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Internment camps and further institutions of the War Relocation Authority in the western United States.

Japanese American internment was the forced relocation and internment by the United States government in 1942 of approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese residing along the Pacific coast of the United States to camps called "War Relocation Camps," in the wake of Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.[1][2] The internment of Japanese Americans was applied unequally throughout the United States. Japanese Americans residing on the West Coast of the United States were all interned, whereas in Hawaii, where more than 150,000 Japanese Americans composed nearly a third of that territory's population, only 1,200[3] to 1,800 Japanese Americans were interned.[4] Of those interned, 62% were United States citizens.[5][6]

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt authorized the internment with Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, which allowed local military commanders to designate "military areas" as "exclusion zones," from which "any or all persons may be excluded." This power was used to declare that all people of Japanese ancestry were excluded from the entire Pacific coast, including all of California and most of Oregon and Washington, except for those in internment camps.[7] In 1944, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the exclusion orders,[8] while noting that the provisions that singled out people of Japanese ancestry were a separate issue outside the scope of the proceedings.[9]

In 1988, Congress passed and President Ronald Reagan signed legislation which apologized for the internment on behalf of the U.S. government. The legislation stated that government actions were based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership".[10] Over $1.6 billion in reparations were later disbursed by the U.S. government to Japanese Americans who had either suffered internment or were heirs of those who had suffered internment.[11]

Contents

Historical context

In the first half of the 20th century, California experienced a wave of anti-Japanese prejudice, in part because of the concentration there of new immigrants. This was distinct from the Japanese American experience in the broader United States. Over 89% of Japanese immigrants to the USA settled in California, where labor and farm competition fed into general anti-Japanese sentiment.[12] In 1905, California's anti-miscegenation law outlawed marriages between Caucasians and "Mongolians" (an umbrella term which, at the time, was used in reference to the Japanese, among other ethnicities of East Asian ancestry).[12] In October 1906, the San Francisco Board of Education separated the Japanese students from the Caucasian students. It ordered ninety-three Japanese students in the district to a segregated school in Chinatown.[13] Twenty-five of the students were American citizens. That anti-Japanese sentiment was maintained beyond this period is evidenced by the 1924 "Oriental Exclusion Law," which blocked Japanese immigrants from attaining citizenship.[12]

In the years 1939–1941, the FBI compiled the Custodial Detention Index ("CDI") on citizens, enemy aliens and foreign nationals, in the interest of national security. On June 28, 1940, the Alien Registration Act was passed. Among many other loyalty regulations, Section 31 required the registration and fingerprinting of all aliens above the age of 14, and Section 35 required aliens to report any change of address within 5 days. In the subsequent months, nearly five million foreign nationals registered at post offices around the country.[14][15]

Of 127,000 Japanese Americans living in the continental United States at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, 112,000 resided on the West Coast.[16] About 80,000 were nisei (Japanese born in the United States and holding American citizenship) and sansei (the sons or daughters of nisei). The rest were issei (immigrants born in Japan who were ineligible for U.S. citizenship).[17]

After Pearl Harbor

A Japanese American unfurled this banner the day after the Pearl Harbor attack. This Dorothea Lange photograph was taken in March 1942, just prior to the man's internment.

The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 led some to suspect that Imperial Japan was preparing a full-scale attack on the West Coast of the United States. Japan's rapid military conquest of a large portion of Asia and the Pacific between 1936 and 1942 made its military forces seem unstoppable to some Americans.

Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, head of the Western Command, sought approval to conduct search and seizure operations aimed at preventing alien Japanese from making radio transmissions to Japanese ships.[18] The Justice Department declined, however, stating that there was no probable cause to support DeWitt's assertion, as the FBI concluded that there was no security threat.[18] On January 2, the Joint Immigration Committee of the California Legislature sent a manifesto to California newspapers which attacked "the ethnic Japanese," whom it alleged were "totally unassimilable."[18] This manifesto further argued that all people of Japanese heritage were loyal subjects of the Emperor of Japan; Japanese language schools, furthermore, according to the manifesto, were bastions of racism which advanced doctrines of Japanese racial superiority.[18]

The manifesto was backed by the Native Sons and Daughters of the Golden West and the California Department of the American Legion, which in January demanded that all Japanese with dual citizenship be placed in concentration camps.[18] Internment was not limited to those who had been to Japan, but included a small number of German and Italian enemy aliens.[18] By February, Earl Warren, the Attorney General of California, had begun his efforts to persuade the federal government to remove all people of Japanese heritage from the West Coast.[18]

Civilian and military officials had concerns about the loyalty of the ethnic Japanese, although these concerns seemed to stem more from racial prejudice than actual risk. Major Karl Bendetsen and Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt each questioned Japanese American loyalty. DeWitt, who administered the internment program, repeatedly told newspapers that "A Jap's a Jap" and testified to Congress,

I don't want any of them [persons of Japanese ancestry] here. They are a dangerous element. There is no way to determine their loyalty... It makes no difference whether he is an American citizen, he is still a Japanese. American citizenship does not necessarily determine loyalty... But we must worry about the Japanese all the time until he is wiped off the map.[19][20]

Those that were as little as 1/16th Japanese could be placed in internment camps.[21] There is evidence supporting the argument that the measures were racially motivated, rather than a military necessity. For example, orphaned infants with "one drop of Japanese blood" (as explained in a letter by one official) were included in the program.

San Francisco Examiner, February 1942, newspaper headlines

Upon the bombing of Pearl Harbor and pursuant to the Alien Enemies Act, Presidential Proclamations 2525, 2526 and 2527 were issued designating Japanese, German and Italian nationals as enemy aliens.[22] Information from the CDI was used to locate and incarcerate foreign nationals from Japan, Germany and Italy (although Germany and Italy did not declare war on the U.S. until December 11).

Presidential Proclamation 2537 was issued on January 14, 1942, requiring aliens to report any change of address, employment or name to the FBI. Enemy aliens were not allowed to enter restricted areas. Violators of these regulations were subject to "arrest, detention and internment for the duration of the war."

Racial hatred of the Japanese could take various expressions, for example some US soldiers in Hawaii that had returned from Iwo Jima paraded in front of Japanese-Americans and waving a Japanese skull taunted, "There’s your uncle on the pole."[1] see (American mutilation of Japanese war dead)

Executive Order 9066 and related actions

Children at the Weill public school in San Francisco pledge allegiance to the American flag in April 1942, prior to the internment of Japanese Americans.

Executive Order 9066, signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, allowed authorized military commanders to designate "military areas" at their discretion, "from which any or all persons may be excluded." These "exclusion zones," unlike the "alien enemy" roundups, were applicable to anyone that an authorized military commander might choose, whether citizen or non-citizen. Eventually such zones would include parts of both the East and West Coasts, totaling about 1/3 of the country by area. Unlike the subsequent detainment and internment programs that would come to be applied to large numbers of Japanese Americans, detentions and restrictions directly under this Individual Exclusion Program were placed primarily on individuals of German or Italian ancestry, including American citizens.[23]

  • March 2, 1942: General John L. DeWitt issued Public Proclamation No. 1, declaring that "such person or classes of persons as the situation may require" would, at some later point, be subject to exclusion orders from "Military Area No. 1" (essentially, the entire Pacific coast to about 100 miles (160.9 km) inland), and requiring anyone who had "enemy" ancestry to file a Change of Residence Notice if they planned to move.[7] A second exclusion zone was designated several months later, which included the areas chosen by most of the Japanese Americans who had managed to leave the first zone.
  • March 11, 1942: Executive Order 9095 created the Office of the Alien Property Custodian, and gave it discretionary, plenary authority over all alien property interests. Many assets were frozen, creating immediate financial difficulty for the affected aliens, preventing most from moving out of the exclusion zones.[7]
  • March 24, 1942: Public Proclamation No. 3 declares an 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew for "all enemy aliens and all persons of Japanese ancestry" within the military areas.[24]
  • March 24, 1942: General DeWitt began to issue Civilian Exclusion Orders for specific areas within "Military Area No. 1."[24]
  • March 27, 1942: General DeWitt's Proclamation No. 4 prohibited all those of Japanese ancestry from leaving "Military Area No. 1" for "any purpose until and to the extent that a future proclamation or order of this headquarters shall so permit or direct."[7]
  • May 3, 1942: General DeWitt issued Civilian Exclusion Order No. 34, ordering all people of Japanese ancestry, whether citizens or non-citizens, who were still living in "Military Area No. 1" to report to assembly centers, where they would live until being moved to permanent "Relocation Centers."[7]

These edicts included persons of part-Japanese ancestry as well. Anyone with at least one-eighth Japanese ancestry was eligible.[citation needed] Korean-Americans,[citation needed] considered to have Japanese nationality (since Korea was occupied by Japan during World War II), were also included.

Non-military advocates for exclusion, removal, and detention

Internment was popular among many white farmers who resented the Japanese-American farmers. "White American farmers admitted that their self-interest required removal of the Japanese."[18] These individuals saw internment as a convenient means of uprooting their Japanese American competitors. Austin E. Anson, managing secretary of the Salinas Vegetable Grower-Shipper Association, told the Saturday Evening Post in 1942:

"We're charged with wanting to get rid of the Japs for selfish reasons. We do. It's a question of whether the white man lives on the Pacific Coast or the brown men. They came into this valley to work, and they stayed to take over... If all the Japs were removed tomorrow, we had never miss them in two weeks, because the white farmers can take over and produce everything the Jap grows. And we do not want them back when the war ends, either."[25]

The Roberts Commission Report, prepared at President Franklin D. Roosevelt's request, has been cited as an example of the fear and prejudice informing the thinking behind the internment program.[18] The Report sought to link Japanese Americans with espionage activity, and to associate them with the bombing of Pearl Harbor.[18] Columnist Henry McLemore reflected growing public sentiment fueled by this report:

"I am for the immediate removal of every Japanese on the West Coast to a point deep in the interior. I don't mean a nice part of the interior either. Herd 'em up, pack 'em off and give 'em the inside room in the badlands... Personally, I hate the Japanese. And that goes for all of them."[26]

Other California newspapers also embraced this view. According to a Los Angeles Times editorial,

"A viper is nonetheless a viper wherever the egg is hatched... So, a Japanese American born of Japanese parents, nurtured upon Japanese traditions, living in a transplanted Japanese atmosphere... notwithstanding his nominal brand of accidental citizenship almost inevitably and with the rarest exceptions grows up to be a Japanese, and not an American... Thus, while it might cause injustice to a few to treat them all as potential enemies, I cannot escape the conclusion... that such treatment... should be accorded to each and all of them while we are at war with their race."[27]

State politicians joined the bandwagon that was embraced by Leland Ford of Los Angeles, who demanded that "all Japanese, whether citizens or not, be placed in [inland] concentration camps."[18] Internment of Japanese Americans, who provided critical agricultural labor on the West Coast, created a labor shortage, which was exacerbated by the induction of many American laborers into the Armed Forces. This vacuum precipitated a mass immigration of Mexican workers into the United States to fill these jobs,[28] largely under the banner of what became known as the Bracero Program. Many Japanese internees were even temporarily released from their camps- for instance, to harvest Western beet crops- to address this wartime labor shortage.[29]

Military necessity as justification for internment

Japan's wartime spy program

The presence of Imperial Japanese spying within the United States is attested to by the case of Velvalee Dickinson,[30] an American who sold intelligence to Japan, as well as the widely reported cases of the Tachibana spy ring and the Niihau Incident. The Tachibana spy ring involved a group of Japanese nationals,[31] whereas the so-called Niihau Incident occurred just after the Pearl Harbor attack, and involved two Japanese Americans on Niihau assisting a downed Japanese pilot there. Despite the latter incident taking place in Hawaii, the Territorial Governor rejected calls for mass internment of the Japanese Americans there.

Cryptography

In Magic: The Untold Story of US Intelligence and the Evacuation of Japanese Residents From the West Coast During World War II, David Lowman, a former NSA operative, argues that Magic intercepts ("Magic" was the code-name for American code-breaking efforts) posed "the frightening specter of massive espionage nets," thus justifying internment.[32] Lowman contended that internment served to ensure the secrecy of US code-breaking efforts, because effective prosecution of Japanese Americans might necessitate disclosure of secret information. If US code-breaking technology was revealed in the context of trials of individual spies, the Japanese Imperial Navy would change its codes, thus undermining US strategic wartime advantage.

Many of the controversial conclusions drawn by Lowman were defended by pundit Michelle Malkin in her book, In Defense of Internment.[33] Malkin, and other modern defenders of racial profiling such as Daniel Pipes,[34] continue to cite Lowman's Magic arguments, although they are widely regarded as biased or substandard scholarship.[35][36][37][38] According to history professor Greg Robinson of the University of Quebec, Lowman's book has long since been "refuted and discredited".[39] Latter day "revisionist" defenders of internment, such as Malkin and Pipes, have been associated with an effort to suspend or curtail the civil liberties of Muslim Americans.[40]

United States District Court opinions

Official notice of exclusion and removal

A report by General DeWitt and Colonel Bendetsen depicting racist bias against Japanese Americans was circulated and then hastily redacted in 1943-1944. The report stated flatly that, because of their race, it was impossible to determine the loyalty of Japanese Americans, thus necessitating internment.[citation needed] The original version was so offensive — even in the atmosphere of the wartime 1940s — that Bendetsen ordered all copies to be destroyed.

In 1980, a copy of the original Final Report: Japanese Evacuation from the West Coast - 1942 was found in the National Archives, along with notes showing the numerous differences between the original and redacted versions.[citation needed] This earlier, racist and inflammatory version, as well as the FBI and ONI reports, led to the coram nobis retrials which overturned the convictions of Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi and Minoru Yasui on all charges related to their refusal to submit to exclusion and internment.[citation needed] The courts found that the government had intentionally withheld these reports and other critical evidence, at trials all the way up to the Supreme Court, which would have proved that there was no military necessity for the exclusion and internment of Japanese Americans. In the words of Department of Justice officials writing during the war, the justifications were based on "willful historical inaccuracies and intentional falsehoods."

Facilities

Japanese American family awaiting evacuation in Hayward, California in 1942 as photographed by Dorothea Lange

While this event is most commonly called the internment of Japanese Americans, in fact there were several different types of camps involved. The best known facilities were the Assembly Centers run by the Wartime Civil Control Administration (WCCA), and the Relocation Centers run by the War Relocation Authority (WRA), which are generally (but unofficially) referred to as "internment camps." The Department of Justice (DOJ) operated camps officially called Internment Camps, which were used to detain those suspected of actual crimes or "enemy sympathies." German American internment and Italian American internment camps also existed, sometimes sharing facilities with the Japanese Americans. The WCCA and WRA facilities were the largest and the most public. The WCCA Assembly Centers were temporary facilities that were first set up in horse racing tracks, fairgrounds and other large public meeting places to assemble and organize internees before they were transported to WRA Relocation Centers by truck, bus or train. The WRA Relocation Centers were camps that housed persons removed from the exclusion zone after March 1942, or until they were able to relocate elsewhere in America outside the exclusion zone.

DOJ Internment Camps

During World War II, over 7,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese from Latin America were held in internment camps run by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, part of the Department of Justice. In this period, Latin Americans of Japanese ancestry were rounded up and transported to American internment camps run by the U.S. Justice Department.[41][42][43] These Latin American internees were eventually, through the efforts of civil rights attorney Wayne M. Collins,[44][45] offered "parole" relocation to the labor-starved farming community in Seabrook, New Jersey.[46] Many became naturalized American citizens or Japanese Americans after the war.

There were twenty-seven U.S. Department of Justice Camps, eight of which (in Texas, Idaho, North Dakota, New Mexico, and Montana) held Japanese Americans. The camps were guarded by Border Patrol agents rather than military police and were intended for non-citizens including Buddhist ministers, Japanese language instructors, newspaper workers, and other community leaders.

In addition 2,264 persons of Japanese ancestry[42] taken from 12 Latin American countries by the U.S. State and Justice Departments were held at the Department of Justice Camps.[47] Approximately two-thirds of these persons were Japanese Peruvians.[42] There has been some speculation that the United States intended to use them in hostage exchanges with Japan,[48] a plot in part facilitated by local prejudice against Japanese communities in various South American countries.[42] After the war, Peru refused to accept the return of the Japanese Peruvians they had acquiesced to interning in American camps; of this group, some were transferred to Japan, some were granted American citizenship, and a small minority of approximately 100 managed to achieve repatriation into Peru by asserting special circumstances, such as marriage to a non-Japanese Peruvian.[42] Three hundred of the Japanese Peruvians who fought deportation in the courts were allowed to settle in the United States, and were granted American citizenship in 1953.[42]

WCCA Assembly Centers

Executive Order 9066 authorized the evacuation of all persons of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast; it was signed when there was no place for the Japanese Americans to go. When voluntary evacuation proved impractical, the military took over full responsibility for the evacuation; on April 9, 1942, the Wartime Civilian Control Agency (WCCA) was established by the military to coordinate the evacuation to inland relocation centers. However, the relocation centers were far from ready for large influxes of people. For some, there was still contention over the location, but for most, their placement in isolated undeveloped areas of the country exacerbated problems of building infrastructure and housing. Since the Japanese Americans living in the restricted zone were considered too dangerous to freely conduct their daily business, the military decided it was necessary to find temporary "assembly centers" to house the evacuees until the relocation centers were completed.[49]

WRA Relocation Centers[50]
Name State Opened Max. Pop'n
Manzanar California March 1942 10,046
Tule Lake California May 1942 18,789
Poston Arizona May 1942 17,814
Gila River Arizona July 1942 13,348
Granada Colorado August 1942 7,318
Heart Mountain Wyoming August 1942 10,767
Minidoka Idaho August 1942 9,397
Topaz Utah September 1942 8,130
Rohwer Arkansas September 1942 8,475
Jerome Arkansas October 1942 8,497

WRA Relocation Camps

The War Relocation Authority (WRA) was the U.S. civilian agency responsible for the relocation and detention. The WRA was created by President Roosevelt on March 18, 1942 with Executive Order 9102 and officially ceased to exist June 30, 1946. Milton S. Eisenhower, then an official of the Department of Agriculture, was chosen to head the WRA. Dillon S. Myer replaced Milton Eisenhower on June 17, 1942, three months after Milton took control. Myer served as Director of the WRA until the centers were closed.[51] Within nine months, the WRA had opened ten facilities in seven states, and transferred over 100,000 people from the WCCA facilities.

The WRA camp at Tule Lake, though initially like the other camps, eventually became a detention center for people believed to pose a security risk. Tule Lake also served as a "segregation center" for individuals and families who were deemed "disloyal" and for those who were to be deported to Japan.

List of camps

There were three types of camps. Civilian Assembly Centers were temporary camps, frequently located at horse tracks, where the Nisei were sent as they were removed from their communities. Eventually, most were sent to Relocation Centers, also known as internment camps. Detention camps housed Nikkei considered to be disruptive or of special interest to the government.[52]

Civilian Assembly Centers

List of internment camps

Justice Department detention camps

These camps often held German and Italian detainees in addition to Japanese Americans:[52]

Citizen Isolation Centers

The Citizen Isolation Centers were for those considered to be problem inmates.[52]

Federal Bureau of Prisons

Detainees convicted of crimes, usually draft resistance, were sent to these camps:[52]

US Army facilities

These camps often held German and Italian detainees in addition to Japanese Americans:[52]

Exclusion, removal, and detention

Baggage of Japanese Americans evacuated from certain West coast areas under United States Army war emergency order, who have arrived at a reception center at a racetrack.

Somewhere between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were subject to this mass exclusion program, of whom approximately two-thirds were U.S. citizens.[2] The remaining one-third were non-citizens subject to internment under the Alien Enemies Act; many of these "resident aliens" had long been inhabitants of the United States, but had been deprived the opportunity to attain citizenship by laws that blocked Asian-born nationals from ever achieving citizenship.

Internees of Japanese descent were first sent to one of 17 temporary "Civilian Assembly Centers," where most awaited transfer to more permanent relocation centers being constructed by the newly-formed War Relocation Authority (WRA). Some of those who did report to the civilian assembly centers were not sent to relocation centers, but were released under the condition that they remain outside the prohibited zone until the military orders were modified or lifted. Almost 120,000[2] Japanese Americans and resident Japanese aliens would eventually be removed from their homes in California, the western halves of Oregon and Washington and southern Arizona as part of the single largest forced relocation in U.S. history.

This U.S. soldier of Japanese descent and American citizenship waits at a train station in Florin, California. He, along with nine other servicemen, was granted a furlough from their service to return to the U.S. to assist with their families' relocation and internment.[53] April 10, 1942

Most of these camps/residences, gardens, and stock areas were placed on Native American reservations, for which the Native Americans were formally compensated. The Native American councils disputed the amounts negotiated in absentia by US government authorities and later sued finding relief and additional compensation for some items of dispute.[54]

Under the National Student Council Relocation Program (supported primarily by the American Friends Service Committee), students of college age were permitted to leave the camps to attend institutions willing to accept students of Japanese ancestry. Although the program initially granted leave permits to only a very small number of students, this eventually grew to 2,263 students by December 31, 1943.[55]

Los Angeles, California. Japanese Americans going to Manzanar gather around a baggage car at the old Santa Fe Station. (April 1942)[56]

Curfew and exclusion

The exclusion from Military Area No. 1 initially occurred through a voluntary relocation policy. Under the voluntary relocation policy, the Japanese Americans were free to go anywhere outside of the exclusion zone; however the arrangements and costs of relocation were borne by the individuals. The night-time curfew, initiated on 27 March 1942, was the first mass-action restricting the Japanese Americans.

Conditions in the camps

According to a 1943 War Relocation Authority report, internees were housed in "tar paper-covered barracks of simple frame construction without plumbing or cooking facilities of any kind." The spartan facilities met international laws, but still left much to be desired. Many camps were built quickly by civilian contractors during the summer of 1942 based on designs for military barracks, making the buildings poorly equipped for cramped family living.

Dust storm at Manzanar War Relocation Center.
A baseball game at Manzanar. Picture by Ansel Adams circa 1943.

To describe the conditions in more detail, the Heart Mountain War Relocation Center in northwestern Wyoming was a barbed-wire-surrounded enclave with unpartitioned toilets, cots for beds, and a budget of 45 cents daily per capita for food rations.[57] Because most internees were evacuated from their West Coast homes on short notice and not told of their assigned destinations, many failed to pack appropriate clothing for Wyoming winters which often reached temperatures below zero Fahrenheit. Many families were forced to simply take the "clothes on their backs."[citation needed]

Armed guards were posted at the camps, which were all in remote, desolate areas far from population centers. Internees were typically allowed to stay with their families, and were treated well unless they violated the rules. There are documented instances of guards shooting internees who reportedly attempted to walk outside the fences. One such shooting, that of James Wakasa at Topaz, led to a re-evaluation of the security measures in the camps. Some camp administrations eventually allowed relatively free movement outside the marked boundaries of the camps. Nearly a quarter of the internees left the camps to live and work elsewhere in the United States, outside the exclusion zone. Eventually, some were authorized to return to their hometowns in the exclusion zone under supervision of a sponsoring American family or agency whose loyalty had been assured.[58]

The phrase "shikata ga nai" (loosely translated as "it cannot be helped") was commonly used to summarize the interned families' resignation to their helplessness throughout these conditions. This was even noticed by the children, as mentioned in the well-known memoir Farewell to Manzanar. Although that may be the view to outsiders, the Japanese people tended to comply with the U.S. government to prove themselves loyal citizens. This perceived loyalty to the United States can be attributed to the collective mentality of Japanese culture, where citizens are more concerned with the overall good of the group as opposed to focusing on individual wants and needs.[59]

Loyalty questions and segregation

Some Japanese Americans did question the American government, after finding themselves in internment camps. Several pro-Japan groups formed inside the camps, particularly at the Tule Lake location.[60] When the government passed a law that made it possible for an internee to renounce her or his U.S. citizenship, 5,589 internees opted to do so; 5,461 of these were at Tule Lake.[60] Of those who renounced their citizenship, 1,327 were repatriated to Japan.[60] Many of these individuals would later face stigmatization in the Japanese-American community, after the war, for having made that choice, although even at the time they were not certain what their futures held were they to remain American, and remain interned.[60]

These renunciations of American citizenship have been highly controversial, for a number of reasons. Some apologists for internment have cited the renunciations as evidence that "disloyalty" or anti-Americanism was well-represented among the interned peoples, thereby justifying the internment.[61] Many historians have dismissed the latter argument, for its failure to consider that the small number of individuals in question were in the midst of persecution by their own government at the time of the "renunciation":[62][63]

[T]he renunciations had little to do with "loyalty" or "disloyalty" to the United States, but were instead the result of a series of complex conditions and factors that were beyond the control of those involved. Prior to discarding citizenship, most or all of the renunciants had experienced the following misfortunes: forced removal from homes; loss of jobs; government and public assumption of disloyalty to the land of their birth based on race alone; and incarceration in a "segregation center" for "disloyal" ISSEI or NISEI...[63]

Minoru Kiyota, who was among those who renounced his citizenship and swiftly came to regret the decision, has stated that he wanted only "to express my fury toward the government of the United States," for his internment and for the mental and physical duress, as well as the intimidation, he was made to face.[64]

[M]y renunciation had been an expression of momentary emotional defiance in reaction to years of persecution suffered by myself and other Japanese Americans and, in particular, to the degrading interrogation by the FBI agent at Topaz and being terrorized by the guards and gangs at Tule Lake.[65]

Civil rights attorney Wayne M. Collins successfully challenged most of these renunciations as invalid, owing to the conditions of duress and intimidation under which the government obtained them.[64][66] Many of the deportees were Issei (first generation Japanese immigrants) who often had difficulty with English and often did not understand the questions they were asked.[citation needed] Even among those Issei who had a clear understanding, Question 28 posed an awkward dilemma: Japanese immigrants were denied US citizenship at the time, so when asked to renounce their Japanese citizenship, answering "Yes" would have made them stateless persons.[67]

When the government circulated a questionnaire seeking army volunteers from among the internees, 6% of military-aged male respondents volunteered to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.[citation needed] Most of those who refused, however, tempered that refusal with statements of willingness to fight if they were restored their rights as American citizens. 20,000 Japanese American men and many Japanese American women served in the U.S. Army during World War II.[68]

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was composed primarily of Japanese Americans, served with uncommon distinction in the European theatre of World War II. Many of the US soldiers serving in the unit had their families interned at home while they fought abroad.

The famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which fought in Europe, was formed from those Japanese Americans who did agree to serve. This unit was the most highly decorated US military unit of its size and duration.[69] Most notably, the 442nd was known for saving the 141st (or the "lost battalion") from the Germans. The 1951 film Go For Broke! was a fairly accurate portrayal of the 442nd, and starred several of the RCT's veterans.

Other detention camps

As early as 1939, when war broke out in Europe and while armed conflict began to rage in East Asia, the FBI and branches of the Department of Justice and the armed forces began to collect information and surveillance on influential members of the Japanese community in the United States. These data were included in the Custodial Detention index ("CDI"). Agents in the Department of Justice's Special Defense Unit classified the subjects into three groups: A, B and C, with A being "most dangerous," and C being "possibly dangerous."

After the Pearl Harbor attacks, Roosevelt authorized his attorney general to put into motion a plan for the arrest of individuals on the potential enemy alien lists. Armed with a blanket arrest warrant, the FBI seized these men on the eve of December 8, 1941. These men were held in municipal jails and prisons until they were moved to Department of Justice detention camps, separate from those of the Wartime Relocation Authority (WRA). These camps operated under far more stringent conditions and were subject to heightened criminal-style guard, despite the absence of criminal proceedings.

Crystal City, Texas, was one such camp where Japanese Americans, German Americans, Italian Americans, and a large number of US-seized, Axis-descended nationals from several Latin-American countries were interned.[44]

Canadian citizens with Japanese ancestry were also interned by the Canadian government during World War II (see Japanese Canadian internment). Japanese people from various parts of Latin America were brought to the United States for internment, or interned in their countries of residence.[44]

Hawaii

Although there was a strong push from mainland Congressmen (Hawaii was only a US territory at the time, and did not have a voting representative or senator in Congress) to remove and intern all Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants in Hawaii, it never happened. 1,200 to 1,800 Japanese nationals and Japanese Americans from Hawaii were interned, either in two camps on Oahu or in one of the mainland internment camps.

The vast majority of Japanese Americans and their immigrant parents in Hawaii were not interned because the government had already declared martial law in Hawaii and this allowed it to significantly reduce the supposed risk of espionage and sabotage by residents of Japanese ancestry. Also, Japanese Americans comprised over 35% of the territory's population, with approximately 150,000 inhabitants; detaining so many people would have been enormously challenging in terms of logistics. Also, the whole of Hawaiian society was dependent on their productivity.[citation needed] However, among the small number interned were a number of community leaders and prominent politicians, including territorial legislators Thomas Sakakihara and Sanji Abe.[70]

There were five internment camps in Hawaii, referred to as "Hawaiian Island Detention Camps".[71] One camp was located at Sand Island, which is located in the middle of Honolulu Harbor. This camp was prepared in advance of the war's outbreak. All prisoners held here were "detained under military custody... because of the imposition of martial law throughout the Islands". Another Hawaiian camp was the Honouliuli Internment Camp, near Ewa, on the southwestern shore of Oahu; it was opened in 1943 to replace the Sand Island camp. In total, five internment camps operated in Hawaii.[71][72]

Internment ends

In December 1944 (Ex parte Endo), the Supreme Court ruled the detainment of loyal citizens unconstitutional, though a decision handed down the same day (Korematsu v. United States) held that the exclusion process as a whole was constitutional.

On January 2, 1945, the exclusion order was rescinded entirely. The internees then began to leave the camps to rebuild their lives at home, although the relocation camps remained open for residents who were not ready to make the move back. The freed internees were given $25 and a train ticket to their former homes. While the majority returned to their former lives, some of the Japanese Americans emigrated to Japan.[73] The fact that this occurred long before the Japanese surrender, while the war was arguably at its most vicious, weighs against the claim that the relocation was a security measure. However, it is also true that the Japanese were clearly losing the war by that time, and were not on the offensive. The last internment camp was not closed until 1946;[74] Japanese taken by the U.S. from Peru that were still being held in the camp in Santa Fe took legal action in April 1946 in an attempt to avoid deportation to Japan.[75]

One of the WRA camps, Manzanar, was designated a National Historic Site in 1992 to "provide for the protection and interpretation of historic, cultural, and natural resources associated with the relocation of Japanese Americans during World War II" (Public Law 102-248). In 2001, the site of the Minidoka War Relocation Center in Idaho was designated the Minidoka National Historic Site.

Hardship and material loss

A monument at Manzanar, "to console the souls of the dead."

Many internees lost irreplaceable personal property due to the restrictions on what could be taken into the camps. These losses were compounded by theft and destruction of items placed in governmental storage. A number of persons died or suffered for lack of medical care, and several were killed by sentries; James Wakasa, for instance, was killed at Topaz War Relocation Center, near the perimeter wire. Nikkei were prohibited from leaving the Military Zones during the last few weeks before internment, and only able to leave the camps by permission of the camp administrators.

Psychological injury was observed by Dillon S. Myer, director of the WRA camps. In June 1945, Myer described how the Japanese Americans had grown increasingly depressed, and overcome with feelings of helplessness and personal insecurity.[76]

Some Japanese-American farmers were able to find families willing to tend their farms for the duration of their internment. In other cases, however, Japanese-American farmers had to sell their property in a matter of days, usually at great financial loss. In these cases, the land speculators who bought the land made huge profits. California's Alien Land Laws of the 1910s, which prohibited most non-citizens from owning property in that state, contributed to Japanese-American property losses. Because they were barred from owning land, many older Japanese-American farmers were tenant farmers and therefore lost their rights to those farm lands.

To compensate former internees for their property losses, the US Congress, on July 2, 1948, passed the "American Japanese Claims Act," allowing Japanese Americans to apply for compensation for property losses which occurred as "a reasonable and natural consequence of the evacuation or exclusion." By the time the Act was passed, however, the IRS had already destroyed most of the 1939-42 tax records of the internees, and, due to the time pressure and the strict limits on how much they could take to the assembly centers and then the internment camps, few of the internees themselves had been able to preserve detailed tax and financial records during the evacuation process. Thus, it was extremely difficult for claimants to establish that their claims were valid. Under the Act, Japanese-American families filed 26,568 claims totaling $148 million in requests; approximately $37 million was approved and disbursed.[77]

Reparations and redress

During World War II, Colorado governor Ralph Lawrence Carr was the only elected official to publicly apologize for the internment of American citizens. The act cost him reelection, but gained him the gratitude of the Japanese American community, such that a statue of him was erected in Sakura Square in Denver's Japantown.[78]

Beginning in the 1960s, a younger generation of Japanese Americans who were inspired by the Civil Rights movement began what is known as the "Redress Movement," an effort to obtain an official apology and reparations from the federal government for interning their parents and grandparents during the war, focusing not on documented property losses but on the broader injustice of the internment. The movement's first success was in 1976, when President Gerald Ford proclaimed that the internment was "wrong," and a "national mistake" which "shall never again be repeated".[79]

The campaign for redress was launched by Japanese Americans in 1978. The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) asked for three measures to be taken as redress: $25,000 to be awarded to each person who was detained, an apology from Congress acknowledging publicly that the U.S. government had been wrong, and the release of funds to set up an educational foundation for the children of Japanese American families.

In 1980, Congress established the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) to study the matter. On February 24, 1983, the commission issued a report entitled Personal Justice Denied, condemning the internment as "unjust and motivated by racism rather than real military necessity".[80] The Commission recommended that $20,000 in reparations be paid to those Japanese Americans who had been victims of internment.

In 1988, U.S. President (and former California governor) Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which had been sponsored by Representative Norman Mineta and Senator Alan K. Simpson — the two had met while Mineta was interned at a camp in Wyoming — which provided redress of $20,000 for each surviving detainee, totaling $1.2 billion dollars. The question of to whom reparations should be given, how much, and even whether monetary reparations were appropriate were subjects of sometimes contentious debate.[81]

On September 27, 1992, the Civil Liberties Act Amendments of 1992, appropriating an additional $400 million to ensure all remaining internees received their $20,000 redress payments, was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush, who also issued another formal apology from the U.S. government.

Some Japanese and Japanese Americans who were relocated during World War II received compensation for property losses, according to a 1948 law. Congress appropriated $38 million to meet $131 million of claims from among 23,000 claimants.[82] These payments were dispersed very slowly, the final dispersal occurring in 1965.[82] In 1988, following lobbying efforts by Japanese Americans, $20,000 per internee was paid out to individuals who had been interned or relocated, including those who chose to return to Japan. These payments were awarded to 82,210 Japanese Americans or their heirs at a cost of $1.6 billion; the program's final disbursement occurred in 1999.[11]

Under the 2001 budget of the United States, it was also decreed that the ten sites on which the detainee camps were set up are to be preserved as historical landmarks: “places like Manzanar, Tule Lake, Heart Mountain, Topaz, Amache, Jerome, and Rohwer will forever stand as reminders that this nation failed in its most sacred duty to protect its citizens against prejudice, greed, and political expediency”.[83]

Civil rights violations

Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution states "The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it." but the clause's location implies this authority is vested in Congress, rather than the President.

President Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt followed in his footsteps by signing Executive Order 9066, permitting exclusion of persons from wartime military zones.

Following the reluctance or inability of the vast majority of ethnic Japanese to establish new residences beyond the coastal regions of California, Oregon, and Washington, the U.S. government interned, in family groups, as many as 122,000 ethnic Japanese residing in what became the Red War Zone. A significant number of Japanese living outside of the coastal areas requested and were granted the opportunity of joining friends or family in the relocation centers.[citation needed]

Former Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark, who represented the US Department of Justice in the "relocation," writes in the epilogue to the 1992 book Executive Order 9066: The Internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans:[84]

The truth is—as this deplorable experience proves—that constitutions and laws are not sufficient of themselves...Despite the unequivocal language of the Constitution of the United States that the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, and despite the Fifth Amendment's command that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, both of these constitutional safeguards were denied by military action under Executive Order 9066.[85]

To this day, some believe that the legality of the internment has been firmly established as exactly the type of scenario spelled out in the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.[citation needed] Among other things, the Alien Enemies Act (which was one of four laws included in the Alien and Sedition Acts) allowed for the United States government, during time of war, to apprehend and detain indefinitely foreign nationals, first-generation citizens, or any others deemed a threat by the government. As no expiration date was set, and the law has never been overruled, it was still in effect during World War II, and still is to this day.[citation needed] Therefore, some continue to claim that the civil rights violations were, in fact, not violations at all, having been deemed acceptable as a national security measure during time of war by Congress, signed into law by President John Adams, and upheld by the Supreme Court. However, the majority of the detainees were American-born, thus exempt under law from the Alien and Sedition Acts except if found to directly be a threat due to their actions or associations. This exemption was the basis for drafting Nisei to fight in Europe,[citation needed] as the Laws of Land Warfare prohibit signatory nations (including the United States) from compelling persons to act against their homelands or the allies of their homelands in time of war.

Legal legacy

Several significant legal decisions arose out of Japanese-American internment, relating to the powers of the government to detain citizens in wartime. Among the cases which reached the Supreme Court were Yasui v. United States (1943), Hirabayashi v. United States (1943), ex parte Endo (1944), and Korematsu v. United States (1944). In Yasui and Hirabayashi the court upheld the constitutionality of curfews based on Japanese ancestry; in Korematsu the court upheld the constitutionality of the exclusion order. In Endo, the court accepted a petition for a writ of habeas corpus and ruled that the WRA had no authority to subject a citizen whose loyalty was acknowledged to its procedures.

Korematsu's and Hirabayashi's convictions were vacated in a series of coram nobis cases in the early 1980s.[86] In the coram nobis cases, federal district and appellate courts ruled that newly uncovered evidence revealed the existence of a huge unfairness which, had it been known at the time, would likely have changed the Supreme Court's decisions in the Yasui, Hirabayashi, and Korematsu cases.[8][24] These new court decisions rested on a series of documents recovered from the National Archives showing that the government had altered, suppressed and withheld important and relevant information from the Supreme Court, most notably, the Final Report by General DeWitt justifying the internment program.[86] The Army had destroyed documents in an effort to hide the fact that alterations had been made to the report.[24] The coram nobis cases vacated the convictions of Korematsu and Hirabayashi (Yasui died before his case was heard, rendering it moot), and are regarded as one of the impetuses for the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.[86]

The rulings of the US Supreme Court in the 1944 Korematsu and Hirabayashi cases, specifically in its expansive interpretation of government powers in wartime, have yet to be overturned. They are still the law of the land because a lower court cannot overturn a ruling by the US Supreme Court. However, the coram nobis cases totally undermined the factual underpinnings of the 1944 cases, leaving the original decisions without the proverbial legal leg to stand on.[86] Nonetheless, in light of the fact that these 1944 decisions are still on the books, a number of legal scholars have expressed the opinion that the original Korematsu and Hirabayashi decisions have taken on renewed relevance in the context of the War on Terror.

Terminology debate

There has been much discussion over what to call the internment camps.[87] The WRA officially called them "War Relocation Centers." Manzanar, for instance, was officially known as the Manzanar War Relocation Center. Because of this, the National Park Service has chosen to use "relocation center" in referring to the camps.[88] Some historians and scholars, as well as former internees, object to this wording, noting that the internees were literally imprisoned, such that "relocation" becomes a euphemism.[88]

Another widely used name for the American camps is "internment camp". This phrase is also potentially misleading, as the United States Department of Justice operated separate camps that were officially called "internment camps" in which some Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II.[31][89]

"Concentration camp" is the most controversial descriptor of the camps. This term is criticized for suggesting that the Japanese American experience was analogous to the Holocaust and the Nazi concentration camps.[90] For this reason, National Park Service officials have attempted to avoid the term.[88] Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes each referred to the American camps as "concentration camps," at the time.[91] When the nature of the Nazi concentration camps became clear to the world, and the phrase "concentration camp" came to signify a Nazi death camp, most historians turned to other terms to describe Japanese internment.

Recognizing the controversy over the terminology, in 1971, when the Manzanar Committee applied to the California Department of Parks and Recreation to have Manzanar designated as a California State Historical Landmark, it was proposed that both "relocation center" and "concentration camp" be used in the wording of the plaque for the landmark.[92] Some Owens Valley residents vehemently opposed the use of "concentration camp," and it took a year of discussion and negotiation before both terms were accepted and included on the plaque.[87][92]

Notable internees

Popular culture

See also

References and notes

  1. ^ National Park Service. Manzanar National Historic Site
  2. ^ a b c Various primary and secondary sources list counts between persons.
  3. ^ Ogawa, Dennis M. and Fox, Jr., Evarts C. Japanese Americans, from Relocation to Redress. 1991, page 135.
  4. ^ "Internment - WWII Hawaii". http://www.hawaiischoolreports.com/history/internment.htm. 
  5. ^ Semiannual Report of the War Relocation Authority, for the period January 1 to June 30, 1946, not dated. Papers of Dillon S. Myer. Scanned image at trumanlibrary.org. Retrieved 18 September 2006.
  6. ^ "The War Relocation Authority and The Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II: 1948 Chronology," Web page at www.trumanlibrary.org. Retrieved 11 September 2006.
  7. ^ a b c d e Korematsu v. United States dissent by Justice Owen Josephus Roberts, reproduced at findlaw.com. Retrieved 12 September 2006.
  8. ^ a b Korematsu v. United States majority opinion by Justice Hugo Black, reproduced at findlaw.com. Retrieved 11 September 2006.
  9. ^ Hakim, Joy (1995). A History of Us: War, Peace and all that Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 100–104. ISBN 0-19-509514-6. 
  10. ^ 100th Congress, S. 1009, reproduced at internmentarchives.com. Retrieved 19 September 2006.
  11. ^ a b "Wwii Reparations: Japanese-American Internees". Democracy Now!. http://www.democracynow.org/1999/2/18/wwii_reparations_japanese_american_internees. Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
  12. ^ a b c Leupp, Gary P. Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. 2003, page 216-7
  13. ^ Nakanishi, Don T. and Nishida, Tina Yamano. The Asian American Educational Experience. 1995, page 15-6
  14. ^ John J. Culley, "World War II and a Western Town: The Internment of Japanese Railroad Workers of Clovis, New Mexico." Western Historical Quarterly 13 (January 1982): 43-61.
  15. ^ "US McCarthyism". http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAmccarthyism.htm. 
  16. ^ Okihiro, Gary Y. The Columbia Guide to Asian American History. 2005, page 104
  17. ^ Nash, Gary B., Julie Roy Jeffrey, John R. Howe, Peter J. Frederick, Allen F. Davis, Allan M. Winkler, Charlene Mires, and Carla Gardina Pestana. The American People, Concise Edition Creating a Nation and a Society, Combined Volume (6th Edition). New York: Longman, 2007
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Andrew E. Taslitz, Stories of Fourth Amendment Disrespect: From Elian to the Internment, 70 Fordham Law Review. 2257, 2306-07 (2002).
  19. ^ Fred Mullen, "DeWitt Attitude on Japs Upsets Plans," Watsonville Register-Pajaronian, April 16, 1943. p.1, reproduced by Santa Cruz Public Library. Retrieved September 11, 2006.
  20. ^ Testimony of John L. DeWitt, April 13, 1943, House Naval Affairs Subcommittee to Investigate Congested Areas, Part 3, pp. 739-40 (78th Cong ., 1st Sess.), cited in Korematsu v. United States, footnote 2, reproduced at findlaw.com. Retrieved September 11, 2006.
  21. ^ "Short History of Amache Japanese Internment". http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/wwcod/granada3.htm. Retrieved 2008. 
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  23. ^ WWII Enemy Alien Control Overview from archives.gov Retrieved January 8, 2007.
  24. ^ a b c d Hirabayashi v. United States, reproduced at findlaw.com. Retrieved September 15, 2006.
  25. ^ Korematsu v. United States dissent by Justice Frank Murphy, footnote 12, reproduced at findlaw.com. Retrieved September 11, 2006.
  26. ^ Neiwert, David. The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right. 2009, page 195
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  28. ^ Berberoglu, Berch. Labor and Capital in the Age of Globalization. 2002, page 90
  29. ^ Hanel, Rachael. The Japanese American Internment. 2008, page 20
  30. ^ "FBI History — Famous Cases — Doll Woman". FBI. http://fbi.edgesuite.net/libref/historic/famcases/dickinson/dickinson.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
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  32. ^ Maki, Mitchell Takeshi and Kitano, Harry H. L. and Berthold, Sarah Megan. Achieving the Impossible Dream. 1999, page 143
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  35. ^ JA Herzig Japanese Americans and MAGIC 1984
  36. ^ Irons, Peter H. Justice at war. 1993, page 375
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  41. ^ Robinson, Greg. (2001). By Order of the President:FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans, p. 264n2 citing C. Harvey Gardiner, Pawns in a Triangle of Hate (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1981).
  42. ^ a b c d e f Niiya, Brian. Japanese American History. 1993, page 191
  43. ^ a b Nanami, Masaharu (Kyodo News), "Japanese-Peruvians still angry over wartime internment in U.S. camps," Japan Times, Sep 16, 2009.
  44. ^ a b c "Japanese Latin Americans". http://www.densho.org/learning/spice/lesson4/4activity4-7handouts.pdf. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  45. ^ "Japanese Americans, the Civil Rights Movement and Beyond". http://www.nddcreative.com/sfjhw/sfjhw_pdf/sfjhw_sign2.pdf. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  46. ^ Higashide, , Seiichi. (2000).Adios to Tears, p. 179.
  47. ^ Connel, Thomas. America's Japanese Hostages. 2002, page 145-8
  48. ^ "Department of Justice and U.S. Army Facilities", U.S. National Park Service. Retrieved 31 August 2006.
  49. ^ Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites, Jeffery F. Burton, Mary M. Farrell, Florence B. Lord, and Richard W. Lord, Chapter 16, NPS. Retrieved 31 August 2006.
  50. ^ Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites, Jeffery F. Burton, Mary M. Farrell, Florence B. Lord, and Richard W. Lord, Chapter 3, NPS. Retrieved 31 August 2006.
  51. ^ Japanese Americans From Relocation to Redress. Daniels, Roger, Sandra Taylor, Harry Kitano. Seattle Washington. University of Washington Press, 1991.
  52. ^ a b c d e "Japanese American Internment Camps". http://www.bookmice.net/darkchilde/japan/camp.html. Retrieved 2007-10-02. 
  53. ^ U.S. National Archives, ARC ID 537854. Retrieved 9 August 2006.
  54. ^ "Indian Claims Commission Decisions". April 28, 1971. p. 250. http://digital.library.okstate.edu/icc/v25/v25toc.html. 
  55. ^ Source: War Relocation Authority annual reports
  56. ^ U.S. Library of Congress gallery photo, Call number LC-USF33- 013285-M1, digital ID fsa 8a31149
  57. ^ Myer, Dillon S. (March 1943). Work of the War Relocation Authority, An Anniversary Statement. The Harry S. Truman Library & Museum. http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/japanese_internment/documents/index.php?documentdate=1943-03-00&documentid=16&studycollectionid=JI&pagenumber=1. 
  58. ^ Hane, Mikiso (September 1990). Wartime Internment. Organizer of American Historians. 
  59. ^ http://www.mci4me.at/mci4me/app/download/fink-holden_2002_collective_culture_shock.pdf?DOCID=100099008&blobIndex=file
  60. ^ a b c d "Tule Lake Committee - tulelake.org". tulelake.org<!. http://www.tulelake.org/2004-pilgrimage/. Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
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  62. ^ Ng, Wendy L. Japanese American Internment During World War II. 2002, page 61
  63. ^ a b Niiya, Brian. Japanese American History. 1993, page 293
  64. ^ a b Ngai, Mae M. Impossible Subjects. 2004, page 192
  65. ^ Kiyota, Minoru and Keenan, Linda Klepinger. Beyond Loyalty. 1997, page 129
  66. ^ Christgau, John (February, 1985). "Collins versus the World: The Fight to Restore Citizenship to Japanese American Renunciants of World War II". Pacific Historical Review (University of California Press) 54 (1): 1–31. http://www.jstor.org/pss/3638863. 
  67. ^ Yamamoto, Traise. Masking Selves, Making Subjects. 1999, page 284
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  69. ^ "President Clinton Approves Medal of Honor for Asian Pacific American World War II Heroes". US Army. May 12, 2000. http://www4.army.mil/ocpa/read.php?story_id_key=1813. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
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  89. ^ Jeffery F. Burton, Mary M. Farrell, Florence B. Lord, Richard W. Lord (1999). Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites. Western Archaeological and Conservation Center, National Park Service, US Department of the Interior. pp. 379–406. Publications in Anthropology 74. 
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  93. ^ By T.M.P. (1942-08-07). "Little Tokyo, USA - Trailer - Cast - Showtimes - NYTimes.com". Movies.nytimes.com. http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/99890/Little-Tokyo-USA/overview. Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
  94. ^ George Carlin - It's Bad For Ya and its succeeding permalink at MovieTranscriptions.com give a text, which faithfully reflects the audio track of the video clip (rather than the brief mistranscription) reproduced at "All About Your Precious F*cking Rights" on Cogitamus blog.

Further reading

  • Drinnon, Richard. Keeper of Concentration Camps: Dillon S. Meyer and American Racism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989.
  • Gardiner, Clinton Harvey. (1981). Pawns in a Triangle of Hate: The Peruvian Japanese and the United States. Seattle: University of Washington Press. 10-ISBN 0295958553; ISBN 978-0-295-95855-2
  • Harth, Erica. (2001). Last Witnesses: Reflections on the Wartime Internment of Japanese Americans. Palgrave, New York. ISBN 0-312-22199-1. 
  • Higashide, Seiichi. (2000). Adios to Tears: The Memoirs of a Japanese-Peruvian Internee in U.S. Concentration Camps. Seattle: University of Washington Press. 10-ISBN 0-295-97914-3; 13-ISBN 978-0-295-97914-4
  • Hirabayashi, Lane Ryo. The Politics of Fieldwork: Research in an American Concentration Camp. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1999.
  • Gordon, Linda; Okihiro, Gary Y., eds (2006). Impounded: Dorothea Lange and the Censored Images of Japanese American Internment. New York: W. W. Norton and Company. ISBN 0393330907. 
  • Mackey, Mackey, ed. Remembering Heart Mountain: Essays on Japanese American Internment in Wyoming. Wyoming: Western History Publications, 1998.
  • Miyakawa, Edward T. Tule Lake. Trafford Publishing, 2006. ISBN 1-55369-844-4
  • Robinson, Greg. By Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans. Cambridge and others: Harvard University Press, 2001.
  • Robinson, Greg (2009). A Tragedy of Democracy: Japanese Confinement in North America. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0231129220. 
  • Weglyn, Michi. (1976, 1996). Years Of Infamy: The Untold Story Of America's Concentration Camps. University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-97484-2. 
  • Civil Liberties Public Education Fund. (1997). Personal Justice Denied: Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. Civil Liberties Public Education Fund and University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-97558-X. 
  • Elleman, Bruce (2006). Japanese-American civilian prisoner exchanges and detention camps, 1941-45. Routledge. p. 179. ISBN 9780415331883. http://books.google.com/books?id=zTsAj1cfYKUC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA31#v=onepage&q=&f=false. Retrieved 14 September2009. 

External links

Archival sources of documents, photos, and other materials

Other sources

United States government documents

  • Civilian Restrictive Order No. 1, 8 Fed. Reg. 982, provided for detention of those of Japanese ancestry in assembly or relocation centers.
  • House Report No. 2124 (77th Cong., 2d Sess.) 247-52
  • Hearings before the Subcommittee on the National War Agencies Appropriation Bill for 1945, Part II, 608-726
  • Final Report, Japanese Evacuation from the West Coast, 1942 (pg 309-327), by Lt. Gen. J. L. DeWitt. This report is dated June 5, 1943, but was not made public until January, 1944.
  • Further evidence of the Commanding General's attitude toward individuals of Japanese ancestry is revealed in his voluntary testimony on April 13, 1943, in San Francisco before the House Naval Affairs Subcommittee to Investigate Congested Areas, Part 3, pp. 739–40 (78th Cong., 1st Sess.)
  • Hearings before the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, House of Representatives, 78th Cong., 2d Sess., on H. R. 2701 and other bills to expatriate certain nationals of the United States, pp. 37–42, 49-58.
  • 56 Stat. 173.
  • 7 Fed. Reg. 2601
  • House Report No. 1809, 84th Congress, 2d session, 9 (1956).
  • Opler, Marvin in Tom C. Clark, Attorney General of the United States and William A. Carmichael, District Director, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Department of Justice, District 16 vs. Albert Yuichi Inouye, Miye Mae Murakami, Tsutako Sumi, and Mutsu Shimizu. No. 11839, United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. August 1947.
  • Personal Justice Denied: Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, Washington D.C., December, 1982

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the National Archives and Records Administration.


Simple English

File:Children waiting for the bus.gif
A group of Japanese Americans waiting to get on a bus that will take them to an internment camp

Japanese American internment happened during World War II when the United States government forced about 110,000 Japanese Americans to leave their homes and live in internment camps.[1] These were like prisons. Many of those who were sent to internment camps had been born in the United States.

Contents

Background

On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and declared war on the United States. Many Americans were angry, and some blamed all Japanese people for what had happened at Pearl Harbor. They spread rumors that some Japanese people knew about the attack ahead of time and had helped the Japanese military. The FBI and other parts of the United States government knew that these rumors were false, but did not say anything.[2]

Japanese Americans began to feel that other Americans were becoming upset with them. For example, John Hughes, a man who read the news on the radio in Los Angeles, California, spent about a month saying negative things about Japanese Americans. There were reports of businesses that had anti-Japanese signs, such as a barber shop with a sign saying "Free shaves for Japs" and "not responsible for accidents" and a funeral home with a sign saying "I'd rather do business with a Jap than an American".[3]

Internment begins

In February 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. This order said that people who lived in some parts of the country could be taken out of those areas for any reason. While the order did not use the exact words "Japanese Americans", people knew that those were the people who would be taken out of those areas. Most of these areas were in the western United States. This was where most Japanese Americans lived at that time. Many were in the state of California. However, in the state of Hawaii, hardly any Japanese Americans were interned.[4] The large number of Japanese living there would have made it almost impossible.

In order to prevent Japanese Americans from leaving these areas on their own, the government stopped many of them from taking money out of their bank accounts. This made it harder for them to move. Japanese Americans were given only 48 hours to leave for internment camps in other states. They were only allowed to carry one bag with them, and could not bring radios or cameras.[5]

In the camps

File:Map of World War II Japanese American internment
Map showing where the Japanese American internment camps were.

The internment camps were surrounded by barbed wire.[6] They were also guarded by soldiers who waited in watchtowers holding guns.[7] Some people were shot.[8] For example, James Wakasa, who stepped outside the barbed wire fence, was shot and killed. The guard who shot him said that Wakasa was trying to escape, but the Japanese Americans in the camp did not believe the guard.[9] Most of the camps were many miles inland from the coast, and often in rural areas. Many of the camps were in the desert,[10] which was uncomfortable for many of the Japanese Americans who were not used to that type of climate. This also meant that even if somebody escaped, there would be nowhere for them to go. In the camps, people had to stand in line to eat or to go to the bathroom.[11]

One famous camp was Manzanar, which was in California. Many Japanese from Los Angeles and San Francisco were sent there. Other camps included Poston in Arizona and Minidoka in Idaho. There were a few camps outside of the western U.S., such as Jerome in Arkansas. Japanese were often crowded into small spaces, such as race tracks, before being sent to the camps. [12]

The end of internment

By 1943, the government allowed some Japanese Americans to leave the camps to work or go to school, but it would not let them return to the West Coast. Some Japanese soldiers were even allowed to serve as soldiers in the U.S. Army, and many served with honor in Europe. In 1944, the United States government said that it would stop putting Japanese Americans in internment camps.[13] The people who were placed in the camps were given $25 and a bus ticket home.[14] However, it would take more than 40 years for the government to apologize to Japanese Americans for what had happened. In 1988, the government said it was sorry and paid money to people who had been sent to internment camps.[15]

References

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  1. "Manzanar National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service)". National Parks Service. http://www.nps.gov/manz/index.htm. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  2. "Children of the Camps". pbs.org. http://www.pbs.org/childofcamp/documentary/viewguide2.html. Retrieved November 10, 2010. 
  3. Dorothy Swaine Thomas and Richard Shigeaki Nishimoto. The Spoilage, University of California Press, 1974. p. 20
  4. "Internment busters". the.honoluluadvertiser.com. http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2006/Sep/04/il/FP609040322.html. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  5. ""Suffering under a great injustice": Ansel Adams's Photographs of Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar – For Teachers". Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/connections/manzanar/history2.html. Retrieved October 31, 2010. 
  6. Morgan, David S. (December 23, 2006). "Bush To Preserve WWII Internment Camps". cbsnews.com. CBS News. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/12/23/national/main2293979.shtml. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  7. "Japanese-American (Citizen) Relocation (Concentration) Camp Cases". Rutgers University. http://fas-history.rutgers.edu/clemens/FamousTrials/japanese.html. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  8. "Shootings". home.comcast.net. http://home.comcast.net/~chtongyu/internment/shootings.html. Retrieved October 14, 2010. 
  9. "United States War Relocation Authority Central Utah Project Records – Special Collections, UW Libraries". University of Washington. http://www.lib.washington.edu/specialcoll/findaids/docs/papersrecords/USWarRelocationAuthorityUtah56.xml. Retrieved October 14, 2010. 
  10. "Japanese Internment Camps". library.thinkquest.org. http://library.thinkquest.org/TQ0312008/bhjic.html. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  11. "OurStory : Activities : Life in a WWII Japanese-American Internment Camp : More Information". National Museum of American History. http://americanhistory.si.edu/ourstory/activities/internment/more.html. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  12. "Calisphere – JARDA – Relocation and Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II". University of California. http://www.calisphere.universityofcalifornia.edu/jarda/historical-context.html. Retrieved October 29, 2010. 
  13. "End of Exclusion > The Camps Experience". asianamericanmedia.org. http://www.asianamericanmedia.org/jainternment/camps/end.html. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  14. "We're All Complicit in Torture – Jacob Weisberg". newsweek.com. May 1, 2009. http://www.newsweek.com/id/195622. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  15. "Digital History". University of Houston. http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/learning_history/japanese_internment/internment_menu.cfm. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 

Other websites

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