For Japanese people living in America, WWII spelled disaster. Not only was their country of origin at war with the country they lived in, but public opinion combined with the unchecked power of Executive Order 9066 forced 110,000 Japanese people out of their homes and into inhospitable Internment camps scattered across the US. Jeanne Wakatsuki's autobiographical Farewell to Manzanar captures the internment camp’s effect on her family. While Jeanne and her father are at the heart of the story, the war also has a profound effect on Jeanne’s mother “Mama.” Jeanne’s mother experiences very negative circumstances during internment including feeling dehumanized and witnessing the disintegration of her family. One surprising slightly positive impact
The autobiography illustrates personal experiences of discrimination and prejudice while also reporting the political occurrences during the United States’ involvement in World War II. After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the United States government unleashed unrestrained contempt for the Japanese residing in the nation. The general public followed this train of thought, distrusting the Japanese and treating them like something less than human. In a country of freedom and justice, no coalition stepped up to defend the people who had lived there most of or all of their lives; rather, people took advantage of the Japanese evacuation to take their property and belongings. The government released demeaning propaganda displaying comical Japanese men as monsters and rats, encouraging the public to be vigilant and wary toward anyone of Japanese descent. The abuse of the Japanese during this period was taken a little too lightly, the government apologizing too late and now minor education of the real cruelty expressed toward the nation’s own citizens. Now we see history repeating itself in society, and if we don’t catch the warning signs today, history may just come full
The Evolution of Japanese American Women Throughout time, the role that Women had in the early twentieth century to the present has changed drastically and it has changed for the better. Japanese American Women residing in the United States, has experienced the evolution of their culture, tradition, values and their role in society. However though it seems as if there is no time in this ever so rapid society, they still continue to pass down culture and tradition through each generation. Some key terms that are crucial in order to understand the essay are, Issei, or the first generation, Nisei, the second generation ,and Sansei, known as the third generation.Over time the Women slowly moved away form being the average Homemaker and transforming into a respected and valued member of society.
The Fifteen-Year War was a time of great turmoil and uncertainty in Japan. Various facets of the country were tested and driven to their limits. During the occupation, race and gender began to evolve in ways that had not exactly be seen before. War had a tremendous impact on every part of the life of a Japanese citizen. Both men and women began to fill roles that were completely novel to them. Race became a part of the definition of who people were. As the war progressed and American troops landed on Japanese soil for occupation, more drastic changes occurred. Economic hardship and rations befell the people of the Land of the Rising Sun. Prostitution began to rear its ugly head and rape transpired. Through memory, research, and vivid
During World War II, approximately 120,000 people of Japanese descent who lived on the Pacific Coast of the US were sent to internment camps after the bombing at Pearl Harbor by Japan on December 7th, 1941. American citizens made up 62% of those who were interned. And even though these
Throughout Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston’s autobiography, Farewell to Manzanar, Jeanne experiences the struggles of Japanese-Americans during the World War II. After the Pearl Harbor bombing, Japanese-Americans were forced to be sent to an incarceration camp often through isolated deserts and swamps. They were sent to the camp because they looked like the enemy. Their bravery and fighting for what they believed in were their version of social justice because Japanese-Americans wanted an equal opportunity just like the Caucasians. The book on what Japanese-Americans went through at that time resembles with this modern day Trump’s immigration law on Muslims. The Japanese-Americans and Muslims both face discrimination, separation from their family, and institutionalized injustice.
Starting in the 1880s, the story of Japanese Americans and their presence within the grand scheme of America’s culture has its fair share of controversies, but perhaps the most contentious chapter is the internment of Japanese Americans during World War 2. Widely considered one of the most egregious breaches of civil rights during this era, Japanese internment was blatant discrimination that took advantage of the panic during World War 2, and the predisposed notions many Americans had concerning the Japanese. In order to best understand the cultural impact that this period had on the American racial landscape, one must understand the Japanese immigration to America, racial relations leading up to World War 2, the causation of the internment,
Two weeks ago, Feminist Frequency launched a crowdfunding campaign for Ordinary Women, our new video series about incredible, defiant women throughout history, and we’re pleased to say that we’re on our way, having raised over $73,000 from more than 1,200 supporters so far. Your generosity and enthusiasm mean everything to us, especially in light of the pushback we get every time we speak up or speak at all.
The bombing of Pearl Harbor transformed the lives of virtually every single person of Japanese descent living in America. No matter how much they tried, they could only wait for their final destination: a crowded and subpar American concentration camp that gave very minimal wages and barely had enough resources to live. They met this with the common phrase shikata ga nai, or “it cannot be helped”. Between the life of Jeanne Wakatsuki depicted in the book Farewell to Manzanar, who was in one of these concentration camps, and a boy in an average household in times without world wars raging on, there are, expectedly, many more differences, both emotional and physical, than the similarities, between our lives.
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
Japan, forced to rebuild itself from the ashes of defeat, was occupied by Americans in the aftermath of World War II. Although it was commonly perceived through the victors’ eyes, in John W. Dower’s novel, Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II, Dower summarized his studies of Occupied Japan and the impact of war on Japanese society in the view of both the conqueror and the defeated. He demonstrated the “Transcending Despair” (p. 85) of the Japanese people through their everyday lives in the early stages of the occupation. In chapter three, Dower attempted to comprehend the hopes and dreams – as well as the hopelessness and realities – of the Japanese who were in a state of exhaustion and despair. In chapter four, due partly to the food shortage, crime rates rose as people began to steal. Women turned to prostitution while men turned to the black market. Some Japanese were so desperate that they stripped out of their clothing and exchanged it for food. Dower vividly conveyed the depth of loss and confusion that Japan experienced. On the other hand, Kasutori culture flourished in the 1950s as sexually oriented entertainments dominated the commercial world. In chapter five, the people of Japan turned wartime slogans into slogans for reconstruction and peace. They used witty defeat jokes as a way to escape despair. Even though they were defeated, the people of Japan pushed through the misery and sought to reinvent their identity as illustrated through prostitution, the black market, and “Bridges of Language” (p. 168).
In continuing the Meiji theme of implementation of Western ideals in order best Western countries, women activists implemented Western practices and techniques for their own actions. Unionization and workers’ strikes were two of these techniques as their development and propagation deeply affected how workers saw both their work and the importance of proper compensation. In particular, the fight for a woman’s department and equal wages evidences how these techniques were utilized for the benefit of this population. Although women’s health could deeply affect work conditions and vice versa, male socialists sought not to anger other groups while ridiculing the very idea that women had separate concerns. Nonetheless, female activists continued to push for these benefits and for birth control, especially after Anglo-American Margaret Sanger visited Japan. This, of course, deviates from the Tokugawa understanding of women’s sexual freedom, which essentially focused on male control rather than actual bodily autonomy.
Yuki Tanaka's "Japan's Comfort Women" This paper is a review of the book Japan’s Comfort Women-Sexual slavery and prostitution during WWII and the US occupation by Yuki Tanaka. This book was published in 2002 by Routledge. The book deals with the thousands of Japanese, Korean, Chinese and other Asian and European women who were victims of organized sexual violence and prostitution by means of “comfort stations” setup by the Japanese military during World War II.
Modern girls were a rising phenomenon in Japan during the 1920s and 1930s, modern girls was a pre-war culture term to name the independent young women in Japan. Occupations opened for young women across the country such as the position of a shop-girl at a department
It is no secret that for centuries, the Japanese woman has been, to most observers, a model of elegance and graceful beauty. A picture of a kimono-clad, modest, and often silent woman has been plastered everywhere, allowing for the upmost passive subjection. If we look deeper into this image of woman, can we tell if this picture is complete? How do these women painted in representative images far in the modern world? The ideal woman in Japan is expected to be both a good wife, and a wise mother. Though these seem like reasonable expectations, there is a much deeper meaning to them that has shown signs of being outdated. During the 1800’s and 1900’s, women were subjected to society’s vision of them, and could not break free for fear of the