Alum Florence Makita Hongo, 91, Recalls Her Experience in Internment Camp

Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Photo of Florence Makita Hongo

NICHI BEI WEEKLY -- San Francisco State University graduate Florence Makita Hongo, 91, recalled her experience living in a concentration camp during World War II. “You’re living in a place that is surrounded by barbed wire fences, no private bathrooms,” said Hongo.

Hongo was 12 when her family, who was living in the Central California town of Cressey at the time, was placed in the south east corner of the Granada (Amache) concentration camp in Colorado.

Hongo continues the Asian American Curriculum Project’s mission today by bringing literature out to community events and by sharing her story. “It might have become better for us, the Japanese Americans after the war, but there are still other immigrants who are suffering over and over again,” said Hongo. “So I don’t know how much they (the United States government) have learned over the years about the people who are not white.”