7. Deported! Back in 2 years!?

It was about 2 years into my stay when one morning in late December someone knocked on our door before 7 am. I was sleeping in my room and my roommate was having coffee in the living room. All of a sudden my bedroom door flew open and my roommate wore a ghastly expression. It was immigration. They inquired about our status and put handcuffs on us then took us to their office in San Francisco.

Later we were moved from the immigration office to prison. We were allowed to make one phone call so we called Masa. He hired a lawyer and tried to spare us but it was impossible. We had some unpleasant experiences in prison and I thought about so many terrible things. I felt completely tormented.

I was deported back to Japan on New Year's Eve, boarding the airplane in handcuffs. I was still wearing the pajamas from when they stormed into our apartment and I had only my wallet. “Did you really come back like this? No baggage?” I was asked many times at immigration in Narita airport upon landing in Japan. Then I called my mother. Not knowing what was going on, she started talking to me as if I was still in California. I didn't want to worry her and just told her, “I'll talk to you when I get home.”

I spent the New Year in Osaka. I didn't tell my mother what happened and haven't told her since. Of course, she is probably aware to some degree. I just didn't want to talk about it. I don't know what I was thinking and what kind of facial expressions I had at that time but she probably knew something was wrong.

7. 2年で強制送還!?



大晦日の日に強制送還されることになって、手錠をかけたまま飛行機に乗り込みました。パジャマ姿で持ち物は財布ひとつです。日本の税関でも、「あなたほんとにこれで帰ってきたの?検査する荷物ないんですか? 」としつこく聞かれました。成田空港からまず母に電話したんですよ。向こうは僕がアメリカにいる前提で話してきましたが、心配させたくなかったので、「とにかく帰ってから話すから」とだけいいましたね。