News

Flag project recalls Japanese internment camps, one signature at a time

Dozens come to Palo Alto to share experiences from dark chapter of American history

More than 60 people signed an American flag that bears more than 500 names of Japanese internment camp survivors during a ceremony at the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple on Aug. 15, 2021. Photo by Gennady Sheyner.

For Yoshiki Oshima, the memories remain fresh 80 years later.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Johnny Gogo, left, who is spearheading the flag project, talks to Yoshiki Oshima, a former occupant of two internment camps, during a flag-signing ceremony at the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple on Aug. 15, 2021. Photo by Gennady Sheyner.

There was the FBI taking away his father, a farmer who was involved in the local church and the Japanese community. There was the forced evacuation of his family to the Tule Lake camp, one of 10 concentration camps that the United States constructed in 1942 to incarcerate Japanese residents. There was the reunion with his father a year later in Crystal City, Texas, a more secure camp that was generally reserved for people whom the government deemed to be more threatening.

The Texas camp offered, somewhat paradoxically, more freedom as well as tighter security. Within the camp, residents had more independence. Instead of the common bathrooms and mess halls, families were placed into duplexes or triplexes. Rather than being forced to eat mutton or hash, they were given tokens that they could spend to buy food at the camp market and cook their own meals. Any sense of freedom, however, was fleeting. Crystal City, which was operated by the Department of Justice, had tighter security than most camps, which were run by the Department of the Interior. Oshima recalls the 10-foot-high barbed-wire fences, the guard tower and the mounted police who patrolled the camp.

"Every day, they took headcounts of all occupants in the camp," Oshima said.

Oshima, 94, was 15 years old when his family was forced to relocate from his hometown of Isleton in Sacramento County in 1942. They lost everything, he said, and ended up moving to Japan once the war ended.

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The move was particularly hard on his father. "He didn't have any other place to go," Oshima said. "And my mother was not doing too well, and she wanted to go back to Japan because she considered herself a burden to her family."

Despite the losses his family suffered, Oshima felt no bitterness toward the American government. In Japan, he served the United States occupational force before enrolling in the U.S. Army, served in the Korean War, attended University of California at Berkeley through the GI bill and got a job at Hewlett Packard, from which he retired in 1990.

The Mountain View resident was one of dozens of former camp internees who gathered at the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple on Sunday afternoon to recall their experience in places like the Topaz camp in Utah; Minidoka, Idaho; and Rohwer, Arkansas — places that many people haven't even heard of. Now in their 80s and 90s, they were children between 1942 and 1946, when the camps were operational. Some remembered their parents' pain at being uprooted from their homes; others recalled their happier childhood moments.

Yoko Kawamura points at one of the hundreds of signatures from former occupants of Japanese internment camps during a ceremony at the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple on Aug. 15, 2021. Photo by Gennady Sheyner.

Yoko Kawamura, who was 6 years old when her family was relocated from Stockton to the Rohwer War Relocation Center in Arkansas, recalled running through the forest, carving whistles and roller-skating on the smooth floor of the communal laundry room. She also remembered the cramped conditions, with her family of eight confined to two rooms separated by a hanging sheet, the centralized bathrooms, the wire fences and the guard towers.

Kawamura's father served as the block manager and planned social activities such as dances for other camp residents to keep the morale higher. Once out of the camp, he opened a gas station to support the family.

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"They made the best of the situation," Kawamura said.

Menlo Park native Frank Sasagawa, who spent some of his high school years in Topaz, similarly recalled his family's struggles, which contrasted with his relatively normal high school experience at the camp.

"What our parents had to go through was completely different. They were removed from their homes; they lost their jobs and were put into camps and pretty much lost their livelihood. It was a big question for them, not knowing what the United States was going to do with them," Sasagawa said.

The Sunday event was the brainchild of Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Johnny Cepeda Gogo, who has been traveling around the country and inviting former camp internees to sign one of two U.S. flags. He began the project in March, when former Rep. Mike Honda, who represented the south bay congressional district, became the first person to sign a flag. Honda had been interned at the Amache camp in Colorado.

Since then, more than 500 people have signed the flag, including the actor George Takei (who was interned at the Rohwer and Tule Lake camps), and the more than 60 people who registered for the Sunday event in Palo Alto.

The number of signatures will increase in the coming months, as Gogo takes his two 48-star flags to Minidoka, Idaho, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco as part of a tour that includes visits to the locations of every former internment camp. He plans to donate the flags on Jan. 30, also known as Fred Korematsu Day, which is named after the civil rights leader who defied the internment order and sparked a U.S. Supreme Court battle. One of his two flags will go to the Japanese American Museum of San Jose. He is working with the National Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles on the second flag. And with the number of signatures exceeding his expectations, he is already planning to go to eBay to buy a third flag, and possibly a fourth.

Gogo said he became interested in raising awareness of the internment camps several years ago after he met Fred Korematsu's daughter, Karen Korematsu, while doing community outreach to promote Fred Korematsu Day. In 2019 and 2020, he began to think of new ways to both raise awareness and to honor survivors of what he calls "prison camps."

"There was barbed wire and guard towers and armed soldiers keeping them on the perimeter. It's a custodial prison," Gogo said. "They had their lives ripped away from them — their businesses, their schools, their livelihood, their social lives — ripped away without due process of law. They were in prison from 1942 to 1946, and the Issei — the older generation — had it the hardest because of the stress of having to try to still provide for their families and try to keep their teenagers' lives as normal as possible to the extent that they could."

In addition to honoring those who went through the camps, Gogo wants the experience to serve as a lesson about not taking constitutional rights for granted. The U.S. has come close several times to repeating its mistakes from the 1940s in recent decades, most recently when former President Donald Trump considered a "Muslim ban" — a policy that relied on the same type of racist hysteria and failure of leadership that contributed to the establishment of the camps nearly 80 years ago, Gogo said.

"What I hope people learn is that we as American citizens have to be vigilant in protecting our constitutional rights because as we've seen during World War II, the government made a decision to bypass the Constitution and mass incarcerate over 120,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese nationals in the United States, primarily on the West Coast, without the due process of law," Gogo said.

Taz Kuwano, center, whose family was interned in the Gile River camp during the 1940s, was one of more than 60 residents who signed the flag at an event at the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple on Aug. 15, 2021. Photo by Gennady Sheyner.

Some former camp inmates never recovered their losses. Taz Kuwano, a Palo Alto resident, was 6 years old when the FBI took her father and placed him in a Sacramento jail. The rest of the family was relocated to the Turlock Assembly Center, a temporary facility where her mother died. The siblings were then reunited with their father and taken to the Gila River camp in Arizona.

Others were able to resume their lives — or build new ones — after the camps were decommissioned. Pauline Ogasawara, who was sent to Tule Lake and to Minidoka, Idaho, met her future husband at the Minidoka camp. A native of Salem, Oregon, who now lives in Palo Alto, Ogasawara recalled the dances and the social scene at the camps, as well as her jobs as a waitress in Tule and an assistant in an obstetrics ward at Minidoka. After spending some time in Idaho and Portland, she moved to Palo Alto in 1962.

Pauline Ogasawara, whose family was incarcerated in the Tule Lake and Minidoka camps during World War II, attended an event celebrating camp survivors at the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple on Aug. 15, 2021. Photo by Gennady Sheyner.

For Ogasawara, who was 16 when her family was incarcerated, the biggest complaint about the camp experience was the food.

"I didn't like the mutton. You can smell it all over as you were going to high school," Ogasawara said.

Sunday's event, which allowed more residents to learn about the experiences of Japanese internees, was an encouragement to Kuwano. Many people, she said, have little knowledge about the internment camps.

"In high school, I had a history teacher who talked about it, and there were so many kids who never heard of it. They all turned around and stared at me, and I felt like slumping under the chair," Kuwano said.

She recalled how resourceful her father was upon leaving camp. At a time when food was being rationed, he acquired pigeons and geese to sustain the family. Later he got chickens and worked at a nursery, where he grew vegetables. At the same time, he rarely discussed his experiences in the internment camp.

Kuwano said she felt gratified by Gogo's project and by the large number of people who showed up to sign the flag.

"I think the younger generation is more proactive when it comes to justice," Kuwano said. "We were pretty passive. Maybe because our parents didn't talk about it much."

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Gennady Sheyner covers the City Hall beat in Palo Alto as well as regional politics, with a special focus on housing and transportation. Before joining the Palo Alto Weekly/PaloAltoOnline.com in 2008, he covered breaking news and local politics for the Waterbury Republican-American, a daily newspaper in Connecticut. Read more >>

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Flag project recalls Japanese internment camps, one signature at a time

Dozens come to Palo Alto to share experiences from dark chapter of American history

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Aug 16, 2021, 9:56 am

For Yoshiki Oshima, the memories remain fresh 80 years later.

There was the FBI taking away his father, a farmer who was involved in the local church and the Japanese community. There was the forced evacuation of his family to the Tule Lake camp, one of 10 concentration camps that the United States constructed in 1942 to incarcerate Japanese residents. There was the reunion with his father a year later in Crystal City, Texas, a more secure camp that was generally reserved for people whom the government deemed to be more threatening.

The Texas camp offered, somewhat paradoxically, more freedom as well as tighter security. Within the camp, residents had more independence. Instead of the common bathrooms and mess halls, families were placed into duplexes or triplexes. Rather than being forced to eat mutton or hash, they were given tokens that they could spend to buy food at the camp market and cook their own meals. Any sense of freedom, however, was fleeting. Crystal City, which was operated by the Department of Justice, had tighter security than most camps, which were run by the Department of the Interior. Oshima recalls the 10-foot-high barbed-wire fences, the guard tower and the mounted police who patrolled the camp.

"Every day, they took headcounts of all occupants in the camp," Oshima said.

Oshima, 94, was 15 years old when his family was forced to relocate from his hometown of Isleton in Sacramento County in 1942. They lost everything, he said, and ended up moving to Japan once the war ended.

The move was particularly hard on his father. "He didn't have any other place to go," Oshima said. "And my mother was not doing too well, and she wanted to go back to Japan because she considered herself a burden to her family."

Despite the losses his family suffered, Oshima felt no bitterness toward the American government. In Japan, he served the United States occupational force before enrolling in the U.S. Army, served in the Korean War, attended University of California at Berkeley through the GI bill and got a job at Hewlett Packard, from which he retired in 1990.

The Mountain View resident was one of dozens of former camp internees who gathered at the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple on Sunday afternoon to recall their experience in places like the Topaz camp in Utah; Minidoka, Idaho; and Rohwer, Arkansas — places that many people haven't even heard of. Now in their 80s and 90s, they were children between 1942 and 1946, when the camps were operational. Some remembered their parents' pain at being uprooted from their homes; others recalled their happier childhood moments.

Yoko Kawamura, who was 6 years old when her family was relocated from Stockton to the Rohwer War Relocation Center in Arkansas, recalled running through the forest, carving whistles and roller-skating on the smooth floor of the communal laundry room. She also remembered the cramped conditions, with her family of eight confined to two rooms separated by a hanging sheet, the centralized bathrooms, the wire fences and the guard towers.

Kawamura's father served as the block manager and planned social activities such as dances for other camp residents to keep the morale higher. Once out of the camp, he opened a gas station to support the family.

"They made the best of the situation," Kawamura said.

Menlo Park native Frank Sasagawa, who spent some of his high school years in Topaz, similarly recalled his family's struggles, which contrasted with his relatively normal high school experience at the camp.

"What our parents had to go through was completely different. They were removed from their homes; they lost their jobs and were put into camps and pretty much lost their livelihood. It was a big question for them, not knowing what the United States was going to do with them," Sasagawa said.

The Sunday event was the brainchild of Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Johnny Cepeda Gogo, who has been traveling around the country and inviting former camp internees to sign one of two U.S. flags. He began the project in March, when former Rep. Mike Honda, who represented the south bay congressional district, became the first person to sign a flag. Honda had been interned at the Amache camp in Colorado.

Since then, more than 500 people have signed the flag, including the actor George Takei (who was interned at the Rohwer and Tule Lake camps), and the more than 60 people who registered for the Sunday event in Palo Alto.

The number of signatures will increase in the coming months, as Gogo takes his two 48-star flags to Minidoka, Idaho, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco as part of a tour that includes visits to the locations of every former internment camp. He plans to donate the flags on Jan. 30, also known as Fred Korematsu Day, which is named after the civil rights leader who defied the internment order and sparked a U.S. Supreme Court battle. One of his two flags will go to the Japanese American Museum of San Jose. He is working with the National Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles on the second flag. And with the number of signatures exceeding his expectations, he is already planning to go to eBay to buy a third flag, and possibly a fourth.

Gogo said he became interested in raising awareness of the internment camps several years ago after he met Fred Korematsu's daughter, Karen Korematsu, while doing community outreach to promote Fred Korematsu Day. In 2019 and 2020, he began to think of new ways to both raise awareness and to honor survivors of what he calls "prison camps."

"There was barbed wire and guard towers and armed soldiers keeping them on the perimeter. It's a custodial prison," Gogo said. "They had their lives ripped away from them — their businesses, their schools, their livelihood, their social lives — ripped away without due process of law. They were in prison from 1942 to 1946, and the Issei — the older generation — had it the hardest because of the stress of having to try to still provide for their families and try to keep their teenagers' lives as normal as possible to the extent that they could."

In addition to honoring those who went through the camps, Gogo wants the experience to serve as a lesson about not taking constitutional rights for granted. The U.S. has come close several times to repeating its mistakes from the 1940s in recent decades, most recently when former President Donald Trump considered a "Muslim ban" — a policy that relied on the same type of racist hysteria and failure of leadership that contributed to the establishment of the camps nearly 80 years ago, Gogo said.

"What I hope people learn is that we as American citizens have to be vigilant in protecting our constitutional rights because as we've seen during World War II, the government made a decision to bypass the Constitution and mass incarcerate over 120,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese nationals in the United States, primarily on the West Coast, without the due process of law," Gogo said.

Some former camp inmates never recovered their losses. Taz Kuwano, a Palo Alto resident, was 6 years old when the FBI took her father and placed him in a Sacramento jail. The rest of the family was relocated to the Turlock Assembly Center, a temporary facility where her mother died. The siblings were then reunited with their father and taken to the Gila River camp in Arizona.

Others were able to resume their lives — or build new ones — after the camps were decommissioned. Pauline Ogasawara, who was sent to Tule Lake and to Minidoka, Idaho, met her future husband at the Minidoka camp. A native of Salem, Oregon, who now lives in Palo Alto, Ogasawara recalled the dances and the social scene at the camps, as well as her jobs as a waitress in Tule and an assistant in an obstetrics ward at Minidoka. After spending some time in Idaho and Portland, she moved to Palo Alto in 1962.

For Ogasawara, who was 16 when her family was incarcerated, the biggest complaint about the camp experience was the food.

"I didn't like the mutton. You can smell it all over as you were going to high school," Ogasawara said.

Sunday's event, which allowed more residents to learn about the experiences of Japanese internees, was an encouragement to Kuwano. Many people, she said, have little knowledge about the internment camps.

"In high school, I had a history teacher who talked about it, and there were so many kids who never heard of it. They all turned around and stared at me, and I felt like slumping under the chair," Kuwano said.

She recalled how resourceful her father was upon leaving camp. At a time when food was being rationed, he acquired pigeons and geese to sustain the family. Later he got chickens and worked at a nursery, where he grew vegetables. At the same time, he rarely discussed his experiences in the internment camp.

Kuwano said she felt gratified by Gogo's project and by the large number of people who showed up to sign the flag.

"I think the younger generation is more proactive when it comes to justice," Kuwano said. "We were pretty passive. Maybe because our parents didn't talk about it much."

Comments

NanaDi
Registered user
Midtown
on Aug 16, 2021 at 11:02 am
NanaDi, Midtown
Registered user
on Aug 16, 2021 at 11:02 am

A very poignant story. I have great sympathy for the Japanese-Americans whose lives were disrupted by being interned in the camps. I also have great sympathy for the Victims and Survivors of the brutal attack at Pearl Harbor, which traumatized this country and gave birth to the hysteria that generated the internment camps. A very tragic chapter in the history of our great country.


George Mills
Registered user
Midtown
on Aug 16, 2021 at 5:24 pm
George Mills, Midtown
Registered user
on Aug 16, 2021 at 5:24 pm

Thank you, Gennady, for reporting this story (and so many other stories for the Weekly and Online). It is so important to remember history. One small correction, however: 1942 was nearly 80 years ago, not 70. A reminder that we don't have all that many years remaining when people will still be alive to tell the story first hand. Thank you for relaying their experiences.


Gennady Sheyner
Registered user
Palo Alto Weekly staff writer
on Aug 16, 2021 at 5:27 pm
Gennady Sheyner, Palo Alto Weekly staff writer
Registered user
on Aug 16, 2021 at 5:27 pm

Thank you, @George. Sorry for the error. I corrected it.


William
Registered user
Mountain View
on Aug 16, 2021 at 7:42 pm
William, Mountain View
Registered user
on Aug 16, 2021 at 7:42 pm

A Flag Full Of Stars: yesterday in Palo Alto, CA USA... I was part of the volunteer support at an event for survivors of the hysteria-based imprisonment of law abiding US citizens by their own government during World War Two. Sixty-Five venerable citizens arrived with their families to sign a forty-eight star flag from the Good War against fascism and race intolerance...


Rivertown
Registered user
Old Palo Alto
on Aug 16, 2021 at 11:46 pm
Rivertown , Old Palo Alto
Registered user
on Aug 16, 2021 at 11:46 pm

Thank you @Gennady for taking the time to listen to all of the stories of the attendees who came out for yesterday's flag signing and for documenting so well the purpose and importance of this event for the Japanese American community who came back to Palo Alto and the Bay Area to start over again after the war. And thank you to Judge Johnny Gogo for literally being the flag bearer for this effort to recognize the remaining Japanese American survivors of these incarceration camps and share their role in US history with their families and community, especially during these difficult times of isolation due to the resurgence of Covid and attacks on elderly Asian Americans.


George Mills
Registered user
Midtown
on Aug 17, 2021 at 10:52 am
George Mills, Midtown
Registered user
on Aug 17, 2021 at 10:52 am

Gennady, there's a second reference to "70" years that you didn't catch yet.


Don
Registered user
Mountain View
on Aug 17, 2021 at 2:50 pm
Don, Mountain View
Registered user
on Aug 17, 2021 at 2:50 pm

Thank you for this article Gennady, but I take issue with the headline.

These were not JAPANESE INTERNMENT CAMPS. These were AMERICAN CONCENTRATION CAMPS run by the United States Government, to imprison AMERICANS people of Japanese ancestry, two-third of whom were AMERICAN CITIZENS (the remainder were immigrants who had been living in the United States for 25 to 50 years and barred from naturalization).

"Japanese internment camps" is a misnomer, because the camps were neither run by the Japanese government nor camps for Japanese citizens. They were American camps for Americans, both citizens and non-citizens, who were ethnically 1/16 Japanese or more. Modern scholars now use the term "concentration camp," instead of the euphemistic "relocation center" and "internment camp," because the latter terms minimize that tragic time in American history.


Warren Decker
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Aug 18, 2021 at 9:57 am
Warren Decker, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 9:57 am

The Japanese Americans should not be mistaken or confused with other Asian ethnicities given their personal sacrifices, hard work ethic, and good citizenship.

On the other hand, Chinese mainland nationals residing in the U.S. should not be ostracized or blamed for the pandemic unless they actively support the PRC and its dubious practices.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:05 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:05 am

Next time you are in Hawaii visit Pearl Harbor and go through the Mational Park Museum which provides a whole story of the lead up to the bombing of Pearl harbor and the legacy that now is there. Have been there a number of times and it is gut wrenching that event happened. This is the primary event that led us into WW2 on the Pacific side of the war.

James Michner's book "Hawaii" tells of the vast amount of imported Japanaese workers who were brought in to grow cane, pineapples, etc. that were sending money home to help the Japanese government hopefully take over Hawaii. They are doing that now financially. The Pacific region was volatile then and is volatile now.

Any war related event needs a whole story. Not a cut-out portion of fhe story.
The SF Chronicle has a project where they report on events of the past. They report of the events in San Fancisco to prevent submarines from coming and bombing the oil storage tanks. My father worked with the city on how to prevent bombings in that bay area hot spot which was the Pacific region main post. Visit the Presidio where they have battle enforced locations set up to protect the bay area.

Cut-out stories and events are just that - a portion of history within a reported time line. The time line is of the reporters choice. But historical data goes beyond any groups definition of history. There are catalyst events that create cause and effect. The cause and effect of the Pacific side of WW2 were horrendus to every one involded.


H. Pierce
Registered user
Barron Park
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:47 am
H. Pierce, Barron Park
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:47 am

>> imported Japanese workers who were brought in to grow cane, pineapples, etc. that were sending money home to help the Japanese government hopefully take over Hawaii.

^ Seriously? The Issei (first generation) had initially planned to return to Japan after saving enough money from their employment endeavors.

And while some of them were devoted to their native homeland of Japan, most were too poor to generate a sizable 'donation' to assist Japan in conquering Hawaii.

Yes, there were some Issei zealots who tried to solicit funds to send back to Japan but they were not very successful towards accruing vast amounts of money.

The Nisei (second generation) were American citizens fully assimilated but not fully accepted by a predominantly white American society.

James Michener is a historical novelist and his works are not found in the non-fiction section of any library or bookstore.

Be wary of certain fictional embellishments that make any story more entertaining or enjoyable to read.

That is why fiction outsells non-fiction...just ask Barbara Cartland, Jacqueline Susanne, Steven King, John Grisham, and other successful paperback writers.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 18, 2021 at 11:36 am
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 11:36 am

I am a big fan of James Michner - he was a reporter during the war before writing history related novels. That is how you serve up history to the general public who do not want to read actual history. He has a pulitzer prize for his writings. Any one who goes to Hawaii on a regular basis is well acquainted with the history of the islands, especially relevent to WW2. The TV series Hawaii 50 uses a lot of history of a military nature in it's story lines.

Michner's book Caravans is set in Afghanistan during a time period when every major country was trying to take over because of the great mineral and geological treasures in that area. His approach is based on engineering efforts regarding how you move water - in Hawaii moving water to grow crops. In Afghanistan how you control water to prevent yearly flooding and redirect the use of water for power. All based on scientific and engineering realities presented in story form.

You can see that today in the "news" and "Journalism" - the continual effort to frame events within a specific time period with no larger definition of cause and effect. Also how "opinions" are presented as facts in the lead in to the stories.

example now - yesterday the President provided a well advertised explanation of his actions regarding the horrible events now in Afghanistsan. ABC did not interrupt it's Tamron Hall show where she was discussing composting. They were waiting to figure out how to frame "Spin"? In the papers today it is everyone else's fault -certainly - not the Talibans fault. The press contributes to this whole mess - the Mercury uses NY Times Opinion writers whose job is to inflame everyone with bloviated opinions to overshadow their previous protection of their governor and his actions.
Lydia does a great job and the "press" needs to reframe how they provide information and opinions - not to incite people.


Deidre LaPorte
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 18, 2021 at 12:06 pm
Deidre LaPorte, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 12:06 pm

This thread is about the various sacrifices Japanese Americans have made via their contributions to American society.

It has nothing to do with James Michener or what is currently transpiring in Afghanistan.

Until other newly arrived immigrants make the same contributions and sacrifices to America as did the Japanese Americans, we'll talk.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 18, 2021 at 1:36 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 1:36 pm

The internment is the result of actions from WW2. Those actions created the internment. Do you want more information as to why there was an internment - the time period in question - or want to sit around making bad comments about the US. Where does that information come from? All sources of information concerning that time period are relevent. And since Michner was a reporter during WW2 his "opinions" are very relevent. Also the news reports during that time period - SF Chronicle.


David Jenkins
Registered user
Stanford
on Aug 18, 2021 at 3:02 pm
David Jenkins, Stanford
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 3:02 pm

• The internment is the result of actions from WW2. Those actions created the internment.

• since Michner was a reporter during WW2 his "opinions" are very relevent. Also the news reports during that time period - SF Chronicle.

It sounds like you are defending the internment of Japanese Americans based on the actions of Imperial Japan.

Seriously? And let's not forget the racist wartime perspectives of William Randolph Hearst (aka Citizen Kane), erstwhile publisher of The San Francisco Examiner and an instigator of The Spanish American War through his newspaper empire.

Most educated people refer to it as 'yellow journalism'.

As for Michner, you stated it well...just his 'opinions' and we all have them depending on the topic at hand.


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 18, 2021 at 3:34 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 3:34 pm

Yes - tons of yellow journalism. Forever on - the NYT Opinion writers which appear in the Mercury News are busy bloviating about what ever their favorite topic is to redirect their attempts to protect their Gevernor for the lies they all supported. And we have now a ton of writers appearing everywhere in the local news about housing and the evils of R-1 housing. HOw very evil that is.

What happend during WW2 is beyond my timeline but not the timeline of my parents and people of their generation that died during that war. Many of those people were in Japanese internment camps - those were prison camps and they did not come back. Likewise internment camps in Germany and elsewhere - they did not live. WW2 is a global issue in which everyone lost and everyone suffered. And everyone was protecting their homelands.


Lillian Steinberg
Registered user
Professorville
on Aug 19, 2021 at 9:37 am
Lillian Steinberg, Professorville
Registered user
on Aug 19, 2021 at 9:37 am

> And everyone was protecting their homelands.

The Germans were protecting their homeland by exterminating Jews?

Is that how you justify The Holocaust?


Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 19, 2021 at 1:08 pm
Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Aug 19, 2021 at 1:08 pm

No one is justifying the Holocaust - noting the world wide historical existence during WW2 of concentration camps all over the world. Stating facts - not opinions.


Alan Dunning
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 21, 2021 at 8:49 am
Alan Dunning, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Aug 21, 2021 at 8:49 am

- noting the world wide historical existence during WW2 of concentration camps all over the world.

We still have them today...in parts of Russia and at Guantanamo Bay.


Steve Dabrowski
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 21, 2021 at 1:28 pm
Steve Dabrowski, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Aug 21, 2021 at 1:28 pm

PBS had a very good documentary on the internment of the Japanese Americans a couple of years ago. It appeared to be in response to some of Trump's actions and served as a warning that this could happen again. If you can find it, it is well worth watching for a good understanding of what these Americans went through. We should also note that a large number of the Japanese American internees enlisted in the armed services of the United States and served with distinction in Italy and Europe during WWII.

The 442nd Infantry Regiment is best known as the most decorated in U. S. military history and as a fighting unit composed almost entirely of second-generation American soldiers of Japanese ancestry who fought in World War II.

A section of Highway 99 in the Central Valley is named after the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and justifiably so.


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