Japanese American Women During Wwii Essay

1165 words - 5 pages

During World War II, approximately 120,000 people of Japanese descent who lived on the Pacific Coast of the US were sent to internment camps after the bombing at Pearl Harbor by Japan on December 7th, 1941. American citizens made up 62% of those who were interned. And even though these American citizens were being unconstitutionally blocked off from the rest of society, the majority of these citizens still declared that they remained forever loyal to America. Some of the recollections left behind by the internees of their experiences at these camps include letters to their loved ones, diaries, pictures, and even full plays. And while living in often cramped, and poorly maintained conditions, the internees still tried to lead normal lives and still functioned as a small society.
On February 19th, 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 which authorized the evacuation of all persons deemed a threat to national security from the West Coast to relocation centers further inland (sort of like when Chancellor Palpatine ordered the death of the Jedi). Which, in other words, gave the American military authority to relocate all Japanese Americans on the western coast (mainly in California) to internment camps further inside of the United States. Some of these people were only allowed to take what they could carry, or what the rest of their families would help them carry. Nothing was shipped to these internment camps and the houses left behind were still full of the possessions of these people, left at the mercy of their neighbors or friends, who they may or not have remained in touch with by sending each other mail or telegrams. Though letters were the primary way that internees were able to communicate with the outside world, they also gave insight to the rest of the world what life was like inside the internment camps. Some of these letters also shed light on different issues inside the camps, such as the increasing hostility of some internees who were outraged at their violation of constitutional rights and formed gangs, which terrorized the rest of the internees. Another issue that the internees dealt was the small space in which they were now required to live, which consisted of small bunks which were occupied by entire families, or multiple families depending on their size. And when some families would share a bunk, the room dividers between each family sometimes didn’t even reach the ceiling.
Even though the constitutional rights of these citizens were being severely infringed, many of them still remained loyal to the United States and tried to remain American as possible; for example, girls still bought magazines and many of the modern fashions were still adopted, many women even held jobs which included working in canning centers, owning a hair salon, teaching, etc.. Although everyone earned pretty much the same income and some of the jobs were exhausting and time consuming. However, there were beauty pageants, parades,...

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