They Called Us Enemy

George Takei

A graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon -- and America itself. Long before George Takei braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father's -- and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future. more

Graphic NovelsNonfictionMemoirHistoryComicsBiographyHistoricalWorld War IIWarBiography Memoir

204 pages, Paperback
First published Top Shelf Productions

4.42

Rating

42957

Ratings

6047

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George Takei

31 books 472 followers

George Hosato Takei is an American actor best known for his role in the TV series Star Trek, in which he played the helmsman Hikaru Sulu on the USS Enterprise. His baritone earned Takei recurring appearances as the announcer for The Howard Stern Show starting on January 9, 2006, after that show's move to satellite radio.

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Emily May
2036 reviews
309893 followers
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This was phenomenal. I've been a big fan of graphic memoirs ever since reading Persepolis, and this book is the perfect example of why. We follow a four-year-old George Takei and his family as they are forced into concentration camps during WWII because of their Japanese ancestry. Seeing this all through a young child's eyes was even more heart-wrenching. While his parents are just trying to get through the day and keep their family safe, young George and his brother Henry think they are going on a vacation or an adventure. more


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Dave Schaafsma
5736 reviews
31693 followers
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I couldn't reconcile what I read in these books about the shining ideas of our democracy with what I knew to be my childhood imprisonment. What can I even say. Everyone should read this book. I am becoming a big fan of these graphic novel memoirs, and George Takei's look at his childhood imprisonment inside an American concentration camp might be the most powerful yet. It succeeds wonderfully and horrifically on several levels. more


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Bookishrealm
2297 reviews
5650 followers
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George Takei played a relatively minor character, Sulu, in the first iteration of Star Trek which ended far too soon. Years later, many people got to watch this show in endless reruns, and he, with the rest of the cast, became famous to new generations. Takei has become even more famous as a social activist and humorist on social media, which opened up the possibility for him to use his fame to speak widely on behalf of a variety of social causes (including gay rights), and develop a Broadway performance based on his life. This book is basically another version of his life with a focus on his having grown up--imprisoned--in a Japanese internment camp for a few years from the time he was four years old. In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. more


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Richard Derus
3131 reviews
2061 followers
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This is the type of graphic memoir that should be included as required reading for U. S. History courses. For some individuals this memoir would be the only that they would ever hear about the Japanese internment camps. CW: racism, racial slurs, discrimination, violence, mistreatment of Japanese Americans, mention of deathThey Called Us Enemy was a graphic memoir that I head a lot about. more


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Blaine
825 reviews
938 followers
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A graphic memoir. Me. And give it five stars. Never. Will not happen. more


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Jon Nakapalau
5326 reviews
771 followers
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I thought I knew a fair amount about the internment of Japanese-Americans in WWII, but I learned quite a bit from this book, about how the process was carried out, and how the Japanese-Americans were given difficult choices along the way that made the experience even worse. I had no idea about the role Earl Warren (later a liberal lion on the Supreme Court) played in starting the country down this road. The book also gives a taste of what it must have been like to actually go through this experience. Living with his family as prisoners in a horse stable, then forced to relocate to Arkansas, George, as a child, adapts and still has some fond memories of that time: a ride in a Jeep, his first snowfall, a visit from Santa Claus. But he remembers the pain his parents went through, losing everything, trying to protect him and his siblings, and choosing to work within the system to make their lives as normal as possible until they could no longer accept the unfair terms. more


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Andy Marr
399 reviews
916 followers
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Heartbreaking - George Takei takes us on a journey with his family as they are relocated to several internment camps. His father and mother try to hold the family close even as their world is shattered; forced to answer questions of loyalty many decide to reject the country that has rejected them. This book shows us how far we can go once 'otherness' is used as a way to dehumanize others - powerful and inspired - highest recommendation. more


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Calista
4314 reviews
31259 followers
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Even if I hadn't loved it, I'd have found it impossible to give less than five stars to such a powerful and important book as this. But I did. I loved every single page. more


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Diane S ☔
4804 reviews
14252 followers
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I did know about the Japanese internment camps. I didn't think much else about that other than the blight on our country. George Takei has taken his story, he lived through the entire internment process, and he has made an excellent story out of his life. When I am able to see what it was like, it outrages me and horrifies me. It seems to stupid now, putting people in camps because they are from Japan. more


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Elyse Walters
4010 reviews
11177 followers
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I was a late watcher of Star trek, only started watching it when my hubby and I found it replaying on reruns. So, I recognize well the character of Sulu. Did know about the Japanese internment from many history books and historical novels, but reading the story of one you recognize makes it more personal. His mother, was an amazing person who made the journey to the camps seem like a vacation. Soon though, it became apparent it was not. more


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Woman Reading (is far too behind to catch up)
450 reviews
331 followers
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Powerful graphic memoir. The author and his family spent time in two different internment camps during WWII. It was informative and emotionally gripping. Many thanks to Kim. My friend and book sorcerer 💕 . more


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Lisa Vegan
2825 reviews
1268 followers
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Memory is a wily keeper of the past. usually dependable, but at times, deceptive. I know that I will always be haunted by the larger, vaguely remembered reality of the circumstances surrounding my childhood. This is George Takei's memoir of his incarceration experience from age 5 to 9 years and how it spurred his social activism. He is an American citizen, because he had been born in California, as also his mother and his two younger siblings had been. more


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Hamad
1099 reviews
1488 followers
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Extremely well done. I loved it. Full 5 star book. I already knew most of what was described as happening in the wider world and in the camps in general because I’ve already read so many books, seen films, seen interviews with people who were there. It was the first I’d heard of the involvement of Vroman’s Book Store (still in business in the Los Angeles area) and Herbert Nicholson, a Quaker missionary, who delivered book to several of the camps. more


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Scott
1882 reviews
205 followers
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This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷★ I have discovered this book through the GR choice awards this year. I have read many good graphic novel this year and I think this one should win because it is important for more people to read it. I am not a fan of historical books but this year, I have been learning much history through graphic novels and lighter novels. ★ I read much about the Jew concentration camps but this story is a bit different. It talks about the American concentration camps for the Japanese people and I never thought of this before and it was such an eye-opening book. more


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Deborah
762 reviews
54 followers
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"On February 19, 1942, seventy-four days after [the attack on] Pearl Harbor . . . [President Franklin Roosevelt] issued Executive Order# 9066. The order never used the word Japanese or camps - it authorized the military to declare areas "from which any or all persons may be excluded" . more


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Steve
992 reviews
162 followers
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George Takei, who was Sulu of Star Trek, relates his childhood of being imprisoned during World War II by the U. S. government for around three years. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, approximately 120,000 of Japanese ancestry, who were living along the West coast regardless of U. S. more


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Bill Kerwin
1590 reviews
83084 followers
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Well done, George Takei (and, of course, kudos to the co-authors and artists), and thank you for using your (frankly, enormous) reputation (OK, let's put it out there, from Star Trek) to advance the common good (generally, and specifically, at this time) of society and our fragile nation. So, where to start. Yes, yes, it's a graphic novel, but it's much, much more. It's non-fiction, it's autobiographical, it's current, it's important, it's historic, it's informative, and . and, yes, as graphic novels go (or as these types of autobiographical efforts go), it's quite good, and it's highly accessible, and he's (obviously) a celebrity, so it's getting a lot of coverage (including a massive spread in this weekend's Washington Post) . more


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NickReads
461 reviews
1183 followers
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This graphic memoir by George Takei—who was imprisoned, along with his family, in the U. S. ’s World War II concentration camps for Japanese Americans—is timely, moving, remarkably objective, and historically necessary. It is timely because, once again, we have concentration camps in America. Children, snatched from the arms of their mothers, are confined in large wired enclosures as demeaning as cages. more


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Chad
8535 reviews
951 followers
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I can't wait to read this. more


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destiny ♡ howling libraries
1802 reviews
5943 followers
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They Called Us Enemy details part of America's shameful past through the eyes of George Takei (Sulu from Star Trek) as a child. Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, 120,000 Japanese-Americans were rounded up and forced into internment camps for the next 4 years. Their businesses, homes, and accounts were seized by the government for nothing more than being born of Japanese ancestry. One of the things I found most surprising was that Earl Warren, later the Supreme Court Justice of the United States, was one of the largest instigators for the internment camps. Takei's family was originally forced to live in a horse stall at Santa Anna race track until permanent camps were built and they were shipped off to internment camps in Arkansas and later Tule Lake, CA. more


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Diz
1675 reviews
106 followers
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What an incredible, powerful memoir. I knew, going into this, that it was going to be an extremely emotional read. I can't even begin to relate to the level of pain that actual Japanese-American people have felt, and perhaps will always feel, in regard to this horrible, bleak time in US history. As an outsider, though, the stories of internment camps have haunted me since I first began hearing them, and I knew this was a story I had to read. I can't remember the last time I cried this hard reading anything. more


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Tatiana
1438 reviews
11499 followers
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George Takei presents his childhood experiences living in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II in this graphic novel. He also talks about how those experiences influenced his activism later in life. The story is heartbreaking, and Takei reminds us at the end of the book that the same thing is happening again with immigrants from Mexico and Central America. Let's not forget our past and repeat the same mistakes. . more


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Dee - Delighting in the Desert!
335 reviews
41 followers
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A natural companion to March: Book One and a must read. more


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Sheila Beaumont
1102 reviews
161 followers
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4. 5 stars rounded up - Everyone should red Geo. Takei’s graphic novel about his family & childhood in the WWII Japanese interment camps - I’ve been to Manzanar & thought I knew, but there was a lot of new info here. A “Must Read”. . more


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Lyn
1908 reviews
16787 followers
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George Takei's compelling, heartfelt graphic memoir about his family's experiences during the U. S. government's incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II is a must-read. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, 120,000 Japanese Americans, many of them citizens or longtime residents, were sent to concentration camps. The Takeis spent some time at Santa Anita Racetrack (George, at the age of 5, thought sleeping in a smelly stall where a horse had lived was great fun), then they were herded onto a train that took them to a camp in Arkansas (where George thought dinosaurs roamed the swamps outside the barbed wire fence). more


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Jenny (Reading Envy)
3876 reviews
3478 followers
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An important work, I’m glad that George Takei shared this memoir with us and the graphic novel format made this even more poignant. Telling his memory of when he was a child during World War II when he and his family were forcibly removed from their homes in California and made to live in internment camps because they were of Japanese ancestry. I knew that this happened but experiencing the events through Takei’s perspective was illuminating. Takei goes on to describe the times after his family was able to return and of the legislation that followed to prevent this from ever happening again. . more


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Rod Brown
5921 reviews
216 followers
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George Takei’s graphic memoir focuses on his childhood during the time Japanese Americans were incarcerated. It’s a story I knew vaguely but I liked seeing it through his eyes and how he has used his fame for the Japanese American community. This is currently a bonus borrows in hoopla (not a paid ad). more


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Mara
1756 reviews
4064 followers
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Timely due to our current crisis in immigrant detention, this book is good for you and well done too. Having read Takei's To the Stars and seen the musical "Allegiance," I had a familiarity with some of the material, but I appreciate Takei using this opportunity to get into the details of his family's experience during the Japanese-American Internment during World War II. It's outrageous that these events occurred in the land of the free and that it took decades for apologies and restitution to be made and honor restored. more


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Susan
533 reviews
43 followers
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Such an emotional read - a wonderful blend of personal memoir, history, and sociology, and very effective in the graphic novel format. more


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reviews
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Brilliant. George Takei, probably better known as Star Trek’s Hikaru Sulu, tells the story of his childhood experiences in an American relocation camp during WWII, in the form of this graphic novel. He was only four years old when his family, being of Japanese decent, were interred, along with thousands of others, in camps which were often hundreds of miles away from their previous lives. They had to leave behind homes, businesses, friends, and often their extended families, for a strange new life behind barbed wire. I was aware that this had happened, as it did in many countries during the war, when authorities were afraid that people who came from those places that they actually at war with could pose a threat. more


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