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Actor George Takei Shares Family's Story of WWII Internment

Actor George Takei opens up about the day U.S. soldiers forced his family from their home and sent them to a Japanese internment camp.
In a recent interview, actor George Takei recalled his family's years spent in a Japanese internment camp in Arkansas. "Too few people know about that dark chapter of American history," said Takei.SHIZUO KAMBAYASHI / AFP - Getty Images

Actor George Takei distinctly remembers the day the U.S. Army came to his family's suburban California home to take them to a Japanese internment camp.

"I had just turned five years old, but I still remember that day," Takei told The Daily Show host Jon Stewart this week. "We were in the living room - my brother and I - looking out the window and we saw two American soldiers marching up the driveway."

"We were literally ordered out of our home at gunpoint."

Takei was being interviewed about an upcoming documentary about his life, spanning his time on Star Trek, his fight for LGBT rights, and his memories of internment, like watching his mother leave their family home.

"She was carrying the baby in one arm and a duffel bag in the other," said Takei. "And tears were streaming down her face. It's a picture that I'll never be able to forget."

The family was taken to Arkansas, where they lived in an internment camp for the duration of the war. He and his siblings were educated at the camp's school for four years before they were permitted to leave at the end of the war.

"Our democracy is a people's democracy," Takei recalled his father telling him years after their internment. "And it can be as great as people can be, but it is also as fallible as people are."

Actor George Takei shared personal memories about his family's internment during WWII in a recent interview, calling it a "dark chapter" in American history.SHIZUO KAMBAYASHI / AFP - Getty Images