There was much hatred for the Japanese by the American people, because of the negative depiction of them by the media and the remembrance of the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese that drove the U.S. to declare war on Japan in the first place. Many Americans displayed extreme prejudice for the Japanese people calling them “jaundiced baboons” or the more unsophisticated racial term, “Jap.” The United States viewed Japan as a collapsing nation that needed strict guidance from them in order to change into the correct form of government. For the first time in history, Japan was a conquered nation. The slogan, which Japan used to cope during the occupation, was “enduring the unendurable.” For some Japanese people, the U.S. occupation seemed like more of the same totalitarian leadership as of the emperor, therefore was indifferent to the new order. The rest feared that the Americans would be vengeful, cruel conquerors.
Just as these Japanese Americans were considered guilty by race, so was Kabuo Miyamoto. His Japanese background alone was enough to convince the island of San Piedro of his guilt. Kabuo Miyamoto had to endure this harsh reality of racism that plagued his town and saturated the court system giving him no chance for a fair and just trial. Work Cited Guterson, David. Snow Falling On Cedars.
Wesleyan University Press, 1989. Kashima, Tetsuden, Personal Justice Denied: Report of the Commision on Wartime Relocation and the Internment of Civilian. University of Washington Press, 1977. McClain, Charles, The Mass Internment of Japanese Americans and the Quest for Legal Redress. New York: Garland Publishing, 1994.
People argued that it was acceptable because the Japanese immigrants in the United States posed a threat, but in reality, “more than two-thirds of the Japanese who were interned in the spring of 1942 were citizens of the United States” (Ross). The Nikkei had the same rights as any American born citizen, yet they were interned. The public concluded that all people of Japanese ancestry were saboteurs, heightening racial prejudices. Furthermore, the accusation of disloyalty among Japanese Americans prompted the state department to send Agent Curtis B. Munson to investigate this matter among the Japanese Americans; leading to his conclusion that, “there is no Japanese problem on the west coast…a rem... ... middle of paper ... ...tional Historic Site. nps.com.
Guterson, David. Snow Falling on Cedars. New York: Vintage Books, 1995. Stanley, Jerry. I am an American: A True Story of Japanese Internment.
Farwell to Manzanar. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1973. Print. Myer, Dillon S. Uprooted Americans: The Japanese Americans and the War Relocation Authority During World War II. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1970.
Was the internment of Japanese Americans a compulsory act of justice or was it an unwarranted, redundant act of tyranny which breached upon the rights of Japanese Americans? During World War II thousands of Japanese Americans were told by government officials that they had twenty-four hours to pack their things, get rid of any belongings of theirs, and to sell their businesses away for less than retail value. Although many people thought the Japanese American internment was needed to ensure U.S. security during the war against Japan, these relocation centers were unnecessary violations of Japanese Americans’ rights. These concentration camps are unconstitutional because they infringed upon the Japanese Americans’ first, seventh, and eighth amendment rights. The argument for the opposing viewpoint states that these relocation centers were needed to ensure U.S. security during the war against Japan.
The novel, Snow Falling On Cedars, take place during a time in which Americans are prejudice towards Japanese people. David Guterson’s novel takes place several years after World War II when hatred towards the Japanese filled Americans’ hearts from the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. During the time period from 1940 to 1955 there was evidence of this hatred and prejudice in internment camps and laws passed against Japanese-Americans. Snow Falling On Cedars has many parallels between the fictional prejudice in the novel and the factual prejudice of the time period. There are many examples of prejudice towards the Japanese from 1940-1955.
Stanley, Jerry. I Am An American: A True Story of Japanese Interment. New York, NY: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1994. tenBroek, Jacobus, Edward N. Barnhart, and Floyd W. Matson. Prejudice, War, and the Constitution. Berkeley and Lost Angeles, CA: University of California Press, 1954.
Nagasaki and the Surrender of Japan." Delivered from Evil: The Saga of World War II. New York: Harper & Row, 1987. 942-946. Print.