63 votes

I wasn't born until 26 years later...

But had I been around in '42, I - a citizen of the United States of America - would have been the victim of indefinite detention on American soil simply because of my Japanese ancestry.

Alternate flyer link, thanks to printersguy2.

Time is a spiral, and those times of fear and loathing are coming around again.

All we have, friends, is now. This is our time. This is our watch.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

A tribute to resisters - Allegiance, the musical

Excuse the length of this, but judging from the subject and comments, some of you may appreciate reading a little personal background on what happened via Executive Order 9066.

Believe it or not, my father was serving in the US Army as a Sergeant (I'm not making this up!)when two young men, acting upon the infamous EO, came by with papers (as my mother described it) to take my mother and father’s possessions including a brand new piano, her silverware and valuables. My mother was pregnant at the time, and I fear the internment took an irreparable physical toll which later resulted in the loss of her first born in camp. She had constant high blood pressure, headaches and other symptoms in camp. The medical treatment was very lacking the first year and half. There was a lack of protein so they raised their own chickens.

The internees in Manzanar had it even worse where they woke up every day and went to sleep every night with dust everywhere…in their food, on their clothes, hair and everywhere breathing it day and night. The deaths due to illness and stress I read somewhere was over 10 percent. That figure matches the death rate for a high school alumni class of members in their mid to late-60’s; so it only took several years to do what decades of aging does.

I and many cried who saw Allegiance in San Diego. It broke all of the attendance records while it played, and its success I am told has guaranteed a Broadway run. Finally, a play written to highlight the resisters in the Japanese-American internment camps; they are the unsung heroes who spoke out against the injustice
of the theft of their homes, property, livelihoods and dignity. Mike Masaoka is a pivotal real life character in the play whose name elicits resentment for his collusion with the JACL (Japanese-American Citizens League) and the US government to punish resisters who would not sign loyalty pledges. They were bullied and intimidated and sent to a high security camp which George Takei (Star Trek actor) wrote about in his book, To the Stars (1995). He stars BTW in Allegiance. Even the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was a setup to send men onto the battlefield as sacrifices; Masaoka the first to sign up knew they were being led to die in brutal battle situations. That is a whole story unto itself. Over three decades after internees were released from camps and a civil rights movement began (started in 60's) among the Japanese-Americans, I eschewed the JACL being very distrustful of their cozying up to government bureaucrats. I chose instead to support the class action law suit spearheaded by my friend William Hohri who lived through the constant strain of monetary depletion and no sleep for close to five years while he enlisted the support of his friends and like-minded community activists. His approach was more no nonsense, calling a spade a spade vs. the JACL's weak "go along to get along" approach. He was very gratified when the government did issue a formal written apology to all surviving internees, and the law suit had a major impact on that outcome.

To this day I tell people what happened and some still believe the camps were for the protection of the Japanese-Americans. They don’t appreciate how it affected the people’s spirits and instilled a sense of shame and guilt for not being a white American. The internment was swept under the rug it was such a painful chapter for internees. Very few Americans are informed of the miserable conditions that prevailed in the camps especially the first year and a half. I discovered what my mother endured by reading the papers made available from the Freedom of Information Act. We lost Bill almost two years ago. He wrote two books. I am sorry he is not featured in Allegiance partially because the play focuses on what is going on among internees vs. the reparations movement decades later; he represents the spirit of the second and third generation of Niseis and Sanseis who would not allow this matter to rest without an examination and apology for the injustice of the camps. The two set DVD Conscience and the Constitution is an excellent two hour PBS documentary of the largest organized resistance to the WWII incarceration which many of you DPrs may appreciate.

To this day I weep over my older brother’s loss of life at his birth, something that haunts me to the very core. Had the medical conditions been better, my uncles and aunts feel he would have survived the complicated birth made worse by the doctor arriving late, lack of proper meds etc. I have fantasies that he is living well in some parallel universe where freedom reigns, and that gives me consolation.

Books by William Hohri, sold at Amazon:
Repairing America: An Account of the Movement for Japanese American Redress (Mar 1988)
Resistance: Challenging America's wartime internment of Japanese-Americans (2001)

CONSCIENCE AND THE CONSTITUTION – new Two-Disc Collector's Edition DVD - purchase a videotape copy of CONSCIENCE AND THE www.resisters.com or via orders@resisters.com.

Conscience and the Constitution – PBS Public Broadcasting

thank you--

I have studied this issue myself somewhat. No matter what *our* ancestry is, it is important to get to the point where *we* sorrow for all injustice done to everyone/anyone, but it is still important for those who witnessed the suffering to make it known.

It is important to remember Manzanar (and the others). It is important to remember that property was stolen and never replaced. It is important to remember how the Japanese American soldiers were treated. It is important.

It is important to remember Wounded Knee.

It is important to remember what happened in the deep south during slavery (and other places)--

EVERYTHING that was injust and inhumane that took place on American soil needs to be remembered--

then move on to:

The Potato Famine
The Killing Fields
The Holocaust
Nanking (I am glad someone mentioned that)
The Ukraine
and all of those nations/peoples who are still being oppressed, whether by America or other 'powers'--

The problem is that whenever *we* collectivize; whenever we have a 'national collective' there is danger that *we* will care only about the things that others do to *us*.

How can evil be stopped? I don't have an answer. Those who are evil usually have access to the equipment that is used to oppress and destroy.

But, in the meantime, *we* can read about these things and determine within *our own* hearts to be at peace with everyone else in the world--

to repent of whatever oppression (even in a family or among acquaintances or in workplaces) *we* have committed and to forgive those who have oppressed those *we* love . . . or ourselves.

Wasn't there a special name given to that unit of Japanese Americans? I knew about that once--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Well said and “What is to give light

must endure burning.” -Viktor Frankl, author, neurologist and psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor (1905-1997)

I read his book Man's Search for Meaning three times which gave me a sense of inner peace.

Thank you for all that you shared...

You have done a beautiful job of honoring the memory of your brother.

I know that you will see and EMBRACE your brother one day.

Thank you again for sharing your pearls, I treasure them.

His blessings of peace, grace, comfort and love to you.

Jesus is the saviour of the WHOLE WORLD, "As in Adam all die, so too in Christ ALL shall be made alive." (ICor.15:22) All means all. The pagan 'hell' of literal fire & eternal torment is a lie and is SPIRITUAL TERRORISM. http://www.hopebeyondhell.net



it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--


to you for your very caring and heart lifting words. I know in my heart that what you say is true, my friend. Thank you very much.

Yeah Well

your chance is coming at the rate this country is falling into tyranny. They aren't building FEMA camps for nothing ya know.


Last spring

near Parker Az. the Wife and I visited the camp near Parker that was used to imprison Americans whom happened to be Japanese. It was a very nice monument built by survivors and their kin and the stories there are all very emotional and warn us to stand against such atrocities . Further down the road we barely spotted another site that was a concentration camp in the 1800's for some mountain dwelling (Indians) where hundreds died a miserable death. Again the victims survivors were the ones asking that you remember the past and take heed.
This country has a lot to answer for. Glad to know you guys are out there.

"Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free men."

Dwight D. Eisenhower

My friend's mother and grandparents were sent away

Her mother was around 6 yrs. old....and all of her family was forced to leave their beautiful ranch in California (over a 1000 acres of gorgeous farmland) and immediately be sent to a facility for almost 2 yrs. To this day you can see the sadness on her mother's face because of the trauma.

My friend told me the sad story of how most of her family's friends lost everything...houses, land, businesses, ....everything stolen while they were in 'prison'...and had to completely start over with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Her mother's family was very blessed...they had a Mexican family that worked for them and entrusted this family to watch over their place while they were gone...this precious Mexican family continued to work and watch over their farm and joyfully handed it back to them when they returned.
Praise the Lord!

Jesus is the saviour of the WHOLE WORLD, "As in Adam all die, so too in Christ ALL shall be made alive." (ICor.15:22) All means all. The pagan 'hell' of literal fire & eternal torment is a lie and is SPIRITUAL TERRORISM. http://www.hopebeyondhell.net

wow, that is beautiful--


it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

The Japanese internment was irrational war hysteria

In school we were taught that FDR was one of the greatest presidents, as I read history now, its clear he was more dictator than president. Now I have come to question many things that were taught to us about history. They say history is written by the victors, I'm finding that to be the truth.

The flat out genocide of the American Indians, by President Jackson. The destruction of the south with Shermans march to the sea, by President Lincoln. The involvement in WWI by Wilson, causing the treaty of versailles that laid the ground work for WWII. The use of nuclear bombs on Japan was not necessary for victory and the Korean war by President Truman. The horrible and misguided Vietnam war by President Johnson.

That's American history, I would hope by now we could learn from our mistakes.

the Ecclesiastical and

the Ecclesiastical and Academic institutions are preventing people from seeing the truth.


i heard japanese on the east

i heard japanese on the east coast weren't put in the camps, not that it makes things better. i don't know if that was true. but that's what i heard.


perhaps not, but the Japanese immigration patterns were . . .

mostly to the West coast--

I would be curious to know how many immigrated to the East coast, but I don't think there were many--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

It is sick and discusting IMO

While Prescott Bush darned near pulled off a National Socialist Zionist COUPE in America.
NA-National Socialist ZI-Zionist NAZI

Pisses me off everytime I think about the way we culled and STOLE from Americans this way.

Japanese Americans Were Patriotic

...and the government used their patriotism against them. Back then people held government and authority figures in somewhat higher esteem than they do today. This was base racism, pure and simple. Most Americans approved of the measures. A very miniscule minority thought it was wrong and unconstitutional. Even fewer spoke out against the measures.
My mother was referrd to in her NY neighborhood as the "little Nazi" by other kids. She was 6 yrs old when the war ended. My family now lives in Wyoming, just a few miles away from the Heart Mountain "relocation center" which housed some 15,000 Japanese Americans during the war. There's only a small museum there now which opened a few years ago and serves as a reminder to future generations of what human beings are capable of doing to each other.

No, it was not Rascism

It was "make a Boogieman, make it believable and people will cower in fear"...

German "HUN's" Baby eaters...
Japanese "JAP's" Inhuman, murderers with no honor...

Make and enemy and make him BAD.

you're both right--


it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Don't you ove how they like to "assist"

the people in being forced out of their homes? Makes it sound better than being imprisoned.

I didn't know about this

I didn't know about this until the movie "Karate Kid" came out.
That they did that also to German Americans I heard only in a TV documentary. In the documentary they said the people went to the camp as German-Americans and came out as Nazis.
In my school in Germany I never heard about any of this.
We were too busy singing "Mea culpa".

There were conclaves in parts of America where . . .

communities were mostly German, and they were very nervous during the war--

it was imperative that they send their sons to war, to prove their loyalty.

It was worse during WWI; many Germans changed their last names during WWI--

by WWII immigrants from Germany weren't as recent, but it was still difficult--

In the case of some family members of my spouse they fought in areas where they could easily have been fighting against cousins--

I don't know if American soldiers with German surnames were always sent to non-German areas, but at least one was--

and another fought at Normandy--

I'm sorry, AttilasDaughter--

all of that was wrong, too--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Didn't the same thing also happen to Italians

in America to a lesser extent in WW2?

A signature used to be here!

Yes, very possible. Hitler,

Yes, very possible.
Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito were allies.

I am of German descent.

In the early 60's, I arrived on planet earth. I have never been to Germany, the only living relative who had been was the Uncle who went there in WW2 to fight for the Allies. I really did not even know much about WW2, Viet Nam was going on and was a more pertinent topic, and I was a kid.
I know that people used to think I was Scandinavian, and I did not know why, but I always went along with it, I somehow knew not to say my heritage was German. I honestly have no idea how or why I learned to be ashamed to have German ancestry, but I sure learned young. It makes me wonder what we are teaching our children now, without even realizing it.

Love or fear? Chose again with every breath.

the tall poppy gets cut down

the tall poppy gets cut down. people wouldn't attack germans so voraciously if they felt germans weren't superior. accordingly, people are not going out of their way to attack the indigenous tribes in Papua New Guinea for their barbaric lifestyles and possible slavery. just a thought.

With respect, this statement is an utter fallacy...

If it were true, the US would be militarily involved with China and Russia. After all, they are the two "tallest" poppies, with respect to American dominance, wouldn't you say? The second-tier "tallest" poppies would likely be Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, and perhaps India...the latter 3 of which have been officially confirmed to have nuclear weapons. Iran is the only previously mentioned nation confirmed to not have nuclear weapons...yet it seems to be the tallest poppy for America at this point. It doesn't add up.

"Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth." - George Washington

fishy don't be ashamed

The honest truth is.... every society and every type of people have been guilty of mass murder, genocide, democide, willful starvation of their people, you name it.

Germans do not corner the market on this stuff.

My children are 1/2 Scottish, 1/8 Polish, and 3/8's German plus some miscellaneous mixed in. But all three nationalities have very amiable qualities.

The Biggest lesson history is, IT CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE, IN ANY LAND, TO ANY PEOPLE including the United States. No group of people is immune. The only thing that has kept America somewhat out of the fire is the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

If we are going to feel a collective guilt then it should be a HUMAN guilt and not a German one.

Thanks, I am over it though.

I am a mutt, too. Little of this, little of that, but lots of German, both parents. But I have learned to just be glad for my genetics. Without them, I would not be me and then I would not be. I like me enough to be glad I'm here, even if I really piss me off some days.
Thanks for the kind words.

Love or fear? Chose again with every breath.

Yep, and I would have been

Yep, and I would have been one of those defending this policy if I had been around then. Actually, I do remember glossing over this issue in high school history class and the teacher basically "teaching" us that it was justified due to the state of things at the time. It goes to show how good they were at brainwashing and how much of a sheep I used to be. This image is uterly disturbing to me now - especially when you know you're the target for the next internment camps.