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Arturo Shibayama: Hostage in America

Arturo Shibayama and his family were living in Lima, Peru, until 1944. Shibayama was 11 years old when he became one of the thousands of Latin Americans of Japanese origin who were removed from their homes and placed in internment camps in the United States. Shibayama's grandparents were eventually sent to Japan — a country they hadn't visited — in exchange for American prisoners of war. Though Shibayama and his parents were released in 1946, Peru barred them from returning. Decades passed before the United States agreed to grant them citizenship. Though Japanese-Americans received reparations for being interned during World War II, Shibayama is one of thousands of Japanese Latin Americans awaiting an apology or acknowledgement of wrongdoing from the U.S. government.

My Story

Kidnapped. Every time a US Army transport came into Callao, word got around ... (0:53)
Shipped to America. Twenty-one days from Callao through Panama Canal, to New Orleans ... (1:03)
Hostage Exchange. We got off the train and put on the bus and the bus took us to ... (1:07)
Illegal Entry. In 1952 we were fighting deportation now. They classify us as illegal alien ... (1:18)


Corralled. In times of national crisis, whole groups of people have been corralled simply because of their ethnicity or political affiliation. Their activities or loyalties were presumed to be suspect and a potential threat to American society. Max Werkenthin, Arturo Shibayama, Jack O'Dell, Samina Sundas and Roxanne Attie found themselves caught up in such corralling.