‘I will never be able to forget that horrifying, terrifying morning’: Star Trek’s George Takei, 85, recalls his family being taken to an American concentration camp during WWII
Star Trek royalty George Takei recalled the ‘horrifying and terrifying’ morning which has inspired his new West End musical Allegiance, during a chat on Monday.
George, 85, appeared on Good Morning Britain on Monday where he detailed his family’s experience of being sent to an American concentration camp in 1943, during World War II.
He said that his family were taken to the camp along with other Japanese Americans who were ‘deemed untrustworthy’ after the events of Pearl Harbor.
‘I’ll never be able to forget that terrifying morning’: Star Trek’s George Takei, 85, told GMB on Monday about his family being taken to an American concentration camp during WWII
‘Japanese Americans on the West Coast, approximately 120,000 of us… were rounded up with no charge and no trial,’ he said.
‘The Attorney General of the State of California said we have no reports of spying or sabotage. But he said, “The Japanese are inscrutable, we can’t tell what they are thinking. So it would be prudent to lock them up before they do anything”.
‘For this top attorney of California, the absence of evidence was evidence.’
George said in 2019 ‘I know what concentration camps are. I was inside two of them, in America’. He’s pictured right as a young boy and left in September 2018. Takei has previously spoken about being in an internment with his parents during World War II aged 5
In June 2019, Takei- tweeted to his 2.9 million followers about what he has been through
Recalling the morning his family were taken to the concentration camp George said, ‘I was five years old, but I will never be able to forget that morning when my Father came into the bedroom that I shared with my brother… and told us to wait in the living room while my parents did some last minute packing.
‘Henry and I were at the front window just gazing out and suddenly we saw two soldiers marching up our driveway, carrying rifles and they started banging on the door.
‘Henry and I were petrified. My father came out and answered the door and they pointed the bayonet at him and they said, “Get your family out of this house.” Our home.
Small mercies: Takei said thankfully he wasn’t separated from his mother and father during World War II
Iconic role: George, (left), pictured with Walter Koenig in a still from Star Trek in 1968
‘I will never be able to forget that horrifying, terrifying morning.’
George later mentioned that his family were released from the concentration camp in 1946 after the war had finished.
The surprise military strike from Japan took place at the Pearl Harbor naval base in Honolulu, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941.
It was a catalyst in the United States’ formal entry into World War II after being neutral in the fight for two years.
Navy personnel would spend more than three years trying to recover the remains of their deceased servicemen, but by September 1947 only 35 had been positively identified.
George’s play, Allegiance, tells the story of the Kimura family and their struggles in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
According to the website, Allegiance reveals the courage and loyalty of a family in a time of great injustice as 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced into internment camps; testing the power and resilience of the human spirit in this ‘gripping and surprisingly uplifting’ musical.
Soon the political conflict is mirrored within the family, leading brother and sister down starkly different paths as they are forced to decide where their allegiance lies.
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Remembering: George’s play, Allegiance, tells the story of the Kimura family and their struggles in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor