Ms. Yukiko Okinaga Hayakawa Llewellyn passes away on March 8, 2020. She was a symbol of hardship of Japanese Americans during the Second World War.
She was taken from her home with her family from her residence in Los Angeles when Japanese navy attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. She and her family were tranported to Manzanar War Relocation Center in California’s Owens Valley only because her family were ethnic Japanese.
She was released after staying in the center for 3 1/2 years. It was said she had to live “even without toys in the center.” The center had its own town, featuring schools, post offices and work facilities, as well as farmland for growing food and keeping livestocks.
It took time for those interned to get compensation. Eventually, in 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 apologizing for the internment on behalf of the U.S. government and authorized a payment of $20,000 to each former internee who was still alive when the act was passed.
Our sincere condolences on the passing of Ms. Llewellyn. She was a great person and an awesome citizen. Nonetheless, we thought about millions of Koreans who suffered under cruel Japanese rules at that time.
There were millions of Korean people like Ms. Llewellyn who were relocated by force, tortured, raped, taken and eventually abandoned in many islands in the Pacific and even slaughtered by Japanese government during the 35 years of occupation. Ms. Llewellyn had to play without toys. But millions of Korea kids had to work without foods.
Before, any person laments the agony of Japanese Americans in the tragic era, the person must think those millions of Koreans in heaven who are still waiting for apology by Japanese government after 75 year from the end of the War.