Japanese Internment in the U.S.

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Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
World War II
Grade:
8

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Japanese Internment in the U.S.

During the evacuation of the Japanese-Americans, they were all forced out of their homes by soldiers in the military. They had to make an attempt to sell a majority of their possessions for only a fraction of their worth. These possessions included furniture, homes, and even their pets. Basically, the only things they allowed them to bring with them were sheets, clothing, toiletries, and personal items (Carnes 96). “Exclusion Orders” were directed on Japanese ancestry, so if they were first or second generation Japanese-Americans, they were going to be forced into Japanese Internment camps. They were then ordered to the Central Point in their neighborhood, and after that, they were taken to an “approved destination.” They were transported there through trains at the “approved destinations.” From then on, they knew their lives would be different (Jones).

Japanese Internment in the U.S.

In this video, there will be a slideshow depicting the people who were sent to the Japanese Internment camps, and what happened within them.

1790-1942

May 9th, 1942

1942 on

1942 on

After WWII

The Japanese have withstood a lot of cruelty throughout history within the United States. Laws even stated unfair things against the Japanese. These laws included the Federal Naturalization Law, which said that only white immigrants could become naturalized citizens of the United States. Another law was negotiated in 1913, called the California Alien Land Law. It did not allow foreign people to buy land on United States territory. Therefore, because of the Naturalization Act of 1790, Japanese were denied the land that they were in need of in the U.S (Carnes 94). Not long after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese were excluded from most things since the Americans were in fear of the Japanese-Americans somehow making contact with the Japanese from the Pearl Harbor bombing. Because of these fears, the government began cleansing the West Coast of the Japanese. February of 1942, President Roosevelt negotiated Executive Order 9066, which narrowed itself within two months to emphasize that the Japanese were not wanted along the West Coast. The Japanese were then forced to leave on May ninth of 1942 (Carnes 96). It signified the end of life as they knew it for the Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast.

In the internment camps, the Japanese-Americans tried to make every aspect of their life as normal as possible. They began religious observances, theatre companies, athletic competitions, and they even started a group of boy scouts. On the other hand, some aspects of their lives weren’t as normal as others. Jobs they were assigned included, working in sugarcane fields, working on fruit/vegetable farms, and working on built railroads. This is yet another sign that they were treated poorly in the past. Before they were even evacuated to the internment camps, they had jobs of course, like normal people. They took these jobs into the internment camps so that there was then physicians, carpenters, and even dentists. During their meal times, they were fed bland food like rice, macaroni, potatoes, kidneys, and liver. Not many people would favor a diet of those kinds of food, so why would we do that to then (Jones).

Their homes were then, literally, horse stalls. There were tarpaper walls, wood shavings on the floor, and everything was poorly cleaned. No privacy was provided whatsoever, and the sewage system was terrible. There was lines for everything, including the bathroom, and food (Carnes 97). Since it was so windy in the areas in which the internment camps were located, people often had to stop their work because of the wind taking their breath away. The soldiers claimed that they were to protect the Japanese-Americans, but their guns were always pointed inside of the fence, not the outside. If they escaped the barbed wire fences, they were to be shot down and killed (Jones). How is that protection? If it was to secure the Japanese-Americans, they wouldn’t have even thought about harming them. Therefore, those lies caused even more distrust among the Japanese-Americans to the country.

Even after WWII, there were plenty of people that were still against the Japanese, and treated them poorly even as the war came to a conclusion. Homes were lost as well as businesses and belongings. There was also a housing shortage, so those that weren’t able to get another house, were then left homeless. Along with that, the Japanese-Americans that weren’t in jail, had to vie for a new career. Because of this, job openings began to decrease. Vandalism also began to occur, including graffiti and destroying of one’s property. The graffiti said things like, “Hitler was right.” There were also threats against life and property, as was already said. These incidents have hopefully led people to believe that racism is wrong, and inaccurate (Jones).


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