Julia Kazumi was a San Jose State student during the year of 1938 majoring in Accounting. Coming from a Japanese descent, she was always interested to know more about where she came from. With her parents financially supporting her, she decided to study abroad and attend the University of Tokyo. Julia’s mother reached out to her parents, Julia’s grandparents, who lived in Tokyo, to ensure that Julia would have a place to stay.

On June 27, 1941 she said goodbye to her family and friends, not realizing it would be the last time she would get to see them. When she started to attend the University of Tokyo, she fell in love with her surroundings. As her semester in Tokyo came to a close, she began to realize it was time to go back home. Even though she had fallen in love with the school there, she was ready to go back home and see her parents. 

However, on December 7, 1941 Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States declared war on Japan the next day. Julia was shocked to hear the news and tried to get a plane back home shortly after. Sadly, it was too late. The United States had already declared a state of emergency and suspended travel to and from Japan. She knew she wouldn’t be able to go back home until the war was over, but failed to acknowledge how long the war would drag on for.

Four years had passed before Julia was able to be optimistic about her return to the States. Julia was excited to hear that the Allied Powers were close to defeating the Central Powers in France. However, what she didn't know was that the United States was planning to bomb Japan with their newly developed atomic bombs. On August 6, 1945 the United States dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the months following the dropping of the bombs, Julia and her grandparents were beginning to notice the effects of rampant exposure to radiation. Three months after the bombs fell, Julia’s and her grandparents’ lives were claimed. Julia’s life had been lost as a result of the tension between her homeland and her motherland. 

-Alexandro Rangel