Looking Like the Enemy: My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese American Internment Camps

Am I Japanese? Or am I American? This became the defining question I ruminated over daily. From my earliest memories, I had been both. I grew up playing hopscotch and jacks, learning kendo and ikebana. I studied U.S. history at school and Japanese on Saturday. For breakfast I ate scrambled eggs and mochi. Dinner could include fried chicken and sushi. I always felt that I was Japanese-American and I belonged in America, that I was part of the group. Before December 7, 1941, it never occurred to me that I was not.

Looking Like the Enemy is a meaningful historical memoir outlining the author’s experience during the interment of Japanese Americans during WWII.

It’s a poignant story—and a valuable read. It’s important to remember the injustices that this group faced and the impact it had on the rest of their lives. I was amazed at how strong and stoic Mary’s family was during these years, I can only imagine how tough it was.

To be honest, I am not a memoir person and that is what holds me back from rating this higher. But for anyone who has a preference for first-person storytelling and wishes to learn more about how the US treated its Japanese population during WWII, I highly recommend this book.

Book cover for Looking Like the Enemy
Looking Like the Enemy
My Story of Imprisonment in Japanese American Internment Camps
Mary Matsuda Gruenewald