In June of 1941 Teru Miyahara, the lovely lady pictured here, was celebrating her high school graduation. Her high school year book describes her in this manner: "diminutive and quiet, specializes in arts and crafts and can usually be found with Mitsuye Nimura." She was part of the Girl Reserve, tennis team, Glee club, Saga, and part of the editorial staff for her year book. Her major was commerce. A world full of dreams and possibilities was waiting before her. Then only six months later, on December 7 of that same year the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. President Roosevelt declared war the following day.
Teru Miyahara's world fell apart shortly thereafter. People of Japanese descent on the U.S. mainland were seen as potential enemies. The authorities notified Japanese families to report to certain "screening centers." They were given only two or three days notice to settle their affairs. Most of them held "fire sales" of all their belongings. They were forced to endure insulting offers for valuable items. Neighbors would make outrageous offers such as $500 for their house. Japanese Americans had no choice but to accept.
Here is lovely Teru Miyahara looking straight into the future on this year book photo. We don't know what happened to her. We invite anyone with information to share with us the next chapter on this story. Miss Miyahara also had a few other fellow Japanese-American students graduating with her on that same year. Their names were Rayo Matsushige, Isamu Sammy Mori, Mitsuye Nimura, Takeshi Seriguchi, and Takashi Sumi. Did they all go together to the interment camps in Utah? If you know, please fill in the blanks for us.
To see photos of Teru Miyahara's classmates double- click on the image for June 22's entry.