During 1939-1942, when WWII was taking place, an attack bombing from Japan on the naval base of Pearl Harbor occurred, which eventually led to strong fear of espionage, terrorist attacks from Japan, prejudice and discrimination towar...
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.
Throughout the entire United States in 1942, the nation incarcerated over 100,000 Japanese immigrants to internment camps (“Internment History.”). At this time, the United States just began their involvement in World War II against the Nazis and the Japanese. Panic and chaos struck the country when a bomb, now famous today, detonated in Pearl Harbor, HI. Although many envisage freedom when entering the United States, the Japanese received the opposite. Due to the racism afflicted by United States’ citizens during World War II, Japanese Americans, along with their future generations, suffered and still suffer from many physical and psychological hardships.
With the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 by the Empire of Japan, a panic swept across the United States and many Americans, to include government officials, became paranoid that anyone of Japanese descent would in fact be loyal to their mother country instead of the United States of America. General DeWitt said specifically in a conference on 4 January 1942 to Mr. Rowe who worked for the Attorney General at the time, “The threat is a constant one, and it is getting more dangerous all the time. I have little confidence that the enemy aliens (referring to the immigrants from Japan, Germany and Italy or anyone of those descents) are law-abiding or loyal in any sense of the word. Some of them, yes; many, no. Particularly the Japanese. I have no confidence in their loyalty whatsoever.” In this conference, General DeWitt, requested that he be granted by the...
From 1900 until 1908, as many as 55,000 Japanese immigrants came to America’s Pacific coast to start a new life. Many of these immigrants landed in California and remained there. These people had begun to start to create a culture and lifestyle for themselves that was uniquely Japanese, but had some American values. This all changed in June of 1941 when the Japanese government bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii which was a major American military base. The immediate affect of this on the Japanese Americans was that there assets were frozen and many community leaders were rounded up and taken away from their families. This war hysteria continued and in February of 1942, the military was designated and assigned the task of setting up "military areas from which any or all persons may be excluded." General John L. Dewitt, leader of the Western Defense mandated in March that all enemy races, Germans and Italians and Japanese alike, were to be removed from the coasts in the US. An excerpt from Sucheng Chan’s Major Problems in California History says “enemy aliens of German, Italian and Japanese ancestry as well as all persons of Japanese Ancestry should prepare to remove themselves.” (Chan 338) This quote is from Dewitt’s mandate to “ensure the freedom and liberties of the American people.
Today, December 7, 1941 has become one of the most tragic events that have taken place in history. The Japanese has attacked our naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It wasn’t only the military personnel who were affected but it was also their families including the civilians living on the island of Hawaii. “The casualty list includes 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians killed, with 1,178 wounded. Included are 1,104 men aboard the Battleship USS Arizona killed after a 1,760-pound air bomb penetrated into the forward magazine causing catastrophic explosions” (Japanese Bomb Pearl Harbor)
After the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by Imperial Japan, military and political leaders in the United States began to suspect a full scale attack on the West Coast. This was due to the fact that Japan had lead a massive campaign through parts of Asia and the Pacific from 1936 to 1942. At first American opinions favored Japanese immigrants and their children believing that their loyalties to the U.S. would never falter. However, six weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor many Americans became concerned about the loyalties of people who were ethnically Japanese.
This paper will compare Gordon W. Prange's book "At Dawn We Slept - The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor" with the film "Tora! Tora! Tora!" directed by Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, and Toshio Masuda. While the film provides little background to the attack, its focal point is on the Pearl Harbor assault and the inquiry of why it was not prevented, or at least foreseen in adequate time to decrease damage. Prange's book examines the assault on Pearl Harbor from both the Japanese and American viewpoints to gain a global view of the situation and the vast provision undertaken by Japanese intelligence. The film and book present the Japanese side, the American side, the events that lead up to the attack, and the aftermath.
The racial conflict with Japanese-Americans began when the Empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, a military naval base located in the state of Hawaii. “Behind them they left chaos, 2,403 dead, 188 destroyed planes, and a crippled Pacific Fleet that included 8 damaged or destroyed battleships” (“Attack” 1). The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on the Empire of Japan. The fear that resulted from the attack on Pearl Harbor caused many white Americans to hate the Japanese-Americans. Many Japanese were accused of being spies and were arrested without proof. “Rabid anti-Japanese American racism surfaced the first days after Pearl Harbor. The FBI and the military had been compiling lists of "potentially dangerous" Japanese Americans since 1932, but most were merely teachers, businessmen or journalists” (Thistlethwaite 1). In February of 1942, all of the Japanese on the West Coast of the United States were sent to internment camps.