Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II by Albert MarrinOn the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor comes a harrowing and enlightening look at the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II— from National Book Award finalist Albert Marrin
Just seventy-five years ago, the American government did something that most would consider unthinkable today: it rounded up over 100,000 of its own citizens based on nothing more than their ancestry and, suspicious of their loyalty, kept them in concentration camps for the better part of four years.
How could this have happened? Uprooted takes a close look at the history of racism in America and carefully follows the treacherous path that led one of our nation’s most beloved presidents to make this decision. Meanwhile, it also illuminates the history of Japan and its own struggles with racism and xenophobia, which led to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, ultimately tying the two countries together.
Today, America is still filled with racial tension, and personal liberty in wartime is as relevant a topic as ever. Moving and impactful, National Book Award finalist Albert Marrin’s sobering exploration of this monumental injustice shines as bright a light on current events as it does on the past.
The Japanese American Experience During WWII
Japanese American Incarceration
In this national webcast, we will bring activists, policy makers, and historians together with young people in a national conversation about the nation's past and its lessons for today. On February 19, , the museum marked the 74th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's signing of Executive Order with an evening of remembrance and conversations. The program began with a donation ceremony conducted by David Allison, associate director in the Office of Curatorial Affairs, and Jennifer Jones, chair and curator in the Division of Armed Forces History. The donation consisted of a rich collection of objects and papers from Roger Shimomura, a multifaceted Japanese American artist who works as a painter, printmaker, performance artist, professor, and collector. Shimomura is also a camp survivor. In addition to Shimomura's grandmother's diaries, the extensive collection of materials include family scrapbooks, documents, identification cards, and objects made in the camp.
The mass incarceration was portrayed as necessary to protect the country from potential acts of espionage or sabotage that might be committed by someone of Japanese ancestry. However, an extensive government review initiated in found no evidence of military necessity to support the removal decision and concluded that the incarceration was a grave injustice fueled by racism and war hysteria. The Japanese American wartime experience represents a powerful case example of race-based historical trauma. Examination of this specific event provides a perspective for understanding the long-term, radiating effects of racial trauma and the process of healing, over a broad arc of time and across social contexts. Current relevance of the Japanese American incarceration and implications for the field of psychology are discussed.
These Japanese Americans were held in camps that often were isolated, uncomfortable, and overcrowded.
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President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared that the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, , would live in infamy. The attack launched the United States fully into the two theaters of the world war. Prior to Pearl Harbor, the United States had been involved in the European war only by supplying England and other antifascist countries of Europe with the munitions of war.
From to , it was the policy of the U. Enacted in reaction to Pearl Harbor and the ensuing war, the Japanese internment camps are now considered one of the most atrocious violations of American civil rights in the 20th century. Roosevelt signed Executive Order with the intention of preventing espionage on American shores. Executive Order affected the lives about , people—the majority of whom were American citizens. Canada soon followed suit, relocating 21, of its Japanese residents from its west coast. Mexico enacted its own version, and eventually 2, more people of Japanese descent were removed from Peru, Brazil, Chile and Argentina to the United States.