I was in Yoyogi School with Mrs. Fields for first grade, Mrs. Peck for second grade and Mrs. Gallagher for third grade. There was a water fountain marked “colored”. We went on a field trip to Hiroshima. There was a Japanese teacher who came in and taught us some Japanese characters and songs. We went to school on a bus. I still have the yearbooks from those years.
In July of 1954, 150 American schoolteachers left Seattle on board the Navy transport, General William E. Mitchell, destination and assignment unknown. The teachers knew only that they had been assigned to the Far East Command, which included the four main islands of Japan and the island of Okinawa. Previous to their departure, these teachers had been interviewed at leading universities throughout the country, screened and selected as representatives of the American Government to a foreign land.
Their departure followed three days of indoctrination in Seattle, during which time they were given opportunity to turn back as they were reminded that they were going to a land of former enemies where human life is very cheap and nature often chaotic. (more…)