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During World War II, over 120,000 Japanese Americans were removed and confined for four years in sixteen camps located throughout the western half of the United States. Yet the internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps remains a largely unknown episode of World War II history. Indeed, many of the internees themselves do not wish to speak of it, even to their own family members. In these selections, Alice Yang Murray invites students to investigate this event and to review and challenge the conventional interpretations of its significance. The selections explore the U.S. government's role in planning and carrying out the removal and internment of thousands of citizens, resident aliens, and foreign nationals, and the ways in which Japanese Americans coped with or resisted their removal and incarceration.
A Note for Students
PART I. INTRODUCTION
The Internment of Japanese Americans
From Pearl Harbor to Mass Incarceration: A Brief Narrative
The Internment Camps
Historians and Internment: From Relocation Centers to Concentration
PART II. SOME CURRENT QUESTIONS
1. Why were Japanese Americans interned during World War II?
Roger Daniels, The Decision for Mass Evacuation
2. What caused the Supreme Court to affirm the constitutionality of internment?
Peter Irons, Gordon Hirabayashi v. United States: A Jap's a Jap
3. Why did U.S. officials intern people of Japanese ancestry from Central and South America?
Michi Weglyn, Hostages
4. How did some Japanese Americans resist internment?
Gary Y. Okihiro, Tule Lake under Martial Law: A Study of Japanese Resistance
5. What was the impact of internment on Japanese American families and communities?
Valerie J. Matsumoto, Amache
Suggestions for Further Reading