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If you want to know the best thing about Gardena, in south central Los Angeles, I’ll tell you. I think it’s Diana’s, a Mexican lunch counter with apocalyptically good machaca and fresh masa sold by the kilo. It’s especially good if you can meet Yukio Iwamasa there. Yukio, an artist and entrepreneur approaching his mid-80s, lives around the corner from Diana’s, in the house where he spent half his childhood, back when Gardena was a Japanese-American enclave filled with strawberry farms and Buddhist churches.  For this final episode from Los Angeles, though, I wanted to talk to Yukio about the other half of his childhood, the part where he and his family were imprisoned for being Japanese-Americans, locked away in Manzanar in the middle of the desert for four years during World War Two. In its own grim way, it’s a distinctly American story. And it’s a personal story for me—Yukio is my father-in-law, the grandfather of my children. His testimony about life in the camps is important to hear—for them, for me, for any American who didn’t live through it. 

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