I knew nothing of Japanese Internment camps until I reported to Fort Missoula in Montana to serve the naval reserve there. I was horrified that so much could be kept from so many...why hadn't I been taught about this in school?! The next time I visited a friend of mine in Hawaii, who was also a naval officer, we walked onto the base at Pearl Harbor-this was in 1980-together. I was saluted on without question, my friend, of Japanese American descent was stopped and required to produce identification, despite her uniform.
Joel, if our government can act outside of what is acceptable in our Constitution-we have a broken Constitution-look how quickly we respond with fear in the face of terrorism-something common outside the U.S., now that it has arrived. We continue to hold individuals without providing their names or information regarding their arrests because of Sept. 11, and our civil rights become at risk with new "terrorist laws" that are presumably designed to protect us...Ask Native Americans how they feel about their rights to live wherever they were told to, not where they chose to.
And Betty, easily the Germans were not bothered because they were white, we identified more easily with them...it would look too much like us in those camps.
Richard Johnson, a zone along the coast free of Japanese Americans did not equal a zone free of the enemy! We just can't seem to learn that lesson, just because they look like the enemy-doesn't mean they are, and just because they look like us-doesn't mean they aren't the enemy! And I wonder who Native Americans would consider "the enemy."
Our behaviors, as reflected in the actions our government has taken in a number of situations-in the past and today-leaves a great deal to be desired. Serving as that naval officer in Missoula, Montana, I was ashamed for my "race". The fact that most every race has similar behaviors to examine doesn't comfort me much.
I did love this website, and appreciate it's reminder that we must stay aware of reactive patterns and try to remain calm and logical in assessing threats-and who poses them. Thank you.
I have heard many stories of what is was like in those days to face oppression. My family was taken to a camp and have many memories like this site depicts. I would like to pay tribute to the many men, women and children who have survived this act and will always keep in my heart the dear loved ones that have survived only to give me the gift of what I call life today. Thank you for being so strong.
I am a teacher in New Jersey and just recently found out about your web site on Japanese Americans and the U.S. constitution. It is educational, well designed, and entertaining. I have to say that it is one of the best education web sites that I have seen on the web. My congratulations to all those involved. Thank you for doing such a wonderful job.
I have read many books on WWII. I have read the book on the Nisei. What we did to the Japanese Americans was wrong. We can't change what happened, but I believe we owe a large debt of gratitude to the men that served in the army during WWII. I have talked with only one, and he was still a little bitter to the US, but he still almost had tears in his eyes when he told me how proud he was to be an American. How many Americans today have that much pride in their country? I still get choked up when listening to the national anthem for sporting events! I am not ashamed!
I hope more people hear of the sacrifice of these TRUE AMERICANS!
There aren't many websites that I spend ->over an hour<- clicking on every link, reading every text and listening to every sound file. But THIS, A MORE PERFECT UNION - JAPANESE AMERICAN's story is THE one!
I am familiar with the other documentations... "Rabbit In The Moon", 'Go For Broke", "The Fighting 442", "Children Of The Camps"
If the whole web/world knew about that site I'm sure this story wouldn't be such an unknown as it is. Maybe there would be more redress. Maybe hollywood would make more and better movies about this valuable story of people's lives (and not movies like Pearl Harbor" - Yuck!)
This story, this site, it's a valuable lesson in history democracy and also the lives of people near and dear to us.
A valuable lesson from the past and for the future.
I visited with a friend on a saturday a while back and we went to the Japanese American National Museum and didn't even make it half way throught the exhibits (exhibits - peoples lives). For the experience she came away with a huge guilt. She said to me, "I never knew about any of that. Now that I do, I am ashamed to be white".
I had also a cultural identity and values identity crisis that day. That day I didn't want to be white either. I wish I had one gram of the pride, courage, strength, valor, substance, joy, and family as some Japanese Americans. I sort of wish I WERE one of them.
Thank you to everyone that made this possible.
Hey, how about some QuickTime VR interactive panoramas of some of the material? Virtual tours of the war camps? Like interactive panoramas of virtualy re-constructed bungalows so as to get the experience of living four years in a sandy dusty cold place like Manzanar? It could be a sort of "then, and now" thing if virtual. I'd really like to see the gardens at Manzanar reconstructed, if only in virtual reality.