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[Detail] Warehouse, Manzanar Relocation Center

Persuasive Writing: Roy Takeno's 1944 New Years's Day Editorial

Adams devotes two pages of Born Free and Equal to quoting an entire editorial from the Manzanar Free Press. Written by Roy Takeno for the 1944 New Year's Day edition, it provides an opportunity to examine an example of persuasive writing and to analyze the writer's techniques. He begins:

Greetings to you for a Victorious New Year, people of America; from your kindred 50,000 citizens inside barbed wire fences. We send you greetings, we who have been lodged by circumstances of war inside these Relocation Centers in the deserts of the West.

  • Why do you think that Takeno chose to write his editorial for New Year's Day?
  • Why do you think that he titled it "A Victorious New Year to You—America"? Does this title express the message of his editorial?
  • What are the main points that Takeno makes in his editorial?
  • How does Takeno identify himself and the people for whom he is speaking?
  • How does he identify his audience?
  • How would you describe the tone with which Takeno addresses his audience? What kinds of responses do you think he was attempting to get from his audience?
  • How does Takeno refer to the evacuation of Japanese Americans and the causes of evacuation throughout his editorial?
  • What do you think Takeno hoped to accomplish through his editorial?
  • What techniques did he use to accomplish his goals?
  • Do you think that Takeno's editorial was effective? Why or why not?