[Letter to Clara Breed from Fusa Tsumagari, Poston, Arizona, September 27, 1943]
[ bio ]
September 27, 1943
Gift of Elizabeth Y. Yamada
1 letter and envelope from Fusa Tsumagari to Clara Breed.
323-11-D / Poston, Arizona / September 27, 1943 / Dear Miss Breed, / This letter certainly is far overdue, isn't it? I'll have to make myself write oftener. The hardest part of the letter is getting started--after that there's just too much to say. / Saturday night we had a lightning and thunderstorm and the lights went out completely about 8 p.m. By then it was pitch dark except for occasional flashes of lightning. Most people told me they were terrified--but I wasn't. I just pretended that I was camping somewhere (near S.D., of course) and that it had begun to thunder and rain. Of course, our home made me thinking of camping because of the background--cot beds, the rough interior of the house, and crude furniture. I had fun in my imagination and soon went off into a dreamless sleep. / The next morning was extremely cold and a little cloudy, but now it's almost clear. The weather indicates an early winter, I think. We are all wearing sweaters for the first time in some months. We make fun of each other calling: "sweater girl" cause they're still rather odd after a hot season. / Yesterday I finished reading "Lost Horizon." It really left me with a funny feeling. I was continually amazed by its similarity to this place called Poston. The oddities such as retarding ones growing old, and not being able to breathe easily or rapidly etc. do not apply here. The points that interested me were: (1) the isolation (2) doing everything in moderation (3) the feeling of wanting to go out, and on the other hand, wanting to stay in this leisurely place. / We really have a feeling of isolation here. Of course we have contact with the outside world daily--the newspapers, radio, Sears orders, and mail. Yet, we do not feel the pinch of war acutely nor do we feel it directly. The war is watched yet, we don't feel a part of it--we feel isolated. / Everything is done in moderation as in Shangri-la. Take for example our food--not too good not too poor. Moderation! Or would you call that mediocrity? Nothing here is directly on schedule. If you want something you just have to wait for it, and in due time you will get it. We very rarely feel rushed to do anything except perhaps to catch the bus which leaves every hour for camp 1. / Some feel, as Mallinson in the story, the strong urge to get out--to do things--anything to get out of here. Others, the more aged perhaps, feel strongly that they have no desire to get out. All their lives they've worked hard--and now they are granted food, shelter, and clothing allowance free. They have to work to be entitled to get the clothing allowance, but they work in moderation. I guess this place could be called a second Shangri-la--if you like this type of living. / This book would not have impressed me so strongly if I had read it a few years ago--but now I am continually amazed at the similarity of the two places. Maybe it's my imagination--I don't know. Enough of this kind of talk. / Also read "Exchange Ship" by Max Hill about the people (Americans) who were in Japan at the outbreak of war--how they became prisoners, their stay in prison and later their return to America via Asama and Gripsholm as exchange prisoners of war. It was very interesting and we know how they felt and how they were treated. It mention a Miss Alice Grube, who is now working in the Welfare Dept. here. / Have been doing a little bit of crocheting, needlepoint, and knitting besides reading. Been getting tired of this routine and feeling rather bored. Everybody hits these moods sooner or later. / Have to go home now (am writing this in the office) so I will close now. / Please give my best regards to your mother and also Miss McNary. / Always, / Fusa / Sept. 29, 1943 / This letter is still in my box so I'll really have to send it today. / Yesterday I went to camp 1 to see some of the catalogues of approved schools at the student relocation office. Chiyo wants to go t
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