The Internment of Japanese Americans during World War II
Publisher: Charles River Editors
Date: December 2016
Duration: 1 hours 53 minutes
Even before Congress declared war on Japan the day after Pearl Harbor, the implications for people of Japanese ancestry living in the United States had begun. On December 7th, several hundred Issei, or first-generation Japanese immigrants, were arrested in Hawaii and on the mainland, having been earlier identified by the FBI as potentially disloyal to the United States. In the months that followed, the scope of suspicion would expand to include all of the 125,000 Japanese living on the mainland, and, though a smaller percentage, many in Hawaii as well.
By the time the war ended, the period of internment of Japanese immigrants and citizens, lasting from 1941-1945, was considered one of the most unfortunate episodes of American history. Many government officials in the immediate aftermath of the war era continued to defend internment, citing the possibility of attack and the need to protect Americans at all costs. There were many Americans, however, whose rights as citizens went unprotected, and political arguments aside, no American can fail to acknowledge the costs of internment to Nikkei families, physically, financially, socially and psychologically. It was not until the first week of September in 1945, just a few weeks after the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan and the surrender of the Japanese that followed, that Japanese internees knew for sure they would be allowed to leave the camps.
The Internment of Japanese Americans during World War II: The History of the Controversial Decision to Relocate Citizens Across the West Coast examines one of the darkest chapters in American history.