Japanese internment camps: How a long-lost kimono unearthed a family secret https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-60408913
I think that it would be rather a shame to have such a beautiful piece of your heritage locked away. But given what was done to their generation, I can’t say that I blame their grandparents for being so disinclined to talk about it.
Growing up, I was always rather glad that my mother would share what it was like in her family. Being Italian Americans, my grandparents didn’t have it quite so hard. My grandmother worked in a factory and my grandfather served in the Navy. To my understanding, he didn’t like discussing the war but I believe that had more to do with his experiences in the pacific. By their generation, English had already become the dominate language in the family, and I imagine that no one really cared that much about the Italians.
By contrast many folks of Japanese decent were not so fortunate. And to top it off, there were many nisei who still chose to fight and join the war effort despite what was being done to their families at home.
My mother’s generation was the last that truly spoke any of the Italian dialect of the old folks because that was the only way to communicate with her grandmother. The Italian influences were very much apart of her upbringing, significantly more than my brother and I. And there was never any reason for anyone to mind or fear that. I think that we were very lucky for that.
The thought of people missing out on that kind of thing, kind of bugs me. Given what Japanese Americans went through in those days, I can’t say that I am surprised. Not only is it wrong what was done to that generation, but to help break up being able to share their heritage with their children and grandchildren that is even more wrong.