Hi everyone! We're back! Today is Day of Remembrance, which marks the anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066. I am here with my great aunt, who was incarcerated in Amache when she was 14 and my grandmother who was incarcerated in Tule Lake when she was 15. I will be typing in the answers, and my grandmother and great aunt will both be answering questions. AMA

link to past AMA


photo from her camp yearbook

edit: My grandma would like to remind you all that she is 91 years old and she might not remember everything. haha.

Thanks for all the questions! It's midnight and grandma and my great aunt are tired. Keep asking questions! Grandma is sleeping over because she's having plumbing issues at her house, so we'll resume answering questions tomorrow afternoon.

edit 2: We're back and answering questions! I would also like to point people to the Power of Words handbook. There are a lot of euphemisms and propaganda that were used during WWII (and actually my grandmother still uses them) that aren't accurate. The handbook is a really great guide of terms to use.

And if you're interested in learning more or meeting others who were incarcerated, here's a list of Day of Remembrances that are happening around the nation.

edit 3: Thanks everyone! This was fun! And I heard a couple of stories I've never heard before, which is one of the reasons I started this AMA. Please educate others about this dark period so that we don't ever forget what happened.

Comments: 2140 • Responses: 33  • Date: 

japaneseamerican3222 karma

grandma:Did i tell you this one story about how my husband was in North Carolina and there was a water fountain that had a sign above it that said "whites only". So my poor husband didn't know what to do so he asked someone. The person said "You're in uniform of course you can get a drink of water"

great aunt:I know a friend that went to the south. They didn't know what to do because they were sent to came because they were yellow. He didn't know whether to sit in the white section in the front or the black section in the back.

japaneseamerican1793 karma

grandma: We forget about all this until someone from your generation wants to hear about it and is prompted to ask about it.

It's not something you want to drag out and talk to everyone about all the time. If someone were to ask me I wouldn't hesitate to tell them. I'm not ashamed of it. It was shameful for the government. Uproot everyone from where they were living. Like my dad. I felt so bad that we had to lose our business and build back everything when we came back. But he never lost faith he was always working working working. He helped a lot of people.

2990 people? Oh my. I better shut up and go to bed. I guess they would rather hear about it from someone who went through the experience rather than reading about it.

I think every generation has some experience that's not a happy one.

japaneseamerican874 karma

My aunt is talking about how someone she knew was drafted before the war.

great aunt: After basic training he was released for 2 weeks so he could visit his family. But when he got to the California border they wouldn't let him in because he was Japanese. Here he was in an army uniform but he wasn't allowed because they were afraid he was the enemy.

When he couldn't go to Tule Lake where his family was, he went to Amache. (Amache is in Colorado). A lot of people from Cortland went to Amache. My sister went to went to visit him when he came.

Now I'm not sure how many people this happened to or any of the details, but I know this happened. I wonder if they have statistics about how many people were drafted before the war.

pixienat833 karma

What do you wish that non Japanese had done in response to the order?

japaneseamerican1609 karma

great aunt: I don't know. I was 14. I didn't care at the time

grandma: Haha. You could be like my Chinese neighbors that wore a sign that said "I am Chinese, not Japanese"

great aunt: I don't know. I never really thought about that. It's hard to give an answer. When I was older I thought, you know, they shouldn't have done that. But when I was 14 I was very naive and I didn't think about that

grandma: I thought it was totally unfair because I am an american

japaneseamerican909 karma

My great aunt is now telling this story about how in camp her husband was drafted, but when he went to get a physical the recruiter rejected him and the 10 other men he was with. The recruiter felt bad that they were being drafted when they were in camp. So her husband came back with the 10 other men that were rejected and everyone was wondering what happened.

shitsumonsuru563 karma

Don't know if you're still here answering but if you are...

Did your family lose everything and have to rebuild upon leaving the camps, or was there any sort of recompense at all? There were many Japanese living in my area prior to internment, many of whom owned homes and farms in the area, however from what I've gathered, none of it was returned. You can look at my high school's old graduating class photos, there were many Japanese students at the start of the 40s, then suddenly, there were none at all, I was wondering if this was a common situation for you or people you knew.

japaneseamerican637 karma

great aunt Not when you came out of camp. Everyone got around $25 and a bus ticket. I dont remember the exact amount. But it was nothing you could make a living out of.

my younger Aunt:There better not have been anyone. haha. If they did they were in violation of the law.

LynnisaMystery558 karma

How do you feel about actor George Takei being a "spokesperson" for those interred? Do you think the work he's done has helped in any particular way? What improvements could be made to make the current world more aware of what occurred?

japaneseamerican945 karma

grandma:There's a lot of people who never knew about our situation. A lot of people didn't know about it like my neighbor. Whenever I mentioned "camp" she thought I meant summer camp.

great aunt: That was the guy on star trek right? I noticed him because they finally got an Asian guy and I used to watch Star Trek. I think I saw wevery one in a while in the Pacific Citizen he would say something. One time he came to the Crocker Art Museum and I was like "oh well there he is"

young aunt: well they don't know about social media. So if they don't ever use social media they don't know him.

great aunt:I'm not a gopher. I just want to lean back and let everyone else do the work

grandma: Maybe if i was an advocate of something. But no one is going to listen to me now

throwaway02192017319 karma

Where were you incarcerated? How old were you when you were released? What types of discrimination did you face when you were released?

japaneseamerican643 karma

Tule Lake. Well first I went to Walerga temporary detention center


I didn't because I went right back to Japan town. There was no discrimination there. My parents bought a house for me and my sister and they lived in an apartment across the street. [My parents] rented out space in the house for isseis (first generation Japanese Americans) so they had a place to stay. My mother cooked for them. I think my parents did a good job. I am very proud of what they did.

cb124808157 karma

Wow, so cool that they owned 2 homes so that they could help others! How many first generation Japanese Americans did your family host? Did new people come in as the other ones left (kinda like a typical bed & breakfast), or did they mainly rent it out to just one family for a really long time?

japaneseamerican265 karma

I, the granddaughter, can answer most of this question. They hosted a lot of single men that would work in the farms and send money to their families. They did this before and after the war. New people came in as other ones left and my grandma and her siblings would cook the food and clean the rooms.

Hanshee56 karma

I just find this AMA really facisnating. My girlfriend's grandma was also incarcerated for being Japanese. She's 90 also lived in japan town... SF? Not sure if that's the same one but very interesting.

japaneseamerican119 karma

There was a Japan town in Sacramento and that's where my grandma lived. There's only a couple left - LA, SF, San Jose, and Seattle I believe.

After they were evacuated others took over the buildings and many were unable to return to their homes after the war.

Then governments built freeways and other sorts of projects through the middle of them. After most Japanese folks settled in a different area of town, the government decided to build a freeway straight through it.

IWTLEverything235 karma

Thank you for doing this. I had grandparents also at Amache. Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away in 2015 and grandfather passed away last July. I never had an opportunity to ask them about their experiences and, to be honest, worried that it wasn't something they would want to talk about. What would you recommend for yonseis who want to learn from their remaining nisei relatives and make sure this experience isn't forgotten by future generations? How should that conversation start?

japaneseamerican408 karma

granddaughter here: Honestly I'm not sure. My grandma has always talked about her experience. It was mixed in with other stories about life in general. She also refers to everything as "before camp" and "after camp" so it had a pretty big impact on her life.

I recommend asking questions. That's how we recently got my great aunt to start talking about it.

I would also highly recommend visiting the camps. I went to Tule Lake and Manzanar with my grandmother when I was a teenager and going to the places brought back lots of memories and opened up whole new sets of questions and stories that weren't told before.

Shameless plug. Right now the National Parks Service is deciding what to do with Tule Lake, the camp where my grandma was incarcerated. You can put in your comments on what you would like to happen to the camps. I highly recommend submitting comments that Tule Lake should be preserved for future generations so we don't ever forget.

heathenflower136 karma

Had the president made any public remarks that indicated he was capable of doing this or was it not a surprise? I'm sorry America did this to you, and I'm concerned our current government is capable of doing something similar.

japaneseamerican322 karma

grandma:I think the president at the time think he had the right to do it because Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor

I don't understand why he connects japan with Japanese Americans. Japanese Americans had nothing to do with what Japan did. Even my parents were shocked when it happened.

japaneseamerican153 karma

great aunt: Neither. You can't ask me those questions because I don't remember. I don't remember when they said "you're gonna have to move". I'm sure my parents discussed it, but they just packed everything up and then said we have to move.

75 years ago is not like today. The isseis... they can't speak English and so I mean if you had a lot of relatives there might've been more talk, but we had just family. So I don't know what actually happened. I just know that one day I was getting on the bus and we were off to the assembly center.

My 14 year old mindset is not the same as a 14 year old today. Your grandma was probably better than me. She lived in the city where she played with other kids. I lived out in the country and my neighbor was 10 miles away. It's hard to answer those kinds of questions. I was the baby of the family so nobody told me anything.

MonkeyWarlock120 karma

What sorts of things did you do to make life "easier" in the concentration camps? Do you have any stories of creative things people did to organize events / build community?

japaneseamerican298 karma

grandma:We built japanese bathtubs. It when you wash yourself outside of the tubs and then once you're clean you go into the tub. The tub isn't for washing yourself it's for getting yourself warm. It was so nice on a cold day.

Bon odori. It's a dance festival every summer. That was something we all looked forward to in the summer. Those who had kimonos wore it. Those who didn't have it tried to send for it. People in Colorado didn't have to relocate so if you had money you could send for it.

The person who put together the dances really liked my sister, Yuki. My block was very good. I think we had a dance like every month. People from other places would come. I think Yuki was the most popular girl. She was a good dancer. I wasn't very good. The orchestra leader liked her a lot. So every once in a while he'd say "this next song is dedicated to Yuki". She was so embarrassed. But she was a good dancer.

Sometimes the parents would stick their heads in the window to check to make sure everything was proper. There was always this mother that was always checking to make sure her daughter wasn't getting carried away.

Camp was fun. My block had the best basketball team. They had basketball every day. They played every day. They built their own basketball court. They built the whole stand and everything. There were a few brothers that played every day so they built the whole stand. I used to go out and watch them practice. They were so good. The Tomooka brothers. I think it was those two and their cousins.

The only sport that anyone could join was baseball. Our block was at the edge of camp so we were near the field. So we used to go out and watch them.

Some people had gardens in front of their barracks. My father couldn't grow anything. Sometimes there was a little something Then we would try cooking them in the apartment. Most time we ate in the mess hall. I think my father was kind of fussy about food. There was a canteen in every block where we could get things from outside. So you could order things from Sears or Montgomery Ward. I think later on we even had ice cream. My barrack and the next barrack was the baby clothes barrack. So the whole camp would come to our barrack for baby clothes. We were so lucky when my little brother was born.

When my brother was born my mother was so embarrassed. There was a huge age gap between my brother and the rest of my siblings. I had to spend every day washing diapers.

I used to dance for fun.

japaneseamerican265 karma

great aunt: Whatever you do when you're 15 or 16. You go to school. We just kind of hung around and I don't know. I'd go over to my friend's place.

grandma: Did you live in the same block?

great aunt: We met in high school and we lived in separate blocks. During the winter when it was snowing we'd just see each other in school and then go home and do homework. They used to have dances and we used to go.

(granddaughter: lol sorry the answer to this question is so short. We got interrupted by the news that the Kings traded away Cousins. My family are hardcore Kings fans.)

Claisencontemplation117 karma

DI'd you have enough to eat? How were the conditions in the camp? We're they as bad as the German camps?

japaneseamerican293 karma

great aunt:No there's no comparison.

(FYI they're talking about the Nazi camps. There was a POW camp next to Tule Lake, and the folks there were free to roam)

grandma:We always had enough to eat. We never worried about that. You may not get what you want, but we had enough to eat.

great aunt:We always got liver. They used to dump it on us. How many isseis do you know that eat liver? We never had liver our whole life but there you are.

grandma:We had liver but we had a good cook so I ate it. It was edible. I didn't mind.

great aunt:The food was okay. But you had a good cook in the mess hall they would make it japanese-like. In block 7-H the cook used to be an actual cook. So they always had food that was geared towards japanese tastes.

grandma:Everyone always knew who the good cooks were and sometimes people would come to your block to eat. They weren't supposed to.

great aunt:They did the best they could.

grandma:But there was a variety. I enjoyed working at the hospital. I enjoyed working at the cafeteria. Especially the baby food. Every afternoon at 3 pm we had to serve baby food and milk to mothers every afternoon at 2:30 or 3 o'clock. They'd start lining up and we'd feed it to them. Our cook was one of the best. So after the war he cooked for a church so we'd go once a month and eat delicious pancakes at the church. Sometimes there was a sugar shortage. In the winter we'd have to wait outside to get into the mess hall. Sometimes the men would make clogs so we'd wear those. I didn't do this but sometimes people wore them all year long. Sometimes young people would come with friends to the mess hall. You weren't supposed to go to other mess halls but sometimes they would come. My father made sake in the barrack. You weren't supposed to. You'd get the left over rice and make sake out of it.

My sister: Were there any bad incidents?

(My sister is trying to get my grandma to tell the story about how guards came into the barrack and dumped out the sake)

great aunt:I think every camp had one incident. It's just like anything. Sometimes some people ratted you out. People were mad that they didn't get their share of something and they'd rat you out.

my sister:Did you interact with the soliders every day?

great aunt:Oh no they were on the outside. They were in the guard towers. We used to wave to them. In Merced assembly center right on the other side of the barbed wire was grapes. Sometimes people would put knives at the end of a stick and you'd cut off a grape. The guards... they didn't care.

grandma:You weren't supposed to go near the fence and one person did go near the fence and he was shot.

great aunt: We never had any incidents like that. Like I said in Merced they didn't mind. But in Amache it was a desert and it was large so I don't know

grandma: The first day we went to the assembly centers and you went to the bathrooms and it was just a bench with holes and no dividers. Everyone kept peeking in to make sure no one was in there. That was the worst

great aunt: Most of the camps... I can't say that. But in Amache they were pretty civilized. I never heard of anything bad. But if something happened in a far away block maybe I never heard about it.

Lou-Peachum98 karma

This is awesome that your grandmother/great aunt are willing to do this.

My grandmother and grandfather were also former internment camp incarcerees. I was wondering what their perception was towards the forced internment during the whole ordeal and, now, looking back in retrospect??

After asking my grandmother about these things, it's surprising that she recounts it being a relatively fun time in her life. However, she was still a very little girl, about 6, so all she did was play. She said her older brothers/sisters and parents were much more stressed about it

japaneseamerican218 karma

My great uncle says it was fun for him too. He lived on a farm far away from anyone Japanese. Suddenly as a teenager he was surrounded by all these Japanese friends and Japanese girls his age. He had a blast.

rataktaktaruken70 karma

Hi! think I'm late... :(

I'm from Brazil, the country that has the biggest japanese colony. Here our grandparents were forbiden to give a japanese name to their children, to teach japanese in schools and other mild things.
But an interesting thing happened after the end of the war. Part of the community didn't believe in the defeat of Japan, they were so nacionalists that they thought that Japan was unbeatable and hiroshima and nagasaki was surreal at the time. Therefore they thought that the newspapers were lying, and that Japan actually won the war.
They formed a nacionalist group, called themselves kachigumi (winners), that encourage it's members to kill people that accepted the defeat, the makegumi (defeatist, or dirty hearts). How the japanese community in your country received the news about the defeat? And I wonder if your grandparents still have ties with relatives in Japan, here we lost all the connections with the japanese relatives, wich I think is sad.

japaneseamerican6 karma

grandma: I'm sure we were happy because it would mean we would finally leave camp because the war was over. For some thing Tule Lake had more pro-japanese people than other camps. that's why most of us were in Tule Lake. We were there because we were all from Sacramento. We went from Walerga to Tule Lake. There were a lot of people in there because they were pro-Japan. Very few though.

granddaughter: Weren't you also no-no though?

grandma: yeah i was no-no. but that's not how i felt. I wasn't going to send my parents back to japan where they didn't know what the conditions are. Just because they are japanese doesn't mean they'd be okay there. In other words we would be going just to protect them. Make sure bad things don't happen to them.

hipnerd40 karma

What sort of parallels if any do you see in the rhetoric that led to the dehumanization of Japanese Americans leading up to your internment, and the language being used today to justify the attempted ban against Muslims today?

japaneseamerican128 karma

grandma:I don't see any because there was no reason for the government to think we should go into camp.

great aunt: I don't see any parallels at all.

grandma: President Roosevelt thought he had a reason to put us in camp. I don't know enough about the Muslim situation.

great aunt: How do you compare it the two? They're not similar.

grandma: I don't see any similarity because we were incarcerated for no reason except that my parent's country attacked the united states. that not a reason to incarcerate all of us. I'm not knowledgeable about politics. I don't see any reason why they should discriminate. I don't recall even reading in the news anything that Muslims did.

great aunt:I'm glad you young people are doing this. There aren't too many people that know about this. There are some over 95 who are still doing well, but there aren't many of those left. You have to catch the people that are over 9. Because at 4 years old you aren't going to remember much. There are some people over 90 that remember more. We didn't have radio so there was no way to get news.

acets30 karma

I'm confused at these answers. So... some don't think they're similar, but it feels like the anecdotes say otherwise?

japaneseamerican140 karma

This is the grand daughter here. Yeah I know. I was pretty confused. Most days my grandma gets it and is pretty mad about the racial profiling (we even went to an anti-Islamophobia press conference together). Today she didn't seem to remember anything that prompted all the racial profiling of muslims.

They were trying to say that they didn't remember why people would be so hateful of Muslims. I guess 9/11 and stuff totally slipped their mind.

SiVGiV39 karma

I've recently been to Poland and visited some of the concentration and death camps. There we've had heard some testimonials from people who have escaped. Have you ever considered escaping, knew someone who did, or heard of people who escaped?

japaneseamerican119 karma

grandma: I made friends with someone in the camp who was white. She got special permission for me to leave and we went to a restaurant in Klamath Falls. We waited about an hour and the woman said "this isn't right" and we ordered food and then left.

Later on after the way I told my husband "Lets go to that restaurant and see how they treat us." This was long after the war

bkkgirl29 karma

What was your friend doing in the camp?

japaneseamerican52 karma

Her parents worked there. I think the friend's mom was a teacher? Or the dad was a solider.

sarah-face13 karma

So she was in a camp in Oregon? Or was this a Klamath Falls somewhere else?

japaneseamerican38 karma

Tule Lake was right on the border of Oregon and California. So we're talking about the same Klamath Falls

japaneseamerican95 karma

great aunt:No. I mean life in camp....we were fed and we had a place to live. If there isn't someone young in the family that could speak English and make a living you wouldn't be able to make it. If you left a camp in germany you could kind of blend in with the population. If you left Heart Mountain or Amache or Tule Lake you'd stand out like a sore thumb. I don't remember anybody trying to escape. Maybe they were but I don't know

LingLing_NorthKorea31 karma

What did you think of the executive order? Did you think it was racist of any sort, or did you think that it was for the "safety" of America at war?

japaneseamerican82 karma

great aunt: I don't know. Who cares? I'm 14. I don't care. But later on they say that it was political. So you should check into it and see how political it was

grandma: but it was sure hard on people who had businesses and whatever. Sometimes people just disappeared and you didn't know until a few years later. The government would just take them.

japaneseamerican64 karma

great aunt I don't know. Like I said I was only 14. Who wants to read the executive order at that age?

younger aunt:Did you see the sign posted?

great auntYeah. It was on a telephone pole. It was around february and that's when you have to move the tomatoes from the hotbed. There was only a certain distance you could travel after that. I remember we didn't get the chance to plant the tomatoes because we moved to the town of cortland and we'd see them every once in a while there.

Luscious_Lopez28 karma

How strong was the resentment against white people? I assume grudges were held afterwards, but what was the general feeling once you got out?

japaneseamerican111 karma

No I didn't hate white people

Sister: did you hate the president?

grandma: No it was 4 years later.

great aunt: I don't know. I was 18.

younger aunt: vWere you mad at the government?

grandma: No

younger aunt: Well did you think your rights were violated?

grandma: I thought it was a violation of my rights of course. I'm an american citizen why would they blame me for what japan did? My parents weren't mad. If they were I'm sure it would've rubbed off on me. My parents never sounded resentful over what happened. It was something that just happened. Shikata ga nai. There's nothing you can do about it. I think it's a good word because why carry your resentment?

I think my dad did very well. We didn't suffer

younger aunt:I don't think they would have told you They didn't even live with you when they got out of camp. So you didn't really see them.

grandma:We never felt desperate. When we came back we had a place in an alley and we had one room and that's how we started.

okay so some background information. There's this common phrase in JA culture kodomono tame ni which means "for the sake of the children". So it's common knowledge that parents didn't show that they were suffering and put on happy faces so that the children didn't hold resentment. My grandma and great aunt were teenagers and young adults around this time. I think that's what my younger aunt was attempting to nail down.

throwmemars219 karma

To the granddaughter:

I'm assuming that you were born and majoringly raised in the US, if this is wrong, please forgive me.

How does hearing these experiences shape your perspective of your country?
Does it make you feel closer to Japan than the US?
Furthermore, do you feel Japan is more your country than the US?
Has learning of these matters caused any sort of cultural identity crisis?

Some context on this last question, I was an exchange student to Japan, loved Japanese culture and pretty much feel Japan is my real home and culture. Now, because I'm white in the US and I tend to do things as close to as how I did them in Japan this rubs some Americans with Japanese ancestry the wrong way.

How can I be more sensitive to Americans with Japanese ancestry of your generation? (In regard to avoiding prejudice or exacerbating cultural identity crisis?)

Edit: I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has and continues to participate in this discussion it's been very educational, and am very grateful.

japaneseamerican96 karma

Hearing about these experiences prevent me from being blindly patriotic. America is great when people stand up for what is right and for "liberty and justice for all". That didn't happen in my family's case, and it makes me determined to make sure it doesn't happen again.

I definitely feel closer to the US. I went to Japan recently and while there is a small connection, I feel very deeply rooted in American culture. Well actually that's not really true. The 2nd-4th generation Japanese Americans have developed a very distinctly Japanese American culture that's a blend of the two and that's the culture I feel the connection to.

US is more my country without a doubt. I was born here. My parents were born here.

So my grandma is very strange in that she has always openly talked about her experiences in camp, so it's always just been a part of my life. So I never had an "aha" moment where I suddenly learned about it. I know my grandma is a pretty rare case, so I imagine the answer might be somewhat different for other JAs who learned of the experience later in life.

hmm. I'll have to think about the last question more. But for right now I would say to attend community events and to listen and learn from the people there. There's so much more to a culture than cool clothing and good food. It's kind of like a house; you wouldn't barge in and declare yourself a resident of the house and pretend like you've been living there your whole life. Be invited into the house, come to a community event, and come see how cool our house is.

MrAndrewDonald1 karma

Why did you choose to stay in America after the government did such a terrible thing to you for no good reason?

japaneseamerican24 karma

great aunt:Where would we go?

grandma:I'm an american citizen. Where would i go? Japan? I would have gone to Japan if my parents insisted but they didn't want to go back.

JavierTheNormal7 karma

I think you should study your WW2 history to see what other countries did during this era. I suspect the Okinawans, many Chinese, and a whole ton of Russians would gladly switch places with interned Japanese Americans. That's not even getting into Europe.

For that matter, look how the Japanese suffered during the war, largely due to choices by their own government. Getting stuck in a camp with a school, where the guards left you alone, where you could buy goods from outside is far better than any of that, and much better than being drafted.

Ervin_McBake1 karma

Seriously pisses me off when people call the camps concentration camps.

japaneseamerican4 karma


"In 1994, the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) in Los Angeles curated a new exhibit entitled “America’s Concentration Camps: Remembering the Japanese American Experience,” which ran from November 11 to October 15 a year later. A traveling version was exhibited at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum in New York in 1998–1999. But in the preparation of moving the exhibit from Los Angeles to Ellis Island, a controversy over “concentration camps” emerged in New York where a large Jewish population lives. A number of Holocaust survivors and relatives expressed sensitivity towards public confusion over ‘death camps’ with “concentration camps.” A meeting of representatives from JANM and seven American Jewish organizations resulted in the following text distinguishing the Nazi death camps from the American concentration camps, which was placed at the beginning of the exhibition (Ishizuka, 2006, p.166-167):

“A concentration camp is a place where people are imprisoned not because of any crimes they committed, but simply because of who they are. Although many groups have been singled out for such persecution throughout history, the term ‘concentration camps’ was first used at the turn of the century in the Spanish American and Boer Wars. During World War II, America’s concentration camps were clearly distinguishable from Nazi Germany’s. Nazi camps were places of torture, barbarous medical experiments, and summary executions; some were extermination centers with gas chambers. Six million Jews and many others including Gypsies, Poles, homosexuals, and political dissidents were slaughtered in the Holocaust. In recent years, concentration camps have existed in the former Soviet Union, Cambodia, and Bosnia. Despite the difference, all had one thing in common: the people in power removed a minority group from the general population and the rest of society let it happen.”

RECOMMENDATION: Instead of relocation center, the words American concentration camp is recommended. Depending on the context, words with quotation marks “American concentration camp” may be used. Alternatives are incarceration camp or illegal detention center. Ten types of U.S. imprisonment centers during WWII have been described

jointheredditarmy1 karma

I think they're called internment camps... haven't seen anyone call them concentration camps really...

japaneseamerican5 karma


As pointed out earlier, this word has a legal definition that refers to the confinement or impounding of enemy aliens in a time of war (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2011). Most of the several tens of thousands of people of Japanese ancestry that were incarcerated in WRA camps during World War II were American citizens; thus the term does not apply. A few thousand mostly Issei men were held in the Army and DOJ internment camps, but with the family reunification program and Nikkei from Latin American countries, the total exceeded 17,000 men, women, and children.

RECOMMENDATION: The word incarceration more accurately describes those held in WRA camps. Incarcerate is generally defined as to confine or imprison, typically as punishment for a crime. This term reflects the prison-like conditions faced by Japanese Americans as well as the view that they were treated as if guilty of sabotage, espionage, and/or suspect loyalty.

Indianamontoya0 karma

Whats your opinion of Michelle Malkin's book in defense of internment?

japaneseamerican15 karma

great aunt: Who?

japaneseamerican8 karma

My grandma hasn't heard of her either.