. That was true of his life until he arrived in the United States from Hiroshima. By May 3, 1942, these instructions were posted:
“…To all persons of Japanese Ancestry…Pursuant to the Provisions of Civilian Exclusion Order No. 33, this headquarters, dated May 3, 1942, all persons of Japanese ancestry, both alien and non-alien, will be evacuated from the above area by 12 o’clock noon, P.W.T., Saturday, May 9, 1942…”.
Loss of Dreams
In a life where Wakatsuki was once thought of as a great man, the posting immediately made him the enemy of a country that he had believed welcomed him with open arms. Accused, and innocent, Wakatsuki could not find the means to convince the world around him that he had committed no crime. Instead, he viewed thousands of men befall that same circumstance; and the hope that he once held for his dreams to become reality slowly began to fade into obscurity.
Woodrow Wilson wrote: “We grow great by dreams…Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish them through the bad days ‘till they (flourish); bring them to the sunshine and light, which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true…”