What were the Japanese internment camps some might ask. The camps were caused by the attack of Pearl Harbor in 1942 by Japan. President Roosevelt signed a form to send all the Japanese into internment camps.(1) All the Japanese living along the coast were moved to other states like California, Idaho, Utah, Arkansas, Colorado, Wyoming and Arizona. The camps were located away from Japan and isolated so if a spy tried to communicate, word wouldn't get out. The camps were unfair to the Japanese but the US were trying to be cautious. Many even more than 66% or 2/3 of the Japanese-Americans sent to the internment camps in April of 1942 were born in the United States and many had never been to Japan. Their only crime was that they had Japanese ancestors and they were suspected of being spies to their homeland of Japan. Japanese-American World War I veterans that served for the United States were also sent to the internment camps.(2)
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government started to become very suspicious of different races living in the country especially the Japanese. To make sure nothing happened again these internment camps were set up and they were basically “America’s concentration camps”. The Japanese Americans faced a lot of hardships at these camps. Japanese Internment Camps were extremely unfair to the majority of the Japanese Americans who have not engaged in sabotage or spying for Japan during the war. Nevertheless, it was a necessary effort to limit the activities of those who would have tried to harm the U.S. and the war effort.
In the middle of WW II, many Americans were worrying about their next meal or about the house payments; however, this wasn’t the case for Japanese Americans. Instead, they were worrying about if they were going to eat and if they were going to have a house due to internment camps. These camps were designed to protect and nurture the Japanese from the American people who were persecuting them. However, these camps did little good beyond that. Many Japanese Americans faced starvation, horrible living quality, and a large distance away from what they knew as home. These Japanese immigrants were always treated with discrimination in America; however, after Pearl Harbor they were forced to leave their homes, live in internment camps, and face prejudice for the years following.
In many times throughout history groups of people have been discriminated against based on race or religion. These people receive inferior rights because of the discrimination. In some cases they do not get citizenship, in others they are segregated from others, and physically harmed. Two groups of people that faced discrimination near World War II (WWII) were the Jewish people and Japanese Americans. Both groups faced very different types of discrimination by different oppressors with different motives yet their treatment was very similar and many events paralleled each other. The treatment of Japanese in WWII internment camps was as harsh as the Holocaust's treatment of the Jewish people.
The internment of those of Japanese heritage during WWII was a disgrace to America. People were treated badly and were forced to live in structures with no heating or plumbing. Many of those interned were American citizens who had no loyalty to Japan, but they were forced to suffer because they were related to were from Japan. It is horrible that anyone should be forced to leave their homes and lives to be treated like they are the ones who did something wrong.
The internment camps was a calamitous experience for many Japanese Americans. The Japanese American’s struggle was divided into evacuation, the camps, and life afterwards. Many will never forget the great injustice wrought upon them from the United States government.
Japanese-American internment camps were a dark time in America’s history, often compared to the concentration camps in Germany (Hane, 572). The internment camps were essentially prisons in which all Japanese-Americans living on the west coast were forced to live during World War II after the bombing of Pearl Harbor Naval base in Hawaii. They were located in inland western states due to the mass hysteria that Japanese-Americans were conspiring with Japan to invade and/or attack the United States. At the time the general consensus was that these camps were a good way to protect the country, but after the war many realized that the camps were not the best option. Textbooks did not usually mention the internment camps at all, as it is not a subject most Americans want to talk about, much less remember. Recently more textbooks and historians talk about the camps, even life inside them. Some Japanese-Americans say that their experiences after being released from the internment camps were not as negative as most people may think. Although the Japanese-American internment camps were brutal to go through, in the long run it led to Japanese-Americans’ movement from the west coast and their upward movement in society through opportunities found in a new urban environment such as Chicago and St. Louis.
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 American citizens were being unconstitutionally blocked off from the rest of society, the majority of these citizens still declared that they remained forever loyal to America. Some of the recollections left behind by the internees of their experiences at these camps include letters to their loved ones, diaries, pictures, and even full plays. And while living in often cramped, and poorly maintained conditions, the internees still tried to lead normal lives and still functioned as a small society.
Japanese Internment Camps were established to keep an eye on everyone of Japanese decent. The internment camps were based on an order from the President to relocate people with Japanese Heritage. This meant relocating 110,000 Japanese people. “Two thirds of these people were born in America and were legal citizens, and of the 10 people found to be spying for the Japanese during World War II, not one was of Japanese ancestry” (Friedler 1). Thus, there was no reason for these internment camps, but people do irrational things when driven by fear. In theinternment camps, many of the Japanese became sick or even died because of lack of nourishment in the food provided at these camps. The conditions in the internment camps were awful. One of the internment camps, Manzanar, was located to the west of Desert Valley in California. “Manzanar barracks measured 120 x 20 feet and were divided into six one-room apartments, ranging in size from 320 to 480 square feet.