“Days of Waiting”, a video concerning the life of artist Estelle Ishigo, was shown at the latest Crossing Borders, Building Bridges event. This video displayed the discrimination against those of Japanese heritage that was prevalent during World War 2 in the United States. Based on Estelle’s book, “Lone Heart Mountain”, and some of her personal letters, this video told how Estelle’s parents did not want children, how Estelle was raped by her guardian, and how she ran away from home after high school before meeting and marrying Arthur Ishigo, a man of Japanese ancestry. Being unable to marry in the United States, according to the video, Estelle and Arthur married in Mexico and, due to racial prejudice, stayed within the Japanese community.
The video described how the attack on Pearl Harbor precipitated hatred in the United States for those of Japanese ancestry, and this exigency escalated into a supposed need for those of Japanese ancestry to be put into “protective arrest”. Ishigo, being a Caucasian, did not have to suffer the same fate as her husband but she chose to remain with him as he and four hundred and fifty other people of Japanese ancestry were evacuated into the Pomona Assembly Center, according to the video.
Later, according to the video, the evacuees were taken to the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, where thousands joined them within a few weeks. Estelle and eighteen others formed a camp bulletin, where they chronicled the events taking place in the enclosed area.
When the war ended, according to the video, some money and transportation fare were given to the evacuees, including Arthur and Estelle, and most of them lived in trailer homes afterward. In 1948, the video stated, personal property losses totaling $102.00 were settled for Estelle and Arthur, and in 1957 Arthur died of cancer.
Estelle’s artwork, which is shown throughout the film, was displayed in National Geographic, according to the video.
The video also stated that Estelle Ishigo was found living in squalor and without her legs during the research for this film. In 1983, according to the film, Estelle was placed in the Hollywood Hospital. After the video, Professor Neelam Canto-Lugo spoke to attendees with regards to their thoughts concerning the aforementioned film.