Japanese American Internment Camps Essay

1757 Words8 Pages
After the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, life in the U.S. had changed. It was the first time in a long time that America was attacked on its homeland. This national security threat was a big shock to the people. The Japanese had to suffer the consequences of their attack. Just as the Germans developed concentration camps for the Jewish during World War II, the Americans set up "relocation" programs better known as internment camps to keep all the Japanese. The reason the Japanese were moved into these camps was because they were suspected of being spies. They were forced to live there for up to four years and were not able to continue with their own lives as they were before while they were living in these camps. Many Japanese…show more content…
At Terminal Island near Los Angeles, California there were nearly 3,500 first and second generation Japanese. The military wanted all suspicious members of this community out in 48 hours. During this time, Dr. Yoshihiko Fujikawa described what he saw, saying he saw house wives being abused while cars, refrigerators, furniture and the like were confiscated (23 Nishimoto). The Japanese in Hawaii were treated differently, unlike the communities at Terminal Island and Areas 1 and 2, under General Dellos Emmons who stated, There is no intention or desire on the part of the federal authorities to operate mass concentration camps. No person, be he or citizen or alien, need worry, provided he is not connected with subversive elements.While we have been subjected to a serious attack by a ruthless and treacherous enemy, we must remember that this is America and we must do things the American Way. We must distinguish between loyalty and disloyalty among our people (25 Nishimoto). In internment camps cultural integrity was a problem. The Issei, or first generation Japanese who were older, were used to being very well honored and respected by the younger generation. In internment camps, age had no value. To a white soldier, a Japanese man was a “Japo” and nothing more. In traditional Japanese culture, the elderly were very highly respected. However, at the camps their “traditional authority” was stripped away and this “contributed to the demoralization of the Issei” (62
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