What was the Japanese American internment? o In 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, a U. S. military base. "Many Americans already disliked the Japanese as a result of racism when the Japanese were being used for cheap labor." 1 o As a result "120, 000 Japanese men, women, and children were sent to detention camps." 1 They were forced away from their homes, schools, and businesses under the pretense of protecting the American citizens. o "The FBI investigated alleged charges of conspiracy, but couldn't find any evidence against the Japanese.
The information was suppressed by the government." 1 This information wasn't released for years after the internment. o "Families did start being released in 1943 after the Japanese started challenging the internment in the Supreme Court." 1 Once the war was over in 1945, there still were many Japanese American families being held in detention camps. How were the Japanese removed from their homes? o "After the Pearl Harbor invasion, the FBI rounded up 1, 212 Issei (Japanese who moved to America from Japan), placing them in U. S.
Justice Department Internment camps." 2 Many of the Issei sent away were religious leaders, school teachers, and doctors. o "On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed executive order 9066, authorizing the Army to remove Japanese American and place them in designated military areas." 2 Many Families were given little notice, and the camps were far away from their homes so they had to leave all their personal belongings behind. o "110, 000 Japanese were sent to internment camps under executive order 9066, 2/3 of which who were American Citizens." 2 The Japanese were stripped of their rights and privileges shared with by American citizens. o The Japanese American internment was the American concentration camp during WWII.
Where were the relocation camps? o "Across the West Coast, there were 10 relocation camps in all." 3 Originally rural, less populated areas, these camps were built up and became among the largest towns in their area. o "Manzanar and Tule Lake were located in California. Poston and Gila in Arizona; Heart Mountain, in Wyoming; Minidoka, in Idaho; Topaz, in Utah; and Granada, in Colorado." 3 The Japanese were very unfamiliar with those areas, not used to the climates of the regions. o "The camps were hurriedly built to basic army camp plans designed for soldiers with no families, so there was little room at all for the Japanese." 3 The Barracks were overcrowded, and families were crammed in with one another. o Some of the areas, like Minidoka, got up to 110 degrees in the summer. They had to work out in the heat for long hours, and were overcome by exhaustion inside the camps The government "dumped" the Japanese population into the camps in 1942, before the camps were even completed.
"Japanese Americans first weeks in relocation camps often involved salvaging scrap lumber to make barracks and furniture." 3 What was life like inside a Japanese Internment camp? o Inside a Japanese internment camp, families were often overcrowded, "given only a cot each and a potbellied stove." 3 o "All sorts of grocery stores, repair shops, and beauty parlors began setting up around the camps. The camps also quickly established a school system, but classes were often overcrowded." 3 Despite the over crowdedness, making sure their children got an education was important to the Japanese Americans. o "As prison life evolved, inmates helped organize essential services in the camps." 3 The Japanese worked in the camp offices, canteens, mess halls, hospitals, schools, and laundries. o The Japanese removal from their homes and being placed in internment camps caused many to fear for their future living inside a hostile country. o The Japanese were allowed very little personal possessions, so they had to find their own ways of entertaining themselves. "Older Issei spent their days playing cards, Japanese checkers, and carving wood.
The younger Nisei often banded in gangs, against the will of their elders." 3 How did the Japanese show their loyalty to America? o The War Relocation Authority distributed a survey that questioned the loyalty of Japanese Americans. o "Two of the questions outraged the Nisei, asking if they would willing serve in the U. S. army, and if they would faithfully defend the U. S. against all attacks." 2 The Japanese were being treated as prisoners of war, but being asked to die for their country.
o Many Japanese were still loyal to America, though, raising the American flag every morning. o Thousands of young men in the camps volunteered to fight for the U. S. "The Japanese served in the 442 nd and 100 th division, fighting in Europe. They were among the most highly decorated units in the war." 2 What was life like for children in the internment camps? o "Children died in camps at young ages due to inadequate medical facilities." 2 They were often overcome by the stress encountered while in the camps. o Classes were held in barracks, and were often cancelled in the winter due to the cold inside the uninsulated barracks.
o "There are no chairs, no desks, and no supplies. What's the use of studying American history when we " re trapped behind barbed wire?" 4 The Children were taught under very poor conditions. They became disheartened, and straight A students started getting Fs and not caring about their school work. o "Activities in the camps encouraged children to spend time away from the camps." 2 This diminished the parent's authority over their children. Citations 1.
Daniels, Roger. "Nisei" Encyclopedia Americana. 2004. Personal Library Software, Inc. May 1, 2005 web Hatta, Julie. Exploring the Japanese American Internment.
1999 National Asian American Telecommunications Association. April 28, 2005 web 3. Davis, Daniel. Behind Barbed Wire. New York: E P Dutton Inc, 1982. 3.
Page 32. Cooper, Michael. RememberingManzanar. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002.