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Sumi KobayahiA 2012 article, on the Drew University website, goes into detail about Sumiko Kobayashi’s Life — the imprisonment during World War II, the release to Drew University, and her career and volunteer work after she graduated from Drew. Sumi is one of two dozen Medford Leas residents  imprisoned by the US government during WWII. They learned about Medford Leas through Tak Moriuchi, cofounder of Medford Leas, who was also imprisoned.Tak and Sumi’s mother Suye, who celebrated her 100th birthday at Medford Leas, have passed away. Sumi and Tak’s wife Yuri are still with us.
Two excerpts from Drew Magzine:
“In the fall of 1943 Kobayashi traveled alone to New Jersey. She vividly remembers getting off the train and heading toward campus, one suitcase in hand, when a young man across the street called out a friendly hello. “I was surprised. It made me feel so good. Here I was, coming out of a concentration camp, and it was such a cheerful greeting,” she says. She had just turned 20.”
…“Kobayashi graduated with a degree in economics. She remained in Madison for another year, working in Drew’s registrar’s office to pay off college bills. Then she moved to Philadelphia, where her family had relocated. She brushed up on her shorthand and got a job as a law secretary. Years later, finding the job a dead end, she became a computer programmer. Throughout she was active in many cultural and civic organizations. When the Japanese American Civic League launched a campaign for redress in 1978, she signed on.”
In October 2008, as part of the celebration of Tak Moriuchi’s life, Sumi used her personal collection of photographs to prepare a display in the Medford Leas Gallery called “Imprisoned without Trial.” Sumi also provided the text for these biographies of Tak and Yuri — the photographs there were provided by the family.

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