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TEACHING THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF WORLD WAR II
JAPANESE INTERNMENT
A Project
Presented to the faculty of the Department of History
California State University, Sacramento
Submitted in partial satisfaction of
the requirements for the degree of
MASTER OF ARTS
in
History
by
Daniel Patterson Somers
SUMMER
2012
TEACHING THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF WORLD WAR II
JAPANESE INTERNMENT
A Project
by
Daniel Patterson Somers
Approved by:
__________________________________, Committee Chair
Chloe S. Burke, PhD
__________________________________, Second Reader
Donald J. Azevada, Jr.
____________________________
Date
ii
Student: Daniel Patterson Somers
I certify that this student has met the requirements for format contained in the University
format manual, and that this project is suitable for shelving in the Library and credit is to
be awarded for the project.
__________________________, Department Chair
Aaron J. Cohen, PhD
Department of History
iii
___________________
Date
Abstract
of
TEACHING THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF WORLD WAR II
JAPANESE INTERNMENT
by
Daniel Patterson Somers
Statement of Problem
While Japanese-Americans made great contributions to the United States during the
twentieth century, relatively little of their history is included in the California State Social
Studies Framework. In order to better understand the injustice of World War II
internment, it is essential that students understand the nativist political movement in
California that sought to exclude the Japanese from participation in the mainstream
culture and economy. Through exposure to a greater depth of primary and secondary
historical sources, students will be able to gain a more complete understanding of the
process that brought about interment.
Sources of Data
Primary research which consisted of oral histories, newspaper collections and
photographic archives was done at the California Museum in for Women, History, and
iv
the arts in Sacramento, CA and through various secondary source materials obtained at
California State University Sacramento. On-line historical databases such as Densho,
JARDA, Library of Congress and Digital History were used to obtained several primary
and secondary source documents.
Conclusions Reached
A study of the causes and consequences of World War II internment is essential to
understanding the history of political and social injustice in the United States. The
development of historical thinking skills through primary source document analysis will
provide students with a more complete account of the history behind Japanese
Internment.
_______________________, Committee Chair
Chloe S. Burke, PhD
_______________________
Date
v
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter
Page
1. INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................................. 1
2. THE HISTORIOGRAPHY OF JAPANESE-AMERICAN ASSIMILATION AND THE
POLITICS OF INTERNMENT .......................................................................................... 8
Assimilation Theorists ............................................................................................... 10
The Revisionists ......................................................................................................... 20
The Politics of Internment .......................................................................................... 22
3. WHAT HAPPENED TO SACRAMENTO’S JAPAN TOWN? ...................................... 28
Introduction................................................................................................................ 28
Birds of Passage ......................................................................................................... 30
Picture Brides Arrive ................................................................................................. 32
The Development of Japan Town .............................................................................. 33
Anti-Japanese Legislation Strengthens Japan Town .................................................. 35
The Emergence of the Nisei ....................................................................................... 36
Internment Creates a Cultural Fracture ...................................................................... 39
Resettlement and the Rise of the Nisei ...................................................................... 46
The Capital Mall Project Bulldozes Japan Town....................................................... 49
Conclusion ................................................................................................................. 53
4. TEACHING STUDENTS TO THINK HISTORICALLY ABOUT JAPANESE
INTERNMENT................................................................................................................ 55
Current Limitations in the Teaching of History ......................................................... 55
The Teacher’s Role in Teaching Historical Thinking ................................................ 57
Using Primary Sources to Teach Historical Thinking ............................................... 59
The Use of Historical Narratives .............................................................................. 65
APPENDIX INDEX ................................................................................................................ 68
Appendix A. Lessons Assessing Student Prior Knowledge About Internment ...................... 70
Appendix B. Lessons on Japanese Immigration and the Exclusion Movement in California 76
Appendix C. Lessons on the Processes that led to Internment .............................................. 103
vi
Appendix D. “iMovie” Historical Narrative ......................................................................... 149
Appendix E. Internment Photographic Packet ...................................................................... 155
Appendix F. Lessons on Resettlement and the End of Sacramento’s Japan Town .............. 162
Bibliography ......................................................................................................................... 175
vii
1
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
TEACHING THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF JAPANESE INTERNMENT
The introduction to the California State Social Science Standards for Eleventh
Grade U.S. History states that students study the major turning points in American
history in the twentieth century.1 The introduction also states that students consider the
major social problems of our time and trace their causes in historical events. Perhaps no
other event in twentieth century American history better exemplifies this standard than
the history of the World War II internment of Japanese Americans. The California Social
Science Standards, however, fail to provide adequate curriculum to properly tell the story
of this social injustice which results in huge gaps in the historical story of the Japanese in
the United States. For example, the CA State Standards exclude Japanese as one of the
immigrant groups who came to the United States during the height of immigration
between the 1880s and 1920s. As a result, most teachers may do little more than
introduce the experiences of Japanese immigrants as an afterthought during lessons on
early twentieth century immigration and then not mention them again until the bombing
Pearl Harbor and its aftermath that led to Executive Order 9066 and the eventual
internment of over 100,000 Japanese Americans. In contrast, a substantial amount of
California Department of Education, “History-Social Science Content Standards for Public Schools,” 54.
http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/histsocscistnd.pdf (accessed June 2, 2012.)
1
2
curriculum focuses on the actual period of internment.2 Students may be introduced to
stories of what internees were forced to leave behind as they participate in activities in
which they decide what they would pack in the one small suitcase they were allowed to
bring to the camps. Students will most likely be exposed to pictures and stories about
what life was like in the camps. This approach, however, fails to answer the larger
historical question of why the Japanese were interned in the first place.
Traditional high school curriculum does not adequately place the history of
Japanese Internment within the larger history of American immigration. Like most
groups who immigrated to the United States, the Japanese had to overcome racial
stereotypes and both social and economic discrimination. In order to properly tell the
story that unfolded in early 1942 it is essential to examine the policies of discrimination
that led to the largest forced removal and incarceration in United States history. It is the
goal of this project to provide teachers and students with a more complete story which
will help answer the question of why Japanese Americans were placed in internment
camps during World War II.
The second chapter of this project examines the relevant scholarly literature about
Japanese-Americans. Early works about the Japanese portrayed them as a minority
somewhere outside of the pantheon of traditional American immigrant groups. Unlike
most other immigrant groups, the Japanese hailed from a burgeoning world power.
Japanese threats to American interests in the Pacific resulted in an onslaught of anti2
California State History/Social Science Standard 11.7.5 asks students to analyze the constitutional issues
and impact of World War II Internment.
3
Japanese rhetoric. Most of the scholarship written before World War II was concerned
with political debates about exclusionary policies enacted against the Japanese.
Following World War II, the vast majority of historical scholarship was concerned with
the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. In the 1960s and 1970s
several sociologists and social historians focused on the assimilation process of JapaneseAmericans. Much of this scholarship portrayed the Japanese as a model-minority who
were able to overcome the injustice of internment through hard work and a commitment
to higher education. More recent contributions to the historiography of JapaneseAmericans from authors such as Roger Daniels and Yuji Ichioka have challenged the
portrayal of Japanese-Americans as a model minority. These authors argue that the
assimilationist histories tend to view the Japanese-Americans as passive participants in
the development of their own history.
Chapter three of this project attempts to tell the history of Japanese internment in
California through an examination of the rise and decline of Sacramento’s Japan Town.
The story of the formation of Japan Town is instrumental in telling the whole story
behind internment. The community was founded in the West End of Sacramento largely
in response to legislation that restricted the Japanese from settling elsewhere. Laws such
as the Alien Land Law of 1913 and the Immigration Act of 1924 were designed to limit
Japanese participation in mainstream society. Despite these restrictive measures, the
community managed to grow and was economically successful because of a unique
integrated urban-rural economy. The success of Japanese-American farmers in particular
4
drew the attention of the white agricultural landowners who continued to muster support
in the State Capitol for measures that would remove Japanese agricultural competition.
Michael Joseph Meloy’s doctoral dissertation “The Long Road to Manzanar” effectively
argues that the internment of the Japanese population on the West Coast was the final act
of a policy that had been in motion since the Gentlemen’s Agreement of 1907 sanctioned
the immigration of Japanese picture brides to the United States. The immigration of
picture brides led to the development of families and the growth of a centralized Japanese
community in the West End of Sacramento. The American-born second generation
(Nisei) had an enormous impact on the future of the community. As the Nisei came of age
they began to assimilate into the mainstream American culture and many of their
viewpoints came into conflict with the immigrant-generation Issei leaders of Japan Town.
A key goal of this project is to show how the generational conflict between the Issei and
Nisei created a change in community leadership following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
As the federal government began to incarcerate much of the Issei leadership, the Nisei
assumed power within most Japanese communities. In an effort to prove their loyalty, the
Nisei leadership supported most of the internment policies of the federal government.
Chapter three concludes with an examination of how the Japanese community adapted to
life after internment. Following World War II, the residents of Japan Town once again
became political targets. Sacramento politicians utilized a publicity campaign designed to
portray the West End as a slum that was in need of redevelopment. Faced with federally
backed urban renewal policies, the citizens of Japan Town were forced to leave their
community once again in order to make way for the Capital Mall Redevelopment Project.
5
The final section of chapter three attempts to show that the redevelopment aims of the
post-war period were a continuation of the exclusionary policies that had targeted the
Japanese of Sacramento since the turn of the century. As this chapter shows, the story of
Internment needs to be told as part of a much longer campaign that was designed to
remove the Japanese from mainstream California society.
Chapter four of this project focuses on teaching the history of Internment using
methods and tools to improve students’ abilities to think historically. The primary goal of
this chapter is to introduce important literature concerning historical instruction at the
high school level and to apply these methods to the teaching of Japanese-American
history in the first half of the twentieth-century. This chapter also introduces the teaching
methods and lessons offered in the appendices that focus primarily on student analysis of
primary documents. The most effective evidence for teaching the broader context of
Japanese Internment comes from legislation and political commentary at the State and
Federal levels. Students will be asked to analyze primary source and secondary source
documents to tell the story of the political process that led to the interment of the
Japanese during World War II. The curriculum unit is divided into three distinct chapters
of study: 1) the early period of immigration just after the turn of the century which
resulted in a series of discriminatory legislation against the Japanese at the State and
Federal levels; 2) the political discussion that resulted in the final decision to place the
Japanese in internment camps; and 3) the post-World War II urban redevelopment of
Sacramento’s West End which effectively fragmented the traditional ethnic community
6
of Japan Town. In each of these chapters students will be introduced to key primary
source documents and will be provided with brief historical essays to help them better
understand the historical context in which these primary source documents were
produced. Students will complete document analysis worksheets in which they will
answer some broad historical questions. However, far too often teachers become the sole
source of questioning in the classroom. In order to truly understand history, students must
be taught to think in the way historians do. This project emphasizes student-driven
learning by equipping them to read primary source documents and be able to identify the
author’s motivation and bias in the production of such documents. Students will be
introduced to the historical arguments that were taking place during the time these
documents were written in order to gain a better historical perspective concerning the
policies of internment. Furthermore, by investigating several historical viewpoints,
students will develop the historical skill of source corroboration which is essential to
effective historical analysis.
Traditional curriculum approaches to the teaching of history often focus primarily
on student memorization of content knowledge at the expense of historical narrative.
Students learn history best through the telling and retelling of stories. This component of
history is often lost in the push by teachers to cross off content standards from the state
generated list in preparation for standardized tests. The culminating activity in this
project focuses on the creation of a historical narrative that will help answer the question,
“Why were the Japanese interned during World War II?” The narrative will take the form
7
of a student produced “iMovie” to tell the story of internment by incorporating
knowledge acquired through the three curriculum chapters. The students will write scripts
based on their reading of historical essays, document analysis worksheets, and activities
involving archival photographic research.
This project combines many of the key elements of quality history instruction.
Students will assess their prior knowledge about the topic and will develop questions for
future learning possibilities. Students will be required to evaluate and corroborate sources
and use these to answer key historical questions. Students will be required to develop
their writing skills in the production of scripts which will answer the central historical
question. Lastly, the production of the “iMovie” will generate student interest and get the
proper buy-in that is essential to historical learning. Through the production of an
historical narrative, students will be able to demonstrate a better understanding of the
historical circumstances that led to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World
War II.
8
CHAPTER TWO
THE HISTORIOGRAPHY OF JAPANESE-AMERICAN ASSIMILATION AND THE
POLITICS OF INTERNMENT
The historiography concerning the Japanese in America has always been infused
with a great deal of political opinion. Unlike many other immigrant groups, the Japanese
were emigrating from a country that was an emerging world power and represented a
significant threat to the American way of life in the early twentieth century. Early
economic success further fueled the flames of exclusionist politicians and writers who
sought to prevent Japanese participation in the Americans mainstream society and
economy. During the first half of the twentieth century, published works concerning the
Japanese were primarily focused on the issue of Japanese immigration and exclusion.
Much of this early writing was concerned with the debates in the California legislature
over the nature of the Alien Land Law of 1913 and 1920. It was not until after World
War II that some of the first historical scholarship was produced. During this era
published works about Japanese Americans focused primarily on two topics: their degree
of assimilation and the consequences of their confinement in concentration camps during
World War II. For most of the1960s the primary focus of historical scholarship was
concerned with detailing the experiences of Japanese-Americans in World War II
internment camps. In the 1960s and 1970s a new wave of sociologists and social
historians began to delve deeper into the history of Japanese immigration and their
struggle for cultural assimilation. The process of Japanese cultural assimilation became
9
the subject of authors such as Harry Kitano, William Petersen, and David Yoo. These
authors explored the different strategies of assimilation adopted by the both the Issei and
Nisei generations. These authors concluded that the Japanese were able to successfully
assimilate into mainstream American culture based on their own cultural traits of hard
work, community organization and respect for authority. While these works were
groundbreaking and some of the first scholarship focusing exclusively on JapaneseAmericans, they were also responsible for reinforcing the idea that Japanese-Americans
were a model-minority whose history was separate from other immigrant groups It the
1970s, Roger Daniels set out to produce historical scholarship that represented the
Japanese as a people who were active participants in their creation of their own history
and not simply victims of American racist policies. The most recent historical scholarship
reexamines the immigration history of the Japanese, the development of Japanese
communities, and the political debates that led to internment.
This following historiography is designed to provide teachers with a brief
overview of resources that can be utilized to teach about the Japanese-American
experience in the first half of the twentieth century. This chapter will uncover the
multiple theories of assimilation that were instrumental in the development of Japan
Town’s throughout California. Assimilation strategies employed by the different
generations of Japanese-Americans had a major impact on the transformation of the
Japanese community prior to and following internment. Several revisionist histories will
provide teachers with alternative ways to view the Japanese within the larger framework
10
of twentieth century American history. Lastly, several recent works have provided new
historical insight into the development of the policies the led to World War II internment.
Assimilation Theorists
In the late 1960s the first works that specifically focused on the immigration experience
and social ascension of the Japanese were produced by a number of sociologists and
social historians. These works chronicled the assimilation strategies that were adopted by
the first and second generations of Japanese-Americans. Much of this scholarship was
produced by non-Japanese sociologists who relied on interviews and first-hand accounts
of Japanese-Americans to develop theories about how the Japanese were able to
overcome a long history of discrimination to achieve post-war economic success.
Harry L. Kitano in Japanese Americans: The Evolution of a Subculture (1969)
explores the dynamics of Japanese assimilation from early twentieth century immigration
up through post-World War II community development. He sets out to explain how the
Japanese in just a few generations were able to achieve such a high degree of
socioeconomic mobility. He states, “Much of the Japanese immigration process was
incongruous with that of successful assimilation into American culture. The Japanese
were non-white, non-Christian … Furthermore, many arrived in California in the wake of
an anti-Chinese movement which left many Caucasian with a bitterness towards all
Asians.”3 Kitano argues “structural separation has meant that structural assimilation has
3
Harry H. L. Kitano. Japanese Americans: The Evolution of a Subculture. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ.: Prentice
Hall, 1969), 70
11
been minimal. However within the structure of their own ethnic group, the Japanese has
become highly acculturated to American models.”4
Kitano explores the evolution of the three Japanese subcultures: the Issei, the
Nisei, and the Sansei. He claims that the key component of Japanese socioeconomic
success was the fact that the Issei had instilled in their children the value of education.
While most Issei were farmers, most had an eighth grade education and were from an
ambitious middle class.5 Kitano claims that the Issei had immigrated from a society that
mirrored many of the fiscal and educational systems in America.6 They ingrained in their
children a deep respect for American educational institutions while at the same time
encouraging their children to attend community Japanese Language schools. Kitano
states that the Nisei were fixed squarely between the two worlds these schools
represented.
World War II internment completely disrupted the social structure of the Japanese
community. The camps allowed the Nisei to assume leadership positions within the camp
community. Furthermore, it effectively destroyed many of the Issei social organizations,
most notably the Japanese Associations and the Japanese Language schools which had
emphasized many of the communities’ traditional social constructs. Following the
bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Nisei created Japanese American Citizen League (JACL)
challenged the Issei Japanese Associations to become the dominant political voice in the
community. Internment further eroded the Issei power structure as many of the Nisei
4
Kitano, 7
Ibid, 12
6
Ibid, 12
5
12
were able to use their pre-war educational training to assume administration positions in
the camps. Following the war, the booming post-war economy allowed the Nisei to
finally fulfill their middle class expectations as many were able to enter into professional
occupations during the 1950s. Many of the Sansei, who were born following the war, had
become completely acculturated into American middle class culture.
William Petersen in his book Japanese Americans: Oppression and Success
(1971) builds upon Kitano’s argument that the Japanese-American community was well
adapted to assimilation into American mainstream culture. Petersen argues that the
Japanese in America were able to maintain their communities by either adopting or
discarding important characteristics of both Japanese and American culture. Unlike
earlier works that had portrayed the Japanese as unassimilable, Petersen contends that the
Japanese community in America was adept at cultural relativism. Petersen begins his
work by inquiring: "Why in the case of this colored minority past oppression has led to
phenomenal economic and social success, contradicting the generalizations derived from
the experience of Negroes, American Indians, Mexican Americans, and others."7
Petersen’s research concludes that Japanese-Americans had achieved the highest level of
socioeconomic achievement of any American minority group. Considering the levels of
discrimination the Japanese had faced during the twentieth century, their achievements
are remarkable. According to Petersen, the Issei were endowed with an important
Japanese cultural characteristic which emphasized the group over the individual. The
Issei were able to create important foundational community structures, most notable the
7
William Petersen. Japanese Americans: Oppression and Success. New York: Random House, 1971), 5
13
Japanese Community Associations and Japanese Language Schools. These types of
organizations were successful in transmitting key Japanese cultural characteristics on to
the second generation Nisei. By emphasizing a more controlled assimilation, the Nisei
were able to develop the best qualities of both Japanese and American culture. The result
was the highest education levels of any non-white group in the United States. Petersen
comments that this success outside of the normal assimilation model may have been a
contributing factor to the anti-Japanese movement in America
John W. Connor in Tradition and Change in Three Generations of Japanese
Americans (1977) explores the effect of cultural assimilation on the generations of
Japanese Americans. Connor main argument is that Japanese cultural goals were in stark
contrast with those of mainstream American culture. While American culture stressed
individualism and concepts of individual status, Japanese culture emphasized obedience,
duty and the maintenance of the group hierarchy. The Issei generation promoted this
group concept, the Nisei tended to be in the middle of the Japanese model and the
American concept of individualism and the Sansei generation accepted American values
almost completely.
Connor structures his book around a detailed cultural survey of members from the
three generations. His results show that the vast majority of the Issei had not planned on
staying in the United States permanently. Their intention was to make a fortune in
America and then retire in Japan. The goal of this group was not cultural assimilation but
rather the maintenance of their traditional culture. When asked to rate themselves on a ten
14
point scale of how American they considered themselves, the average response was less
than four.8 The traditional values of the Issei were reinforced in the Nisei generation. The
majority of the Nisei were enrolled in Japanese Language Schools which stressed the
moral lessons and ethics of the traditional Japanese education system. Most of the
Japanese also loved in tight knit ethnic communities where the behavior of the Nisei was
closely regulated. One Nisei who was interviewed commented "You didn't dare step out
of line. The first time you did, your parents would be sure to hear about it."9 Connor
argues that the structure of the community and its institutions was primarily responsible
for maintaining traditional cultural standards and slowing the degree of acculturation in
the second generation. Connor’s research indicates that the average Nisei saw themselves
as 5 out of 10 on their level of acculturation.10 Not only did the Nisei see themselves as
being half way between American and Japanese, many considered themselves to embody
the best elements of both cultures. The Sansei generation overwhelmingly considered
themselves to be completely American. The majority of the Sansei that were interviewed
claimed to have more non-Japanese then Japanese friends. Furthermore, in Sacramento
County from 1961 to 1970, 28.3 percent of Japanese marriages with spouses from
different ethnic groups.11
Connor’s conclusion is that the Nisei’s rise to the middle class was not the result
of assimilation but rather because of the strong values of hard work and respect for
8
John W. Connor. Tradition and Change in Three Generations of Japanese Americans. (Chicago: NelsonHall, 1977), 299
9
Ibid, 163
10
Ibid, 302
11
Ibid, 308
15
authority that had been instilled in them by their parents. Contrary to many assimilationist
theories, Connor believes that the Nisei were well suited to assimilation into the
American middle class. The ideals of hierarchy and duty which had been stressed by their
parents inevitably led the Nisei to become competitive in order to raise their status with
the hierarchy. “Perhaps, ironically,” Connor states, “the Nisei were outwardly becoming
more American by behaving more intensely as Japanese.”12 Connor believes that the
widening of the generational gap between the Nisei and the Sansei can be attributed to the
breakup of the traditional Japanese communities, the disappearance of the Japanese
Language Schools and greater affluence of their parents
David J. Obrien and Stephen S, Fugita in their work The Japanese American
Experience (1991) emphasize the “strong sense of peoplehood” which existed in the first
generation Issei immigrants.13 Unlike many other immigrant groups, a strong sense of
national identity had been ingrained in the first Japanese immigrants. This cohesion
allowed the Issei to form collective economic and social organizations which allowed
them to better withstand early challenges to their communities in America. While this
high level of organization led to some initial success in economic development, Fugita
and O’Brien claim that is also led to the perception that the Japanese were unwilling to
assimilate. The authors reject this notion and instead build their primary argument around
the idea that the Japanese community shared many of the same values of assimilation as
mainstream American culture. They claim that “both cultures emphasize fitting in and not
12
Connor, 303
David J. O’Brien and Stephen S. Fugita. The Japanese American Experience. (Bloomington: Indiana
University Press, 1991), 7
13
16
making trouble” and that “Japanese culture became extremely compatible with American
middle class values.”14 The second generation Nisei became a model of middle class
assimilation. They became excellent students who obtained college degrees in the hopes
of entering the professional American workforce. Fugita and O’Brien maintain that it was
American culture that shut out the Japanese community and in the end perpetuated the
notion that the Japanese were incapable of assimilation. Fugita and O’Brien claim that a
unique dimension of Japanese assimilation was the idea that “the Nisei lived in
essentially two worlds; the white world of public education and the Japanese world for all
of their other social organizations.”15 Being placed in the middle of these two cultures
accelerated the assimilation process and eventually led to the fragmentation of the
traditional ethnic community.
Published the same year as The Japanese American Experience, Stephen S. Fugita
and David J. O’Brien’s follow up work Japanese American Ethnicity: The Persistence of
Community (1991) focuses on the assimilation experience of second and third generation
Japanese-Americans. Building on the central theme form The Japanese American
Experience, the authors contend that Japanese culture was successful in the United States
because it emphasized the maintenance of the group over the concerns of the individual.
The authors claim that this dynamic allowed the Japanese to absorb elements from the
outside culture without disrupting their sense of community. The Nisei and Sansei
generations were able to affectively exist in mainstream American culture without
David J. O’Brien and Stephen S. Fugita. The Japanese American Experience. (Bloomington: Indiana
University Press, 1991), 41
15
Ibid, 30
14
17
relinquishing ties to their traditional culture. Fugita and O’Brien claim that many other
immigrant groups had focused on specific aspects of mainstream culture, placing less
emphasis on the survival of the group.
Fugita and O’Brien have structured their argument around a detailed cultural
survey of second and third generation Japanese-Americans. Their research reveals that
the first immigrants, the Issei, arrived in America with a cultural blueprint that, not only
enhanced "their ability to organize collectively to deal with economic, social, and
political problems" but also "gave them a distinct advantage over most of the European
immigrant groups which landed in the New World during the nineteenth and early
twentieth century."16 While internment disrupted the traditional cultural structure and had
profound impacts on the successive generations, it did not destroy the ethnic community.
Despite the greater degree of assimilation found in the Nisei and Sansei generations,
Fugita and O’Brien maintain that these two groups still held on to many of the cultural
traits that were instilled in them by the Issei. Many of the Nisei and Sansei continued to
be involved in ethnic community organizations which emphasized a strong sense of
group cohesion. Fugita and O’Brien conclude that a strong sense of peoplehood and
cultural relativism elevated Japanese Americans to a “model minority” status.
Robert M. Jiobu in his 1988 article “Ethnic Hegemony and the Japanese of
California” states, “In the history of United States race relations, very few nonwhite
groups have obtained socioeconomic parity with the white majority; the Japanese-
David J. O’Brien and Stephen S. Fugita. Japanese American Ethnicity: The Persistence of Community.
(Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1991), 3
16
18
Americans of California are a dramatic case in point.”17 Jiobu compares the history of
Japanese discrimination to the experience of discrimination faced by blacks in America.
Jiobu challenges Gunnar Mydal who claimed in his 1942 book An American Dilemma:
The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy that discrimination of whites prevented
blacks from achieving socioeconomic mobility and that the lack of mobility justified
further prejudice which resulted in even less mobility. Jiobu believes that the Japanese in
California contradict this theory. Jiobi focuses his study on the nature of the minority
rather the policies of the majority. He claims that the Japanese culture possessed values
of education, hard work and discipline in the face of adversity that gave them an
advantage over groups such as African Americans. Jiobu claims that the Japanese
community in California had developed strong economic and social organizations that
enabled them to be competitive within the mainstream economy. While this competition
became a basic cause of ethnic hostility it did not necessarily inhibit the mobility of the
Japanese population in California. Jiobu also cites the timing of Japanese immigration as
an important factor in their success. For a short time period, the Japanese were able to fill
the labor vacuum which resulted in the exclusion of the Chinese. The Japanese thrived in
areas where they faced little competition which allowed them to build up capital to be
used in their own entrepreneurial endeavors. The strong vertically-integrated ethnic
economy that developed, allowed the Japanese to compete in ways that African
Americans were never able to. The Issei were then able to instill strong values of
Robert M. Jiobu. “Ethnic Hegemony and the Japanese of California.” American Sociological Review,
Vol. 53, No. 3 (Jun., 1988), pp. 353-367 EBSCOhost (accessed: 2/29/2012), 353
17
19
education in their offspring, the Nisei, which allowed the Japanese community to achieve
unparalleled economic success following World War II.
David Yoo in his book Growing Up Nisei: Race, Generation, and Culture Among
Japanese Americans of California, 1924-49 (2000), explores the ways in which the Nisei
grappled with their own issue of identity within and outside of the Japanese community
Yoo challenges the perception that the Nisei were victims of World War II internment.
Following similar arguments made by historian Roger Daniels, Yoo claims this
perception robs the Nisei of agency. Yoo argues that the Nisei were able to utilize ethnic
schools, churches and the Japanese-American media to form a dynamic sub-culture to
respond to the upheaval of the World War II years. Yoo utilizes the writings of Nisei
journalists and personal interviews to document the Nisei concept of self-identity from
incarceration through resettlement. Yoo ends his book with an examination of the Tokyo
Rose trial of 1949. Iva Toguri d’Aquino an American citizen was trapped in Japan during
the war. Her English language skills were utilized by the Japanese on English radio
broadcasts that G.I.’s nicknamed Tokyo Rose broadcasts Yoo contends that the guilty
verdict of treason in the trial metaphorically symbolized the continued suspicion of
Japanese loyalty in the post war years.18 Yoo effectively demonstrates that the Nisei were
not idle victims of American political policy, instead he shows that they had become a
strong generation who had developed strategies that would pay dividends in the post-war
years.
18
David K. Yoo. Growing Up Nisei: Race, Generation, and Culture Among Japanese Americans of
California. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000), 345
20
The Revisionists
In the late 1960s and 1970s many scholars of Asian Americans history began to
challenge much of the existing immigration and assimilation scholarship. New Social
Historians such as Roger Daniels felt that the voices of the Japanese themselves had not
been represented in early works. These historians viewed the assimilationist works
discussed above as a form of racism, portraying Asian Americans as helpless victims who
held no historical agency. The intent of these authors was to write the history of AsianAmericans from the perspective if its participants, to treat the subject as active
participants in the development of their own histories.
The most celebrated of the revisionist historians of Asian Americans in the United
States is Roger Daniels. Daniels produced several important works, most notably The
Politics of Prejudice (1970) and Asian America: Chinese and Japanese in the United
States since 1850 (1988). Daniels challenges what he calls the “negative history” of
Asian Americans. Daniels contends “that immigrants from Asia in the decades before
World War II were, essentially, immigrants whose experiences were not dissimilar to
those of the European immigrants who dominated the era.”19 The first Japanese
immigrants arrived as low paid laborers who exhibited traditional strategies to make
advancements into the middle class of American society. Daniels uses a comparative
method of examining Japanese immigration history to that of other European groups as
well as the Chinese. From his research, Daniels concludes that the early immigration of
Roger Daniels. “Chinese and Japanese as Urban Americans, 1850-1940.” The History Teacher , Vol. 25,
No.4 (August, 1992), pp. 427-441 EBSCOhost (accessed: 2/26/2012) , 428
19
21
the Japanese was dominated by the policies of the Imperial Japanese Government. While
Japanese diplomats had little concern for the individual rights of immigrants in the
United States, they were greatly concerned with Japan’s growing status as a world power.
The leadership in Tokyo was convinced that if it allowed its citizens in the United States
to fall victim to laws similar to those that had excluded the Chinese, then prestige of the
empire would suffer.20 The political pressure mounted by the Japanese government
persuaded President Theodore Roosevelt to negotiate the immigration terms of The
Gentlemen’s Agreement of 1907. This agreement made the Japanese Government
responsible for limiting the immigration of its subjects to the United States. Since the
Japanese were considered “aliens ineligible to citizenship” under The Naturalization Act
of 1870 the United States government was willing to accept this arrangement. The
agreement became circumvented to some degree when the Japanese picture brides began
producing children who became naturalized citizens. Daniels argues that creation of a
generation of American born Japanese helped to fuel the politics of the Japanese
exclusionists. The Nisei generation allowed the Japanese population to find loopholes in
the land ownership restrictions of the Alien Land Laws of 1913 and 1920.
Daniels claims that the Japanese and Chinese are missing from the urban
historiography of America in the first half of the twentieth century. Historians have
included Asian Americans in an indirect fashion, he states “historians have typically
viewed this group from the perspective of what has happened to them rather than from
20
Roger Daniels. Asian America: Chinese and Japanese in the United States since 1850. (Seattle and
London: University of Washington Press, 1988), 114
22
what they have accomplished.”21 Daniels challenges historians to “approach Asian
Americans as the subjects, as well as the objects, of their scrutiny.”22 Daniels claims that
his colleagues had taken great care to study anti-Asian politics but have shown "very
little understanding of the excluded the Asian Americans themselves.”23
The Politics of Internment
In “The Nisei Assume Power: The Japanese Citizen League, 1941-1942” (1983),
Paul R. Spickard examines the transition of Japanese community leadership between the
Issei and the Nisei. Most historians assume that this transformation took place in the
internment camps. Spickard argues that the undermining of Issei leadership began before
the camps and that the Nisei run Japanese American Citizen League (JACL) was at least
partly responsible.24 Spickard claims that the JACL was formed as a political alternative
to the Issei led Japanese Associations. Prior to the war, the American-born Nisei had
become frustrated with the strict structure of the Japanese ethnic communities. Many
Nisei had become educated and sought middle class pursuits outside the traditional
community. The JACL began to from many of its intuitions including English language
newspapers to voice their opinion with the community. Following the bombing of Pearl
Harbor, the FBI utilized members of the JACL as informants against suspected disloyal
21
Daniels, Asian America: Chinese and Japanese in the United States since 1850, 4
Ibid, 4
23
Ibid, 5
24
Paul R. Spickard “The Nissei Assume Power: The Japanese Citizen League, 1941-1942.” Pacific
Historical Review, Vol. 52, No. 2 (May, 1983), pp. 147-174 EBSCOhost (accessed: 2/26/2012), 148
22
23
Issei.25 When many of the Issei were rounded up by the FBI and the Japanese
Associations dissolved, the JACL sprang to action in an effort to project JapaneseAmerican loyalty and distance themselves from the “disloyal” Issei. After the Executive
Order 9066 was passed, the JACL encouraged the Japanese community to cooperate with
the federal government’s removal plans. By the time Japanese Americans entered
internment camps in the spring of 1942, the JACL had emerged as the sole political
organization for Japanese-Americans. The JACL’s failure to prevent internment led to a
growing distrust of the organization within the camps. Outbreaks of violence against
suspected JACL collaborators erupted in many of the camps and the JACL quickly lost
its positions of leadership. Although the JACL declined, the Issei never returned to their
pre-war position of dominance in Japanese American community affairs. Spickard argues
that the War Relocation Authorities policy of placing the Nisei in camp leadership
positions was the final blow to any possibility of the Issei regaining community
leadership.26 Spickard concludes that the decision of the JACL to cooperate with the
federal government was motivated out of a sense of powerlessness. Before the war, the
Nisei had very little control over their lives. Within their community they were
subjugated to the strict policies of the Issei and outside of the community they faced the
harsh restrictions of discrimination. World War II presented an opportunity for the Nisei
to gain power, which many did so willingly.
25
26
Spickard, 156
Ibid, 169
24
In his 2004 dissertation “The Long Road to Manzanar,” Michael Joseph Meloy
examines the long history of anti-Japanese politics in California. Meloy contends that
exclusionist groups had been at work in California for nearly forty years before the
bombing of Pearl Harbor. According to Meloy “Pearl Harbor gave white farmers and
other Japanese exclusionists exactly what they needed to get Japanese off of the land.”27
Meloy claims that Progressive leaders in California launched an ongoing campaign to
portray the Japanese as being incapable of assimilation and more loyal to Japan than the
United States. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, exclusionists within the
government and media convinced Californians that Internment was necessary to protect
their security.28
The initial anti-Japanese sentiment in California was launched by white framers
who felt that they could not effectively compete with the Japanese farmer. Their
complaints reached the state capital where many politicians began to question the policies
of the Gentlemen’s Agreement that essentially allowed the government in Japan to
regulate the immigration of its own people. Newspaper owner C.K. McClatchy attacked
this policy on the basis that “Immigration is a domestic question which this government
should regulate without suggestion or interference from any foreign nation. Of the yellow
and brown races, the Japanese are least assimilable and most dangerous of admitted as
permanent residents of the country.”29
Michael Joseph Meloy. “The Long Road to Manzanar: Politics, Land and Race in the Japanese Exclusion
Movement 1900-1942”. (PhD diss, University of California Davis, 2004), 3
28
Ibid, 4
29
Ibid, 196
27
25
Meloy suggests that the exclusionist concerns over immigration and agricultural
dominance by the Japanese transformed into a policy of full scale racial discrimination.
Meloy centers much of this argument on the fact that without a large African American
population in California, the Japanese became the most visible minority group in the
state. Furthermore, many of the exclusionist politicians saw the Japanese as a civilized
and hard working group which threatened the racial order in California.30 Following
Roger Daniels, Meloy claims the policies toward the Japanese in California were not
unlike those of Jim Crow in the South. Prior to 1924,
Although racial prejudice, directed at various ethnic groups, flourished
throughout the United States during the period under discussion, nowhere
north of the Mason-Dixon line did any single group encounter the
sustained nativist assault that was directed against California’s Japanese.31
Restrictive housing regulations isolated the Japanese in remote rural areas or in urban
ghettos.32 Meloy argues that these housing regulations were designed to minimize the
possibility of the Japanese assimilating into mainstream culture. The exclusionist
movement therefore put in place the very policies that they would use to fuel their
argument that the Japanese chose not to assimilate because they were not completely
loyal to the United States. Many Exclusionists in California became particularly
concerned with the issue of the Nisei. While these second generation Japanese Americans
had gained the political rights of citizenship they were still culturally distinct and were
30
Meloy, 29
Roger Daniels, The Politics of Prejudice: The Anti-Japanese Movement in California and the Struggle
for Japanese Exclusion. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1962; 2 nd ed., 1977), 106. Quoted in
Meloy, 18-19.
32
Meloy, 5
31
26
viewed as an unassimilable race. Unable to effectively exclude the Nisei through
legislation restricting land ownership, the exclusionist movement was forced to wait until
World War II to see the fruits of their labor. One of the key points that Meloy makes is
that the removal of “alien enemies” to the United States must have been put in place well
before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In Sacramento, more than twenty Issei were arrested
the first several days after the attack, including some of the aging founders of Japan
Town.33 Meloy concludes that the attack on Pearl Harbor and the following internment of
Japanese-Americans from the West Coast was the final step in the process to exclude the
Japanese that had started nearly forty years earlier.
The internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II is undoubtedly one
of the greatest examples of political and social injustice in American history. The
historical exploration of this event is essential in developing a better understanding of the
formation of public policies that deal with issues of race. The process that led to
internment is part of a larger process in American history that defines who is an
American and who will be granted full access to the privileges of citizenship. As America
grapples with these questions in the present, it is important that teachers and historians
continue to examine the story of internment and develop new insights about the history of
immigration and social and political exclusion. By incorporating new historical
viewpoints about the story of internment teachers can provide their students with a
33
Meloy, 216
27
broader account of the events that led to the incarceration of thousands of Americans
citizens in the spring of 1942.
28
CHAPTER THREE
WHAT HAPPENED TO SACRAMENTO’S JAPAN TOWN?
Within a single generation, between 1890 and 1920, the first wave of Japanese
immigrants, the Issei had built a Nihonmachi or Japan Town located in Sacramento’s
West End in the area between L street and Capitol Avenue, and Second and Fourth
Streets. In less than fifty years Japan Town was gone. The end of Japan Town can be
attributed to a variety of historical, social and economic circumstances. First off,
internment during World War II led to a leadership change within the Japanese-American
population of Sacramento. Prior to the war, the community was dominated by the foreign
born Issei who favored a strategy of isolation rather than direct resistance to racial
discrimination which was pervasive in the era between the two world wars. Following
World War II the children of the Issei, the Nisei, came of age and took over leadership of
the community. The Nisei had been educated in the United States and were distinctly
more American and became focused on cultural assimilation rather than isolation
following internment. Japan Town did not hold such a fundamental place in the hearts of
the Nisei who in their effort to assimilate allowed the tight cohesion of the community to
fragment in the post-war years. Secondly, following World War II, the Japanese
agricultural community which had been dominated by the Issei was ravaged because of
internment. The Nisei chose to pursue more professional business endeavors which
caused a major shift in the economy of Japan Town. Many of the pre-war businesses had
been based on a rural-urban economy that was now basically just an urban economy.
While their mothers and fathers shopped almost exclusively within the Japan Town
29
economy, the Nisei participated more in the mainstream economy of Sacramento. The
last major factor that led to the decline of Japan Town was the push for urban renewal
that became so popular throughout America in the post-war years. After a decade of
economic depression, war and evacuation, the West End of Sacramento had become
dilapidated in the eyes of the City Council of Sacramento. In the early 1950s the Capitol
Mall Redevelopment plan was launched which called for a thoroughfare of open space
and commercial development from the state capital to the Sacramento River. The Capitol
Mall project cut straight through the heart of Japan Town. Japanese-Americans were
forced to sell their remaining homes and businesses as Japan Town fell victim to the
bulldozers of urban renewal.
The vast majority of academic works about the Japanese in California have either
focused on their initial settlement or specifically on the period of internment during
World War II. Few works have connected these two time periods to tell a more complete
story of the Japanese experience in California. This paper attempts to bridge the gap
between the pre and post internment history of the Japanese community. Most scholars of
the twentieth century have pointed to World War II internment as the death knell of the
Nihonmachi. Historian Michael Meloy in his dissertation “The Long Road to Manzanar”
contends that World War II internment was the culmination of over a half-century of antiAsian legislation. The process to exclude the Japanese was a continuation of the late
nineteenth century Chinese Exclusion Act. Meloy claims that the success of the Japanese
farmers created powerful enemies amongst California’s Progressive politicians. Meloy
states, “Pearl Harbor gave white farmers and other Japanese exclusionists exactly what
30
they needed to get Japanese off of the land.” 34 Kaoru Oguri Kendis has also focused on
the impact of anti-Japanese legislation. In his work A Matter of Comfort, Kendis
examines the formation of Japan Towns across California as a response to the
exclusionist politics that held sway in Sacramento in the first half of the twentieth
century. While both of these interpretations are compelling, neither work factors in the
cultural shifts that occurred within the second generation of Japanese-Americans, the
Nisei. Most of the political histories of the Japanese in California have neglected to
examine the process of cultural assimilation that occurred within the Japanese-American
community. This paper will draw heavily on a variety of generational studies about the
Japanese-American community such as John W. Connor’s, Tradition and Change in
Three Generations of Japanese Americans. Connor claims that as the Nisei came of age,
their aspirations to fit into the American cultural mainstream had profound impacts on the
traditional ethnic community. This chapter tells the story of an ethnic community’s
attempt to maintain itself within an environment of hostile discrimination as well as
generational change.
Part I: Birds of Passage
The first Japanese immigrants began arriving to the Sacramento region following
1885 when the Japanese government sanctioned emigration to the United States.35 The
first wave of immigrants, the Issei, were drawn to the Sacramento Valley to fill a labor
Michael Joseph Meloy. “The Long Road to Manzanar: Politics, Land and Race in the Japanese Exclusion
Movement 1900-1942”. (PhD diss, University of California Davis, 2004), 3
35
Adon Poli and Warren M. Engstrand “Japanese Agriculture on the Pacific Coast” The Journal of Land &
Public Utility Economics, Vol. 21, No. 4 (Nov., 1945), 352
34
31
vacuum in agriculture that resulted from The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.36 The Issei
labor force became highly organized living in small camps along the Sacramento River.
Life was tough in these camps, malaria and typhoid fever were rampant and living
quarters were crudely constructed. In some cases as many as thirty-six laborers occupied
an eight-room house.37 The Issei worked in small groups under the direction of Japanese
leaders or "bosses," who bargained with farmers in supplying laborers on a wage or
contract basis.38 The majority of the tenant farmers were members of either the Japanese
Producers Association or the Japanese Farmers Association of California. Both of these
groups assisted in land leases, contracts and mediating labor disputes.39 Within a short
time period these early Japanese farmers pooled their resources and began to lease farms
from some of their former employers. Japanese famers employed a labor-intensive, high
yield style of agriculture which proved to be more successful than the resource intensive
style of Caucasian farmers.40 The Issei were very productive laborers who provided the
landowners with good crop yields. Japanese farmers accounted for about 70 percent of
the total acreage of all types of berries, and 85 percent of the acreage of strawberries. 41
This mutually beneficial arrangement ultimately allowed some of the Issei to become
outright landowners. By 1919, Japanese farmers held about 1% of the cultivated land in
36
Edward K. Strong, Japanese in California. (Stanford University: Stanford University Press, 1933), 13
Kevin Wildie, “The Rise and Fall of Japan Town: A History of the Japanese-American Community in
Sacramento, 1890-1960.” California State University of Sacramento, Master’s Thesis, p.7
38
Poli and Engstrand, 352
39
Wildie, 8
40
Kaoru Oguri Kendis A Matter of Comfort: Ethnic Maintenance and Ethnic Style among ThirdGeneration Japanese Americans (New York : AMS Press, 1989), 17
41
Poli and Engstrand, 357
37
32
California, but the market value of their crops accounted for over 10% of California’s
agriculture.42
Part II: Picture Brides Arrive
The Japanese population in the Sacramento Valley in the first decade of the
twentieth century was comprised mainly of single males who were either second or third
sons and therefore ineligible to inherit land in Japan because of primogeniture laws.43
Despite the initial successes in agriculture, few of the Issei saw themselves as permanent
residents. Rather most hoped to make enough money in the United States to be able to
return and live comfortably in Japan. In an interview conducted by John W. Connor for
his book Tradition and Change in Three Generations of Japanese Americans, less than
ten percent of the Issei stated that they had planned to stay permanently in California.44
Most of the Issei maintained ties to their homeland and many made return visits. Despite
some early success in agriculture, the Issei realized they were not going to become rich
overnight and be able to return to Japan. Many were now heavily invested in the
agricultural economy and were looking to establish more solid roots. In 1900 the ratio of
men to women in the Sacramento region was seventeen to one.45 Under the Gentlemen’s
Agreement (1907-1908) the Japanese government agreed to restrict immigration to the
United States, however the agreement allowed the Issei who had already settled in the
42
Kendis 17
Ibid,17
44
John W. Connor, “Acculturation and Family Continuities in Three Generations of Japanese Americans,”
Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 36, No. 1 (Feb., 1974), 160
45
U.S. Bureau of the Census, U.S. Census Population: 1930, 15th Census of the United States, vol. III, part
1 (Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1932)
43
33
United States to bring their wives and children over or they could return to Japan to find
wives and then reenter the United States. Since few of the Issei had families, most of
these bachelors arranged for marriages to picture brides. Issei men who could save up
$800 could employ a matchmaker to arrange a marriage based on photographs of men in
the United States and women in Japan.46 John W. Connor states that “well over 90 per
cent of the Issei we interviewed had their marriages arranged by others.”47 As more and
more picture brides began to arrive in the Sacramento a fully developed urban
community in the West End of Sacramento began to develop.
Part III. The Development of Japan Town
As the Japanese farmers became productive in the outlying rural areas, services
were needed to meet the needs of the Issei. A boarding house and two hotels were opened
in 1891 in the West End of Sacramento. Because of racial segregation, seasonal laborers
had no alternative but to take the long journey by riverboat from the fields in the Delta up
the Sacramento River to Japan Town. In Japan Town the Issei farm laborers were able to
find basic comforts in the Japanese owned bathhouses, saloons, barbershops, restaurants
and billiard halls. By 1910, Sacramento had become an important distribution point for
Japanese labor and the fourth most Japanese-populated city in California. Single male
laborers crowded into an area between L Street and Capitol Avenue and Second and
Fourth Streets where they waited for local farmers to recruit them for seasonal work.48 As
Roger Daniels. “Chinese and Japanese as Urban Americans 1850-1940,” The History Teacher, Vol. 25,
No. 4 (Aug., 1992), pp. 427-441 EBSCOhost (accessed: 12/09/2011), 435
47
Connor, 160
48
Wildie, 15
46
34
more and more Japanese laborers crowded into the West End, many Caucasians who
refused to live near Japanese, moved to other parts of the city. This resulted in lowered
property values which allowed more Japanese immigrants to move into the area thus
expanding the area of Japanese settlement.49 By 1911 there were 209 business located in
this section of the city which became known as Japan Town or Nihonmachi.50 When Ai
Miyaski arrived in Japan Town in 1918 she commented:
When I came to Sacramento, it was like Japan … The groceries, like in
Japan, were displayed outside the store… There were many Japanese.
There was even a Japanese bathhouse and a few Japanese doctors, so
we decided to stay awhile. We bought a rooming house and we all
moved in.51
Facing racial discrimination and economic barriers, the Issei were forced to
develop their own economic structure. The Japanese community developed a vertically
integrated self-sufficient rural-urban economy in which growers became directly linked
to distributors and retailers.52 A fundamental component of this economic structure was a
high level of cooperation by the community’s businesses. Growers and business owners
often times pooled their resources for business investments. This sort of economic
cohesion helped to protect the community from numerous Caucasian attempts to boycott
Japanese business. Merchants in Japan Town became dependent on the farmers for fresh
produce and the farmers relied on the merchants of Japan Town for basic services and
merchandise. Japan Town had become an enclave where the Japanese community could
49
Wildie, 20
David J. O’Brien and Stephen Fugita. Japanese American Ethnicity: The Persistence of Community.
(Seattle : University of Washington Press, 1991), 70
51
Wildie,18
52
David J. O’Brien and Stephen Fugita “Middleman Minority Concept: Its Explanatory Value un the Case
of the Japanese in California Agriculture,” Pacific Sociological Review 25 (April 1982), 216
50
35
isolate itself from the hostile discrimination of the Caucasian community.53 Upon first
seeing Japan Town Toshiko Igarashi commented:
When I landed here, I was first impressed with the big Japanese town.
Japanese Issei were thriving then, having big stores with three or four
employees; in some stores maybe even seven or eight of them. There
were rows of such stores on Third and Fourth Streets. On Saturdays
and Sundays a lot of people from the country-- farms were also thriving
then—came to Japanese town.54
Part IV Anti-Japanese Legislation Strengthens Japan Town
Anti-Japanese discrimination grew alongside the development of Japan Town in
the years prior to World War I. Historian Kaoru Oguri Kendis in his work A Matter of
Comfort, argues that “the Issei were confronted with ‘yellow peril’ racism in the wake of
19th century attitudes toward Chinese Immigrants… Anti-Japanese sentiment was based
on the perceived notion that the Japanese were too culturally isolated to adapt to
American customs.”55 While the discrimination against the Japanese may certainly have
been racially motivated, the main thrust of anti-Japanese policies appears to be economic
in nature. With the immigration of the “picture brides” the Issei began to develop
families. Not only did this increase the size of the community, but the children of the
Issei, the Nisei (Second Generation) who were born in the United States became citizens.
Furthermore, the low wage labor intensive agriculture which had been established by the
Issei threatened their Caucasian competition. The result was a series of anti-Japanese
laws beginning with the California Alien Land Law of 1913 which prohibited "aliens
53
U.S Census, 1930
Wildie, 18
55
Kendis, 17
54
36
ineligible for citizenship" from owning land or property.56 The intent of these laws was to
force the growing number of Japanese landowners out of ownership and back into farm
laboring. The Issei countered this legislation by placing their property in the names of
their American-born children who were citizens and therefore eligible to own property.
This prompted the California State Legislature to pass a second Alien Land Law of 1920
which prevented the Issei from acting as guardians for the property of a native-born
minor if the property could not be held legally by the alien himself.57 The final blow was
struck by a group of farmers who formed The Japanese Exclusion League of California
and were instrumental in helping to pass the Immigration Act of 1924 which terminated
Japanese immigration and prevent Japanese in California from owning land,58 Japanese
farmers reacted to discriminatory legislation by consolidating into small labor unions
which specialized mainly in truck crops such as strawberries and grapes. In the years
between the two world wars, Japanese farmers were producing thirty-five percent of all
the truck crops that were grown in California.59 Despite several legal setbacks, the
Japanese rural-urban economy continued to thrive in the Sacramento Valley up until the
Great Depression.
Part V: The Emergence of the Nisei
In the first two decades of the twentieth-century the Japanese community in
Sacramento underwent great transformations. What started as isolated camps of single
Fugita and O’Brien, 8
Kitano, 19
58
Yuji Ichioka The Issei: The World of the First Generation Japanese Immigrants, 1882-1924, (New York:
Free Press, 1988), 99
59
Kendis, 18
56
57
37
male laborers along the Sacramento River had become a more urban community centered
around a solid family structure. These first Issei families produced a second generation of
American born Nisei. By 1930, over 52% of the Japanese community in California was
Nisei.60 The Nisei found themselves stuck between their traditional isolated Japanese
community and the larger American community that most aspired to enter. The
assimilation of the Nisei would have a profound impact on the Japanese community and
ultimately contribute to the decline of Sacramento’s Japan Town.
Traditional standards of Japanese identity were taught to the Nisei both within the
home and through the isolation of living within Japan Town. Most Nisei attended
Japanese language schools either on the weekend or after regular school was over. The
Japanese language schools incorporated within their curriculum the moral lessons of the
Shushin which was a course on traditional Japanese ethics. Nisei were brought up in very
strict families. Japanese were very concerned about how outsiders perceived their
families. Nisei were under constant scrutiny within the small confines of Japan Town.
One Nisei who had resided in Japan Town before World War II remarked, “You didn’t
dare step out of line. The first time you did, your parents would be sure to hear about
it.”61 The Nisei experienced life outside of Japan Town by attending public high schools.
In Sacramento, most of the Japan Town Nisei attended Sutter Middle School and then
Sacramento High School. At these schools the Nisei experienced a high degree of
60
U.S. Census, 1930
John W. Connor. “Acculturation and Family Continuities in Three Generations of Japanese Americans.”
Journal of Marriage and Family, Vol. 36, No. 1 (Feb., 1974), pp. 159-165 EBSCOhost (accessed:
12/09/2011), 163
61
38
assimilation to popular American cultural norms. Many of the students became involved
in extracurricular activities such as athletics.
The Nisei, like other American-born children of immigrants, were effectively
pulled in two opposite generations. At home they were taught traditional Japanese values
and were under the watchful eye of their community. In public schools they became
aware of mainstream American values and goals. The Nisei were taught to have deep
respect for their teachers and were regarded as model students.62 Parental pressure and
their own desires for success contributed to high levels of academic achievement for the
Nisei generation. In his book Acculturation and Family Continuities in Three
Generations of Japanese Americans sociologist John W. Connor states:
The Nisei embodied both traditional Japanese and American Middle
Class values of hierarchy, duty and obligation which made them highly
adaptable to assimilation into the American middle class. The emphasis
on hierarchy inevitably leads to ranking and the Nisei became highly
competitive in response to their desire to be ranked highly.63
Through their academic experiences the Nisei began to attempt to assimilate into
widespread American culture. Many Nisei pursued higher education and obtained college
degrees at a higher rate than the white population in California. College graduates were
11% more likely to be found within the Japanese population than with the white
population.64 Upon completing college, many Nisei had aspirations to obtain white collar
jobs. However, most faced discrimination from the outside community and pressure from
62
Kitano, 26
Connor, 302
64
Roger Daniels, Asian America: Chinese and Japanese in the United States since 1850. (Seattle and
London: University of Washington Press, 1988) , 315
63
39
their own community to remain within the confines of Japan Town. Only 10% of Nisei
male college graduates were able to find professional jobs prior to World War II.65 Most
were forced to work as salesmen, fruit stand attendants and vegetable washers for Issei
businesses within Japan Town.66 “Now, not only were they overeducated for the menial
jobs available, but they were forced to remain in unfortunate dependency to the same
people upon whom they had always been dependent.”67
Since the Nisei grew up in an isolated ethnic community they began to create new
institutions for themselves that would meet their desire to become more assimilated. The
Nisei formed the Sacramento Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) in 1931 which
became the main Nisei organization with chapters all along the west coast. The main goal
of the JACL was to facilitate Nisei assimilation into American culture.68 The JACL
became both a political and social community organization. The JACL helped to develop
athletic leagues and organized social gatherings such as community dances for the
Nisei.69 JACL functions allowed the Nisei to participate in American style activities
within the safety of the Japanese community. Just prior to World War II a cultural rift had
developed within Japan Town between the traditional Issei Japanese-centered community
and an emerging Nisei community which was more oriented toward American culture.70
Part VI Internment Creates a Cultural Fracture
65
Montero, 44
Kitano, 49
67
Fugita & O’Brien, Japanese American Ethnicity: The Persistence of Community, 55
68
Paul R. Spickard, Japanese Americans: The Formation and Transformations of an Ethnic Group. (New
Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, 2009), 148-149
69
Fugita and O’Brien, Japanese American Ethnicity: The Persistence of Community, 80-81
70
Kendis, 18-19
66
40
As soon as the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor hit the mainland, local police
surrounded Japan Town and the FBI swept through the community. Nearly 300 Issei,
mostly community leaders, were detained by the FBI as possible threats to national
security.71 Suspected Japanese sympathizers and “enemy aliens” were ordered to
surrender fire arms, radio transmitters, short wave receivers and cameras.72 Japan Town
resident Al Hida commented about the events of December 7th:
OK, I think the first thing that could be said would be from December
7th on, various things happened, and, of course, one was that the Police
Department in Sacramento collected weapons and shortwave radios and
so forth. The other thing was that they did start the curfews and you
couldn’t travel more than five miles from the house. You had to be
inside of the house from sundown to sunup, so we couldn’t be out at
night. We could not congregate. We couldn’t have a meeting at the
Buddhist Church, for instance.73
With most of the Issei leadership incarcerated, Japan Town turned to the Nisei-led JACL
for leadership in the months after Pearl Harbor. The JACL decided to cooperate with the
U.S government during the evacuation and even made allegiance pledges to the United
States to show the community’s loyalty to the United States. Just two days after the
bombing of Pearl Harbor, thirty-four Japanese businessmen ran a full page ad in the
Sacramento Union that read:
“YES, WE ARE AMERICANS”
As long time residents we fully realize our responsibilities and pledge
our fullest support and cooperation toward this, our country! We join
with all Americans of Japanese descent in condemning the treacherous
71
Sacramento Bee, 10 December 1941
Sacramento Bee, 29 December 1941
73
Al Hida Oral History, Florin Japanese American Citizens League Oral History Project. (Sacramento:
University Archives and Special Collections, California State University, Sacramento, 1987), 17
72
41
actions that have forced this peaceful country into war. We hope to
continue our normal business activities here in order to support our
families and do our part toward keeping America a free leading
democracy.74
Despite this pledge of loyalty, after months of debate about what to do about the Japanese
living in California, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066
authorizing the militarization of the West Coast.75 Michael Meloy in his dissertation,
“The Long Road to Manzanar,” argues that Japanese exclusionists in California used
their positions of power in the military, state and national government and the press to
convince the public that internment was necessary. A key component driving the antiJapanese sentiment was the power of the press to sway public opinion. In the months
following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese-Americans faced a steady onslaught of
negative press in most of California’s major papers. In a Los Angeles Times article
columnist W.H. Anderson wrote:
A viper is nonetheless a viper wherever the egg is hatched… So a
Japanese-American born of Japanese parents, nurtured upon Japanese
traditions, living in a transplanted Japanese atmosphere and thoroughly
inoculated with Japanese thoughts, Japanese ideas and Japanese ideals
almost inevitably and with the rarest exceptions grows up to be a
Japanese, not an American, in his thoughts, in his ideas and in his
ideals, and himself is a potential and menacing, if not actual, danger to
our country unless properly supervised, controlled, and, as it were,
hamstrung.76
The Sacramento Bee also printed several scathing editorials about the need for the United
States to protect itself against the threat of a Japanese “Fifth Column” emerging on the
74
Sacramento Union, 9 December 1941
Michael Joseph Meloy. “The Long Road to Manzanar: Politics, Land and Race in the Japanese Exclusion
Movement 1900-1942”. (PhD diss, University of California Davis, 2004), 4
76
Ibid, 9-10
75
42
West Coast. In the cartoon below published in the Sacramento Bee, Japanese Americans
are depicted marching on foot and in automobiles as fifth column with the caption “All
Columns March, lest the Fifth remain.”77A similar cartoon adding to the public fear of
Japanese sabotage was drawn by future children’s author Dr. Seuss.
Source: Sacramento Bee, 25, 26 February 1942
77
Meloy, 219
43
Source: Mandeville Collection, University of California at San Diego, 13 February 1942
After a few months of deliberation and growing public pressure, it was decided
that all people of Japanese ancestry had to be evacuated from the West Coast of the
United States. On May 7, 1942, orders were posted for the evacuation of Japanese from
within the city limits of Sacramento. Japanese were instructed to report to Memorial
Auditorium within five days for evacuation to Camp Walerga 14 miles northeast of the
city.78 Many residents of Japan Town conducted whole scale clearance sales of many of
their belongings or equipment at cut rate prices. While several businesses closed and sold
off property, very few actually sold their businesses.79 Most business owners either found
people willing to operate their business through power of attorney agreements while
78
79
Sacramento Bee 7 May 1942, 1
Edward K. Strong, Japanese in California. (Stanford University: Stanford University Press, 1933), 40
44
others placed their businesses in the names of their Nisei children. Fearing property
seizure under the “alien enemy” statutes, Frank Higashino placed his Riverside Nursery
in the name of his minor son Haruki who was a legal citizen. The Higashino’s appointed
Lee O. Townsend as attorney-in-fact for Haruki and he looked after the business
throughout the war. Many business owners in Sacramento were able to protect their
businesses by utilizing this strategy.80 On May 13, 1942 3,800 Japanese Americans
carrying only suitcases and personal belongings gathered at Memorial Auditorium to
await buses that would take them first to the temporary Camp Walerga north of
Sacramento and eventually to the permanent internment camp of Tule Lake in the
northeast corner of California.81 On May 14 1942 the Sacramento Union reported:
Japan Town has been blitzed. A few days ago, lower Capitol Avenue
and N street were chock full of Japanese grocery stores, furniture marts,
bait shops, restaurants, rooming houses and other businesses. But last
night that district was full of “for lease” signs on homes, “new
management” placards in stores, and heaps of receipts and other
commercial papers piled on the sidewalks.82
Japan Town, a thriving community for over fifty years was cleared out in a single day.
Most of the evacuees wondered if they would ever see their neighborhood again.
Internment camps changed much of the social framework of the Japanese
community. In the camps, family bonds were loosened and traditional roles were
transformed. Families no longer enjoyed privacy; everyday life became a shared
John Frederic Wilson, “Japanese American Landownership during Internment: A Detailed Examination
of Select Regions of Sacramento and San Joaquin Counties.” (PhD diss, California State University of
Sacramento, 2010), 37
81
Sacramento Union 13, May 1942, 1
82
Sacramento Union 14, May 1942, 1
80
45
experience. Meals were eaten in communal dining halls and showers and toilets were
shared with members outside of the immediate family.83 A key component in this
transformation was the weakening role of the Issei male as the head of the household. In
the internment camps, the father lost his position as the family bread winner. The
Japanese who had long rejected government assistance and who valued their economic
independence were now dependent on the American government for their basic needs.
Camp life afforded women and children a new sense of independence since they were
longer subject to the economic control of the Issei father.84
While the internment camp weakened the prestige of the Issei it helped to
empower the Nisei. The War Relocation Authority (WRA) purposefully designed the
camps to cater to the more assimilable Nisei. Only the Nisei were allowed to vote in the
camps since they were citizens and their parents were not. The Nisei were also chosen for
most of the camp administrative positions that were available to the internees since they
were deemed to be more loyal to America.85 The camps further created generational
identity splits. All internees were forced to make loyalty pledges to the United States of
America. The Nisei, who were citizens, overwhelmingly pledged loyalty to the United
States and many would eventually sign up to fight in military units such as the 442nd
regiment. For the Issei the decision to pledge their loyalty to the United States was not so
easy. The Issei were less openly patriotic and many still had strong connections to their
native homeland. The period of Japanese internment marked a generational shift in
83
Kitano, 19
Ibid, 76
85
Ibid, 19
84
46
leadership of the Japanese community. The Issei had lost almost everything during
internment and many were advancing in age and would find it difficult to recover in the
postwar years. The Nisei however came of age in the camps. Most were fairly well
educated and had gained invaluable experience in camp leadership positions. In the years
following World War II the future of Japan Town would be squarely in the hands of the
Nisei.
Part VII Resettlement and the Rise of the Nisei
Following World War II internment the Japanese community in Sacramento
experienced a major demographic shift. Many returning evacuees had lost their homes
during internment and others chose to find residences outside of the old community.
During the war the West End of Sacramento had become a community of low-income
housing for the poor, mainly African American and Hispanic laborers and gained the new
title of “Bronzville.” Many Japanese upon returning from the camps were forced to look
for housing outside of Japan Town although discriminatory residential laws made this
difficult. In the summer of 1945, six neighborhoods in Sacramento agreed to property
restrictions against Hindu, African, Japanese, Chinese, or Mongolian descent. All of the
agreements were intended to maintain property values.86 These residential segregation
laws forced many returnees to move into some of the poorer neighborhoods south of
Broadway. The few returning evacuees, who were able to hold onto their properties,
opened them up to other families. Many of the area churches were transformed into
86
Wilson, 41
47
hostels.87 Historian Roger Daniels claims that the relocation of many Japanese from their
former communities was racially motivated:
Most Japan Towns in the major cities had developed in older central
areas of the cities. During internment many African American and
Mexican Americans moved into the evacuated homes of the Japanese.
While some Japanese Americans relocated to the old neighborhoods
following the war, many were unable to. Many did not want to move
back and live next to blacks and the upwardly mobile Nisei followed
the population trends and moved to the suburbs.88
Despite this residential shift into new neighborhoods, Japan Town was still the center of
the Japanese-American economy in Sacramento. By 1954, 80% of the Japanese-owned
businesses in Sacramento were still located within the boundaries of Japan Town,
although Japanese-Americans accounted for only about 40% of the living quarters in this
area.89 However, the urban-rural economy that formed the economic base of Japan Town
had been seriously damaged by Internment. Most of the Issei had lost their farms during
the war and postwar land values had increased to a level that made it almost impossible
for most to reacquire their land. Prior to the war, nearly one-half of the Japanese
population in California was involved in agriculture; by 1960 the number had dropped to
less than one-third.90 Furthermore the Issei had advanced in age and were not willing or
able to start over. The loss of farming had a deep economic impact on the businesses in
Japan Town. Most of the retail businesses in Japan Town had relied greatly on the
business of the outlying rural Japanese communities. Many of the Japanese businesses
87
Wildie, 62
Roger Daniels, Asian America: Chinese and Japanese in the United States since 1850, 294
89
Wildie, 65
90
Kitano, 20
88
48
began to serve a more diverse minority community that had begun to populate the West
End of Sacramento.91
The economy of Japan Town was further hurt by the success of the Nisei
generation as they began to pursue careers outside of Japan Town. Most of the Nisei who
had achieved college degrees before the war, sought professional rather than agricultural
or retail occupations. Postwar Sacramento experienced an economic boom and had
become more receptive to the assimilation of Japanese Americans into the mainstream
economy. Corporations and governmental agencies in the decade following the war
began to employ the well-educated, hardworking Nisei. Many other Nisei opened up
professional businesses becoming doctors, dentists, and lawyers. By 1960 more than 38%
of Japanese Americans were employed in professional, technical and white collar fields.92
The Issei on the other hand began to retire and their businesses that had formed the
backbone of Japan Town began to disappear. Furthermore, Nisei participation in the
mainstream economy began to erode many of the traditional cultural and family
arrangements.93 In his study Tradition and Change in Three Generations of Japanese
Americans John W. Connor states that the Nisei were perfectly situated for assimilation
into the American middle class: “the success of Nisei can be attributed to traditional
Japanese values of hard work and respect for authority which meshed with American
middle class ideals… Perhaps, ironically, the Nisei were outwardly becoming more
91
Pacific Citizen, 23 April 1954, 1
Kitano, 20
93
Fugita and O’Brien, Japanese American Ethnicity: The Persistence of Community, 82
92
49
American by behaving more intensely as Japanese.”94 Connors also concludes that the
discrimination faced by the Nisei generation added to their desire to not be seen as
inferior which helped to fuel their competitive spirit and resulted in their economic
success.95 The California Fair Employment Practices Commission in 1965 issued a report
which found that Japanese had both higher levels of education and lower levels of
unemployment than the white population in California.96
As many Nisei joined the ranks of middle class America many began to look for
homes outside of their old community. In the early 1950s State and Federal courts struck
down many of the restrictive housing laws and anti-miscegenation laws.97 Many Nisei
moved out of Japan Town to neighborhoods south of Broadway near Land Park. Another
impetus for the move out of Japan Town was the desire of many of the Nisei to not live
next to African American and Mexican Americans who had moved into Japan Town
during World War II.98 One longtime resident of Japan Town commented:
By the physical dispersion of Japanese throughout the area, the identity
with the community has diminished. I don’t know if it’s bad or not but
like my kids, they aren’t growing up with the same identity that I did.
Also, because of the affluence, they have dispersed away from the
family. When we came from the camps, we had three generations living
in the home. Now we don’t have that.99
Part VII. The Capitol Mall Project Bulldozes Japan Town
94
Connor, 303
Ibid, 303
96
Ibid, 1
97
David K. Yoo, Growing up Nisei: Race, Generation, and Culture among Japanese Americans of
California, 1924-49. (Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 2000) , 141
98
Daniels, Asian America: Chinese and Japanese in the United States since 1850, 294
99
Fugita and O’Brien, Japanese American Ethnicity: The Persistence of Community ,171
95
50
The final blow to Japan Town came in the form of economic development. Since
the turn of the century the city government had planned to create a thoroughfare of open
space which would connect the State Capitol to the Sacramento River. Several attempts
in the first half of the twentieth century to initiate the plan were derailed by events such
as World War I and later the Great Depression. With the economic boom of the post-war
years, city government officials revisited the plan for development of the Capitol Mall
area. By 1950 the Capitol Mall Project was created with two goals in mind. First the city
would create the long planned thoroughfare connecting the Capitol with the river.
Secondly, the city planned to redevelop the West End into a new business and shopping
district. Redevelopment was spurred on in large part due to the reporting of the
Sacramento Bee to which the West End “one of the worst slums in the nation.”100
Furthermore, the plan to redevelop the West End was the reaction of the city to the
relocation of much of the white middle class to new unincorporated neighborhoods
outside of the city limits. As the white population left for the suburbs in the 1950s,
investors began to abandon the inner city in favor of the growing suburbs. To save the
downtown area, local leaders began to embrace the goal of urban redevelopment. Brian
Roberts in his book Sacramento since World War II: From Small Town to Megalopolis in
Less Than Fifty Years states:
The Chamber of Commerce’s answer to the problem was to replace the
city’s west end slum area with a new, modern and technologically
100
Dorothy Kupcha Leland, A Short History of Sacramento. (San Francisco: Lexikos, 1989), 95
51
advanced city core, in effect improving the neighborhood to the extent
that its residents could no longer afford to live in it.101
The tentative plan called for the redevelopment of fifteen square blocks between 4th and
7th and K and P streets, right through the heart of Japan Town.
The city planned to acquire the property through the powers of eminent domain.
In 1954 the Sacramento Redevelopment Agency placed a $1.5 million bond on the
November ballot.102 The bond measure immediately created a political firestorm within
the West End. Most citizens of Japan Town openly fought the plan or called for
guaranteed relocation assistance prior to the November vote. Residents of the West End
voiced their opposition to the project, claiming racial discrimination since the area in
question was comprised of mostly minorities. The West Side Community Association, a
coalition of local business owners, mounted a strong campaign against redevelopment,
questioning why the plan contained little in regards to public housing provisions. Sal
Anapolsky, chairmen of the West Side Community Association asked: “Why has there
been no plan evolved for federal low cost housing to accommodate displaced
persons?”103 The official Relocation Profile which was published by the Sacramento
Redevelopment Agency in 1964 referred to the area of redevelopment as being
“comprised of predominately of structures containing a variety of stores, service shops,
card rooms, ‘greasy spoons’ and ‘grog shops’ at street level with cheap flop houses or
Brian Roberts, “Sacramento since World War II: From Small Town to Megalopolis in Less Than Fifty
Years.” (PhD diss, California State University of Sacramento, 1989), 65-66
102
Wildie, 69-70
103
Roberts, 76
101
52
hotel rooms upstairs.”104 The profile went on to state that 79.1% of the residential
structures in the proposed area were substandard.105 It seems clear by the language
contained in the Relocation Profile that the Sacramento Redevelopment Agency was
determined to portray the West End as a dilapidated slum. The plan if approved would
remove 80% of the city’s Japanese-owned and operated business and residential area.106
On November 2, 1954 Proposition B, the bond for the Capital Mall
redevelopment plan, failed to get the necessary two-thirds vote, largely due to the large
voter turnout of West End residents. The Sacramento Bee referred to the outcome as a
failure for “the beautification of the West End.”107 After the defeat of Proposition B, the
SRA decided to issue its own bond without taxpayer help. On May 5, 1955 the federal
government approved the SRA funding plan and the Capitol Mall Project was back on
track.108
In September of 1956 the SRA began the process of acquiring the first few blocks
of the redevelopment area. Residents and business owners affected by the redevelopment
were given somewhat less than fair market value for their properties as laid out in federal
guidelines. The remaining residents of Japan Town were forced to relocate throughout
the city. In response to the Capital Mall Project pharmacist Fred Ouye commented,
“Yeah we lost again, you know, we had to move out again. After we got started, my
brother and I opened a store on 4th and L and we had to move again.” They eventually
104
Relocation Profile: Capitol Mall Extension, 1
Ibid, 16
106
Wildie, 71
107
Sacramento Bee 3 November 1954, 1
108
Sacramento Bee 5 May 1955, 1
105
53
reopened a new pharmacy on 10th and V streets.109 Several attempts were made in the
late fifties to establish a new Japan Town. A few merchants relocated along Tenth Street
between W and T streets, many residents moved south near Broadway and another
enclave emerged in the new housing areas in South Park and Greenhaven. The
redevelopment of the West End effectively fractured the Japanese community into many
small isolated pockets. The cultural and economic heart of the community was bull dozed
in a large scale urban redevelopment project.
Conclusion
The Japanese community that settled in Sacramento was one of the most
successful minority populations in California. In a little more than fifty years Japanese
immigrants were able to establish a successful economy and develop a tight knit urban
ethnic community. The children of these immigrants became a highly educated and
upwardly mobile generation after the war who in many ways outperformed the white
population of California. The Japanese are also unique in America as being the only
ethnic minority to endure a full-scale incarceration. Through all of these obstacles, Japan
Town endured as the cultural center of the Japanese population.
World War II internment came at a time when the community was in transition.
The second generation Nisei was becoming more assimilated into American culture and
began to replace the aging Issei as the leaders of the community. The loss of many Issei
businesses due to Internment cracked the foundation that had held the community
109
Fred Ouye Oral History, Florin Japanese American Citizens League Oral History Project. (Sacramento:
University Archives and Special Collections, California State University, Sacramento, 1987), 26
54
together. As many racial housing restrictions were dismantled and new economic
opportunities became available to the Nisei, many of the residents left their former
community. Many of the Nisei had come of age in the camps and were no longer satisfied
with the cultural situation of being a subordinate in an isolated community. World War II
internment was timed perfectly to coincide with a generational power shift from the Issei
to the Nisei. These two elements combined ultimately led to the decline of Sacramento’s
Japan Town.
55
CHAPTER FOUR
TEACHING STUDENTS TO THINK HISTORICALLY ABOUT JAPANESE
INTERNMENT
Current Limitations in the Teaching of History
The focus in many school districts across America is a bottom line approach to
raise standardized test scores. Teachers are burdened with plowing through unrealistic
state content standards and jamming historical facts down the throats of students in the
hope they will then be able to recognize that same information on the standardized tests.
This process has unfortunately rewarded memorization and recall and discouraged
historical thinking. Students are being conditioned to examine history as a series of
isolated events without looking at large processes to show continuity and change over
time. Bill Bigelow in his work A People’s History for the Classroom states:
A fundamental problem with traditional history and with traditional
history teaching is that it can appear that each event leads inexorably to
the next: this happened then this happened then this happened, like
dominoes lined up and falling. Social changes can seem almost
inevitable.110
In an effort to cover the most amount of material in the shortest amount time, many
teachers rely on providing the direct instruction of history to their students. Lecture and
worksheets that ask questions of the textbook are often standard practice. While direct
instruction is an important component in providing students with a solid historical
Bill Bigelow, A People’s History for the Classroom. (Washington D.C.: Rethinking Schools, Ltd.,
2008), 3
110
56
foundation, it creates a situation in which students are not active participants in their own
education.
It is the goal of this project to provide an example of how to incorporate the
teaching of historical thinking methods to enhance standard high school history
curriculum. Students need to take an active role and become investigators of history
rather than simply learners of historical fact. By taking an active role through the use of
historical inquiry, students will be able to make connections between multiple events of
the past and be able to place these events in their proper historical context. “Facts are
mastered by engaging students in historical questions that spark their curiosity and make
them passionate about seeking answers.”111
The Appendices of this project provides the tools for teachers to help students dig
deeper into the history of Japanese-Americans during the first half of the twentiethcentury and unearth the social and political discrimination that culminated in the issuing
of Executive Order 9066 in the spring of 1942. Through an investigation of primary and
secondary sources, students will produce an historical narrative that answers the central
historical question: Why did the United States intern Japanese-Americans during World
War II? The final lesson provides material for examining the consequences of internment
by connecting with the history of postwar urban development. This project is designed to
support the production of historical “iMovie” narratives by students to answer the central
historical question: Why did the United States intern Japanese-Americans during World
111
Sam Wineburg, Daisy Martin, and Chauncey Monte-Sano, Reading Like a Historian: Teaching Literacy
in Middle and High School Classrooms. (New York and London: Teachers College Press, 2011), v
57
War II? Creating “iMovie” historical narratives provides students through which to create
historical understanding. Throughout this unit of study, students engage in a series of
steps that support the production of an historical narrative script for their “iMovies”.
After each lesson, students complete a Pre-Writing Worksheet for Historical Narrative
(Tools B6 and C8) that helps students organize their answers to the lessons’ essential
historical questions. Each of their answers to the essential historical questions will serve
as topic sentences for their narrative script. Students then find relative evidence for the
primary and secondary source documents to support their answers. Finally, the students
will research several digital archives and analyze photographs to be used as the visual
evidence that will help drive their historical narrative “iMovie”.
The Teacher’s Role in Teaching Historical Thinking
Far too often lessons in high school history classrooms are teacher directed. In
order to cover the required state standards and prepare students for standardized tests,
teachers rely on methods to teach the most amount of material in the shortest amount of
time. “For teachers (and administrators) preoccupied with content coverage, lectures are
an efficient way to meet that goal. Teaching historical thinking is at odds with the
pressure on teachers to keep a schedule and cover state standards.”112 Many teachers
assume that students are incapable of historical analysis and constructing interpretations
on their own and therefore must provide proper historical interpretations to their students.
Laura M. Westhoff, “Lost in Translation: The Use of Primary Sources in Teaching History” in The
Teaching American History Project: Lessons for History Educators and Historians, Rachel G. Ragland
and Kelly A. Woestman, eds. (New York: Routledge, 2009), 68
112
58
They believe students come to them either knowing few of these facts or knowing them
in confused ways. Teachers that act as knowledge givers assume that history is learned
through the accumulation of information. Teachers who follow this train of thought have
designed curriculum that makes the student a passive participant in the process.
The constructivist view of learning, developed by J. Bruner in the 1980s sees the
teacher as lying somewhere between knowledge giver and facilitator.113 Constructivists
believe that students may make very different sense of the same influence and that each
student’s historical understanding can be affected by a wide range of influences.114 When
teachers act as facilitators they send the message that historical facts do not necessarily
speak for themselves. Historians make the facts speak through their own interpretations.
Students that engage in creating their own historical interpretations will both enjoy and
understand history better. Wineburg and Wilson in their article “Subject Matter
Knowledge in the Teaching of History” have labeled teachers who act as facilitators of
knowledge as “invisible teachers.”115 Teachers that demonstrate “invisible teaching”
show students that history is a dynamic process in which interpretations are rarely as
simple as those presented in the textbook. When teachers take on the role of knowledge
facilitator they allow students the freedom to make their own interpretations and provide
them with ownership over their own learning.
113
S. G. Grant, History Lessons: Teaching, Learning, and Testing in U.S. High School Classrooms.
(Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 2003), 33
114
Ibid, 85
115
Sam Wineburg and Suzanne Wilson, “Subject Matter Knowledge in the Teaching of History,” in
Advances in Research on Teaching. J. Brophy, ed. Vol. 3 pp. 305-347. (Greenwich , CT: JAI Press, 1991),
30
59
This project provides lessons in which the teacher plays the role as both
knowledge giver and facilitator. In each lesson the teacher will act as the knowledge
giver by exposing the students to secondary source readings in order to provide the
students with important historical background information (Appendix Documents B1,
B8, C1, C16, and F2). In these secondary source reading exercises the teacher will be the
primary source of historical inquiry, developing specific questions to provide necessary
historical content. These lessons are also designed to make the student a more active
participant in the learning process. All five of these readings require students to formulate
their own historical questions about the source as well as clarify key terms to improve the
student’s academic vocabulary. The teacher will take on the role as knowledge facilitator
throughout the remainder of the lessons in this unit. Students will be introduced to several
types of primary sources including newspaper articles, oral histories, government
documents and political cartoons. In the lessons in both Appendix B and C students will
choose several primary sources in which they will be required to draw their own
interpretations about the intent and meaning of the historical source.
Using Primary Sources to Teach Historical Thinking
Most lessons within the traditional high school curriculum tend to focus on the
transmission of information though state mandated textbooks. Textbooks have been
developed primarily as an effective way for teachers to properly cover mandated state
historical content standards. Textbooks are valuable because they provide students with
generalizations and themes that help to give students a basic foundation for a particular
60
area of study. Unfortunately textbooks are organized in such a way that students rarely
receive the depth of a particular story that is necessary in driving the historical narrative.
Textbooks either focus on broad themes or examine isolated events in history, rarely
making connections that link the two. While textbooks are a good resource for examining
broad changes over time, they are ineffective at providing students with accounts of how
events have impacted individual Americans. Textbooks are written in such a way that
students are not encouraged to develop historical thinking skills. Rarely are multiple
accounts of historical events presented in textbooks. The result is that students are
conditioned to accept the historical conclusions that are offered in the textbook as being
historical fact. Furthermore, textbooks have been widely criticized for not including the
themes of race, class, and gender which are essential elements of proper historical
instruction.
In order to effectively teach historical thinking, students must be introduced to a
wide variety of resources. In order to truly understand history, students need to engage in
analysis of primary source documents that were produced during the time period in
question. When students examine a source the way historians do, by first examining and
questioning the point of view of the source, they are able to place the ideas into the
proper historical context. Wineburg refers to this process as a "sourcing heuristic," when
historians examine a primary source they start by asking questions about an author’s
credentials, their intended audience, and their motivation at the time the document was
61
produced.116 By asking these questions students are able to separate their own points of
view from those of the author. As Bill Bigelow points out “…when we ask students to
evaluate text material for biases, implicitly we’re inviting them to evaluate the larger
society for biases.117 Textbooks tend to neglect strongly biased or discriminatory points
of view that are common in primary source documents, while historians use a
“corroboration heuristic” to compare multiple perspectives and information learned from
several documents.118 By examining several primary source documents on the same
topic, historians are able to compare and contrast differing interpretations, which allows
for a fuller understanding of historical events. When students are asked to analyze
primary sources that might contradict each other they are exposed to the historical debate
that was taking place during the time period. This process allows students to understand
that history is not black and white and that historical understanding comes about through
the examination of different viewpoints and arguments. Furthermore, by examining
several points of view that may be very different from modern day beliefs, students are
able to better grasp the similarities and differences between the past and the present.
Primary source documents allow students to travel back in time and examine how
and why people had ideas that were very different from their own. The historical analysis
of primary documents allows the student to take on the role of the historian and create
Frederick D. Drake and Sarah Drake Brown. “A Systematic Approach to Improve Students’ Historical
Thinking.” The History Teacher, Vol. 36, No.4 (August 2003), 474
117
Bill Bigelow, A People’s History for the Classroom. (Washington D.C.: Rethinking Schools, Ltd.,
2008), 6
118
Frederick D. Drake and Sarah Drake Brown. “A Systematic Approach to Improve Students’ Historical
Thinking.” The History Teacher, Vol. 36, No.4 (August 2003), 475
116
62
their own historical interpretations. As Richard Wyman argues in his work America’s
History Through Young Voices:
The value of using primary sources lies in the opportunities these
documents provide for analysis, interpretation, assessment, and critical
thinking. These are the same skills historians use when conducting
historical research, and are nearly impossible to develop and foster in
students when the sole source of the content is the textbook.119
At its very basic level, learning is the art of inquiry. Empowered with the tools of
historical analysis, students will become active historical investigators, asking questions
that go beyond the source and help to fill in the gaps that left from primary and secondary
sources.
Equipped with the historians’ tools of sourcing and corroboration, students learn
to question the perspective of both primary and secondary sources written about the
subject of internment. While the textbook does an adequate job of introducing Japanese
Internment as an historical event, it does a poor job explaining why the United States
government chose such an unprecedented action. Curious students will begin to formulate
questions that the textbook simply cannot answer. Was internment a knee jerk reaction to
the events of Pearl Harbor or was it part of a larger process of discrimination? In what
ways did Japanese-Americans cooperate with or resist the process. How did the mass
removal affect different generations of Japanese-Americans? What were the legal debates
and implications of the forced removal? Was the removal of Japanese from the West
Coast a necessary and affective step in maintaining the security of the United States
Richard Wyman, America’s History Through Young Voices: Using Primary Sources in the K-12 Social
Studies Classroom (Boston: Pearson Education, Inc., 2005), 10
119
63
during World War II? What were the motivations of the authors who made the
Gentlemen’s Agreement or designed the Alien Land Law legislation? All of these types
of questions are essential in filling in the gaps of historical knowledge and are important
in driving the historical narrative.
This project focuses on teaching students how to think historically by developing
skills of historical inquiry. In the first lesson (Appendix A), students will be introduced to
five types of historical inquiry developed by Anne Goudvis and Stephanie Harvey in their
work “Teaching for Historical Literacy” which include the following: information
seeking questions, explanation seeking questions, questions of empathy, questions that
encourage imaginative thinking and supposition, and questions that prompt historical
investigation. 120 Students will use these types of historical inquiry to ask questions that
go beyond the textbooks ability to answer to the central historical question: Why did the
United States intern Japanese-Americans during World War II?
Lessons in Appendix B and C focus primarily on teaching the analysis of primary
source documents. In each of these lessons, students undertake the heuristic processes of
sourcing and corroboration. In the sourcing heuristic process, students answer the
following questions about primary source documents: What was the intended audience
and purpose of the document? What were the possible biases of the author? What
questions might you ask the author? What is the main idea of the document? The students
will then engage in the corroboration heuristic process by comparing the different
Anne Goudvis and Stephanie Harvey, “Teaching for Historical Literacy.” Educational Leadership Vol.
69, no. 6: 52-57. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed April 30, 2012),54
120
64
historical interpretations present in the primary source documents. Students will analyze
these different interpretations to create their own historical interpretations which will be
used to answer the essential historical questions of the lesson. The students will then be
expected to find appropriate evidence from the different sources that will support their
topic sentences. The lessons in Appendix C will incorporate the first-order method
developed by Frederick Drake and Sarah Drake Brown in their article “Systematic
Approach to Improve Students' Historical Thinking.” Using the Drake method, the
teacher provides the students with a “first-order” source (Document C2: DeWitt Report)
as the “essential document” for answering the essential historical question. The DeWitt
Report is used as the “first-order” source for this lesson because it was the primary
motivation behind President Roosevelt’s issuing of Executive Order 9066 that provided
the legal mechanism for the internment of Japanese living on the West Coast. Students
then choose several “second-order” documents (government documents, newspaper
articles, and political cartoons) to determine if these documents support, contest or extend
the main idea of the first-order document. The Drake method enables students to think in
the way that historians do by unearthing the historical debate that was taking place during
a specific time period. This method also requires students to examine several different
historical viewpoints which will allow them to make their own historical interpretations.
Lastly, students will be expected to find their own primary source photographs, what the
Drake method calls “third-order documents,” which will be used to support the student’s
own historical interpretation in the culminating project: production of an “iMovie”
documentary. To get students started in this process, the teacher can use the sources
65
provided in Appendix E: Interment Photographic Packet. Individual photographic
research using select online archives will also be required of the students (Materials List
in either Appendix B and C). The most complete and useful archive has been developed
by Densho, a Japanese historical society based in Seattle, Washington. This website
allows guest entrance into their archive where students can utilize the easy to navigate
menu and find photographic resources by topic, date or location. This archive has a
tremendous amount of material and easy to use for high school students. Other valuable
photographic archives can be found at the Library of Congress, Digital History and In
Time and Place websites (See Appendix B or C for URL’s). After finding relevant
photographs, students will complete a Historical Photographic Analysis Worksheet (Tool
B7 and C9). The choices students make in their selection of these photographs will help
them to express and support their own historical interpretations of past events. The
combined effect of these heuristic strategies will help students to think about these
documents in a historical context, comparing different interpretations and constructing a
deeper historical understanding.
The Use of Historical Narratives:
Students often complain that history curriculum is a bunch of boring and
unrelated facts. The narrative is the key component that drives a student’s interest level.
Students learn best when they see history as a story about events involving actual people
and how these events affected people in the past. History is a series of narratives,
organized chronologically that highlight the experiences of people to give us a better
66
understanding of the human condition. Done properly these narratives incorporate
important ideas about gender, class and race across a period of time. Sam Wineburg in
his book Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts states:
The only way we can come to understand the past’s multiplicity is by the
direct experience of having to tell it, of having to sort through the welter
of the past’s conflicting visions and produce a story written by our own
hand… students learn the subject by rewriting it ... an array of stories that
invites students to consider the fullness of human experience.121
When provided with a historical narrative, students will naturally ask questions that will
help enhance their understanding. Students from a very early age will use questioning as
a basic reading strategy. Jerome Bruner believes that one of the most basic ways humans
think is through narrative. Bruner argues that narrative thinking develops naturally as
children construct meaning of their world. “Narrative thinking emphasizes the creation of
organized and coherent accounts of people, places and events.”122 Unfortunately,
teachers seem to neglect the value of storytelling in history instruction, which negates
students’ natural tendencies to develop questions about characters and plot.
To create better students of history, teachers must shift the emphasis away from
the passive process of knowledge accumulation and toward a more active student driven
model of historical analysis, inquiry, and interpretation. The lessons included in this
project’s Appendices place the students at the center of the learning experience. In order
121
Sam Wineburg, Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts: Charting the Future of Teaching the
Past (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001), 131
122
Jerome Bruner, The Study of Thinking (New York: Wiley, 1956); Frederick D. Drake and Sarah Drake
Brown. “A Systematic Approach to Improve Students’ Historical Thinking.” The History Teacher, Vol. 36,
No.4 (August 2003), 474
67
to truly understand and enjoy history, students must be asked to think in the way that
historians do. By learning to question sources, corroborate different historical accounts
and develop methods of historical inquiry, students will be able to formulate better
historical interpretations which will lead to a better understanding of American History.
The development of an historical narrative about the internment of Japanese Americans is
an effective way for students to demonstrate the skills of historical analysis that they have
acquired throughout these lessons. The production of the “iMovie” will create motivated
students who feel a sense of ownership over their history education experience.
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APPENDIX INDEX
Page
A. Lessons Assessing Student Prior Knowledge about Internment...…………… ................ 70
Tool A1: Pre-Assessment Graphic Organizer............................................................ 73
Tool A2: Types of Historical Inquiry (Sample) ........................................................ 74
Tool A3: Types of Historical Inquiry with Sample Questions from Lesson ............ 75
B. Lessons on Japanese Immigration and the Exclusion Movement in California ............... 76
Tool B1: Worksheet: The Issei Immigrate to America .............................................. 81
Tool B2: Oral History Graphic Organizer ................................................................. 82
Tool B3: Graphic Organizer: Media Accounts that supported Japanese Exclusion ... 83
Tool B4: Historical Analysis Worksheet to be used with Documents B3-B7 ........... 84
Tool B5: Worksheet: California Alien Land Laws ................................................... 85
Tool B6: Pre-Writing Worksheet for Historical Narrative ........................................ 86
Tool B7: Worksheet-Historical Photograph Analysis ............................................... 88
Document B1: Secondary Source Reading-The Issei Immigrate to America............ 89
Document B2: Oral Histories: Pre-War Discrimination ............................................ 92
Document B3: Japanese a Menace to American Women .......................................... 96
Document B4: Japanese Bring Vile Diseases ............................................................ 97
Document B5: Effect of Jap Invasion on American Labor ........................................ 98
Document B6: Arm Against Yellow Peril ................................................................. 99
Document B7: Race Suicide in America ................................................................. 100
Document B8: Secondary Source Reading: California Alien Land Laws ............... 101
C.
Lessons on the Processes that led to Internment …………………… ........................... 103
Tool C1: Worksheet to be used with Document C1 ................................................ 111
Tool C2: Historical Analysis Worksheet (First Order Document) ........................... 112
Tool C3: Historical Analysis Worksheet (Second Order Document) ....................... 113
Tool C4: Graphic Organizer: Media Accounts of Japanese Internment…. .............. 115
Tool C5: Worksheet: Historical Analysis of Political Cartoons .............................. 116
Tool C6: Oral Histories: After Pearl Harbor............................................................ 118
Tool C7: Worksheet to be used with Document C16 .............................................. 119
Tool C8: Pre-Writing Worksheet for Historical Narrative ...................................... 120
69
Tool C9: Historical Photograph Analysis ................................................................ 122
Document C1: What was the process that led to internment? ................................. 123
Document C2: DeWitt Report .................................................................................. 125
Document C3: Excerpts from the Munson Report .................................................. 126
Document C4: Statements by California Representative Leland Ford .................... 128
Document C5: J. Edgar Hoover Memorandum ...................................................... 129
Document C6: Lt. K.D. Ringle's "Report on the Japanese Question" ..................... 130
Document C7: Interview with Edward Ennis .......................................................... 132
Document C8: Walter Lippmann “The Fifth Column” Los Angeles Times ........... 134
Document C9: “Let Us Keep Our Record Clear”-Northwest Enterprise ................. 136
Document C10: “Their Best Way to Show Loyalty” -An Editorial ........................ 137
Document C11: Political Cartoon “The Fifth Column” by Dr. Seuss ..................... 138
Document C12: Political Cartoon-“All Columns March, Lest the Fifth Remain” .. 139
Document C13: Political Cartoon-“All Packed Up and Ready to Go”.................... 140
Document C14: Political Cartoon- “So He Says” Seattle Post-Intelligencer ......... 141
Document C15: Oral Histories: The difficulties faced following Pearl Harbor ...... 142
Document C16: Japanese American Responses to Internment ................................ 146
D. “iMovie” Historical Narrative .................................................................................. 149
Tool D1: “iMovie” Storyboard ................................................................................ 151
Tool D2: “iMovie” Grading Rubric ......................................................................... 152
Tool D3: “iMovie” Group Evaluation ..................................................................... 153
E. Internment Photographic Packet ............................................................................... 155
F. Lessons on Resettlement and the End of Sacramento’s Japan Town ....................... 162
Tool F1: Graphic Organizer: Oral Histories on Post-War Resettlement ................. 165
Tool F2: Questions to be used with “The End of Sacramento’s Japan Town” ........ 166
Document F1: Oral Histories: Post-War Resettlement ............................................ 167
Document F2: “The End of Sacramento’s Japan Town” ......................................... 171
70
Appendix A: Lesson Assessing Student Prior Knowledge about Internment
Essential Historical Question:
1. Why did the United States intern Japanese-Americans during World War II?
Lesson Abstract
A fundamental step in all historical instruction is the assessment of student’s prior
knowledge. The prior knowledge that students possess allows the teacher to confirm or
deny basic generalizations and allows for a quality discussion and introduction of the
topic. Lastly, students will discover that while the textbook offers some broad historical
generalizations it does not provide adequate information to thoroughly answer the
Essential Historical Question.
California State Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills addressed in this unit:
1.
Historical Research, Evidence, and Point of View
2.
Historical Interpretation
California Eleventh Grade Content Standards addressed in this unit
11.7 Students analyze America’s participation in World War II.
California Common Core State Standards addressed in this unit:
READING STANDARDS FOR INFORMATIONAL TEXT 6-12
1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says
explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text
leaves matters uncertain.
2. Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the
course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a
complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
71
6. Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is
particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power,
persuasiveness, or beauty of the text.
WRITING STANDARDS 6-12
1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using
valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts,
and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and
analysis of content.
3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective
technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style
are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
SPEAKING AND LISTENING STANDARDS 6-12
5. Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information,
strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.
Lesson Plan
Time Required: One 60 minute class period
Materials:
1. Textbook: Holt’s American Anthem: Modern American History
2. Pre-Assessment Graphic Organizer (Tool A1)
3. Types of Historical Inquiry Chart (Tool A2)
4. Type of Historical Inquiry Chart (Tool A3) (Remove Middle Column)
72
Objectives:
1. Assessment of student prior knowledge about the internment of Japanese-Americans
during World War II.
2. Expose students to the different levels of historical inquiry and have students construct
relevant historical questions.
3. Have students analyze the textbook for material related to Japanese Internment and
evaluate the textbook as an effective historical source.
Lesson Procedures
1.The students will complete a Pre-Assessment Graphic Organizer (Tool A1) to assess
What I Think I Know, What the Textbook Says and What I Want to Know. In the first
column students will write down what they think they know about Japanese Internment.
It is important to emphasize to students that is okay to be wrong answers often expose
many stereotypes or misconceptions about a particular topic. In the middle column the
students will access their U.S. History textbook (Holt’s American Anthem: Modern
American History) to explore how this source answers the Essential Historical Question.
In the final column the students will attempt to create questions from all five levels of the
Types of Historical Inquiry Chart. (Tool A2)
2. Students will then present their responses for the three columns to be copied on the
white board and saved for future analysis.
3. Finally, students will evaluate the quality of the textbook as a historical source on the
topic of Japanese Internment.
73
Tool A1: Pre-Assessment Graphic Organizer
What I Think I Know
What the Textbook Says
What I Want to Know
Evaluation Questions: (Use the back if you need more room)
1. Does the textbook adequately answer the Essential Historical Question? What
information might be missing from the textbook?
2. Does the textbook represent multiple points of view about this topic? If not, then
whose point of view might be missing?
74
Tool A2: Types of Historical Inquiry (Sample)
Question Type
Examples of possible questions
Information Seeking
Questions
Did Tabitha meet Indians on her journey
west?
What happened when she encountered
Indians?
Explanation seeking
questions (Why and
How?)
Questions of Empathy
Why would someone this old go west?
How did she and her family survive
these hardships?
I can’t imagine losing all my belongings
in a river. How did they find food and
shelter after that? How did they keep
going?
How Such Questions
Inform Historical
Understanding
Fill in gaps in our info.
Clarify info.
Address misconceptions
Use Info. To focus on big
ideas and issues.
Address lingering
questions and essential
questions.
Build awareness of other
perspectives and
viewpoints.
Encourage interest and
engagement.
Questions that
encourage imaginative
thinking and
supposition.
Questions that prompt
historical investigation
or challenge info.
How might things have turned out
differently if…?
What if Tabatha followed the guide
who promised them a shortcut?
Her story was so amazing that I
wondered whether she was telling the
truth.
How could we find out whether this
really happened? What other sources
would give us more information?
Encourage interpretation
and thinking outside the
box.
Analyze and interpret
sources citing evidence.
Evaluate conclusions on
the basis of text
evidence.
Synthesize info and
corroborate evidence
across sources.
Source: Anne Goudvis and Stephanie Harvey, “Teaching for Historical Literacy.” Educational Leadership
Vol. 69, no. 6 (March 2012): 54
75
Tool A3: Types of Historical Inquiry with Sample Questions from Lesson
Question Type
Examples of possible questions
Information Seeking
Questions
Did all Japanese have to go to the
camps?
How Such Questions
Inform Historical
Understanding
Fill in gaps in our info.
Clarify info.
Explanation seeking
questions (Why and
How?)
Questions of Empathy
Why did Japanese immigrants come
to California?
During Internment, how did the
Japanese cope with leaving most of
their belongings behind? What
happened to their pets?
Address misconceptions
Use Info. To focus on big
ideas and issues.
Address lingering questions
and essential questions.
Build awareness of other
perspectives and
viewpoints.
Encourage interest and
engagement.
Questions that
encourage imaginative
thinking and supposition.
Questions that prompt
historical investigation or
challenge info.
How would things have been
different if the Japanese were not
interned?
How could I find out what President
Roosevelt really thought about the
decision to intern the Japanese?
How many Japanese were actually
spying against the United States?
Encourage interpretation
and thinking outside the
box.
Analyze and interpret
sources citing evidence.
Evaluate conclusions on the
basis of text evidence.
Synthesize info and
corroborate evidence
across sources.
Source: Anne Goudvis and Stephanie Harvey, “Teaching for Historical Literacy.” Educational Leadership
Vol. 69, no. 6 (March 2012): 54
76
Appendix B: Lessons on Japanese Immigration and the Exclusion Movement in
California
Essential Historical Questions:
1. Why did the first Japanese immigrate to California?
2. What types of discrimination did Japanese immigrants to California face
in the first two decades of the twentieth century?
3. What arguments did newspapers present that supported the movement for
Japanese Exclusion?
4. How did the Japanese community in California respond to different forms
of discrimination?
Unit Abstract:
Students will be asked to investigate the period of Japanese immigration to the United
States during the first two decades of the twentieth century and discover many of the
causes and effects of discriminatory policies towards the Japanese. The lesson is designed
to develop the student’s skills in historical analysis as well as basic writing organization.
This three day lesson will look at several primary and secondary sources in which
students will gather information to be used in the production of an historical narrative
script for an “iMovie” presentation.
Lesson Plan:
Time Required: Five sixty minute class periods for the entire unit. Teachers can also
choose to focus on answering specific essential questions by completing individual
lessons. Two to three additional days in the computer lab will be needed if teachers
choose to incorporate material from Appendix B into the creation of the “iMovie”
documentary on Japanese Internment.
77
Materials:
Tool B1: Worksheet: The Issei Immigrate to America
Tool B2: Oral History Graphic Organizer
Tool B3: Graphic Organizer: Media Accounts that supported Japanese Exclusion
Tool B4: Historical Analysis Worksheet (use with Documents B3-B7)
Tool B5: Worksheet: California Alien Land Laws
Tool B6-Pre-Writing Worksheet for Historical Narrative
Tool B7: Worksheet-Historical Photograph Analysis
Document B1: Secondary Source Reading-The Issei Immigrate to America
Document B2- Oral Histories: Pre-War Discrimination
Document B3: Japanese a Menace to American Women
Document B4: Japanese Bring Vile Diseases
Document B5: Effect of Jap Invasion on American Labor
Document B6: Arm Against Yellow Peril
Document B7: Race Suicide in America
Document B8: Secondary Source Reading: California Alien Land Laws
Photographic Archives:
1. Densho.-Photographic and Document Archive.
http://archive.densho.org/main.aspx
2. Library of Congress: Japanese American Internment During World War II
Primary Source Set
http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/primarysourcesets/internment/
3. Japanese Internment In Time and Place
http://intimeandplace.org/Japanese%20Internment/index.html
4. Digital History: Explorations Japanese-American Internment
http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/learning_history/japanese_internment/internment_links.
cfm#oral_histories
78
5. California State University, Sacramento: The Japanese American Archival Collection
http://digital.lib.csus.edu/jaac/
6. Japanese Relocation Digital Archives
http://www.calisphere.universityofcalifornia.edu/jarda/browse/places.html
Assessment:
1. Students will be able to effectively create thesis statements and provide appropriate
evidence for a historical narrative that answers the Essential Historical Questions.
2. Students will be able to analyze primary source documents and effectively determine
the main point of view and determine the ways in which the document is useful in
answering the Essential Historical Questions.
Digital Ed. Component:
1. Students will access digital archives to choose appropriate photographs to support their
historical narrative.
2. Students will work with “iMovie” to present their historical narrative.
Differentiation:
1. Teachers may choose to provide students with less primary source documents to
analyze in an effort to shorten the length of the lesson or to accommodate different
learning abilities.
2. For teachers who do not have access to computers to produce the ‘iMovie”, the project
can be developed as a research paper following the instructions from Tool B6-PreWriting Worksheet for Historical Narrative.
Objectives:
To understand the process of Japanese immigration at the beginning of the twentieth
century and how racial attitudes led to anti-Japanese legislation by:
1. Developing historical thinking skills through primary and secondary source document
analysis and source corroboration.
79
2. Constructing a thesis statement and providing supporting evidence to be used in a
historical narrative that answers the Essential Historical Questions.
3. Research photographic archives and find pictures that will be used in conjunction with
their historical narrative
Lesson Procedures:
Lesson One: The Issei Immigrate to America (30-45 minutes)
1. Students will investigate a secondary source document focusing on the immigration
history of the Japanese arriving in the United States (Document B1) and then complete
(Tool B1) in which they will identify key terminology, answer reading specific questions
and formulate at least one of their own historical questions.
Lesson Two: Discrimination Against the Japanese (30-45 minutes)
1. Students will read through excerpts of Oral Histories (Document B2) and complete
(Tool B2) in which they will chronicle the types of discrimination that were faced by
Japanese-Americans in the early twentieth century.
2. Students will write a short summary paragraph describing the types of discrimination
that were faced by Japanese-Americans in the early twentieth century.
Lesson Three: Exclusionist Media Accounts (60 minutes)
1. Students will briefly skim through Documents B3-B7 and will complete the Graphic
Organizer: Media Accounts that supported Japanese Exclusion (Tool B3) in which they
will compare different media accounts that supported the exclusion of JapaneseAmericans from mainstream American society.
Lesson Four: Primary Source Historical Analysis (60-90 minutes)
1. Students will work in pairs and skim through several primary sources documents
relating to Japanese Immigration (Documents B3-B7).
80
2. Students will choose three of the documents to read more carefully and then complete
a Historical Analysis Worksheet (Tool B4) for each document chosen.
Lesson Five: California Alien Land Law (30-45 minutes)
1. Students will investigate a secondary source document about California’s Alien Land
Laws (Document B8) and then complete (Tool B5) in which they will identify key
terminology, answer reading specific questions and formulate at least one of their own
historical questions.
Lesson Six:-Developing an Historical Narrative (60 minutes plus individual
research)
1. Students will share their results from their Historical Analysis Worksheets and
complete a Pre-Writing Worksheet (Tool B6) for their narrative script which will answer
the unit Essential Historical Questions.
2. Students will research photographic archives and choose pictures that will help to
support their historical narrative which will be used in their production of an “iMovie”.
Students must choose at least ten relevant pictures to be used as the background for their
“iMovie” presentation.
3. Students will complete a Historical Photograph Analysis Worksheet for each
photograph that is chosen (Tool B7).
81
Tool B1: Worksheet: The Issei Immigrate to America
Directions:
1. Read Document B1 (Secondary Source Reading-The Issei Immigrate to America) and
answer the questions below.
1. Who were the Issei?
2. When did most of the Issei arrive in the United States?
3. Why were the Japanese ineligible for citizenship in the United States?
4. Why did the American Federation of Labor (AFL) choose to exclude Japanese workers from joining
their union?
5. Write one question of your own about this topic that the reading does not cover.
6. Write down at least one academic vocabulary term from this reading and then try to define that term
using context clues from the reading.
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Tool B2: Oral History Graphic Organizer
Directions:
1. You will read excerpts from several oral histories that were collected from internment camp
survivors (Document B2)
2. In the first column be sure to write down the oral history source.
3. In the middle column take brief notes about the type of discrimination that is presented in the
oral history.
4. In the last column pick one quote from the oral history that supports
5. Write a short paragraph summary detailing the types of discrimination that JapaneseAmericans had to endure
Source
Accounts of Discrimination
Quote that illustrates the
account of discrimination
Summary Paragraph: (Use the back if you need more room.)
-When using evidence from the primary source document (Document B2) make sure to
include (author, date) at the end of the sentence you are using as evidence.
83
Tool B3: Graphic Organizer: Media Accounts that supported Japanese Exclusion
Directions1. Briefly skim through documents B3-B7 to see some of the different media accounts that helped
to fuel the Japanese Exclusion Movement.
2. In the first column record the media source information (Title and Publication)
3. In the middle column summarize the author’s main argument.
4. In the third column pick a quote that helps to support the author’s main argument.
Document
Date and
Publication
B3
B4
B5
B6
B7
Authors Main Argument
Quote that supports the main
argument
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Tool B4: Historical Analysis Worksheet to be used with Documents B3-B7
Directions:
1. Choose three of the documents (B3-B7) and complete a more in-depth historical analysis
2. Complete the worksheet below for each of the three documents you choose.
3. In your analysis of the content, write a short paragraph that helps to answer the essential
question.
1. Identify the Document
Source:
Title:
Date:
Type of Document:
2. Analyze the Document
Main Idea of the document:
Evidence the author uses to support their main idea:
Intended audience and purpose:
Biases of the author:
Key Terminology that is essential to the understanding of this document:
3. Content
How does this document help to answer the following Essential Historical Questions? (These
answers will be used as evidence in your historical narrative) (Write your answer on the back)
1. What arguments did newspapers present that supported the movement for Japanese
Exclusion?
-When using evidence from the primary source documents (B3-B7) make sure to include
(author, date) at the end of the sentence you are using as evidence.
85
Tool B5: Worksheet: California Alien Land Laws
Directions:
1. Read Document B8 (Secondary Source Reading-California Alien Land Laws) and
answer the questions below.
Questions:
1. What did the 1913 California Alien Land Law prohibit?
2. What strategy did many Issei farmers use to get around this law?
3. How did many Californians plug the loophole in the 1913, California Alien Land Law?
4. How did Issei community leaders challenge the 1920 Alien Land Law? What was the
outcome of their challenge?
5. How did the Alien Land Laws of 1913 and 1920 impact the Japanese community?
6. Write one question of your own about this topic that the reading does not cover.
7. Write down at least one academic vocabulary term from this reading and then try to
define that term using context clues from the reading.
86
Tool B6: Pre-Writing Worksheet for Historical Narrative
Topic Sentence that answers EHQ #1: Why did the first Japanese immigrate to California?
Evidence to support Topic Sentence for EHQ#1: (Be sure to include author and date in parentheses at the
end of each sentence that you are using as evidence)
Analysis that explains why the evidence used supports the Topic Sentence that answers EHQ #1:
Topic Sentence that answers EHQ #2: What types of discrimination did Japanese immigrants to
California face in the first two decades of the twentieth century?
Evidence to support Topic Sentence for EHQ#2: (Be sure to include author and date in parentheses at the
end of each sentence that you are using as evidence)
Analysis that explains why the evidence used supports the Topic Sentence that answers EHQ #2:
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Topic Sentence that answers EHQ #3: What arguments did newspapers present that supported the
movement for Japanese Exclusion?
Evidence to support Topic Sentence for EHQ#3: (Be sure to include author and date in parentheses at the
end of each sentence that you are using as evidence)
Analysis that explains why the evidence used supports the Topic Sentence that answers EHQ #3:
Topic Sentence that answers EHQ #4: How did the Japanese community in California respond to
different forms of discrimination?
Evidence to support Topic Sentence for EHQ#4: (Be sure to include author and date in parentheses at the
end of each sentence that you are using as evidence)
Analysis that explains why the evidence used supports the Topic Sentence that answers EHQ #4:
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Tool B7: Worksheet-Historical Photograph Analysis
Directions:
1. From the photographic archives, choose two to three pictures to support each of the four topic
sentences that will be used in your historical narrative.
2. For each photograph that is chosen you will fill out the photographic analysis worksheet below.
3. Choose your photos wisely as they will be used in your “iMovie” documentary.
______________________________________________________________________________________
1. Identify the Source
Photographer or Source:
Title:
Date:
2. Observe
What do you notice first?
What people and objects are shown?
What are people, if any, doing in this image?
What other details can you see?
3. Analyze the Source
Main Idea of the photograph:
Who do you think these people are?
Why do you think this image was created?
Preceding conditions that motivated the producer of this image:
Intended audience and purpose of this image:
Biases of the image’s producer:
3. How does this image help to support the claim you are making in your topic sentence?
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Document B1: Secondary Source Reading-The Issei Immigrate to America
Note: A Secondary source is an account written after the fact. They are primarily interpretations
and evaluations of primary sources.
THE ISSEI IMMIGRANTS AND CIVIL RIGHTS
Like the historical experiences of many other ethnic groups in the United States, the
Japanese American historical experience is, at its core, the story of an ethnic minority
struggling to find its place within U.S. society. This story begins with the experiences of
the first generation of Japanese to land upon U.S. soil. This group of people, the
immigrant generation, is known as the Issei. (In Japanese, the term Issei literally means
“first generation.”)
THE ISSEI AND THEIR STRUGGLES
Despite a few early ventures to Hawaii and California in the late 1860s, most Issei arrived
in the United States between 1885 and 1924. The Issei, like many of the late European
immigrants (Italians, Poles, Greeks, Armenians, Jews, and others), experienced great
tribulations while trying to adapt to life in the United States. There was, however, one
critical distinction between the Japanese and the Europeans. European immigrants could
become naturalized citizens, but Japanese immigrants, like the Chinese who had
immigrated before them, were not allowed to become U.S. citizens.
The United States’ first naturalization law was passed in 1790. This granted the right of
naturalization to any alien who was a “free white person.” In 1870, the right of
naturalization was extended to “aliens of African nativity and to persons of African
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descent.” Asians, such as the Chinese and Japanese, who were neither white nor black,
were classified as “aliens ineligible to citizenship.” Without the right to naturalize,
Japanese immigrants could not become U.S. citizens; without citizenship, they could not
vote; without the right to vote, they had very little political influence.
The Labor Movement
Many Issei immigrated as laborers and worked in employment sectors such as
agriculture, fishing, mining, and railroad construction. Issei workers, like other immigrant
groups, were often brought in by factory and farm owners to break strikes or simply as
cheaper labor. Although the Issei were of the working class, they were usually barred
from labor unions.
By the time Issei laborers were landing on U.S. shores, agricultural and industrial
workers had established labor unions which represented their interests on issues such as
wages, hours, and benefits. By 1900, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) had
emerged as the most prominent national labor organization. According to Yuji Ichioka,
the rapid influx of Asian immigrant labor raised a fundamental question for the labor
movement: Should the movement, in the name of class solidarity, recruit and enlist Asian
laborers into its ranks, or should it exclude them, in support of racial separatism?
The AFL’s decision was to pursue policies that excluded Asians. In fact, the AFL became
a vehement advocate for ending Japanese immigration to the United States, largely
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because of racial prejudice and resentment over the economic competition that the Issei
posed to white working-class Americans. Some white workers argued that Japanese
immigrant laborers maintained a lower standard of living, allowing them to work for less
money than white laborers. Other organized labor unions helped to establish antiJapanese organizations such as the Asiatic Exclusion League (founded in 1905) and the
Japanese Exclusion League of California (founded in 1920).
Source: Densho, “The Issei Immigrants and Civil Rights,” The Japanese American
Legacy Project. http://www.densho.org/learning/default.asp?path=causes/Causes.asp
(accessed March 14, 2011)
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Document B2: Oral Histories: Pre-War Discrimination
Note: Even though these interviews were conducted after the time period that they are
discussing, oral histories are still considered primary source documents.
Al Hida
On racial restrictions in California before World War II
Prior to World War II the lives of Asians was quite complicated in terms of their daily lives. One
could not go to a first-class hotel if he chose, he could not go to a stylish restaurant in town if he
chose to, and a good example would have been things like my father was an automobile salesman
a good part of those 11 years and he was able to go to the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.
However, it would not be acceptable for him to take us as a family and to rent a room at the
Fairmont in the thirties and earlier than that, and it probably was not until about the 1960s that
this finally changed.
Another thing was that an alien land law that was passed in California such that my father, who
was a citizen from Japan at that time, could not own land. And the only thing they could do is
either lease or rent land at that time.
There were other things that were unwritten as far as laws were concerned. For instance, certain
parts of town in Sacramento for example we could not even think about buying or renting land
and property in the city of Sacramento.
Source: Florin Japanese American Citizens League Oral History Project.
Sacramento: University Archives and Special Collections, California State
University, Sacramento, 1987. Al Hida Oral History, 17
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Art Abe
On exclusion from Seattle swimming pool
I remember one instance, one of my friends had a birthday party, and the mother decided that
she'd treat the kids to swimming at the Moore pool in Seattle. And all of us went down there with
our swimming suits, and they declined to admit me to the pool. And the mother didn't say
anything, the rest of 'em went in and had a good time, and I was left out. That was the first time
I'd, I'd encountered discrimination in grammar school.
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2004
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popuptext.aspx?v=s&i=denshovh-aart-010008&t=Art+Abe+Interview+Segment+8+Transcript
Sue Kunitomi Embrey
On racial prejudice in Sacramento before World War II
We always knew that, you know, there were certain places that we couldn't go to. And in our high
school we would go to dances but no one else would dance with the students. All the Japanese
students would dance with the Japanese girls, and the Italian students would dance with the
Italians, it was very segregated. Although the school itself was not, no, in terms of classes. But we
always seemed to know that there would always be these restrictions, and, and of course those
restrictive covenants that we couldn't go live in areas that we wanted to.
Some Boy Scout groups would not accept minorities, so I know the Japanese community had
several Boy Scout and Girl Scout units that were all Japanese. And I don't think the people could
go to school after high school, go to college, in certain areas.
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I think that after the first few years, the Japanese immigrants were trying to get into other
business areas, other professions, and people were beginning to get worried about what they
called the Japanese invasion, the "yellow peril," and they started to put restrictive laws on the
books to keep them out of these professions. I know one doctor, medical doctor from Japan, I
can't remember whether they sued the State of California or whether they were suing some
medical association because he could not go into a hospital for his patients and he was restricted
from practicing.
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2004
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popuptext.aspx?v=s&i=denshovh-esue-020002&t=Sue+Kunitomi+Embrey+Interview+Segment+2+Transcript
Frank Miyamoto
On racial prejudice in Seattle during the 1930s and 1940s
If you're going to look for a home outside the Japanese community, chances were you would run
into one kind of prejudice or another…if you got outside that kind of boundary, you very well
might encounter prejudice, in terms of the possibility in buying homes.
Various areas of the city where there was no question that you would be excluded. As for barber
shops for example, people just didn't try. You might get turned down going into a barber shop.
Restaurants, there were a lot of Japanese restaurants. That is, not only Japanese food
restaurants, but American foods, served by Japanese cooks and so on. So, again, there were a lot
of choices made without going to someplace where you might run into difficulty.
But... well, even in the movie theater, I remember that as a youngster I went with some other
Japanese and we would, were directed to go up to one of the galley, gallery areas, you know,
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upstairs area. We didn't know why, but we had the supposition that it was because there was
discrimination.
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2004
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popuptext.aspx?v=s&i=denshovh-mfrank-020011&t=Frank+Miyamoto+Interview+II+Segment+11+Transcript
96
Document B3: Japanese a Menace to American Women
Note: Newspapers articles are considered valuable primary sources since they documented
events or conditions as they were occurring.
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2008- originally published in the San
Francisco Chronicle, March 1, 1905
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popupenlarged.aspx?i=denshopd-i69-00001
97
Document B4: Japanese Bring Vile Diseases
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2008-originally published in the San Francisco
Chronicle March 13, 1905
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popupenlarged.aspx?i=denshopd-i69-00034
98
Document B5: Effect of Jap Invasion on American Labor
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2008-Originally published in San Francisco
Chronicle March 12, 1905
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popupenlarged.aspx?i=denshopd-i69-00019
99
Document B6: Arm Against Yellow Peril
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2008-Originally published in San Francisco
Chronicle March 10, 1905
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popupenlarged.aspx?i=denshopd-i69-00017
100
Document B7: Race Suicide in America
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2008-Originally published in San Francisco
Chronicle May 10, 1905
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popupenlarged.aspx?i=denshopd-i69-00031
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Document B8: Secondary Source Reading: California Alien Land Laws
In 1913, California enacted an Alien Land Law which effectively prohibited individual
Japanese, and companies with a majority of Japanese stockholders, from purchasing
agricultural land, and restricted the leasing of such land to three years. It also banned
Japanese from bequeathing or selling any agricultural land they already owned to fellow
immigrants. Many Issei farmers, however, managed to circumvent this law by purchasing
land in the name of their U.S.-born children (Nisei).
The Alien Land Law of 1920 plugged this loophole by prohibiting the appointment of
“aliens ineligible to citizenship” (note: Asians were the only racial group who fell under
the status of “aliens ineligible to citizenship.”) as guardians of minors in whose name
agricultural land was purchased. This 1920 law threatened to destroy the economic
foundation of Japanese immigrant society. Other western states followed suit and enacted
similar laws, fearing that “hordes” of California Japanese would invade their states.
Issei community leaders organized and challenged the constitutionality of these laws. The
only real legal victory for the Issei came on the issue of guardianship. On May 1, 1922,
the California State Supreme Court ruled that the state could only deny guardianship on
the basis of proven incompetency. This effectively overturned the section of the 1920
Alien Land Law that barred the Issei from serving as guardians of their U.S.-born
children in whose name they purchased agricultural land.
The enforcement of these laws undoubtedly undermined the economic foundations of
Japanese immigrant society. Japanese agricultural land ownership between 1920 and
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1925 fell 44 percent. The amount of Japanese-leased acreage during the same period
plunged more than 75 percent.
Source: Densho, “The Issei Immigrants and Civil Rights,” The Japanese American Legacy
Project. http://www.densho.org/learning/default.asp?path=causes/Causes.asp (accessed March 14,
2011)
103
Appendix C: Lessons on the Processes that led to Internment
Essential Historical Questions:
1. What was the political debate concerning the decision to intern
Japanese-Americans during World War II?
2. What role did the media play in persuading the public to support
internment?
3. What difficulties did Japanese-Americans face following the bombing
of Pearl Harbor?
4. How did Japanese-Americans respond to the process of internment?
Lesson Abstract:
Students will be asked to investigate the time period just before the bombing of Pearl
Harbor and up through the forced removal of Japanese from the West Coast in 1942.
Students will be introduced to the political debate surrounding the Japanese situation on
the West Coast following Pearl Harbor. This lesson will also specifically focus on the
impact the media had in influencing public opinion and how Japanese-Americans
responded to the process of internment. The lesson is designed to develop the student’s
skills in historical analysis as well as basic writing organization. This unit of study will
examine several primary and secondary sources in which students will gather information
to be used in the production of an historical narrative script for an “iMovie” presentation.
The lessons can be done individually to focus on specific Essential Historical Questions
or all of the individual lessons can be used to create a more complete “iMovie”
documentary. It is suggested that students works in groups of two to four in order to
divide up the sources and historical analysis. Students will also be required to do some
independent research in order to find photographs to accompany their “iMovie”
documentaries.
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California State Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills addressed in this unit:
1. Historical Research, Evidence, and Point of View
2. Historical Interpretation
California Eleventh Grade Content Standards addressed in this unit
11.7 Students analyze America’s participation in World War II.
California Common Core State Standards addressed in this unit:
READING STANDARDS FOR INFORMATIONAL TEXT 6-12
1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says
explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text
leaves matters uncertain.
2. Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the
course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a
complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
6. Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is
particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power,
persuasiveness, or beauty of the text.
WRITING STANDARDS 6-12
1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using
valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts,
and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and
analysis of content.
3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective
technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style
are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
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SPEAKING AND LISTENING STANDARDS 6-12
5. Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information,
strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.
Lesson Plan:
Time Required: Five sixty minute class periods for the entire unit of study plus three
additional days in the computer lab to complete the “iMovie” presentation. Lesson can
also be done individually without the culminating “iMovie” presentation.
Materials:
Tool C1: Worksheet to be used with Document C1 (Secondary Source Reading-What
was the process that led to internment?)
Tool C2: Historical Analysis Worksheet (First Order Document)
Tool C3: Historical Analysis Worksheet (Second Order Document)
Tool C4: Graphic Organizer: Media Accounts addressing Japanese Internment
Tool C5: Worksheet: Historical Analysis of Political Cartoons
Tool C6: Oral Histories: After Pearl Harbor
Tool C7: Worksheet to be used with Document C16 (Secondary Source ReadingJapanese American Responses to Internment)
Tool C8:Pre-Writing Worksheet for Historical Narrative
Tool C9: Historical Photograph Analysis
Document C1: Secondary Source Reading-What was the process that led to internment?
Document C2: DeWitt Report
Document C3: Excerpts from the Munson Report
Document C4: Statements by California Representative Leland
Document C5: J. Edgar Hoover Memorandum
Document C6: Excerpts from Lt. K.D. Ringle's "Report on the Japanese Question"
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Document C7: Interview with Edward Ennis
Document C8: Walter Lippmann “The Fifth Column” Los Angeles Times
Document C9: “Let Us Keep Our Record Clear”-Northwest
Document C10: “Their Best Way to Show Loyalty” -An Editorial
Document C11: Political Cartoon “The Fifth Column” by Dr. Seuss
Document C12: Political Cartoon-“All Columns March, Lest the Fifth Remain”
Document C13: Political Cartoon-“All Packed Up and Ready to Go”
Document C14: Political Cartoon- “So He Says” Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Document C15: Excerpts from Oral Histories about the difficulties faced following Pearl
Harbor
Document C16: Secondary Source Reading- Japanese American Responses to Internment
Photographic Archives:
1. Densho.-Photographic and Document Archive.
http://archive.densho.org/main.aspx
2. Library of Congress: Japanese American Internment During World War II
Primary Source Set
http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/primarysourcesets/internment/3.
3. Japanese Internment In Time and Place
http://intimeandplace.org/Japanese%20Internment/index.html
4. Digital History: Explorations Japanese-American Internment
http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/learning_history/japanese_internment/internment_links.
cfm#oral_histories
5. California State University, Sacramento: The Japanese American Archival Collection
http://digital.lib.csus.edu/jaac/
6. Japanese Relocation Digital Archives
http://www.calisphere.universityofcalifornia.edu/jarda/browse/places.html
Objectives:
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Students will understand the process of Japanese immigration at the beginning of the
twentieth century and how racial attitudes led to anti-Japanese legislation by:
1. Developing historical thinking skills through primary and secondary source document
analysis and source corroboration.
2. Constructing a thesis statement and providing supporting evidence to be used in a
historical narrative that answers the Essential Historical Questions.
3. Researching photographic archives and finding pictures that will be used in
conjunction with their historical narrative
Lesson Procedures:
Lesson One: What was the Process that led to Internment? (30-45 minutes)
1. Students will investigate a secondary source document focusing on the process that led
to the internment of Japanese living on the west coast (Document C1) in which they will
identify key terminology, answer reading specific questions and formulate at least one of
their own historical questions.
Lesson Two: The political debate concerning internment. (60-90 minutes)
1. Students will carefully read the first order document (Document C2) DeWitt Report
and complete a Historical Analysis Worksheet (Tool C2). This document will serve as the
main focus in which students will then choose second order documents that either
support, contest or extend the central historical idea of the first order document.
2. Students will work in groups of two to four and skim through several primary sources
documents relating to Japanese Internment (Documents C3-C7)
3. Students will carefully choose two documents from (Documents C3-C7) and complete
a Historical Analysis Worksheet-Second Order Source (Tool C3) in which they will
source and analyze the document and then corroborate the document by deciding whether
the document supports, contests or extends the central historical idea of the first order
document.
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4. Lastly, using documents as evidence students will write a shore paragraph that answers
the Essential Historical Question: Was the removal of Japanese from the West Coast a
necessary step to protect the security of the United States?
(Students must provide author and date citations for the evidence they use to support their
answer.)
Lesson Three: Media accounts of Interment (60-90 minutes)
1. Students will read through three different newspaper articles (Documents C8-C10) and
examine four political cartoons that helped to persuade the American public to either
support, or not support the internment of Japanese.
2. Students will complete Tool C4 Graphic Organizer: Media Accounts addressing
Japanese Internment, in which they will summarize the author’s main argument and
choose a quote that supports this argument. Students will also corroborate whether the
source supports, contests or extends the main historical idea of the first order document
(Document C2: DeWitt Report)
3. Students will choose two of the four political cartoons (Documents C11-C14) and will
complete the Worksheet: Historical Analysis of Political Cartoons (Tool C5) for each
cartoon they choose. Students will source and analyze the political cartoons and then
corroborate whether the source supports, contests or extends the main historical idea of
the first order document (Document C2: DeWitt Report)
4. Lastly the students will write a short paragraph that answers the Essential Historical
Question: What role did the media play in persuading the public to support
internment?
Lesson Four: Oral Histories on the difficulties faced following Pearl Harbor (30-60
minutes)
1. Students will read excerpts from several oral histories that were collected from
internment camp survivors (Document C15)
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2. Students will complete Tool C6-Oral Histories: The difficulties faced following Pearl
Harbor, in which they will choose one to two specific quotes from each oral history that
highlights the difficulties that Japanese-Americans had to face following the bombing of
Pearl Harbor
3. Lastly, students will write a short paragraph that answers the Essential Historical
Question: What difficulties did Japanese-Americans face following the bombing of
Pearl Harbor?
Lesson Five: Japanese Responses to Internment (30-60 minutes)
1. Students will investigate a secondary source document about Japanese-American
Responses to Internment (Document C16) and will complete Tool C7 in which they will
identify key terminology, answer reading specific questions and formulate at least one of
their own historical questions.
Lesson Six: Pre-Write for Historical Narrative (60 minutes plus independent
student research)
1. Students will share their results from their Historical Analysis Worksheets (Tool C2
and C3) and complete a Pre-Writing Worksheet (Tool C8) for their narrative script which
will answer the unit Essential Historical Questions.
2. Students will research photographic archives and choose pictures that will help to
support their historical narrative which will be used in their production of an “iMovie”.
Students must choose at least eight relevant pictures to be used as the background for
their “iMovie” presentation.
3. Students will complete a Historical Photograph Analysis Worksheet for each
photograph that is chosen (Tool C9).
Assessment:
1. Students will be able to effectively create thesis statements and provide appropriate
evidence for historical narratives that answer the Essential Historical Questions.
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2. Students will be able to analyze primary source documents and effectively determine
the main point of view and corroborate whether the source supports, contests, or extends
the main historical idea of the first order document (C2: DeWitt Report)
3. Students will determine the ways in which several primary source documents can be
used to effectively answer the Essential Historical Questions.
Digital Ed. Component:
1. Students will access selected digital archives to choose appropriate photographs to
support their historical narrative.
Differentiation:
1. Teachers may choose to provide students with fewer primary source documents to
analyze in an effort to shorten the length of the lesson or to accommodate different
learning abilities.
2. For teachers who do not have access to computers to produce an ‘iMovie” the project
can be developed as a research paper following the instructions from (Tool C8)-PreWriting Worksheet for Historical Narrative.
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Tool C1: Worksheet to be used with Document C1
Directions:
1. Read Document C1 (: Secondary Source Reading-What was the process that led to
internment?) and answer the following questions.
Questions:
1. How did the Department of Justice and the U.S. Army differ about how to handle
the problem of Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast?
2. What types of people were rounded up by the FBI following the attacks on Pearl
Harbor?
3. What was the opinion of Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, commander of the
Western Defense Command, on the “Japanese Problem” on the West Coast?
4. Why was it necessary for DeWitt to gain the support of local politicians to carry
out the removal of Japanese from the West Coast?
5. What was Executive Order 9066?
6. Write one question of your own about this topic that the reading does not cover.
7. Write down at least one academic vocabulary term from this reading and then try
to define that term using context clues from the reading.
112
Tool C2: Historical Analysis Worksheet (First Order Document)
Directions:
1. Carefully read the first order document and complete the worksheet below
2. Be thorough in your analysis as you will be asked to compare several other documents to this
one later in this lesson.
_________________________________________________________________
1. Identify the Document
Source:
Title:
Date:
Type of Document:
2. Analyze the Document
Main Idea of the document:
Evidence the author uses to support their main idea:
Intended audience and purpose:
Biases of the author:
Questions to ask the author:
Key Terminology that is essential to the understanding of this document:
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Tool C3: Historical Analysis Worksheet (Second Order Documents)
Directions:
1. Investigate the primary source documents (C3-C7) and choose two documents that either:
support, contest or extend the Main Idea of the first order document (C2) and complete the
worksheet below for each of the three documents that are chosen
2. Provide evidence from the source to support your decision.
3. Share a quotation from the source that supports your decision.
4. Write a short paragraph summary that either supports, contests or extends the historical
position of the first order document DeWitt Report (Document C2).
1. Identify the Document
Source:
Title:
Date:
Type of Document:
2. Analyze the Document
Main Idea of the document:
Evidence the author uses to support their main idea:
Intended audience and purpose:
Biases of the author:
Questions to ask the author:
Key Terminology that is essential to the understanding of this document:
114
3. Corroborating Sources
Does this source support, contest or extend the Main Idea of the first order document?
Explain what information this source supports, contests or extends.
Share a quotation from the source that led to this conclusion.
4. Content
Write a short paragraph that answers this Essential Historical Question: Was the
removal of Japanese from the West Coast a necessary step to protect the security of the
United States? Include information from this document that helps answer this question.
-When using evidence from the primary source documents (C3-C7) be sure to include (author,
date) at the end of each sentence you are using as evidence.
115
Tool C4: Graphic Organizer: Media Accounts of Japanese Internment
Directions1. Briefly skim through Documents C8-C10 to see some of the different media accounts that
helped to persuade the American public to either support, or not support the internment of
Japanese Americans.
2. In the first column record the media source information (Title and Publication)
3. In the middle column summarize the author’s main argument.
4. In the third column pick a quote that helps to support the author’s main argument.
5. In the last column decide if this article supports, contests, or extends the Main Idea of the first
order document (Document C2: DeWitt Report).
Document
Date and
Author’s Main
Quote that supports
Does this document
Publication
Argument
the main argument
support, contest or
extend the first order
document (D2)
C8
C9
C10
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Tool C5: Worksheet: Historical Analysis of Political Cartoons
Directions:
1. Examine Documents (C11-C14) and choose two of the documents to analyze.
2. Complete the worksheet below for each cartoon you choose.
3. Write a short summary paragraph that answers the Essential Historical Question and comment
on how this article supports, contests or extends the first order document (Document C2: DeWitt
Report). Use evidence from Tool C4 as well as the political cartoons you have chosen to help
answer the question.
1. Identify the Document
Author(s) or source:
Title:
Date:
2. Observe
What do you notice first?
What people or objects do you notice?
What are people, if any, doing in this image?
2. Analyze the Document
Main Idea of the cartoon:
Who do you think these people are?
Why do you think this image was created?
Preceding conditions that motivated the producer of this image:
Intended audience and purpose of this image:
Biases of the image’s producer:
3. Corroboration
Does this document support, contest or extend the Main Idea of the first order document
(C2: DeWitt Report)?
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4. Content In a short paragraph answer the following Essential Historical Question using
information from Tools C4 and C5 (Be sure to include author and date in parentheses at
the end of each sentence that you are using as evidence)
What role did the media play in influencing public opinion to support internment?
(You will want to use this response in your ‘iMovie Historical Narrative)
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Tool C6: Oral Histories: After Pearl Harbor
Directions:
1. You will read excerpts from several oral histories that were collected from internment camp
survivors (Document C15)
2. In the first column be sure to write down the oral history source.
3. In the second column pick a quote or two from the oral history that illustrates the difficulties
Japanese-Americans faced following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
5. Write a short paragraph summary detailing the difficulties faced by Japanese-Americans
following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Source
Account of Post-Pearl Harbor Difficulties
Write a summary paragraph answer to this question on the back
What difficulties did Japanese-Americans face following the bombing of Pearl Harbor?
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Tool C7: Worksheet to be used with Document C16
Directions:
1. Read Document C16 (Secondary Source Reading- Japanese American Responses to
Internment
Questions:
1. Why did the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) cooperate with the mass
removal and incarceration of the Japanese population living on the West Coast?
2. How did Japanese Americans express their objections to Executive Order 9066? (Cite
several examples in your answer.)
3. How were policymakers divided over the issue of mass removal and incarceration of
the Japanese population living on the West Coast?
4. Write one question of your own about this topic that the reading does not cover.
5. Write down at least one academic vocabulary term from this reading and then try to
define that term using context clues from the reading.
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Tool C8:Pre-Writing Worksheet for Historical Narrative
Topic Sentence that answers EHQ #1: What was the political debate concerning the
decision to intern Japanese-Americans during World War II?
Evidence to support Topic Sentence for EHQ#1 (Be sure to include author and date in
parentheses at the end of each sentence that you are using as evidence)
Analysis that explains why the evidence used supports the Topic Sentence that answers
EHQ #1
Topic Sentence that answers EHQ #2: What role did the media play in persuading the
public to support internment?
Evidence to support Topic Sentence for EHQ#2 (Be sure to include author and date in
parentheses at the end of each sentence that you are using as evidence)
Analysis that explains why the evidence used supports the Topic Sentence that answers
EHQ #2
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Topic Sentence that answers EHQ #3: What difficulties did Japanese-Americans face
following the bombing of Pearl Harbor?
Evidence to support Topic Sentence for EHQ#3 (Be sure to include author and date in
parentheses at the end of each sentence that you are using as evidence)
Analysis that explains why the evidence used supports the Topic Sentence that answers
EHQ #3
Topic Sentence that answers EHQ #4: How did Japanese-Americans respond to the
process of internment?
Evidence to support Topic Sentence for EHQ#4 (Be sure to include author and date in
parentheses at the end of each sentence that you are using as evidence)
Analysis that explains why the evidence used supports the Topic Sentence that answers
EHQ #4
122
Tool C9: Historical Photograph Analysis
(Adapted from Library of Congress, Teachers Guide: Analyzing Photographs & Prints)
http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/worksheets/cartoon_analysis_worksheet.pdf
Directions:
1. From the photographic archives, choose two to three pictures to support each of the three topic
sentences that will be used in your historical narrative.
2. For each photograph that is chosen you will fill out the photographic analysis worksheet below.
3. Choose your photos wisely as they will be used in your “iMovie” documentary.
______________________________________________________________________________________
1. Identify the Source
Photographer or Source:
Title:
Date:
2. Observe
What do you notice first?
What people and objects are shown?
What are people, if any, doing in this image?
What other details can you see?
3. Analyze the Source
Main Idea of the photograph:
Who do you think these people are?
Why do you think this image was created?
Preceding conditions that motivated the producer of this image:
Intended audience and purpose of this image:
Biases of the image’s producer:
4. Content
How does this image help to support the claim you are making in your topic sentence
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Document C1: What was the process that led to internment?
How exactly did anti-Japanese sentiments on the West Coast turn into a federally-approved mass
removal and incarceration? While many locally-elected politicians supported the incarceration,
within bureaucratic circles at the federal level, the push toward mass removal came not from civil
leaders, but rather from military ones. This tension between civil and military bureaucrats is
perhaps best evidenced in the clash between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Army
over the presumed wisest course of action with respect to the West Coast "Japanese problem."
Whereas the DOJ was content to leave people of Japanese descent on the West Coast undisturbed
and advocated only a moderate crackdown on alien activity, the Army pressed for mass removal
and incarceration.
In the immediate aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the DOJ, under the direction of Attorney General
Francis Biddle, directed the FBI to round up a predetermined number of "dangerous" enemy
aliens, including Germans and Italians. This initial roundup involved several thousand persons,
about half of whom were Issei. These Issei were mostly leaders of various Japanese organizations
and Japanese religious groups, which the government perceived as potential threats to national
security.
Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, commander of the Western Defense Command, believed that
the mass removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans would prevent any "Pearl Harbors"
from happening on the West Coast. Despite his resolve to intern aliens, DeWitt was part of the
military and not a publicly elected official, which meant that he could not formulate the domestic
policy necessary to carry out his plan. Moreover, since the DOJ, in particular Attorney General
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Biddle, did not support the idea of mass removal or any interference with civilians, the War
Department began a lobbying effort among local politicians to gain the support they needed.
Over the course of the next three weeks, DeWitt approached various West Coast politicians to
convince them of the need to remove Japanese Americans from their states. While members of
the War Department argued with members of the DOJ over the perceived necessity of the
removal, these local politicians continued to fan the flames of war hysteria.
Despite the objections of a handful of policymakers, including Attorney General Biddle,
President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. Citing the need to
protect against espionage and sabotage, Executive Order 9066 granted the Army the authority it
needed to intern Japanese-Americans. The words "Japanese" or "Japanese Americans" did not
appear in the order, but it was they, and they alone, who felt its sting. In the entire course of war,
ten people were convicted of spying for Japan. All of them were Caucasian.
Source: Densho, “Prelude to Incarceration,” The Japanese American Legacy Project.
http://www.densho.org/learning/default.asp?path=causes/Causes.asp (accessed March 14,
2011)
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Document C2: DeWitt Report
(June 5, 1943)
Note: Lieutenant General J.L. DeWitt was in charge of the Western Defense Command during
World War II; his office oversaw the internment of Japanese-Americans. This is a portion of his
Final Report; Japanese Evacuation from the West Coast, that he submitted to President Roosevelt
on June 5, 1943. DeWitt’s recommendations to President Roosevelt were the primary motivation
in the president issuing Executive Order 9066.
1. I transmit herewith my final report on the evacuation of Japanese from the Pacific Coast.
2. The evacuation was impelled by military necessity. The security of the Pacific Coast continues
to require the exclusion of Japanese from the area now prohibited to them and will so continue as
long as that military necessity exists. The surprise attack at Pearl Harbor by the enemy crippled a
major portion of the Pacific Fleet and exposed the West Coast to an attack which could not have
been substantially impeded by defensive fleet operations. More than 115,000 persons of Japanese
ancestry resided along the coast and were significantly concentrated near many highly sensitive
installations essential to the war effort. Intelligence services records reflected the existence of
hundreds of Japanese organizations in California, Washington, Oregon and Arizona which, prior
to December 7, 1941, were actively engaged in advancing Japanese war aims. These records also
disclosed that thousands of American-born Japanese had gone to Japan to receive their education
and indoctrination there and had become rabidly pro-Japanese and then had returned to the United
States. Emperor-worshipping ceremonies were commonly held and millions of dollars had flowed
into the Japanese imperial war chest from the contributions freely made by Japanese here. The
continued presence of a large, unassimilated, tightly knit and racial group, bound to an enemy
nation by strong ties of race, culture, custom and religion along a frontier vulnerable to attack
constituted a menace which had to be dealt with. Their loyalties were unknown and time was of
the essence. The evident aspirations of the enemy emboldened by his recent successes made it
worse than folly to have left any stone unturned in the building up of our defenses. It is better to
have had this protection and not to have needed it than to have needed it and not to have had it –
as we have learned to our sorrow.
3. On February 14, 1942, I recommended to the War Department that the military security of the
Pacific Coast required the establishment of broad civil control, anti-sabotage and counterespionage measures, including the evacuation, therefrom of all persons of Japanese ancestry. In
recognition of this situation, the President issued Executive Order No. 9066 on February 19,
1942, authorizing the accomplishment of these and any other necessary security
measures…Among the steps taken was the evacuation of Japanese from western Washington and
Oregon, California and southern Arizona.
Source: The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco
http://www.sfmuseum.org/war/dewitt0.html (accessed June 2, 2012)
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Document C3-Excerpts from the Munson Report
(November 1941)
Note: Curtis B. Munson was commissioned by the State Department to create a report about the
sympathies and loyalties of Japanese living on the west coast. The 29 page report was submitted
to the White House on October 7, 1941, exactly two months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
JAPANESE ON THE WEST COAST (C.B. Munson)
WHAT WILL THE JAPANESE DO
SABOTAGE
What will these people do in case of a war between the United States and Japan? As interview
after interview piled up, those bringing in results began to call it the same old tune. The story was
all the same. There is no Japanese 'problem' on the Coast. There will be no armed uprising of the
Japanese. There will undoubtedly be some sabotage financed by Japan and executed largely by
imported agents or agents already imported. There will be the odd case of fanatical sabotage by
some Japanese 'crackpot'. In each Naval District there are about 250 to 300 suspects under
surveillance. It is easy to get on the suspect list, merely a speech in favor of Japan at some
banquet, being sufficient to land one there. The Intelligence Services are generous with the title of
suspect and are taking no chances. Privately, they believe that only 50 or 60 in each district can
be classed as really dangerous. The Japanese are hampered as saboteurs because of their easily
recognized physical appearance. It will be hard for them to get near anything to blow up if it is
guarded. There is far more danger from Communists and people of the Bridges type on the Coast
than there is from Japanese. The Japanese here is almost exclusively a farmer, a fisherman or a
small business man. He has no entree to plants or intricate machinery.
ESPIONAGE
The Japanese, if undisturbed and disloyal, should be well equipped for obvious physical
espionage. A great part of this work was probably completed and forwarded to Tokio years ago,
such as soundings and photography of every inch of the Coast. This would be fine for a fifth
column in Belgium or Holland with the German army ready to march in over the border, but
though the local Japanese could spare a man who intimately knew the country for each Japanese
invasion squad, there would at least have to be a terrific American Naval disaster before his
brown brothers would need his services. The dangerous part of their espionage is that they would
be very effective as far as movement of supplies, movement of troops and movement of ships out
of harbor mouths and over railroads is concerned. They occupy only rarely positions where they
can get to confidential papers or in plants. They are usually, when rarely so placed, a subject of
perpetual watch and suspicion by their fellow workers. They would have to buy most of this type
of information from white people.
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SUMMARY
Japan will commit some sabotage largely depending on imported Japanese as they are afraid of
and do not trust the Nisei. There will be no wholehearted response from Japanese in the United
States. They may get some helpers from certain Kibei. They will be in a position to pick up
information on troop, supply and ship movements from local Japanese.
For the most part the local Japanese are loyal to the United States or, at worst, hope that by
remaining quiet they can avoid concentration camps or irresponsible mobs. We do not believe
that they would be at least any more disloyal than any other radical group in the United States
with whom we went to war.
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2008
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popuptext.aspx?&v=t&i=denshopd-i6700005&t=C.B.+Munson**quote**s+"Report+and+Suggestions+Regarding+Handl
ing+Japanese+Question+on+the+Coast"
128
Document C4: Statements by California Representative Leland Ford
(December 1941 and January 1942)
Representative Leland Ford, Republican of California
December 15, 1941: “These people are American-born,” Ford insisted. “They
cannot be deported…whether we like it or whether we do not. This is their
country…. [When] they join the armed forces…they must take the oath of
allegiance…and I see no particular reason at this particular time why they
should not. I believe that every one of these people should make a clear, clean
acknowledgement [of loyalty].
January 16, 1941: “To prevent any fifth column activity…all Japanese, whether citizens
or not, be placed in inland concentration camps. As justification for this, I submit that if
an American born Japanese, who is a citizen, is really patriotic and wishes to make his
contribution to the safety and welfare of this country, right here is the opportunity to do
so, namely, that by permitting himself to be placed in a concentration camp, he would be
making his sacrifice, and he should be willing to do it if he is patriotic and working for
us. As against his sacrifice, millions of other native born citizens are willing to lay down
their lives, which is a far greater sacrifice, of course, than being placed in a concentration
camp. Therefore any loyal Japanese should not hesitate to do that which is absolutely the
best for the country, and to operate in such a manner that his particular activity would be
for the greatest benefit.
Source: Digital History, 2011
http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/learning_history/japanese_internment/ford_statements.cfm
129
Document C5: J. Edgar Hoover Memorandum
(December 17, 1941)
Note: J. Edgar Hoover was director of the FBI from 1935 to 1972. Hoover was notorious
for collecting information on citizens he deemed to be threats to the United States.
Francis M. Shea served as Assistant Attorney General from 1939 to 1945.
MEMORANDUM FOR MR. FRANCIS M. SHEA, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY
GENERAL
1. I have long contended and still believe that there should be a registration of all alien enemies
within the United States; that such registration should consist of the filling out of appropriate
questionnaires by such alien enemies and photographing and fingerprinting of them; that some
identifying card be issued to such alien enemies as are registered which should be carried by them
at all times; that rules and regulations should be promulgated pertaining to the movements of such
alien enemies and the possession by them of radios and photographic equipment I am still firmly
of the opinion that it should be done immediately if the internal security of the country is to be
safeguarded.
2. I have previously recommended and still am of the opinion that there should be some specific
authority permitting the apprehension of any citizen or alien as to whom there may be reasonable
cause to believe that such person has been or is engaging in giving aid or comfort to the enemies
of the United States…The point I desire to make is that I have thought for some time that
authority should be obtained that would authorize the apprehension and detention of so-called
fifth columnists whether they be citizens or aliens.
In summation, I am definitely of the opinion and have been for some time, and have been on
record to that effect, that the alien enemies should be registered and appropriate regulations be
issued concerning their movements and activities, and that specific legislation should be obtained
authorizing the apprehension and detention of persons who might fall within the category of socalled fifth columnists. Also, I am of the opinion decisions should be made by Mr. Smith's
division as quickly as possible as to those citizens who should be taken into custody under any
such extreme authority. It has not been and is not now the responsibility of this Bureau to
recommend or advise as to the dangerous character of any person, citizen or alien for custodial
detention. The Bureau's function has been and is now that of merely being a transmission belt of
information which its facilities obtain. I have not assumed and am not now assuming the
responsibility for reaching the decision as to who is or is not to be arrested.
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2008
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popupenlarged.aspx?i=denshopd-i67-00020
130
Document C6: Lt. K.D. Ringle's "Report on the Japanese Question"
Note: Lieutenant Commander K.D. Ringle worked for several years prior to the war as a Naval
Intelligence Officer studying the Japanese population living in the United States.
From: Lieutenant Commander K.D. RINGLE, USN.
To: The Chief of Naval Operations.
Via: The Commandant, Eleventh Naval District.
Subject: Japanese Question, Report on.
Date: January 26, 1942
OPINIONS.
The following opinions, amplified in succeeding paragraphs, are held by the writer:
(a) That within the last eight or ten years the entire "Japanese question" in the United States has
reversed itself. The alien menace is no longer paramount, and is becoming of less importance
almost daily, as the original alien immigrants grow older and die, and as more and more of their
American-born children reach maturity. The primary present and future problem is that of dealing
with those American-born United States citizens of Japanese ancestry, of whom it is considered
that least seventy-five per cent are loyal to the United States. The ratio of those American citizens
of Japanese ancestry to alien-born Japanese in the United States is at present almost 3 to 1, and
rapidly increasing.
(b) That of the Japanese-born alien residents, the large majority are at least passively loyal to the
United States. That is, they would knowingly do nothing whatever to the injury of the United
States, but at the same time would not do anything to the injury of Japan. Also, most of the
remainder would not engage in active sabotage or insurrection, but might well do surreptitious
observation work for Japanese interests if given a convenient opportunity.
(c) That, however, there are among the Japanese both alien and United States citizens, certain
individuals, either deliberately placed by the Japanese government or actuated by a fanatical
loyalty to that country, who would act as saboteurs or agents. This number is estimated to be less
than three per cent of the total, or about 3500 in the entire United States.
(f) The most potentially dangerous element of all are those American citizens of Japanese
ancestry who have spent the formative years of their lives, from 10 to 20, in Japan and have
returned to the United States to claim their legal American citizenship within the last few years.
These people are essentially and inherently Japanese and may have been deliberately sent back to
the United States by the Japanese government to act as agents. In spite of their legal citizenship
and the protection afforded them by the Bill of Rights, they should be looked upon as enemy
aliens and many of them placed in custodial detention. This group numbers between 600 and 700
in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and at least that many in other parts of Southern California.
(h) That, in short, the entire "Japanese Problem" has been magnified out of its true proportion,
largely because of the physical characteristics of the people; that it is no more serious than the
problems of the German, Italian, and Communistic portions of the United States population, and,
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finally that it should be handled on the basis of the individual, regardless of citizenship, and not
on a racial basis.
K.D. RINGLE.
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2008
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popuptext.aspx?&v=t&i=denshopd-i6700009&t=Lt.+K.D.+Ringle**quote**s+"Report+on+the+Japanese+Qu
132
Document C7: Interview with Edward Ennis (Director of the Alien Enemy Control
Unit, Department of Justice during World War II)
Interview Date 1972
Note: Edward Ennis served as Director of the Alien Enemy Control Unit for the Justice
Department from December 1941 to March 1946 and worked directly under the Attorney General
Francis Biddle.
I must say I never got the attorney general to quite agree with me, but he was not prepared to tell
the President of the United States that it was unconstitutional. I took a more political view. I said,
"As attorney general, please say it is unconstitutional as well as unnecessary, because they may
listen to your views on constitutionality more than they will on necessity. The President may turn
to the military on what is necessary and to you on what is unconstitutional, so please say it is
unconstitutional. What is constitutional or not is a matter of opinion, and I would like you to
come down on the side that is unconstitutional."
He was almost a saint-like fair man and he would not do that. He just gave the argument that
there was no reason to believe that the Japanese-Americans were disloyal, and that they should
not be removed, but he was not prepared to say that the government did not have the military
power to do it. He turned out to be right in the sense that the Supreme Court upheld the
constitutionality of this military action.
I like to think that if I had been attorney general I would have screamed that it was
unconstitutional and try to persuade the President to follow me on that ground as well as on the
ground of lack of military necessity.
The Role of President Roosevelt
MF: Speaking of the President, how much influence do you think he had in the decision?
Ennis: Well, it was his decision. What happened was we went to the White House, you know,
Stimson and Biddle and Rowe and McCloy, and presented this problem to the President, that the
military wanted to move out the Americans of Japanese ancestry. The Department of Justice said
it was unnecessary and a wrong thing to do. The military said that in the situation of lack of any
defenses on the West Coast with the destruction of the navy, that it should be done. The
President, who was still suffering very much from the destruction of his navy -- remember he had
been assistant secretary of the navy in World War I -- made the decision, as President and
commander-in-chief. He made the decision; it was his responsibility.
The decision, of course, was his. High officials of the Department of Justice and of the army
presented their different views to the President. He gave authority to the military to make military
zones, and very large ones, all the western states, from which they could exclude anyone that they
believed was required and I certainly will not deny that I was profoundly disturbed at the idea that
all Americans of Japanese ancestry were to be evacuated from their homes. Yes, I think that is a
correct account.
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The Question of Sabotage and Espionage
There was no evidence of any sabotage by the Japanese-American population, or Japanese alien
population for that matter, either on the mainland or in Hawaii. There was espionage, there was
certainly communication between Japanese agents in Hawaii and the Japanese forces, but there
was no sabotage, nothing which would warrant an evacuation.
It is curious that with a relatively much larger population of Japanese and Japanese-Americans in
Hawaii, it was never any serious thought of evacuating Hawaii, for the practical reason that they
didn't have the transport. The reasons basically were practical.
It was possible to evacuate the Japanese-Americans from the West Coast and there was a great
political advantage in it. It tuned over their lands to their white neighbors. It was not possible to
do this in Hawaii because there was no place to evacuate them to, and we didn't have the means
to evacuate them. These decisions were basically practical-political decisions, rather than
decision of serious military necessity.
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2008
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popuptext.aspx?&v=t&i=denshopd-i6700097&t=Interview+with+Edward+Ennis
134
Document C8: Walter Lippmann “The Fifth Column” Los Angeles Times
February 13, 1942
Note: The term “fifth column" refers to people who engage in espionage or sabotage within their
own country.
SAN FRANCISCO—The enemy alien problem on the Pacific Coast, or much more accurately
the Fifth Column problem, is very serious and it is very special. What makes it so serious and so
special is that the Pacific Coast is in imminent danger of a combined attack from within and from
without. The danger is not, as it would be in the inland centers or perhaps even for the present on
the Atlantic Coast, from sabotage alone. The peculiar danger of the Pacific Coast is in a Japanese
raid accompanied by enemy action inside American territory. This combination can be very
formidable indeed. For while the striking power of Japan from the sea and air might not in itself
be overwhelming at any one point just now, Japan could strike a blow which might do irreparable
damage if it were accompanied by the kind of organized sabotage to which this part of the
country is specially vulnerable. This is a sober statement of the situation, in fact a report, based
not on speculation but on what is known to have taken place and to be taking place in this area of
the war. It is a fact that the Japanese navy has been reconnoitering the Pacific Coast more or less
continually and for a considerable length of time, testing and feeling out the American defenses.
It is a fact that communication takes place between the enemy at sea and enemy agents on land.
These are facts which we shall ignore or minimize at our peril. It is also a fact that since the
outbreak of the Japanese war there has been no important sabotage on the Pacific Coast. From
what we know about Hawaii and about the Fifth Column in Europe this is not, as some have liked
to think, a sign that there is nothing to be feared. It is a sign that the blow is well-organized and
that it is held back until it can be struck with maximum effect.
In preparing to repel the attack the Army and Navy have all the responsibility but they are facing
it with one hand tied down in Washington. I am sure I understand fully the unwillingness of
Washington to adopt a policy of mass evacuation and mass internment of all those who are
technically enemy aliens.... There is the assumption that if the rights of a citizen are abridged
anywhere, they have been abridged everywhere. Forget for a moment all about enemy aliens, dual
citizenship, naturalized citizens, native citizens of enemy alien parentage, and consider a warship
in San Francisco harbor, an airplane plant in Los Angeles, a general's headquarters at Oshkosh,
and an admiral's at Podunk. Then think of the lineal descendant, if there happened to be such a
person, of George Washington, the father of his country, and consider what happens to Mr.
Washington if he would like to visit the warship, or take a walk in the airplane plant, or to drop in
and photograph the general and the admiral in their quarters. He is stopped by the sentry. He has
to prove who he is. He has to prove that he has a good reason for doing what he wishes to do. He
has to register, sign papers, and wear an identification button. Then perhaps, if he proves his case,
he is escorted by an armed guard while he does his errand, and until he has been checked out of
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his place and his papers and his button have been returned. Have Mr. Washington's constitutional
rights been abridged?
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2008
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popupenlarged.aspx?i=denshopd-i67-00001
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Document C9: “Let Us Keep Our Record Clear”-Northwest Enterprise
December 12, 1941
Note: Northwest Enterprise was a weekly publication and the Northwest’s most prominent
African American newspaper.
Source: http://depts.washington.edu/civilr/news_colasurdo.htm
137
Document C10: “Their Best Way to Show Loyalty” -An Editorial
The San Francisco News: March 6, 1942
Japanese leaders in California who are counseling their people, both aliens and native-born, to cooperate with the Army in carrying out the evacuation plans are, in effect, offering the best
possible way for all Japanese to demonstrate their loyalty to the United States.
Many aliens and practically all the native-born have been protesting their allegiance to this
Government. Although their removal to inland districts outside the military zones may
inconvenience them somewhat, even work serious hardships upon some, they must certainly
recognize the necessity of clearing the coastal combat areas of all possible fifth columnists and
saboteurs. Inasmuch as the presence of enemy agents cannot be detected readily when these areas
are thronged by Japanese the only course left is to remove all persons of that race for the duration
of the war.
That is a clear-cut policy easily understood. Its execution should be supported by all citizens of
whatever racial background, but especially it presents an opportunity to the people of an enemy
race to prove their spirit of co-operation and keep their relations with the rest of the population of
this country on the firm ground of friendship.
Every indication has been given that the transfer will be made with the least possible hardship.
General DeWitt’s order was issued in such a way as to give those who can make private moving
arrangements plenty of time to do so. All others will not be moved until arrangements can be
made for places for them to go. They may have to be housed in temporary quarters until
permanent ones can be provided for them, but during the summer months that does not mean they
will be unduly uncomfortable.
Their property will be carefully protected by the Federal Government, their food and shelter will
be provided to the extent they are not able to provide it for themselves, and they will be furnished
plenty of entertainment and recreation. That is not according to the pattern of the European
concentration camp by any means.
Real danger would exist for all Japanese if they remained in the combat area. The least act of
sabotage might provoke angry reprisals that easily could balloon into bloody race riots.
We must avoid any chance of that sort of thing. The most sensible, the most humane way to
insure against it is to move the Japanese out of harm’s way and make it as easy as possible for
them to go and to remain away until the war is over.
Source: The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco, 2012
http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist8/editorial1.html
138
Document C11: Political Cartoon “The Fifth Column” by Dr. Seuss
February 13, 1942
Source: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=4817473
139
Document C12: Political Cartoon-“All Columns March, Lest the Fifth Remain”
Source: Sacramento Bee, 25, 26 February 1942
140
Document C13: Political Cartoon-“All Packed Up and Ready to Go”
Source: San Francisco News, 6, March 1942
http://mrichie2.edublogs.org/civil-liberties-and-a-nation-at-war-the-story-of-japaneseamericans-during-world-war-ii/
141
Document C14: Political Cartoon- “So He Says” Seattle Post-Intelligencer
March 5, 1942
Source: - Seattle Post-Intelligencer 5 March, 1942
http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2004_08_22_archive.html
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Document C15: Oral Histories: Difficulties faced following Pearl Harbor
Reiko Nagumo
On her best friend’s reaction following Pearl Harbor
The next day was a Monday, which was a school day, and I was in the second grade, and I went
to school. I don't recall that the other children paid any different attention to me…What I did
realize was that my very best friend, Mary Francis, came up to me, and she said "I have to tell
you something. My mama told me to tell you that I can't play with you anymore because you're
Japanese." That really hurt me. My feelings were so hurt, I wanted to cry, but I was very brave.
But I cried inside, I couldn’t understand why she wouldn't be able to play with me and so forth,
but I didn't know what that meant about war with Japan. I didn't cause the war. I wasn't in Japan,
so I didn't understand the link between the two statements.
Source: California Museum Japanese American Oral History Project, 2012
Mollie Nakasaki
On going to school Monday December 8th
Well, all of my friends, when next day, it was a Sunday, Pearl Harbor was a Sunday, Monday I
went to school and all of my friends turned against me. Well, they called me everything you could
think of, "dirty yellow Jap," and everything that you could think of, I guess.
On her home being raided and her father detained by the FBI
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In late December the FBI showed up to our house and took my father away and they took
everything they could put their hands on. Radio, camera, typewriter, suitcase, everything that you
could, they could carry, they took everything.
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2004
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popuptext.aspx?v=s&i=denshovh-nmollie-010010&t=Mollie+Nakasaki+Interview+Segment+10+Transcript
Eiichi Sakauye
On the FBI raiding his home
And when plainclothesmen come to your home and start searching, what are they searching us
for? Makes you wonder. We as the Nisei who were over twenty-one years of age, we tried to
express our rights as American citizens as we had learned in school. I for one, when we got
raided, questioned the officer, rights of American citizen to enter our private home…. They
pushed me back with the door and went through the whole house opening every door, every
closet, and went out to the back door.
On being questioned by the FBI
"Do you know of any person of Japanese ancestry who would commit crime or sabotage or
subversive activities?" I said, "No. My parents are aliens, and they are not able to get American
citizen. They're loyal residents; they pay their taxes, they stay out of the crime and so forth, so I
don't understand what this is all about."
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2004
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popuptext.aspx?v=s&i=denshovh-seiichi-010017&t=Eiichi+Edward+Sakauye+Interview+Segment+17+Transcript
144
Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga
On post Pearl Harbor racism at school
I did notice that some of our friends, some of our friends, didn't seem to make any difference to
them. But there were those who we thought were friends, were wary of being close to us. I guess
they were afraid of being considered "Jap lovers," and the longer the period went after the war
that gap was, got bigger, and more people would react like they would rather not be close to us,
if they were non-Japanese.
The principal of our high school told us, those of us in our graduating class, that we're not going
to get our diplomas even though we were supposed to graduate in a few months, because, quote,
"Your people bombed Pearl Harbor." That was a blow, a big blow. He already made up his mind
that we didn't deserve, even though we struggled for twelve years with good grades, model
citizens, and then here this one guy, principal of our high school tells us, puts the responsibility of
Pearl Harbor on our shoulders. It was devastating.
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2004
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popuptext.aspx?v=s&i=denshovh-haiko-030011&t=Aiko+Herzig-Yoshinaga+Interview+II+Segment+11+Transcript
Bob Fuchigami
On leaving pets behind before leaving for internment camps
I had some rabbits. We had a dog and, and it didn't really dawn on me that we were, we were
actually gonna go somewhere 'til came time to leave, the morning. And at the last second I said,
"These rabbits are in this cage. What am I gonna do with them?" And I hadn't thought ahead in
terms of what would happen to them so I, I just opened the door and let 'em loose. And I don't
know where... and the dog. What are you gonna do with the dog? So it could, it could be that the
145
rabbits became dog food, who knows. But, when you only have four days, you're leaving school,
you're... they're saying, well, even though you have two suitcases, one is for the family and one is
for yourself…. So you don't even think in terms of pets. You're thinking first of all, I guess, of
yourself and what's happening, what's happening. So, it was a very confusing and disturbing time
for all. Just sad.
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2004
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popuptext.aspx?v=s&i=denshovh-fbob-010014&t=Bob+Fuchigami+Interview+Segment+14+Transcript
146
Document C16: Japanese American Responses to Internment
The response of the Japanese American community to the mass removal and
incarceration was mixed. While some viewed them as opportunities to contribute to the
war effort and demonstrate loyalty to the United States, others objected to the process as
a violation of civil rights. Many Japanese Americans fell into the first category, led by the
Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), an influential Japanese American political
organization. As an organization, the JACL believed in the integrity of the U.S.
government, and thus encouraged the Japanese American community to fully cooperate
with the mass removal and incarceration. Some of the JACL leaders acted as informants
for federal intelligence agencies and turned over the names of Japanese (both alien and
U.S. citizens) who they felt were potentially subversive.
The Japanese Americans who objected were relatively weaker in voice. One notable
individual who argued against acceptance and cooperation was James Omura, a journalist
based in San Francisco. He testified before Congress that, "I am strongly opposed to mass
evacuation of American-born Japanese. It is my honest belief that such an action would
not solve the question of Nisei loyalty. “Omura’s opposition sprang from his sense of its
injustice and of the ignoble motives behind Executive Order 9066. Omura and other
Japanese Americans who objected to the mass removal and incarceration also disagreed
with the Japanese Americans who accepted the orders, creating a divide in the Japanese
American community itself.
147
Other Japanese Americans expressed their objections to Executive Order 9066 by
deliberately violating one or more of the orders. These violations were attempts to test the
legality of the orders in the courts. Four notable Japanese Americans had their cases
taken to the Supreme Court. Minoru Yasui, an attorney from Portland, Oregon, violated a
military curfew order which required that all persons of Japanese ancestry be indoors
between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. Gordon Hirabayashi, a student at the University of
Washington, challenged the orders by refusing to register himself with federal authorities.
Fred Korematsu, a Nisei welder from the Oakland, California area, was arrested for
failing to report to Tanforan Assembly Center--one of 16 temporary camps that detained
Japanese Americans before they were transferred to the incarceration camps. All three
men were convicted for their violations and in each case, the Supreme Court upheld their
convictions. The fourth legal case that tested the constitutionality of the mass removal of
incarceration of Japanese Americans was brought under the name of Mitsuye Endo, an
employee at the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Endo's attorneys argued that it
was illegal for the government to detain her without trial while martial law was not
declared. Although the Supreme Court, on December 18, 1944, ruled unanimously that
Mitsuye Endo should be given her liberty, it failed to address the larger constitutional
issues underlying the case. Thus, although the Endo case resulted in a technical "victory"
for Japanese Americans, the legality of the incarceration remained unresolved.
Despite the anti-Japanese hysteria that existed on the West Coast, not all policymakers
were persuaded of the need to incarcerate Japanese Americans. Most of the debate
148
regarding this issue existed between the military and the Department of Justice (DOJ), the
military being for incarceration and the DOJ being against it. Similarly, a debate existed
within the Japanese American community itself between those who accepted the orders
and those who did not. In the end, however, the objections were overruled, and the mass
removal and incarceration began.
Source: Densho, “Prelude to Incarceration,” The Japanese American Legacy Project.
http:/www.densho.org/learning/default.asp?path=spice/lesson3/3reading3.asp (accessed
March 14, 2011)
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Appendix D: “iMovie” Historical Narrative
Overview:
1. Students will create a two to three-minute “iMovie” documentary to tell the story of
Japanese-Americans from their immigration in the beginning of the twentieth century
through the process of forced evacuation that took place after the bombing of Pearl
Harbor on December 7th, 1941.
Materials:
Tool D1: “iMovie” Storyboard
Tool D2: “iMovie” Graphic Rubric
Tool D3: “iMovie” Group Evaluation
Directions:
1. Students will create a word for word script that answers the following essential
questions from the lessons in Appendix B and C. If time is limited you can focus on just a
few specific questions to answer in the “iMovie” documentary.
Why did the first Japanese immigrate to California?
What types of discrimination did early Japanese immigrants to California face?
What arguments did the media present that supported the movement for Japanese
Exclusion?
How did the Japanese community in California respond to different forms of
discrimination?
What was the political debate concerning the decision to intern JapaneseAmericans during World War II?
What role did the media play in persuading the public to support internment?
How did Japanese-Americans respond to the process of internment?
2. In writing the script, make sure that students provide evidence from the lessons to
support each topic sentence.
150
3. The script will be developed through the two pre-writing worksheets (Tool B6 and C8)
4. Students must include an introduction slide that introduces the topic on internment.
5. Students must create transitions sentences that will take them from one topic sentence
to the next.
6. Students must find at least three photographs to support each of the seven topic
sentences they are required to create. (See-Tool B6 and C8)
7. Students must include a conclusion slide that summarizes the impact that internment
had on Japanese-Americans.
8. For details on how to create “ iMovie” presentations seehttp://www.apple.com/support/imovie/
9. Students will plan their “iMovie” presentation by completing the “iMovie” Storyboard
(Document D1)
-For each scene write a brief description of the photo being used.
-Write down the type of “iMovie” transition that will be used to enhance the start and end
of the photo.
-Write down the word for word script that will be used for each photo.
-Title Slides with captions only can be used to transition from one topic sentence to the
next (approximately every fourth slide).
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Tool D1: “iMovie” Storyboard
Scene Number ________________________________________
Front Transition_______________________________________
Back Transition _______________________________________
Script _______________________________________________
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________
Scene Number ________________________________________
Front Transition_______________________________________
Back Transition _______________________________________
Script _______________________________________________
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________
Scene Number ________________________________________
Front Transition_______________________________________
Back Transition _______________________________________
Script _______________________________________________
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________
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Tool D2: “iMovie” Grading Rubric
Score
Multimedia
Collaboration
Content
The integration of media objects
such as text, graphics, video,
animation, and sound to represent
and convey information.
Working together jointly to
accomplish a common intellectual
purpose in a manner superior to
what might have been
accomplished working alone.
The topics, ideas, concepts,
knowledge, and opinions that
constitute the substance of the
presentation.
21-25
Students have used iMovie in
creative and effective ways that
exploit the strengths of the
program. All elements make a
contribution. There are very few
technical problems, and none of a
serious nature.
Students were a very effective
team. Division of responsibilities
capitalized on the strengths of
each team member. The iMovie
was shaped by all members and
represents something that would
not have been possible to
accomplish working alone.
Meets all criteria of the previous
level and one or more of the
following: reflects broad research
and application of critical thinking
skills; shows notable insight or
understanding of the topic;
compels the audience's attention.
16-20
iMovie blends 3 or more
multimedia elements in a balanced,
attractive, easy-to-follow format.
Elements include original student
work. With minor exceptions, all
elements contribute rather than
detract from the presentation's
overall effectiveness.
Students worked together as a
team on all aspects of the iMovie.
There was an effort to assign roles
based on the skills/talents of
individual members. All members
strove to fulfill their responsibilities.
The project has a clear goal related
to a significant topic or issue.
Information included has been
compiled from several relevant
sources. The project is useful to an
audience beyond the students who
created it. There are no
grammatical errors.
11-15
iMovie uses 2 or more media.
There are some technical
problems, but the viewer is able to
follow the presentation with few
difficulties.
Students worked together on the
iMovie as a team with defined roles
to play. Most members fulfilled
their responsibilities.
Disagreements were resolved or
managed productively.
The iMovie presents information in
an accurate and organized manner
that can be understood by the
intended audience. There is a
focus that is maintained throughout
the piece. There are no
grammatical errors.
6-10
iMovie uses 2 or more media, but
technical difficulties seriously
interfere with the viewer's ability to
see, hear, or understand content.
iMovie is the result of a group
effort, but only some members of
the group contributed. There is
evidence of poor communication,
unresolved conflict, or failure to
collaborate on important aspects of
the work.
The iMovie has a focus but may
stray from it at times. There is an
organizational structure, though it
may not be carried through
consistently. There may be factual
errors, inconsistencies or
grammatical errors, but they are
relatively minor.
0-5
Multimedia is absent from the
presentation.
iMovie was created by one student
working more or less alone (though
may have received guidance or
help from others).
iMovie seems haphazard, hurried
or unfinished. There are significant
factual errors, misconceptions,
misunderstandings, or grammatical
errors.
Multimedia score =
Collaboration score =
Content score =
Rubric modified for this course from Project-based learning from Multimedia
Copyright © 1997-2001 San Mateo County Office of Education. sluke@smcoe.k12.ca.us
153
Tool D3: “iMovie” Group Evaluation
Directions:
1. Review your final “iMovie” and the “iMovie Rubric” (Tool D2) and highlight the box
for each category that you believe best pertains to your finished product.
2. Answer the questions below regarding the group collaboration on this project
1. Based on the “iMovie” Grading Rubric (Tool D2) what grade do you think your group
earned on this project?
2. What specific tasks did each member of your group complete? Be specific since your
answers will determine your individual portion of the overall group grade.
Group Member:
Tasks Performed:
Group Member:
Tasks Performed:
3. What grade do you think each individual member of your group deserves on this
project? (Determine these grades as a group and be both accurate and fair.)
Group Member:
Group Member:
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4. What was the most difficult part of this project for your group?
5. What is the strongest part of your final presentation?
6. What is the weakest part of your final presentation?
7. How could this overall project be improved? (Ex: clearer directions, documents that
were not useful, etc.) Be honest and specific, as your answers will be used to improve this
project in the future.
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Appendix E: Internment Photographic Packet
Note- These photos can be given to students to use in conjunction with their own photographic
research.
Aerial View of Tule Lake (Japanese American Archival Collection, Sacramento State Special
Collections)
Arrival of the Picture Brides (Densho Digital Archive)
Assembly Center Baggage (Densho Digital Archive)
Baggage Inspection (Densho Digital Archive)
156
Internment Camp Baseball Game (Densho Digital Archive)
Boarding Train at Elk Grove Station (Japanese American Archival Collection, Sacramento State
Special Collections)
Boys Saluting the Flag (Densho Digital Archive)
Storefront in Japan Town with sign claiming American loyalty (Densho Digital Archive)
157
Family Preparing for Mass Removal (Densho Digital Archive)
Florin Japanese-American Baseball Team (Japanese American Archival Collection, Sacramento
State Special Collections)
Loading a Bus before Evacuation (Densho Digital Archive)
Japanese Waiting for Registration (Densho Digital Archive)
158
Man Pointing to Anti-Japanese Sign (Densho Digital Archive)
Mass Removal (Densho Digital Archive)
Waiting for the Bus to go to the Camps (Densho Digital Archive)
159
New Arrivals at the Assembly Center (Densho Digital Archive)
Nisei Grill Closed for Business (Densho Digital Archive)
Orders Posted on Phone Pole (Densho Digital Archive)
Picture Brides in Front of House (Densho Digital Archive)
160
Packing Shed in Florin (Japanese American Archival Collection, Sacramento State Special
Collections)
Piling Luggage at Elk Grove (Japanese American Archival Collection, Sacramento State Special
Collections)
Racial Epithet (Densho Digital Archive)
Racial Epithet2 (Densho Digital Archive)
161
Sac High Dragons Baseball Team (Japanese American Archival Collection, Sacramento State
Special Collections)
Vandalism of Japanese Property (Densho Digital Archive)
162
Appendix F: Lessons on Resettlement and the End of Sacramento’s Japan Town
Essential Historical Questions:
1. What difficulties did Japanese Americans face after World War II?
2. What factors led to the end of Japan Town following World War II?
Lesson Abstract:
Students will be asked to investigate the time period following the release of Japanese Americans
from the internment camps as well as their resettlement in communities on the West Coast.
Students will be introduced to some of the difficulties Japanese Americans faced in trying to
resettle in their old communities. This lesson will also specifically focus on the post-war
redevelopment of Sacramento’s West End which resulted in the end of Japan Town. This unit of
study will examine several primary source oral histories as well as a secondary source that
focuses on the post-war redevelopment of Sacramento’s West End.
California State Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills addressed in this unit:
1. Historical Research, Evidence, and Point of View
2. Historical Interpretation
California Eleventh Grade Content Standards addressed in this unit
11.8 Students analyze the economic boom and social transformation of post–World War
II America.
California Common Core State Standards addressed in this unit:
READING STANDARDS FOR INFORMATIONAL TEXT 6-12
1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says
explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text
leaves matters uncertain.
2. Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the
course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a
complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
6. Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is
particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power,
persuasiveness, or beauty of the text.
163
Lesson Plan:
Time Required:
60-90 minutes for both lessons
Materials:
Tool F1: Graphic Organizer: Oral Histories on Post-War Resettlement
Tool F2: Questions to be used with Secondary Source Reading: “The End of Sacramento’s Japan
Town”
Document F1: Oral Histories: Post-War Resettlement
Document F2: Secondary Source Reading: “The End of Sacramento’s Japan Town”
Objectives:
To understand the difficulties of Japanese resettlement following World War II and how local
political attitudes led to the removal of Japanese-Americans from their neighborhood by:
1. Investigating oral history excerpts and demonstrating understanding of the author’s main idea.
2. Accurately answering content questions from a secondary source reading about the
redevelopment of Sacramento’s West End.
Lesson Procedures:
Lesson One: Oral Histories on Post-War Resettlement (30-45 minutes)
1. Students will read some excerpts from oral histories of internment camp survivors (Document
F1) and complete the Graphic Organizer: Oral Histories on Post-War Resettlement (Tool F1) in
which they will discover some of the major difficulties faced by Japanese-Americans in their
attempts to resettle in their old communities
2. Students will find specific quotes from the oral histories that support the resettlement difficulty
that is being described.
3. Students will answer the Essential Historical Question: What difficulties did JapaneseAmericans face when trying to resettle in their old communities following World War II
internment?
Lesson Two: The End of Sacramento’s Japan Town (30-45 minutes)
1. Students will read the Secondary Source: The End of Sacramento’s Japan Town (Document
F2) and answer questions from (Tool F2)
164
2. Students will answer the Essential Historical Question: What post-war developments led to
the end of Sacramento’s Japan Town?
Assessment:
1. Students will effectively analyze oral histories to determine some of the difficulties that were
faced by Japanese-Americans who attempted to resettle in their old communities following
internment.
2. Students will accurately answer questions from a secondary source document and determine
the role that race played in the urban redevelopment of Sacramento’s West End.
Differentiation:
1. Document F1 and F2 can be edited to meet the needs of student reading levels. A word bank of
difficult academic vocabulary can be added to enhance student understanding of the material.
165
Tool F1: Graphic Organizer: Oral Histories on Post-War Resettlement
Directions:
1. You will read excerpts from several oral histories that were collected from internment camp
survivors (Document F1)
2. In the first column be sure to write down the oral history source.
3. In the middle column take brief notes about the difficulties of resettlement that are presented in
the oral history.
4. In the last column pick one quote from the oral history that supports
5. Write a short paragraph summary detailing the difficulties of resettlement Japanese-Americans
had to endure
Source
Accounts of Resettlement Difficulties
Quote that illustrates the
difficulties faced by returning
Japanese-Americans
Answer the following Essential Historical Question in a short paragraph on the
back:
What difficulties did Japanese-Americans face when trying to resettle in their old
communities following World War II internment?
166
Tool F2: Questions to be used with: “The End of Sacramento’s Japan Town”
(Document F2)
Directions:
Read Document F2, Secondary Source Reading: “The End of Sacramento’s Japan Town”
and answer the following questions:
1. Why did Sacramento’s white residents begin to move out of the downtown area
following World War II?
2. How did the “white flight” affect the downtown area of Sacramento?
3. How did the Chamber of Commerce react to the problem of “white flight”?
4. What role did the local media play in persuading Sacramentans to support the
redevelopment of the West End? (Along with your answer, choose at least one
quote form each source that supports your answer.)
5. What were the two goals of the Capitol Mall Project?
6. How did the Capitol Mall Project effectively end the ethnic community of Japan
Town?
7. What role did race play in the relocation of Japanese residents form Japan Town?
8. Write one question of your own about this topic that the reading does not cover.
9. Write down at least one academic vocabulary term from this reading and then try
to define that term using context clues from the reading.
Summary Paragraph:
Using Document F2, answer the following Essential Historical Question (Be sure to cite
author and date in parenthesis at the end of any sentence in which you provide evidence
to support your answer):
What post-war developments led to the end of Sacramento’s Japan Town?
167
Document F1: Oral Histories: Post War Resettlement
Note-The War Relocation Authority (WRA) announced on 13 July 1945 that all of the camps,
except for Tule Lake, were to be closed between 15 October and 15 December of that year. On 20
March 1946 Tule Lake closed. Over 110,000 interned Japanese-Americans began the process of
resettlement. While many chose to resettle in new areas of the United States, the vast majority
returned to their original towns and cities in an effort to rebuild their lives.
The following are excerpts from Oral Histories documenting the difficulties Japanese-Americans
faced in trying to resettle in their old communities.
Mary Suzuki Ichino
On Returning to Little Tokyo in Los Angeles following release from the camps:
It was so devastating. It was just so run down, so dirty. And I said, "This is Little Tokyo?" And
she says, "No, it's called Brownsville." I said, "Well, it sure looks it," you know. There were
laundry hanging out, people sitting out in the window. It was basically a black neighborhood
now. It was no longer Asian.. One of the big question was where would they live? Because at that
time, restrictive covenant was still in effect, and there was still that anti-Japanese feeling. ..And I
remember my dad, I guess he got worried, he came and he stayed at the Hongwanji temple. And
they all, they were down in the basement and in the room, every room was full of these bunk beds,
two or three up high. It was hot. And my dad got a job as a cook or a dishwasher, something just
to get started.
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2004
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popuptext.aspx?v=s&i=denshovh-imary-020019&t=Mary+Suzuki+Ichino+Interview+II+Segment+19+Transcript
Mas Hashimoto
On the Buddhist Church in Watsonville being used as a hostel for returnees:
168
In January of 1945… the War Relocation Authority, helped set up the hostel. So that means cots,
blankets, and such. But the temple didn't have shower facilities. They had a toilet facility but not a
shower facility…. downstairs in the hall, it's almost like an army barrack. Families living
together, sleeping together in the same, same, one big room, and you go, "This is camp all over
again."
On Watsonville Chamber of Commerce vote:
They went out looking for jobs and a place to stay and such. And the thing is that the Watsonville
Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, they voted fifteen to three not to welcome us back, not to
hire us, not to sell to us, not to rent to us. And we're going, "Wow, who's the three?" We didn't
care about the fifteen, to heck with them. We wanted to know who's the three that had the courage
to stand up for us and welcome us back.
On Anti-Japanese signs in Watsonville:
You know, I could read, now, and I could read these signs that says "No Japs Allowed," "No Japs
Wanted" and such. And Main Street, they had all these signs.
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2004
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popuptext.aspx?v=s&i=denshovh-hmas-010026&t=Mas+Hashimoto+Interview+Segment+26+Transcript
Christine Umeda
On returning to her home in Sacramento after leaving the camps:
But I understand that there was a family living in our home at the time of our return, and that my
father eventually had to go find a place for them to move to before they would leave. And then
the topper was that my sisters said that it was just a total wreck. The bathrooms were filled with
169
garbage. The floors had about an inch or two of just crud. She said-- or my sisters said-- that
they actually used shovels to get the debris out. And I remember clearly my mother squatting
over a small tin barrel, which my father had fashioned so she could cook dinner for us. So I don't
really how long, but I could image that went on for at least a good month before we were able to
reside in our home again… And then I remember at least two families living with us for a while,
because they hadn't-- they didn't have someplace to go. So for me as a kid, I think it was great to
have-- we had one family that had six children, and they were my age, and younger. And to think
that we resided in this same three-bedroom house, it was phenomenal.
Source: California Museum Japanese American Oral History Project, 2012
Bacon Sakatani
On returning from the camps and living in a tent:
No, we went, actually, we had no place to stay and so my father got a army squad tent, which is, I
don't know how, very small, twelve feet by twelve feet or something like that, and he put it up in
the backyard of our former landlord, right across the street from where we used to live. And I
guess my father, I don't know, was trying to get our farm back or we had our stuff stored in the
shed. But boy, I'm telling you, we lived in that tent. I don't know how we survived. We had to go to
the bathroom and cook and eat.
On sharing their garage with people who needed homes:
We had this shack and then we had this garage, open garage like... a friend came looking for a
place to stay and they saw that garage, it was just a open garage where we put our tractor and
170
some stuff there, and gee, they, I don't know if my father said it was okay for them to come or not,
but they came over and they started to fix up that place and they moved in. And then after a few
months they found a better place, so they left. As soon as they left, I guess word got around that
there's a place at Sakatani's place, open house. It's just a junky old place. Then another family
came, lookin' for a place, and so they moved in. And then they had a relative that didn't have a
place, so they moved in and they worked for us. And then they moved out. They found a better
place. And then another family came in, always word getting around about our open place.
Source: Densho Digital Archive, 2004
http://archive.densho.org/Resource/popuptext.aspx?v=s&i=denshovh-sbacon-010019&t=Bacon+Sakatani+Interview+Segment+19+Transcript
171
Document F2: “The End of Sacramento’s Japan Town”
The “White Flight” from Downtown
Between 1940 and 1950 Sacramento’s population grew by more than 100,000 people. In
order to meet the housing demand, new suburban housing communities were built away from the
downtown area. Furthermore, the development of new highways allowed residents to easily
commute to the downtown area for work. Many of these new communities such as River Park
and Arden Park using racially restrictive FHA covenants became almost entirely limited to white
middle class homeowners. (FHA covenants were contracts that restricted the sales of homes in
neighborhoods to minorities. The practice was made illegal by the Fair Housing Act in 1968)
Throughout the 1950s the development of the new communities created a “white flight” away
from the center of the city. As the downtown area became increasingly more populated by
minority residents, many businesses began to relocate to newer suburban areas.1
As the suburbs grew, Sacramento’s downtown fell on hard times. Japan Town which was
located in the city’s oldest area, the West End had been abandoned by investors and neglected in
favor of the growing suburbs. To save the downtown area, local leaders began to embrace the
idea of urban redevelopment. The Chamber of Commerce’s answer to the problem was to replace
the city’s west end slum area with a new, modern and technologically advanced city core, in
effect improving the neighborhood to the extent that its residents could no longer afford to live in
it.
The local media was instrumental in persuading the public that the old minority
dominated areas of downtown needed to be redeveloped. In September of 1954, Fortnight
Brian Roberts, “Sacramento since World War II: From Small Town to Megalopolis in Less Than Fifty
Years. Sacramento”: (PhD diss, California State University Sacramento, 1989), 51
1
172
included a grim article citing Sacramento’s high city crime rate, undermanned police force, west
end slums, and tuberculosis rate. The magazine described the city’s west end in terms of “filthy
streets” dominated by “winos” without jobs rolled up in newspapers under bridges and in
doorways.2
In 1949 the Sacramento Bee characterized the West End in an article:
Disease crawls out of the rooming houses and chicken shacks of Sacramento’s
blighted areas… crime and vice and their junior partner, juvenile delinquency,
loot cars and roll drunks and pull knives in the asphalt jungle of Sacramento’s
west end. The west end is a row of shacks to call one’s own--- complete with dirt,
rats, blistered, splintering boards and the stale, unwashed odor which is standard
equipment in this area.3
Capitol Mall Project
By 1950 the Capitol Mall Project was created with two goals in mind. First the city
would create the long planned thoroughfare connecting the Capitol with the river. Secondly, the
city planned to redevelop the West End into a new business and shopping district. The tentative
plan called for the redevelopment of fifteen square blocks between 4th and 7th and K and P
streets, right through the heart of Japan Town. The Capitol Mall Relocation Profile that was
published by the Redevelopment Agency of the city of Sacramento stated:
The Capitol Mall Extension Project was designed to rebuild the decaying and blighted
West End of the City of Sacramento…the area was comprised predominantly of
structures containing a variety of stores, service shops, card rooms, “greasy spoons” and
“grog shops” at street level with cheap flop houses or hotel rooms upstairs.4
In September of 1956 the Sacramento Redevelopment Agency began the process of
acquiring the first few blocks of the redevelopment area. Residents and business owners affected
2
Roberts, 66
Ibid, 68
4
Howard B. Leonard, Relocation Profile: Capitol Mall Extension, 1
3
173
by the redevelopment were given somewhat less than fair market value for their properties as laid
out in federal guidelines. The remaining residents of Japan Town were forced to relocate
throughout the city. Several attempts were made in the late fifties to establish a new Japan Town.
A few merchants relocated along Tenth Street between W and T streets, many residents moved
south near Broadway and another enclave emerged in the new housing areas in South Park and
Greenhaven.4 The redevelopment of the West End effectively fractured the Japanese community
into many small isolated pockets. The cultural and economic heart of the community was bull
dozed in a large scale urban redevelopment project.
California State Capitol
Capitol Mall Redevelopment and
former community of Japanese
Americans “Japan Town”
4
Roberts, 70
174
The West End in the 1950s
Source: http://sacramentohistory.blogspot.com/2009/04/scsh-presentation-m-street-and-westend.html
The Capitol Mall Today
Source: plaza555.com
175
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