ROOM FOR SELF-IMPROVEMENT

Date unknown, Letter from Gihachi to Tsugio, translated from Japanese.

Since arriving here, both my emotions and spirit have settled down and I have been putting more effort into self-improvement.

February 14, 1942, Diary entry by Gihachi, translated from Japanese.

When you have a lot of time, it isn’t difficult in this place to waste time without realizing it.

Date unknown, Letter from Gihachi to Tsugio, translated from Japanese.

Each Sunday there are talks/sermons from each of the religions. Recently, in this building for an hour each, there have been lectures in calligraphy, English conversation, English letter-writing, American history, and law. I too, when not on duty, go and listen. I too am working as much as possible towards self-improvement.

Contribution to GYs Scrapbook by aquaintance - JANM Enemy Mail

Is this Japanese writing?

Carving by Gihachi - JANM Enemy Mail
November 12, 1942, Letter from Gihachi to Lillian, written in English.

I was so busy last 2 weeks as we had a exhibition for 3 days and I was on committee. We exhibited all kinds of things we made and pictures writing too. I exhibited two writing which was very good for me. The exhibition was so gorgeous and was success. The exhibition hall is closed now but things are still displayed yet as we got to show for Army’s big men who are coming soon to see them.

February 2, 1944, Letter from Gihachi to Lillian and Angela, written in English.

What is a suiban and suzuriI am little busy now to finish my job making a quite big suiban out of the famous shell rock here. Beside friends ask me to make “suzuri” too.

February 24, Letter from Gihachi to Tsugio, translated from Japanese.

What is Utai?On top of that, in 2 or 3 days, utai will be added. Yesterday, the papers that had not been handed over for a long time were finally distributed, and I too received my utai books. So suddenly I will start up with utai lessons.

March 9, 1942, Letter from Gihachi to Tsugio, Lillian, and Angela; written in English.

What is Chikubu ShimaI have just finished the chikubu shima, the utai, today. About 10 people in the class. Mr. Nagamoto is very good, and fancy singer. Dr. Amano and I are only man that knows more. And I am just started the shuji too. Many thing I can learn if I try to learn.

April 10, 1942, Diary entry by Gihachi, translated from Japanese.

Noh singing made me very happy. That I had to stop dance class just when it was no longer difficult and I could really practice was really regrettable.

June 8, 1942, Letter from Gihachi to Tsugio, Lillian, and Angela; written in English.

Tomorrow we start the utai singing again. We are kind hurry to study more of it because we mighty lose our teacher Mr. Nagamoto as he signed for “yes” to go to Japan.

Illustration of Utai - JANM Enemy Mail
Zori made by Gihachi - JANM Enemy Mail
November 9, 1942, Letter from Gihachi to Lillian, written in English.

I am sorry it was so late to send you getas but they are all ready now to send to you. We can send just one 6 pounds package in a month. Those getas for you are too good to be use in bath. If you need some getas for bath use I will send you more unpainted getas all you want.
What are zori and geta

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Captions for above images
Contribution to Gihachi’s scrapbook by an acquaintance.
Japanese American National Museum (94.166.29)
Carving by Gihachi.
Japanese American National Museum (94.166.8)
Illustration of utai (Noh singing) class, contributed to Gihachi’s scrapbook by a classmate, while both were interned at Camp Livingston, Louisiana.
Japanese American National Museum (94.166.29)
Zori, or woven straw sandals, Gihachi made for his family, The thongs are made from used fabric sacks he asked Tsugio to send him.
Japanese American National Museum (94.166.30)