Comments on the News
How the Media Continues to Get Things Wrong About the
Evacuation and Relocation of Ethnic Japanese during WWII

Nov. 28, 2015
Yet another comparative study of real survivors

These stories (Hidden in her son's teddy, a mother's diary of courage: A heart-tugging story of love and defiance in a brutal Japanese PoW camp - rediscovered 70 years on) are always hard to read, very much unlike the usual fare dispensed by the media re the Japanese evacuees in the US. Some of the phrases that stand out:
‘Mum and Dad lost everything we had. Absolutely everything,’ says Iain.

Grace and Iain slept in a room with 34 others.

The prisoners were starving, but would be savagely beaten if caught eating a weed. Grace and other inmates sucked on stones to keep the hunger pangs away.

She typed up her diary and sent it to a New York publisher, who rejected it on the grounds she was not American. She never attempted to publish it again, instead hiding it away and refusing to talk about her experiences with even her closest family.
During this season of thanksgiving, let us remember how much we should be grateful for our freedoms, not only to God, but to those who fought, those who suffered, those who died, to keep us free.

Days of Thanksgiving were often proclaimed by US presidents during times of war. See this PDF for more, especially the ones proclaimed during WWII. And yes, these were to be commemorated by giving of thanks to Almighty God. Though Roosevelt had his controversial polices, I would gladly welcome him back to be our President again, were that possible. Here is from his address on Thanksgiving Day, 1944:
In this year of liberation, which has seen so many millions freed from tyrannical rule, it is fitting that we give thanks with special fervor to our Heavenly Father for the mercies we have received individually and as a nation and for the blessings He has restored, through the victories of our arms and those of our allies, to His children in other lands...

To the end that we may bear more earnest witness to our gratitude to Almighty God, I suggest a nationwide reading of the Holy Scriptures during the period from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas.

Let every man of every creed go to his own version of the Scriptures for a renewed and strengthening contact with those eternal truths and majestic principles which have inspired such measure of true greatness as this nation has achieved.

...I call upon the people of the United States to observe [this day of national thanksgiving] by bending every effort to hasten the day of final victory and by offering to God our devout gratitude for His goodness to us and to our fellow men.

Nov. 23, 2015
Shinto and Islam

Below are a couple of entries I had posted a while back on my webblog (asst. comments on old books) that I think are appropriate for today. Japan was very much interested in the Muslims and other groups around the world they had hoped to influence and utilize (including Roman Catholics in South American, and "Negros" in the US). MacArthur certainly saw the threat State Shinto posed in post-war Japan.

Memo to those who are paranoid about anyone trying to connect the Nikkei situation in our nation at the outbreak of WWII to events of today re the Muslims: Yes, just as we were concerned about all the Japanese Shinto shrines and organizations on the West Coast prior to WWII, so should we be about the growing influence of Islamic mosques and organizations in the US (see map of just the terrorist network alone) -- "[Shintoism] is also, not unlike Islam, a political as much as a religious creed. The emphasis rests on devotion to the State..."

A good plug for your pipe!

April 3, 2015

Japan's Muslim Policy a Huge Success, 1943

A couple of excerpts from an OSS report, "Japanese Infiltration Among Muslims Throughout the World," published on May 15, 1943. The OSS later developed into the CIA. The Imperial Japanese tried very hard to convince with their propaganda.

"The Bible has now become the Book of the Japanese"...

"Islam is about to become the world's greatest power with the Mikado as Caliph"... !!

March 21, 2013

US Occupation in Japan -- Getting Rid of Shinto

UPDATE: Here's another map of the US showing mosques per state, a total of 3,186, twice as many as there were in the year 2000. In comparison, in Hawaii alone prior to the outbreak of WWII, there were 55 Shinto shrines. In the US and Hawaii there were over 350 Shinto and Buddhist priests; the number of Buddhists in the US numbered over 100,000!

Nov. 21, 2015
Roanoke mayor apologizes

Article: Roanoke mayor apologizes for suggesting internment for Syrian refugees

Granted he insinuated the wrong thing and should have clarified it further while he had the opportunity. Above all, the mayor should have done his homework. Like everyone else who later criticized him should have done as well!

It is amazing how little people really do know about WWII and what faced us re the Japanese in our land.
  1. We are not at war with the Syrians -- we were with the Japanese after Pearl Harbor.
  2. These are Syrian refugees fleeing their war-torn homeland. There were no Japanese refugees fleeing Japan to our country in the early 1940's that I know of (I would probably not be too far off in saying there were Japanese "fleeing" back to Japan).
  3. There were indeed Japanese "foreign nationals" living in the US at the outbreak of WWII. Yes, they were then declared as enemy aliens. And yes, we HAD to deal with them accordingly. But the huge issue facing us was what were we going to do with their American-born children, especially those trained to be "good Japanese."
  4. There was no national hysteria nor race prejudice. Foreign-national Japanese were living in central and eastern United States and were not lynched nor even rounded up and put in any of the centers; only those who were under federal investigation were sent to internment or detention camps.
The bottom line is that something needs to be done about the refugee crisis -- facing not only Europe but our country as well -- and the security threat posed by the bad guys getting in along with the good.

It is a screening issue, and it faced us back then just as it does now. What will be very interesting to see now is just HOW we as a nation will deal with this, with our 20/20 hindsight... and very limited foresight. Pretty much what faced us back then.

So, all you in Newsmedialand, let's hear your solution, not your hysteria.

Nov. 20, 2015
The clueless

This is totally baffling (Takei torches Va. mayor who's clueless about Japanese-American internment). The writer thinks Takei "knows something about the interment camps." Very humorous, not only for calling it interment instead of internment, but thinking that Takei is an authority on the subject.

Per Takei, no foreign nationals were in the camps, only Japanese Americans. Hello? Since when did all the Issei become Americans??? Am I missing a major change in how we no longer identify foreign nationalities here in the US now?

This kid's story gets worse and worse all the time. I want him to talk about his parents and what they thought of it all, not about himself... and especially explain why his father and mother (Takekuma "Norman" and Fumiko Emily [Nakamura]) were both No-No'ers and ended up at the Tule Lake prison where there really was security-type barbed wire for good reason. I think George Hosato Takei (only 9 when he left Tule) can't explain it, and he has no other way to deal with the shame and guilt but to fight his little war, a war to get even. Sad.

He's also featured here:
George Takei: I can still remember the barbed wire

Korematsu is in the news again, but not worth re-hashing:

And Min Yasui as well:

Nov. 19, 2015
Remembering what it was like

Current events once again has produced quite a lengthy article (Before people start invoking Japanese American internment, they should remember what it was like), with a lot of comments, and a few links to other related articles. So, the bottom line?
...paranoia and ethnic bias can lead the country to commit actions it will later regret. The internment of the Japanese-Americans... was a "great injustice"... the mistake of stigmatizing an entire population over suspicions of people who share their ethnicity.
Sounds like this writer et al are the ones with paranoia. And definitely ignorance. Which is ironic, with a title like they gave this one, that we should remember. How can you remember something you can't even get straight? Here's what they quote from the WRA:
Mass removal of the American Japanese was admittedly a drastic step, but it was deemed the only effective way to clear up a situation that was becoming more critical and chaotic with every passing week of the war.
So, was it right or wrong? Sadly they bring in an immoral personality and then "No-No" Korematsu to defend their weak position.

To compare the situation we were in with Japan and what we are facing now with immigrants is silly -- we have borders... still. And we are to protect those borders, because we protect a sovereign nation. Japanese nationals weren't suddenly coming into our country by the thousands; they were already here when WWII broke out, and we let many of those outside another type of border -- the West Coast military zone -- remain, without forcing them to enter any sort of camp, even when they were enemy aliens. We did NOT stigmatize an entire people due to race. The Nisei served admirably in the 100th Infantry, 442nd RCT, and also in MIS. There were many others as well, civilians, Americans, yet with Japanese heritage.

I won't even get into what Gov. Inslee said about how our nation "succumbed to fear" and anger and "locked up" Bainbridge Island Japanese who were "good neighbors" instead of making a decision based on reason. We know better, don't we!

Roanoke, Virginia, Mayor Bowers, on the other hand, is one man I would like to meet. He apparently DOES remember something about what it was like.

Nov. 16, 2015
Rebel With A Cause: The Doc Nikaido Story

This article (Compelling account of Canada’s treatment of Japanese-Canadians during World War II) caught my eye. Tell me what you think of this book; only a small portion of the book is viewable online:
Rebel With A Cause: The Doc Nikaido Story by Bretton Loney
If I get this correctly, this is a kid with a grudge complaining about how he was never in a camp? But had a good education in Toronto?

I don't have much info on the Canadian situation, but the concern the US had about Japanese in Canada from way back was a labor issue, which was brought out in Teddy Roosevelt's Executive Order of 1907 (in this document). The intel we had prior to WWII re Canadian Japanese was a whole other issue, especially in view of the fact that Japan had the Alaskan-Canadian NW in its target (see below (also mentioned earlier in Feb. 20, 2014 entry), and note also this G-2 memo). Here's a news article that revealed the media was alerted to this threat:

B. C. to Move 2,500

The British Columbia evacuation will remove all Japanese from districts north and west of the lower mainland district around Vancouver. Nine coastal steamers will be used.

A total of 2,500 Japanese at 60 points along the mainland and Vancouver Island will be picked up and taken to Vancouver, where they will he held until accommodations outside the coast-defense zone are ready for them. In addition, 607 Japanese from Northern British Columbia will assemble at Prince Rupert, to be taken to Vancouver.

At the same time, the United Press reported that the clamour for swift action in the defense of British Columbia was rising in the wake of new warnings that the Japanese may attack the Pacific Coast and that some provincial cities were pressing plans to organize and train guerrilla bands to fight any invasion attempts.

In Vancouver, a citizens' committee has been formed to aid in recruiting 4,000 men to bring a reserve brigade to full strength in the coastal area. Maj. Oscar Erickson, president of the Canadian Corps, said "it is up to every man who is able to pull a trigger to learn to use weapons, from rifle to trench mortar."
Re Japanese plans for an Alaska-Canada domain, here's from a paper by Ikuhiko Hata:
The Army also had grandiose ideas. There is a document called the "Proposal for Land Disposition in the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere." It would have placed the Governments General (Directorate Governors General) over lands occupied by Japan. For example, there was to be a South Pacific Government General covering New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, etc., an Eastern Pacific Government General for Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga, etc., an Australia Government General for Australia, Tasmania, etc., a New Zealand Government General, a Ceylon Government General, an Alaska Government General, a Central America Government General, and so on.

The Alaska Government General was to include western Canada and the U.S. northwestern state Washington, but for some reason most of the U.S. mainland, was not included. The proposal was created around February 1942 by the Army Ministry's Research Department. Four years later, the occupation forces' GHQ confiscated it from Kazuo Yatsugi (Secretary General of the Research Society for National Policy) and introduced it as evidence at the Tokyo war crimes tribunal. Yatsugi stated that he thought it a "quite extremely assertive opinion." It was never officially adopted, but it reflects the confident atmosphere of the Japanese Army and Navy drunk on "victory disease."
Another point you will NEVER hear in the media about all this is the fact that there were Nisei who served in the Imperial Japanese Forces. One kid born in Canada was a brutal and sadistic guard at the Shamshuipo camp in China, Kanao Inoue, nicknamed Kamloops Kid and Slap Happy. What exactly caused this "son of Canada" to turn against his own countrymen and side with the enemy??? What he said to the Allied POW's needs to be repeated in the ears of those who think the Japanese and their children were forever psychologically warped by their evacuation and relocation:
The Japanese flag will soon be flying over Ottawa. All Canadians will be slaves as you are now! Your mothers will be killed. Your wives and sisters will be raped by our soldiers and anyone resisting will be shot.
For what it's worth, see this little piece online, "Military Necessity as a factor in the decision to intern Japanese-Canadians."

Nov. 10, 2015
More children's stories

This one (Former Child Prisoners Of Japanese Internment Camps To Speak At Light Hall) should be interesting -- a "panel of experts"! At least they will talk a little about one of the actual internment camps in the US, Lordsburg, but my hopes are not high as they will probably hash out how two elderly Japanese were murdered in cold blood by a guard. Wish I could be there to quiz them experts... and they'd better speak Japanese.

The following occurred at Lordsburg:
[Dr. Lechner] related an incident which occurred at Camp Lordsburg, New Mexico. He stated that a number of Japanese prisoners captured during the Solomon Islands campaign were brought to the relocation center at Lordsburg and interned there with the Japanese evacuees. He stated the civilian administration of the camp permitted the Japanese prisoners to mingle and talk with the evacuees in the Japanese language. On October 29, 1942, Camp Bulletin Number 56 was issued in mimeographed form by the evacuees. It was in the Japanese language. The bulletin described the number of Japanese prisoners who had been brought into the camp a day or two before and gave minute details as to where they had come from and named the boat that brought them to the United States; information, Dr. Lechner contended, withheld from our own metropolitan newspapers. He stated that the Japanese prisoners from the Solomon Islands painted an encouraging picture of Japanese victories for the Japanese-Americans in the camp, and as a result, the camp was "all fired up." The following morning saw a big demonstration staged by both the Japanese-American evacuees and the Japanese prisoners. He stated that there were several thousand Japanese participating in the demonstration, marching up and down through the camp, singing and having a "great time." A loyal Japanese, placed in the camp by the Federal Government, and whose name was withheld, reported that two or three officials in charge of the camp felt quite happy concerning the demonstration. One of them said: "Our policy for the relocation board is pretty good; we are giving them all the leeway possible; look how happy they are!" The Japanese informant turned to the official and said: "Do you know what they are singing?" The official answered, "It doesn't make any difference. They are happy." The Japanese informant then told the official that "They are singing the Japanese National Anthem." The official became alarmed and said, "They can't do that here!" the Japanese informant then stated: "If you will look at the flag-pole you will see what they can do!" The official looked at the flag-pole and saw a home-made Japanese Flag flying from it. During the night the Japanese had run up the Japanese Flag. Dr. Lechner stated that his report revealed that it took the threat of Army machine-guns to enable a man to take down the Japanese Flag. --from REPORT OF THE JOINT FACT-FINDING COMMITTEE

The best source to read is Soga's book; here's an excerpt:
Several Tokyo Club leaders were interned at Lordsburg. Members of this club, headquartered in Los Angeles, were feared by Japanese up and down the West Coast. However, after becoming friendly with them in the camp, I discovered they were not scoundrels; in fact, as is often the case this type of people, many of them had a high sense of duty and honor. They were always very quiet and cooperative. This was my impression; according to some Mainland Japanese, they were merely putting up a front.

The Tokyo Club resembles the gambling clubs run by American and Chinese gangs on the Mainland. It asserts its right to a percentage of the income from Japanese-sponsored events. If ignored or rebuffed, members use pressure or take retaliatory actions, sometimes ruining a promoter's fortune. On the other hand, they contribute, financially and otherwise, to Japanese charities and welfare organizations. They play their bad and good roles skillfully.

The Tokyo Club was responsible for many shocking murders never went to trial. One member was known to have killed five or six people. Several club bosses were in turn assassinated and the perpetrators never found. The Tokyo Club's "methods" were similar to those used by Chinese gangs... One member used this method to get rid of a body and escaped arrest due to lack of evidence. Once free, he brazenly invited a large number of people to a party to celebrate his release. Many Japanese in Los Angeles, aware of the situation, nevertheless sent congratulatory gifts of cash to avoid future problems. The evil influence of this club made its way into various segments of the Japanese community in California. Lawyers and newspaper companies conspired with them. Religious men enjoyed their protection, albeit indirectly. Even the police in some areas may have been a part of their "racket." --from Through the Eyes of an Issei

Nov. 7, 2015
Hirahara photos

Aside from the typical yada yada about the camps, I thought this article (A family's photo trove offers a window into WWII Japanese-American internment camp life) brought out some things that the activists should take note of, e.g this:

"Even though he was incarcerated during World War II, my grandfather said he understood it," said Hirahara. "He said the American government felt they had to protect everyone. So he had no bitterness."

And this, which is not what you generally hear from them about all those photos, which they think are staged and the "sufferers" were coaxed to smile:

Hirahara, who said that her father and grandfather rarely talked about the difficult aspects of life in the internment camp, is often asked why the subjects of her father's photographs are always smiling.

"If you're having a photograph taken, and it might be your last on Earth, you want to be shown happy," she said. "This is going to preserve you for posterity, so you don't want a bad picture."

The most obvious is the fact that they took trips outside the camp -- so much for supposed barbed wire and guns pointed at them!

Nov. 3, 2015
San Francisco J-A's and memorials

They make a good point in this article (San Francisco Japanese-Americans ask why city needs a 'comfort women' memorial), but miss the mark, or rather, miss the huge piece of lumber in their own eye as they focus on a speck in the city's.

Perhaps the activists would be happy if there were a memorial to commemorate all the activities of the Tokyo Club and its tentacles of control among the doho? Today we would call those "Japanese-Americans" yakuza. Read this short portion from this book, Beyond the Mafia: Organized Crime in the Americas.

Oct. 14, 2015
Bitter whine

Despite the hackneyed phrases of "fear, hatred, and racism" and misrepresentations of the miserable life of injustices, this article (A Bitter Harvest: Inside Japanese-American Internment Camps During World War II) shows these people really did prosper, thanks to Uncle Sam's extraordinary treatment (even though most of the older folks were enemy aliens). Were it not for all the amazing preparations and organization the US Govt. put into these relocation centers for self-sustenance, things would have been greatly different.

Note also these cases that are omitted in most other articles (in their bias that the Japanese lost everything):
Oliver took care of the Hiyama vineyard like it was his own, sending annual checks for the raisin harvest, until the Japanese-American family returned. At one point, he and another neighbor drove from Fresno to the Gila River Relocation Center, south of Phoenix. Loaded in Oliver’s truck were furniture and other belongings for the Hiyamas to use in their barracks...

During the war years, a handful of white lawyers, bookkeepers, and office managers kept the group’s thousands of acres alive. These good neighbors regularly journeyed to the Granada Relocation Center, in Amache, Colorado, to consult with the incarcerated farmers and distribute profits.
How wonderful it would have been if all these evacuees could have met the repatriates from internment camps in the Far East who returned on exchange ships, e.g. the Gripsholm. Then they could have learned the real meaning of bitterness.

Oct. 10, 2015
"one of America’s most dastardly deeds"

And another dastardly article (Skirball Center's exhibit on Japanese internment goes beyond Ansel Adams photos) -- almost driving me hysterical...!!

It almost makes one wonder whether they have some ghostwriter competing with Allied POW and internee recollections of the horrid camp conditions in SE Asia under Japanese Imperial rule.

Those gallant men and women have a true sense of what is and what is not "dastardly."

Aug. 8, 2015
Norman Hashisaka, MIS

Now this was a refreshing article to read (‘We haven’t learned’ -- Norman Hashisaka recounts World War II service, hopes for peace).

I dedicated my website to a Nisei soldier. Truly some amazing men, especially those who served in the Military Intelligence Service. Whether they solely helped to shorten the war or not is debatable, they DID provide some vital intel because of their Japanese language skills.

July 28, 2015
Conjuring and preserving the somber

Another children's story (Topaz museum dedicated to preserving somber chapter in American history). Gotta love these kids and their authoritative remarks:
Imazeki was only an infant and doesn’t remember the experience, but conjured a somber image of life in desolate central Utah when she walked the dusty, sagebrush-covered landscape of the internment site.
Below is something I came across recently to show some other kids who were interned... and how to define what is really "somber"... and how to "gaman."


June 19, 2015
NPS awards J-A group money for history project

I imagine many of you have seen these stories of grants being awarded by the National Park Service to help educate indoctrinate the masses re these internment camps relocation centers. It's sad to see how polarization is actually being promoted by these efforts. For what it's worth, here is an interesting article (The Pecking Disorder: Social Justice Warriors Gone Wild) that has some correlations to these J-activists, or "social justice warriors." Unfortunately, their "fixation on identity" does not allow for a panoramic vision of their own history.

May 21, 2015
More about that "shocking" book

I imagine the conversation will be full of shock and awe. Reeves' book, Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II, has quite a bunch of people talking (Reeves, Tashima in Conversation on May 21), but I doubt for long -- their heart may not be able to bear the shock...

Apr. 24, 2015
WWII camps not comparable to Holocaust, slavery


A recent article in the Sacramento Bee told of protests against a New Jersey auction of Japanese American artifacts from World War II internment camps. A spokesperson compared camp prisoners to Holocaust victims, American slaves and displaced American Indians. I’d like to shed a little light on that. World War II Japanese American internment camps provided privacy for families, hot and cold running water, gardens, three meals a day, medical care, freedom to move about, social clubs, entertainment, Scout troops, craft shops, athletic teams (with equipment) and warm clothing. Slaves and the victims of the Holocaust did not have those luxuries and American Indians were forced to leave their homes and burial grounds.

And let me tell you about my grandparents who were interned by the Imperial Japanese army in the Philippines for three years. Beatings, mutilations and killings were de regueur. No food was provided for the first six months and then it was livestock field rice with weevils and soup with fish heads. Women were separated from men and given a 3-foot by 6-foot space on the floor to call their own. Three squares of toilet paper were allowed. No radios or cameras were permitted, on pain of death if discovered. Abortions were demanded of any woman who became pregnant.

In the end, my grandfather was killed and my grandmother lost her arm from a Japanese bomb that exploded near them. Nothing like that happened to interned Japanese Americans and we even gave them each $20,000 as an apology. After the war, they were able to rebuild their lives and fortunes. I’m still waiting for the Japanese government to apologize to families of the Allies whose lives they ruined with their atrocities in the Far East.

Pat Lane
Grass Valley

Apr. 18, 2015
Prepare for this shocker!

Book review in the Boston Globe on Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese American Internment in World War II by Richard Reeves.

Yup, the media wants to "fan the hysteria" about this new one. Reeves says it's a plea for tolerance, but who really failed to tolerate who during WWII? He should have gotten into one of the root causes, and that was non-assimilation by the first generation Japanese in the US.

Mar. 14, 2015
Posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom Sought for Minoru Yasui

Obviously missing here is the BIG question:

Based on the original Medal of Freedom started by Pres. Truman, what honorable civilian service did Yasui perform, viz. in helping US war efforts???

There is way too much FOR the way Yasui was handled by authorities back in 1942. To say otherwise is to mock freedom and true civil rights.

Mar. 5, 2015
JACL Applauds Inclusion of Honouliuli into National Park System

No applause, just more laughs:
The preservation and interpretation of the Japanese American World War II confinement sites ensures that their important and distinct place in American history will continue to educate future generations against repeating injustices of the past.
These folks need to throw away their tainted glasses of modern liberal thinking when they look at these issues. For a real eye-opener on "a forgotten but important part of American history" on how our military viewed the situation in Hawaii, read these excerpts from Japanese Activities in the Hawaiian Islands as an Internal Security Problem, produced by the Counter-Intelligence Section of the 14th Naval District in Honolulu on June 30, 1943. One of the main taboo topics for activists is dual nationality, especially how they view the thousands of Nisei in Japan during WWII who were proof that locality influenced loyalty.

Feb. 25, 2015
Of washoi's and renunciants - More on Tule Lake

An Issei (first-generation Japanese) wrote a very interesting book about his experiences in Tule Lake: An Issei Memoir. Here are a few scans from the book that I found informative, coming from someone who was there and interpreted for the renunciants. Includes statistics on the camp.

Feb. 20, 2015
To Be or Not To Be American: The Truth About Tule Lake Concentration Camp

Prepare yourself to learn "the truth" (aka "dirty laundry") about oppression and Tule Lake from this 4th generation (yonsei) J-A, who apparently feels a kinship with political activists, and a disdain for those who see the other side of his "truth":
The fact that no-nos received reparations has been criticized by people opposed to Redress. You may remember some right-wing pundits who came out post-9/11 in support of the “internment” of Japanese Americans. They used no-nos as proof that racial incarceration was justified, and liked to sneer about these treacherous “disloyal” Japanese getting reparations.
What is missing in documentaries of this type are the interviews of the tens of thousands who did not agree with the actions of the No-no's and who willingly submitted to registration, curfew laws, evacuation, the questionnaires, etc.

For an enlightening letter about the renunciants (esp. re their nationality and loyalty), see this PDF, Ennis Letter to Besig, 1945-08-22.

Jan. 21, 2015
J-A's hiding Japanese in Colorado

Interesting article (Art of internment camps shows discouragement and hope) about artwork at the centers, except for saying the artists "survived the camps" -- WHAT exactly were they lacking in food and drink and medical care there??? But perhaps it was them having to deal with the hardships of not having enough canvas and paint...

And so much for the hype that they were all rounded up, though:
One audience member mentioned that in Southern Colorado there was a small group of Japanese American families and when Executive Order 9066 came into effect, the local ranchers protected them and hid them from government authorities.

Nov. 3, 2014
Sculptor Noguchi and Ginger Rogers

The J-A activists won't like this article:

But Noguchi’s work on the piece was interrupted. As the government began rounding up people of Japanese heritage to send them to internment camps, he volunteered to join them.

He didn’t have to. As a resident of New York, Noguchi wasn’t subject to the evacuation zone, which was limited to the West Coast. He volunteered, according to biographical accounts, as a gesture of solidarity. Appalled at the internments, Noguchi thought he could do some good by teaching art to the detainees.


On top of it all, the artist had little in common with the Japanese evacuees he had hoped to befriend... He couldn’t have been more different from the farmers and laborers who populated the camp. Coming in with his high-end art supplies, his urbane manners and air of distinction, Noguchi was more of an outsider than ever.

Oct. 9, 2014
More on Japanese balloon bombs

The Japanese sure weren't quiet about these balloon bombs of theirs. Love their propaganda: "several million airborne troops could be landed in the US in the near future." So... there really was no threat of a Japanese invasion of the West Coast? Modern day revisionists would like you to think so, which shows you how very little they understand about what was facing our military leaders back then.

See this PDF excerpt , Further Discussion on Balloons 1945-02-23, from an intel report. Interesting about the radio transmitters -- perhaps to fool our military into thinking these were planes attacking the US?

Aug. 22, 2014
Searchlights haunt author who was in Japanese relocation camp as child

Another child tells it all. This article will get you ready for Halloween!

At least the book title does simply call it a fence. I don't have any good photos of the property line fencing at Amache, but here are a couple from Heart Mountain -- the second one is quite interesting showing people on both sides of the fence!

Aug. 11, 2014
"Enduring optimism"

This article is by another child of the centers (Born in an internment camp: Japanese-American woman recounts parents’ enduring optimism), and is another piece to show that there were those who were poor and living a much better life in the centers... thanks to US taxpayers (who had to endure the real rigors of the war, e.g. rationing, hard work to support the war effort). The optimism comes from how well they were treated. The comparisons with how our citizens were treated under the hands of the Imperial Japanese in Asia would be too many to list here, something the revisionists do not want to dwell upon... for good reason!

Aug. 8, 2014
Divers searching to prove story of sunken enemy sub off Oregon coast

Yes, there was a threat to our West Coast. Imperial Japanese subs were prowling the Pacific during the war, with a few actually attacking the US coast (e.g. yesterday's entry below), and some were sunk by the US Navy. See also this related article, Searchers 'closer than ever' to WWII sub off Oregon coast chased by L. Ron Hubbard.

Aug. 7, 2014
Terror Shudders United States

Very enlightening article (PDF) from a May 1943 English language study book published by the Japanese Army. It talks about the shelling of fuel tanks near Santa Barbara, Calif. Here is one excerpt:

July 31, 2014
Why Does This Nation of Immigrants Always Imprison ‘The Other’?

I shoot back the question -- Why does our nation continually to get this analogy wrong? Japan attacked the US and we declared war on them. Arabia did not attack us, nor did Palestine nor Iraq.

Even though a missionary to Japan, Iglehart obviously did not understand what it was all really about. Reminds me of a similar missionary, Sidney Gulick, who wrote against anti-Japanese sentiment in the 20's and 30's. Thankfully, McClatchy put him in his place. Interestingly, Gulick was against the Japanese schools in Hawaii due to the teachers there being Buddhist priests, thus inhibiting the Americanization process among the Japanese.

Yes, novel idea isn't it... to be American is to be American.

July 24, 2014
Life at Heart Mountain captured in internee’s rare Kodachrome photos

I note a subscription is required to read this article:

But you can view a slideshow at the New York Times website.

I just love this photo comparison with some of Manbo's shots (and two other related pics).... so much for barbed wire and incarceration! Seriously now, was this barbed wire there to keep people from escaping??? Some proof that is of a "concentration camp" and a life of "incarceration" as the revisionists would have it called.

Memo to those who insist on barbed wire confinement: Have a talk with the cattle ranchers surrounding the camps.

July 15, 2014
Radio Spies

Interesting quote from Bartholomew Lee's article:
A sophisticated Japanese army receiver [Fig. 83], perhaps some 60 years
hidden in Southern California, has been recently found by Mike Adams, so
clandestine traffic into the U.S. cannot be ruled out.
See this section for full article and RS files:

Radio Spies

July 3, 2014
What My Grandmother Learned in Her World War II Internment Camp

Good story about a kibei. An amazing amount of education was provided for all those in the centers, learning skills that enabled them to make something out of their lives after the war. And you know who paid for all that...

June 23, 2014
Grant to help preserve history of internment camps in N.M.

They still want to remember all those renunciants and troublemakers. At least they use the word "internment camp" correctly.

June 16, 2014
Rohwer camp

It is enlightening to read in this article (Editorial: Grants To Preserve Rohwer Important) how they "remember":

"The relocation center was surrounded by a barbed wire fence with a patrol road and eight watch towers..."


"What he remembered was having the run of the woods that surrounded the center in those days. He and the other children had more freedom than they were used to in California..."

Their deliberate disinformation is getting more and more mixed up, and more and more puzzling!

May 22, 2014
Totem pole dancing

Has this become a religion now??!! See ‘When Dreams Are Interrupted’ Memorializes Japanese-American Internment: “By dancing around these [name] tags, we bring more life to the story.”

May 19, 2014
Colorado internment camp marks 'terrible mistake' in WWII

And there are many more terrible mistakes in this piece of poor journalism. They will never get it into their minds that there really was a war with Japan... and there really were enemy aliens living in our country then.

Feb. 27, 2014
Japanese businessmen and Japanese intel

Here's from an unpublished manuscript by a former Dutch POW:
At the time, political tensions in the world were escalating. An increasing number of Japanese trading parties were traveling in and out of the Dutch East Indies, ostensibly on business trips but, in actuality, they were there to gather intelligence in the area. I suspect that the Dutch East Indies government was aware of these activities, but this has never been officially verified. There were many signs of duplicity on the part of the Japanese. For example, a delegation of Japanese traders were scheduled for a one-day trip, that ended up taking three days due to alleged ‘missed connections’. Japanese, posing as tourists would book ordinary plane flights and then surreptitiously take mapping photos of the land. To discourage further such spying, pilots were instructed to fly above the clouds making picture taking difficult.

The Japanese had been heavily investing in trade in the Dutch East Indies for the past several years and had established shops and businesses there. When war finally broke out, most of the local Japanese merchants and businessmen donned military uniforms. Apparently, they were secretly already in the Japanese military service and were outfitted accordingly.
Sounds like the West Coast situation prior to the war, when the Japanese set up hundreds of businesses and organizations.

Also from this man's story:
The Japanese had transported us to Burma. We had been transported as slaves. At this point my hard times as a POW was just beginning. I could not count on the notion that help was forthcoming. I had to survive by myself. Only the strongest men, physically and mentally, would be able to survive this nightmare. FOOTNOTE: Thousands of men died from illnesses like malaria, dysentery, tropical wounds that never healed, beriberi, burning feet, etc. There was no medicine available. Oh, people of Japan, what did you do to us?

Feb. 22, 2014
FDR’s Worst Domestic Mistake

This article (FDR’s Worst Domestic Mistake: 72nd Anniversary Of Japanese American Internment Order) will get your blood circulation going... or perhaps boiling.

Like the article ends, these writers sure get into "hysteria and panic," showing how little they really do know about what a former President had facing him in a very dangerous time... very dangerous.

Feb. 20, 2014
Japan's Co-Prosperity Sphere... Alberta, Canada

Below is another snippet from a document which appeared as an exhibit in the Tokyo War Crimes trials.

Japan had Alaska in its sights for the expansion of her Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere... and also western Canada. No wonder the US and Canadian Govts. were concerned about J-Imperial plans for the West Coast.

Attached is a map I found on the Internet showing the extent of the empire -- a big chunk of Canada, and a part of Washington and Oregon. Something was desirable up there in Washington state for the Japanese... good source of sushi??!! More than likely it was the great number of doho who were already colonizing the area extensively (e.g. hundreds of Japanese businesses and organizations) and would assist in the new "Government-General."

Feb. 17, 2014
Be my Valentine - Viscount Ishii

The two Roosevelts -- what a difference 20 years can make...

Feb. 3, 2014
A "striking contrast" in internment

From a Tokyo War Crimes Trials document re the execution of six American airmen by sword, gun and bayonet at Ple Tonan, French Indo-China, Apr. 27, 1945:

Speaking of faith, the concept of giving kind treatment is because of our biblical heritage, to love our neighbor as ourselves... and that neighbor, Christ taught us, includes our enemies.

Jan. 28, 2014
They are still at it

"The Supreme Court’s 1944 decision in Korematsu v. United States was a disaster." (from A Discredited Supreme Court Ruling That Still, Technically, Stands.)

Oh really?? The axe grinders are indeed relentless. Perhaps the next thing they'll want is sainthood for Korematsu!

I have already said enough about the whole Korematsu fiasco. Just remember... those were different times; we must NOT use our 21st-century eyeglasses to view that time of uncertainty and danger.

By the way, if you haven't seen it, view this about what could have happened on the West Coast, especially if bio-weapons were used according to plans:
SECRETS OF THE DEAD | Japanese SuperSub | PBS

Now THAT is a "disaster" article the New York Times can write about!

Dec. 25, 2013
Amache camp -- major exporter

Like I've said before, they had it good at these camp centers. How in the world they can say they had terrible conditions while at the centers is beyond me. This article (Amache Internment Camp is focus of Sack Lunch program) shows how well they prospered, even becoming a major exporter of produce!

"...a large farm and cooperative that raised alfalfa, corn, sorghum, lettuce, celery and spinach, that was exported outside of Colorado."

Nov. 23, 2013
More on West Coast defenses

We were ready and waiting -- where it was real-time "see something, say something, do something." See the attached photos:

Note re Navy blimp, Seaside, OR:
Title: U.S. Navy blimp, Seaside, Oregon
Description: This blimp is from the Tillamook Naval Air Station on patrol during World War II. The photo
was taken from Seaside Beach looking south toward Tillamook Head. During World War II the U.S. Navy had
a naval air station just outside Tillamook. Two wooden blimp hangers were constructed to house a squadron
of blimps. These hangers were huge inside, so huge that each contained eight blimps. Construction started
in August, 1942 and patrols started in the summer of 1943. The blimps were sent out on missions to patrol
the shipping lanes and search for enemy submarines. The blimps were also tasked with watching for a Japanese
invasion fleet and escorting the Liberty Ships and Air Craft Carriers being constructed at the Swan Island
shipyards, once they reached the mouth of the Columbia River. On September 15, 1945, two weeks after
the Japanese surrender, Tillamook station was reduced to functional status. In October, the last two
blimps left for California, and by mid-1946, all wings were decommissioned by the U.S. Navy.
Note re Gravelle and 41st Inf. Div.:
Title: Elroy Gravelle and friend, sleeping in uniform
Description: Black and white image of a number of men lounging beneath a tree while others in the background
stare out over a body of water. Trees and groundcover in the image appear to be more reminiscent of the
Pacific Northwest than the South Pacific. During World War II, following the attack on Pearl Harbor,
much of the 41st Infantry Division was deployed to protect the coasts of Washington and Oregon against
a possible Japanese invasion. In 1942, the Division was deployed overseas, including the band, and saw
service in the South Pacific. Elroy Gravelle, to the left of the image, was a long-time Portland area
resident who enlisted in the National Guard as a musician in 1940.
Location: Washington state
Date: 1942
And from here re the 41st Infantry Division:

Our Division soon began to make large-scale maneuvers in and around Fort Lewis. We then traveled to the Hunter Ligget Military Reservation in King City, California. We maneuvered against the 40th Division. This maneuver involved about 65,000 troops. A short leave was granted after this. I decided again not to go on leave but to wait for Christmas time. This proved to be a mistake because in August, President Roosevelt issued an executive order extending our tour of duty for another 18 months. Things did not look good. Maneuvers began again in earnest along the Washington coast. We were plagued by rain, mud and Continual night moves over almost impassible roads. I still planned on having a leave to go home around Christmas. The day of December 7 changed all of my future plans.

The troops were on weekend leave and scattered all over nearby towns. I had been to Tacoma but came back to camp Saturday night. On Sunday morning, as we were loafing around the barracks, we received the shocking news that Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor. Orders were immediately broadcast all over the Northwest directing all personnel to return to their commands as soon as possible. We were receiving orders fast and furious. Our first actions involved issuing live ammunition, loading machine gun belts, and preparing the vehicles to move. We packed all of our personal belongings, labeled them and stored them in the recreation hall.

In the weeks prior to the bombing we had been busy organizing a defense system and digging gun emplacements along the Washington coast from Aberdeen to Port Angeles, along the Strait of Juan De Fuca. By 1800 hours our extended convoy was loaded and we began moving out of our camp area toward the prepared positions. The weather was cold and foggy, so dark came early and our move had to be made under total blackout conditions. It was a slow treacherous move that took until the wee hours of the morning to complete. After the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the whole West Coast braced for an invasion of Japanese forces. At this time we began to assess why we had been preparing these positions. We assumed that someone higher up must have known that war was a very strong possibility or certainty.

Within a week our 41st Division was deployed all along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, extending 150 miles south of Fort Lewis. We spent our time manning our positions and patrolling back roads and reporting any suspicious activity we encountered. We had the authority to stop, search or question any civilian who acted suspicious. Patrols were all made under blackout conditions at night. This continued until late February when we were relieved and returned to Fort Lewis. We stayed here until moving overseas.

Nov. 7, 2013
Preparing for J-paratroopers

So it was hysteria that made our military think the Japanese were going to invade the West Coast? Hardly. Here's another example of what type of exercises our military was engaging in just in case the Japanese did try to invade the West Coast.

Nov. 7, 2013
Another internee story that should be told

If the revisionists insist on using the term "internment" for their ordeal, they need to listen to a real internee in this article below. Her "nearly unspeakable internment experiences" should be told to those activists here bewailing their own experiences at the relocation centers. Note the pilots to whom Friz especially shows appreciation.

Martineke ‘Tina’ Friz candidly speaks about her experiences as a child while held as a prisoner of war by the Japanese on the island of Java during World War II.

Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 5:00 am
by Karen Rouse

OSCODA, MI — “After being confined for four and one-half years in several Japanese concentration camps in Indonesia, the heroic actions of the U.S. Army Air Corps saved my life and my mother’s,” said Martineke “Tina” Friz of Oscoda.

Friz, in her continued endeavor  to recover from her nearly unspeakable internment experiences as a child during World War II, is sharing her story, dedicating it, not only to her family, but to American military veterans whose bravery was responsible for her freedom after being held as a prisoner of war in Java from 1942-45.

The soldiers she expresses appreciation to are pilot Col. Paul W. Tibbets and his crew of the B-29 Enola Gay, which bombed Hiroshima, Japan on Aug. 7, 1945, and pilot Maj. Charles W. Sweeney and his crew of the Bockscar for the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan on Aug. 9, 1945 – events which forced the Japanese government to surrender to the Allied Forces six days later – on Aug. 15, 1945.

The freedom propelled her into continued confinement of sorts, however, as a revolution occurred on Java before she returned to her familial homeland of Holland, where she was forced to not tell anyone of her past by her parents in order to not face continued persecution, she said.

Friz was born in Soerabaja, Java in 1941 while her father, Nico Blokker, was stationed in Indonesia as a pilot with the Royal Dutch Air Force. Her mother, Maartje Van Kooten, followed Blokker to Indonesia from the Netherlands to marry him in 1940.

Oct. 30, 2013
West Coast defense and exclusion program

Here are some extracts from old intelligence documents that you will find interesting. I'm not sure on the date of the one, sometime in 1942 perhaps. Our military was NOT influenced by hysteria, lack of leadership or even race prejudice. The Japanese threat to the US was real... only after the war did we realize just to what extent we were in danger.

Army Intel Conference 1943-11-19 - re exclusion program
West Coast defense measures

Oct. 21, 2013
More horror stories

Getting ready for the Halloween season in this one (A Dark Chapter In US History), with all the key words: "dark"... "forcibly moved"... "incarcerated"... "horrible conditions"... "terribly bad"... "stress"... "horrendous."

"Sechler said she does not remember much about the camps" -- I just love how these babies attempt to educate the world about camp life.

Oct. 19, 2013
Honda and POW delegation to Japan

Not sure if I can figure out Michael Honda on this issue in his speech in the House of Representatives (FOURTH U.S. POW DELEGATION TO JAPAN, OCTOBER 13-21, 2013 -- (Extensions of Remarks - October 15, 2013). He should push for POW delegations to all the J-A activist gatherings, e.g. at Manzanar Mecca, so they can share what life was really like at a concentration camp.

Oct. 8, 2013
Wrong Then, Wrong Now

These ACLU people will always get it wrong, sadly (Wrong Then, Wrong Now: Mindful of Internment, California Condemns Detention Under NDAA):

"over 110,000 Japanese Americans" - Wrong! (They weren't all Americans.)
"forced from their homes" - Wrong! (They were given a chance to relocate temporarily.)
"imprisoned without trial" - Wrong! (No cases were even brought to court.)
"overcrowded and unsanitary internment camps" - Wrong! (Just look at the photos.)
"locking people up indefinitely" - Wrong! (Thousands left soon; others refused to leave!)

Will the media ever get it right?

Sept. 25, 2013
The Red Cross, our POWs, and the J-evacuees

I have posted a new webpage on our website dealing with the IRC and efforts to visit our POWs in Japanese-controlled territory. You will see how tough it was to get any cooperation.

However, when it came to Japanese nationals in the US, the J-Govt. sure was on top of that in complaining. Of note especially, from this document:
Virtually all of the protests filed with the American Government by the Japanese Government during the period herein covered related to alleged mistreatment of Japanese nationals who had been evacuated from the West Coast areas of the United States. In none of the instances covered by the Japanese Government’s representations was the alleged mistreatment of Japanese nations comparable even in remote degree to the mistreatment of American nations which formed the basis for the American Government’s protests. In the State Department’s telegram of January 27, 1944 the Japanese Government was advised as follows:
"The Government of the United States also desires to state most emphatically that, as the Japanese Government can assure itself from an objective examination of the reports submitted to it by the Spanish, Swedish, and International Red Cross representatives who have repeatedly visited all places where Japanese are held by the United States, the United States has consistently and fully applied the provisions of the Geneva Prisoners of War Convention in the treatment of all Japanese nationals held by it as prisoners of war or (so far as they are adaptable) as civilian internees, detainees or evacuees in relocation centers. Japanese nations have enjoyed high standards of housing, food, clothing, and medical care. The American authorities have furthermore freely and willingly accepted from the representatives of the protecting Powers and the International Red Cross Committee suggestions for the improvement of conditions under which Japanese nationals live in American camps and centers and have given effect to many of these suggestions, most of which, in view of the high standards normally maintained, are directed toward the obtaining of extraordinary benefits and privileges of a recreational educational of spiritual nature."
If you are in need of a little astonishment (and a few chuckles), read through the last document I have on that webpage.

Aug. 12, 2013
From Wrong To Right: A U.S. Apology For Japanese Internment

Another story by one of the kids then. And another article where they still get it wrong!

Japan has great clout in our country, and to make any waves would be detrimental to our relationship to Japan as one of the largest holders of US govt-issued debt -- some 7% (see this related article, Now They Tell Us: The Story Of Japan's 'Lost Decades' Was Just One Big Hoax).

July 10, 2013
Glendale approves Korean 'comfort woman' statue

Some interesting news on the other side of the coin (Statue honoring WW II-era sex slaves coming to Glendale - Despite protests, Glendale is expected to place statue in park).

"The majority of the 27 speakers were Japanese-Americans, many from Los Angeles, San Gabriel and Pasadena, opposing the monument. They denied that the Japanese military coerced women into sexual servitude and said a U.S. city should not meddle in Japanese and Korean affairs."

I guess they don't believe there are Korean Americans who want their history to be remembered as well. And it's too bad they cannot differentiate between the Japanese Imperialists then, just as we do with Germans and the Nazis.

June 25, 2013
Still in darkness

If only they would take off their sunglasses... (More awareness needed of Japanese-American internment: activists)

In case you have not read this:
Article by Timothy Maga, Ronald Reagan and Redress for Japanese-American Internment, 1983-88 - Very enlightening explanation behind the reason Reagan signed into law H.R. 442, which called for an apology and $20,000 compensation to both US-citizen and alien Japanese who were in relocation centers during WWII.
I recently saw these quotes from Booker T. Washington, and I thought them appropriate for application to the J-activists:

My Larger Education, Being Chapters from My Experience (1911)

  • There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs. --Ch. V: The Intellectuals and the Boston Mob (pg. 118)
  • I am afraid that there is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don't want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.
    My experience is that people who call themselves "The Intellectuals" understand theories, but they do not understand things. I have long been convinced that, if these men could have gone into the South and taken up and become interested in some practical work which would have brought them in touch with people and things, the whole world would have looked very different to them. Bad as conditions might have seemed at first, when they saw that actual progress was being made, they would have taken a more hopeful view of the situation. --Ch. V: The Intellectuals and the Boston Mob

June 10, 2013
No, they didn't lose everything - This man saved their farms

Now why don't we see more articles like this (Bob Fletcher, who saved farms of interned Japanese Americans, dies at 101)??? people helped the evacuees and how they once again prospered after returning to their farms and homes. Tell me. What kind of racial prejudice can be spun from this farmer's actions?

May 29, 2013
Tad Nagaki , POW Liberator

Tad was one of the free-zoners (lived where Japanese never had to evacuate or relocate), and one of the greatest generation.

May 25, 2013
Attu Boy

National Park Service surprise! (Relative hopes to republish out-of-print 'Attu Boy')

In all their interpretive site efforts, maybe they can work with the Japanese on getting the Otaru camp memorialized(!).

More on this:

Etta Jones:

May 13, 2013
Ed & Ivet: The True Story of a World War II POW Romance

If you have not already read this story of civilian internees in Japan, definitely put this book on your "must read" list. A welcome reprieve from the constant bombardment of stories about the ethnic Japanese evacuees in the US.

May 9, 2013
Karl and Elaine Yoneda - Manzanar Black Dragons

Another one of those articles (Block 4: Discovering an interracial World War II American love story) dealing with the Nikkei in the US that you don't come across often.

Here's what someone emailed me (sorry about all caps):





And my reply:
Karl Yoneda was a very interesting character -- Communist, pro-American, and then working for the MIS. Interestingly, the Japan Communist Party was against the Emperor during WWII.

Here's the link for the Hoover Report re the San Diego menace:

Catherine Treadgold mentions Yoneda here:

Here's an excerpt re Karl Yoneda and his pseudonyms:
(CIO Affiliate, Local #7)
Seattle, Washington


HAMA, Carl (Aliases: YONEDA, Karl or George; HAMA, Kiyoshi; UCHIDA, Tsutomo.) -
Vice President (1939).

ITO, Kenji (or Kenzo) -
Legal representative (1941).

Member Executive Board (1937-1938).

MINATO, "George" Masao -

MIYAGAWA, "Dyke" Daisuke -
Member Executive Board (1937-1938) in charge of publicity.

TAKIGAWA, "George" -
Vice President (1937-1938) and delegate to national convention of the UCAPAWA (1938).


As stated in the report on JAPANESE CANNERIES (see case history), the interests of cannery laborers are represented by the A.F. of L. ALASKA CANNERY WORKERS UNION and the above-mentioned CIO CANNERY WORKERS AND FARM LABORERS UNION. Of these two unions the latter is by far the larger and more influential; at the same time both groups are related through a newly organized ASSOCIATION OF JAPANESE CANNERY WORKERS (see case history), which ostensibly aims to consolidate the Japanese elements into a united labor front.

While the Japanese membership of subject union (1939 total about 700) is numerically inferior to the Filipino, it is obvious that the Japanese are in control of key positions and have utilized the union as a front for activities far removed from the demands of normal cannery business. An inspection of the attached diagram and a study of the individual affiliations set forth below will indicate that the union's connections with the West Coast Japanese consulates, Army and Navy agents, officials of the TOKYO CLUB chain, and other suspects have been more than coincidental. It must constantly be kept in mind in this connection that Japan strove to put into operation in the United States and its territories a highly integrated and specialized intelligence network which could "take over" from regular established agencies in wartime.

Under such circumstances, Japanese nationals and pro-Japanese nisei who are well settled in normal and yet strategic occupations are likely to be the mainstay of Japanese espionage-sabotage operations in this country.

Members and Associates:

HAMA, Carl (with aliases) -- Class "A" suspect. West Coast Communist Party organizer and labor agitator. Editor (1936) of the San Francisco HODO SHIMBUN, a Communist Japanese-language news organ (no longer published); contributor (1941) to the Communist DOHO newspaper of Los Angeles, which is also printed (in English) by Japanese. Credited with having organized the Los Angeles JAPANESE WORKERS ASSOCIATION in 1936. Active in AMERICAN LEAGUE AGAINST WAR AND FASCISM. Vice president of subject union in 1939.
This footnote:
45. Although the term "JACLer" has sometimes been used generically to denote the JACL leadership at Manzanar along with left-wing intellectuals who supported similar positions on the Evacuation, camp politics, and the war, there were marked differences in overall background and philosophy between these two groups. Indeed, the contrast was so extreme that Togo Tanaka, in "An Analysis of the Manzanar Incident and Its Aftermath," Collection 122, Box 16, JARP-UCLA, and Tanaka to Hansen, O.H. 1271b, JAOHP-CSUF, designates leftists like Koji Ariyoshi, Karl Yoneda, Tom Yamazaki, and Joe Blamey as the "Anti-JACL" group. This group's influence was particularly notable both in the English and Japanese editions of the Manzanar Free Press, which was heavily staffed by its members. For an amplification of the above, see Hansen and Hacker, "Manzanar Riot," 148, n. 59. For the perspective of selected members of this group, see: Koji Ariyoshi, "The Nisei Victims of Racism," "Evacuation to Manzanar," and "Memories of Manzanar," Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7, 8, 9 April 1971; Yoneda, Ganbatte, 125-49; Tom Yamazaki, "Personal and Confidential Report" (August 1942), Collection 122, JARP, DSC-URL, UCLA; and Oda, Heroic Struggles, 18-103.

In his 14 September 1943 letter to Carey McWilliams (see n. 37 above), Yoneda recounted an incident which occurred at his Manzanar apartment in late August 1942: "About 15 kibei came to my place and many others were guarding outside and demanded that I must make a written statement that I lied at the Camp Council Meeting in regard to the kibei meeting [of August 8; see n. 40 above]." Later in the same letter, Yoneda wrote: "I remember very clearly when he [Harry Ueno] led his kibei gang to my house at Manzanar and told me, `You wait for a few months. The Japanese Army will be here and you will be the first on the list to be shot." Yoneda has recently elaborated upon this incident, without mention of Ueno's name, in his autobiography, Ganbatte, 139.

Upon further inquiry from the editors of this volume, Ueno responded that he recalls: "One evening Koichi Tsuji urged me to visit Karl Yoneda's home just to witness. Of course, I hadn't attended the Kibei meeting and I had nothing to say to Karl Yoneda. He was a big noise in the camp and I wanted to meet him. It was more out of curiosity that I went [to Yoneda's barrack apartment in Block 4 on August 23, 1942]." Of those who visited the Yoneda apartment, Ueno states, "At that time I knew only Shigetoshi Tateishi and Kiuchi Tsuji." See also the interview with Ueno, 193, in John Tateishi, And Justice For All: An Oral History of the Japanese Detention Camps (New York: Random House, 1984), where he recounts this particular incident and refers to Yoneda only as "that Kibei." John Tateishi, who spent part of his childhood in Manzanar, is the son of Shigetoshi Tateishi; the younger Tateishi dedicated And Justice For All to the memory of his father.
Some more from books:

May 8, 2013
For your amusement: Flashcards

A crazy example of what apparently is coming out of the J-A re-education system (I still have hope for the kids, but it will take a LOT of changing!):

Japanese internment Camps
"51e. Japanese-American Internment." Japanese-American Internment []. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2013.

127000 people were imprisoned for being of japanese decent

Japanese internment Camps
"51e. Japanese-American Internment." Japanese-American Internment []. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2013.

there were many japanese people living on the west coast. this caused paranoia in the americans

Japanese internment Camps
"51e. Japanese-American Internment." Japanese-American Internment []. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2013.

People thought they would be disloyal to the US and if the Japanese invaded the main land, there would be security issues

Japanese internment Camps
"51e. Japanese-American Internment." Japanese-American Internment []. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2013.

due to popular opinion, in Februrary 1942 roosavelt past an executive order for the relocation of the japanese. they were sent to concentration camps in the middle of the US

Japanese internment Camps
"51e. Japanese-American Internment." Japanese-American Internment []. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2013.

the order was past before the camps were completed so they often held the japanese people in a barn or stable.

May 6, 2013
U.S. POWs had it worse

The main article was Past Heart Mountain prisoner tells CWC audience of ordeal during WWII captivity. This was one of the letters in response:


I think before we get all concerned about how "badly" Mr Mihara and his family were treated during their internment during World War II, we need to consider how brutally American prisoners of war were treated by their Japanese captors.

Consider the Bataan Death March, being worked to death in Japanese coal mines, starvation diets, the lack or total absence of medical care and supplies, and the torture and murder of American POWs just for the amusement of their Japanese guards.

I am not sure those conditions compare with being forced to use communal washrooms and restrooms, eating in a common mess hall, or not being able to shop in certain downtown Cody stores.

I would be surprised if any American POW you asked would not have traded places with Mr Mihara in a heartbeat. I am not so sure the reverse would be true.

Good for Mr. Cannan to see the obvious difference. He may not be too sure, but we definitely know the internment camps in Japan and SE Asia WERE worse. And yes, those WERE the real internment concentration camps, not at all similar to the assembly and relocation centers. No haggling over terminology here.

A lot of hullabaloo is still made over Question #28 which was simply to get an answer to a gnawing question, not for the Issei but for their American-born kids (it was a Selective Service System document entitled, "STATEMENT OF UNITED STATES CITIZEN OF JAPANESE ANCESTRY"). Here's an excerpt from the Sept. 30, 1943 "REPORT AND MINORITY VIEWS OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON UN-AMERICAN ACTIVITIES ON JAPANESE WAR RELOCATION CENTERS":

The great need for a determined policy of segregation was amply indicated by the answers to the loyalty question contained in the Army questionnaire which was filled out by the Japanese in the relocation centers in February of the present year. An alarming proportion of Japanese American citizens of draft age (17 to 38), frankly refused to declare their loyalty to the United States.

The loyalty question read as follows:
Will you swear unqualified allegiance to the United States of America and faithfully defend the United States from any or all attack by foreign or domestic foes and forswear any form of allegiance to the Japanese Emperor, or any other foreign government, power, or organization?
The following tabulation presents in the most simplified form possible the extent to which the Japanese-American citizens of draft age declared their loyalty to the United States:

Relocation center
Number registered
Number answering "No" to loyalty question
Number  volunteers
Central Utah
Colorado River
Gila River
Heart Mountain
Tule Lake
Average, percent

The committee reiterates its conclusion that there was an alarming proportion of the Japanese-American citizens of draft age to avow their unqualified loyalty to this country. From the foregoing tabulation, it is apparent that avowed disloyalty reached the high percentage of 24.

A more complete break-down of the answers to the loyalty question is given in the following tabulation:

Relocation center Total eligible
to reg-
Total regis-
Total ac-
ed for
ative an-
No reply
Yes (per-
reply (per-
Central Utah:

163 163 163 25
United States
1,447 1,447 1,447 1,015 462
Colorado River
3,405 3,405 3,211 2,601 596
Gila River
2,630 2,588
2,502 1,599 901
1,342 1,342 1,254 1,222 27
Heart Mountain
1,964 1,963
1,963 1,809 253
1,592 1,591 1,385 895
1,989 1,989 1,885 921
1,629 1,603 1,680 1,497 61
1,608 1,608 1,410 1,150 252
Tule Lake
2,330 2,274 1,489 783
19,164 14,023

The foregoing tabulation indicates that disloyalty among those of draft age at the Manzanar center was in excess of 50 percent. The committee is of the opinion that such a result obtained from the questionnaire called for immediate separation of the disloyal from the loyal, and is at a loss to understand the reasoning of the War Relocation Authority which prompted its inaction in so important a matter.
The JACL already had their version of a loyalty oath, which was put together for the Jan. 11, 1942 Convention, where they "voted to require the following oath to be taken, signed, and notarized by every member":
I, __________, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I hereby renounced any other allegiances which I may have knowingly or unknowingly held in the past; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental observation or purpose of evasion. So help me God.
Question #28 was even later re-worded for those still having trouble (namely Tule Lakers, who enjoyed 6 weeks of rioting over the questionnaire!):
Will you swear to abide by the laws of the United States and to take no action which would in any way interfere with the war effort of the United States?
For more on this, see this memo from Gila River Project Attorney Terry re the Questionnaire and issues involved: WRA_Attorney_Terry_memo_re_Questionnaire_1944-02-14

May 1, 2013
More on Irons' case - good points made

Article: Constitution Check: Will the court repudiate decisions from the World War II era?

There are some good points brought out in this article, but it says, "the government lawyers in those cases explicitly withheld information that contradicted what they had told the court." They are referring to the tabloidish Ringle Report, which was via Munson's piece on the subject (see Apr. 19 entry). I've posted the two reports of Munson and Ringle -- note that Munson said "it was foolish to suppose your reporter could add to the sum of knowledge in three weeks." None of these guys -- Carter, Munson, Ringle -- really knew what was going on in the background.

The bottom theme underlying these opinion-grams is obvious -- we DON'T know who is loyal and who is not. To say these reports were withheld as evidence is a sad ploy. There is much evidence in the reports to show the other side, that segregation was necessary to figure out who could be trusted. Remember, our military had to do SOMETHING with all the enemy alien Japanese, and they did... which, in doing so, effectively stopped any clandestine plans on the part of the J-network on the West Coast.

In the following years, the number of Nikkei desiring repatriation, including many who wanted to give up their US citizenship, increased by thousands. So much for loyalty!

May 1, 2013
George Will gets it wrong

Sadly, George Will in this article (Korematsu and the dangers of waiving constitutional rights) is just repeating Irons' claims, that DeWitt and other officials are the ones who caused it all, "waiving constitutional rights." George obviously did not do his homework to search out what the real dangers were, and more importantly, what a declaration of war entails, with all constitutional rights considered.

Apr. 23, 2013
More kid stories from Takei: Why We Must Remember Rohwer

Does George REALLY remember? Takei's father was a No-No Man and because of his wrong choices was sent to Tule Lake, where he was imprisoned against his enemy-alien will.

If I were his teacher, I'd send his article back to George with all the errors marked in red for him to correct and re-submit.

Apr. 19, 2013
Justices urged to overturn WWII internment rulings

Peter Irons has brought out his battle irons again -- just as he got the executive and legislative branches of our Govt. to apologize, now he wants the judicial branch to do the same. Perhaps his activist clients are looking for another billion dollars! Those of you more legal-minded will no doubt think of a hundred counter-statements to repudiate these hackneyed claims.

Neal Katyal did not really address the whole problem with his "confession of error" and claiming that the so-called "Ringle Report" was suppressed, when in fact, Ringle's overall personal opinions on the situation were very enlightening. I've posted Ringle's memoranda, from around the middle of the page. In all his views, keywords to note are "Americanization" and "segregation," which reveals how he felt about loyalty and the whole "Japanese problem."

I'm now working on the Munson piece from Nov. 1941, "Japanese on the West Coast," and will have that posted shortly. He ends with this:
The Japanese are loyal on the whole, but were wide open to sabotage on this Coast and as far inland as the mountains, and while this one fact goes unrectified I cannot unqualifiedly state that there is no danger from the Japanese living in the United States which otherwise I would be willing to state.
It will be interesting to see just what kinds of "factual errors" Irons can produce. He fought his own violations of the law (even getting a presidential pardon!), and so figures he can win more.

An astute reader emailed me that "there is an FBI comment about Curtis Munson wanting to round up JA's as well as aliens. This seems pretty crucial to me since he is the subject and main reference for PJD saying there was no threat." Good point -- I still don't understand why these lawyers would choose the Munson-Ringle angle. It did not and still does not add anything to the whole issue.

Wasn't the "big find" of the Munson Report the work of Weglyn in 1976?
Years of Infamy

It was picked up by other books, e.g.:

And Robinson of course, where he goes on for 20 pages or so, and says, "The Munson-Ringle plan may well have undercut its stated objective of protecting Japanese Americans":

I don't understand why FDR relied so much on John Carter, and if FDR had relayed his distrust of the whole Carter-Munson-Ringle assessments in any way.

FYI, see these documents, including an interesting one from MacArthur:

Apr. 18, 2013
Rohwer Relocation Center and the Takeis

Article: Japanese American Internment Museum, exhibits dedicated at McGehee

Takei's father was a No-No Man, and sent to Tule Lake, where he was really imprisoned against his enemy-alien will. I don't know what George has to say about that... which needs to be clarified if they want a museum to educate truthfully.

Apr. 8, 2013
Civilians in Japan

Here's another book which should be on required reading lists for schools, to complement the plethora of J-A accounts. See the attached excerpts from:
Yokohama Gaijin: Memoir of A Foreigner Born in Japan by George Lavrov

Another related book: Shibaraku: Memories of Japan 1926-1946 by Lucille Apcar

Apr. 6, 2013

From an email:
Thanks for your efforts. Failing to draw a clear distinction between Japanese and JA (as you do) is just one of the deceitful aspects of Personal Justice Denied. Another stat I recently came across was that by 1944 about 17% or 20,000 of the total relocated had signed up for repatriation and 17% of JA males answered NO to the loyalty question.

Frederick Wiener said "over a quarter of the Japanese-Americans in the relocation camps refused to answer the loyalty questions" and "94% of those who were relocated and, being of military age, refused to volunteer for military service." At Tule Lake, 64% applied for repatriation. Baker said that over 16,000 requesting repatriation had never been to Japan. Here's the table (at the bottom of this webpage) for Nisei stats from 1944.

From the Special Committee On Un-American Activities On Japanese War Relocation Centers in Sept. 1943:
The following tabulation presents in the most simplified form possible the extent to which the Japanese-American citizens of draft age declared their loyalty to the United States:
Relocation center
Number registered
Number answering "No" to loyalty question
Number  volunteers
Central Utah
Colorado River
Gila River
Heart Mountain
Tule Lake
Average, percent

The committee reiterates its conclusion that there was an alarming proportion of the Japanese-American citizens of draft age to avow their unqualified loyalty to this country. From the foregoing tabulation, it is apparent that avowed disloyalty reached the high percentage of 24.

A more complete break-down of the answers to the loyalty question is given in the following tabulation:
Relocation center Total eligible
to reg-
Total regis-
Total ac-
ed for
ative an-
No reply
Yes (per-
reply (per-
Central Utah:

163 163 163 25
United States
1,447 1,447 1,447 1,015 462
Colorado River
3,405 3,405 3,211 2,601 596
Gila River
2,630 2,588
2,502 1,599 901
1,342 1,342 1,254 1,222 27
Heart Mountain
1,964 1,963
1,963 1,809 253
1,592 1,591 1,385 895
1,989 1,989 1,885 921
1,629 1,603 1,680 1,497 61
1,608 1,608 1,410 1,150 252
Tule Lake
2,330 2,274 1,489 783
19,164 14,023

The foregoing tabulation indicates that disloyalty among those of draft age at the Manzanar center was in excess of 50 percent.
Pretty tough times back then to handle all the dissent. What a job it was for Dillon Myer, let alone our military leaders.

CORRECTION TO THE ABOVE STATS FROM WIENER: Total for repatriation was 20,000; 9,000 from Tule Lake; about 4,000 answered no or did not answer question 28 out of 20,000, about 1 in 5. This data was from the WRA only. It is amazing there were so many applicants -- Jan. 1944 especially being a busy month for the WRA with a huge jump due to the Tule Lakers. Half of the total were expat requests (~10,600), ages 0-24, with the majority of repat requests (~6,000) ages 35-64, so a lot of families were involved, i.e. lots of kids.

Apr. 5, 2013
Gun control and the "internment" connection

An email came in from a friend, who made this comment with accompanying image, which you may have seen circulating around the Internet:
Even before the more recent unconstitutional turn of our government, there have been some major tyrannical events, perhaps the worst was this as over 100,000 US citizens along with a few non-citizens from the West Coast states were put in "internment" camps by Roosevelt during WW2. There was a very small percentage of Japanese who were against the US government and for Hirohito. The government will no doubt do something similar again if "necessary" against enemies ......

I replied with the following:
The problem was what to do with all the enemy aliens. Japan just rounded up all the Allied civilians and put them into concentration camps -- we did not with the Japanese nationals, mainly due to the American-born children involved. Germans and Italians were also a big issue since there were many more of them, but some of them were initially interned.

See below graph images for some numbers of Japanese nationals and their kids. Note how many lived east of the West Coast states and were never in camps unless they voluntarily wanted to enter, which a number did. See also these tables below. You'll often hear that MOST or MORE THAN HALF of the Japanese interned were Americans, but what they leave out is that most of the adult men and women were NOT American citizens.


Number Percent Number Percent
All 112,985 100 62,899 100
Native-born 71,896 64 22,375 36
Foreign-born 41,089 36 40,524 64
All 63,208 100 37,438 100
Native-born 38,094 60 12,628 34
Foreign-born 25,114 40 24,810 66
All 49,777 100 25,461 100
Native-born 33,802 68 9,747 38
Foreign-born 15,975 32 15,714 62
* Persons 21 years of age or older.


Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
   All ages 112,985 100.0 71,896 100.0 41,089 100.0
Under 5 7,189 6.4 7,134 9.9 55 0.1
5 to 9 8,357 7.4 8,281 11.5 76 0.2
10 to 14 12,861 11.4 12,743 17.7 118 0.3
15 to 19 18,138 16.1 17,893 24.9 245 0.6
20 to 24 14,636 13.0 14,193 19.7 443 1.1
25 to 29 7,667 6.8 7,075 9.8 592 1.4
30 to 34 4,470 4.0 2,699 3.8 1,771 4.3
35 to 39 6,381 5.6 1,120 1.6 5,261 12.8
40 to 44 7,068 6.3 394 0.5 6,674 16.2
45 to 49 5,854 5.2 195 0.3 5,659 13.8
50 to 54 7,412 6.6 83 0.1 7,329 17.8
55 to 59 5,917 5.2 37 0.1 5,880 14.3
60 to 64 4,450 3.9 18 --- 4,432 10.8
65 to 69 1,799 1.6 7 --- 1,792 4.4
70 to 74 566 0.5 10 --- 556 1.4
75 and older 220 0.2 14 --- 206 0.5

21 and older 62,899 55.7 22,375 31.1 40,524 98.6
Source: Bureau of the Census.

I think David Lowman understood a lot of the issues since he was in intel and studied the MAGIC decrypts extensively. See his testimonies:
About the photo itself, I had emailed this earlier:
Lots of people use that image to show how they were "mistreated." What they don't mention is just how many were actually citizens of the US. Like I always tell folks, these were Japanese nationals (i.e. enemy aliens) with families, who had American kids, so a unique problem for the military to handle.

Santa Anita was a temp assembly center before people were sent to relocation centers. Here's a photo the media should also use to show the horrible conditions and suffering there:

A referee in traditional dress watches over a Sumo wrestling match in front of Japanese-Americans interned at Santa Anita, California.

More on the Santa Anita camp here -- note that the horse stalls (another thing brought up constantly) covered only a small portion of the camp. Also occupants were free to move around, even to see their homes.

More interesting pics at different sites:

Mar. 29, 2013
Heart Mountain's chill

Quite a number of outrageous statements in this article (Wyoming: Heart Mountain's chill winds of Japanese American internment)... again. They will never get it right.

HM has received several $100,000 in grants for their project, more than other sites. Lots of political clout there. Typically absent again are the real "chilling" memories of the No-No boys and other subversives elements at HM, viz. the yakuza-like gangs, promoted by the Issei, who had a lot of control in that patriarchal society. That HM was a "dumping ground" may not be far from the truth at all!

I don't know why they are stuck on the idea that a "Japanese-American" = any ethnic Japanese person living in the US. Definitely PC-speak since they are trying to make all the immigrants now Americans. I'm going to have to insist on MY rights as an American Japanese!

Speaking of Lowman, see here:
Critics of Lowman and his book point out that he was heavily involved in disinformation activities while in the NSA, and that the book was not published until after Lowman's death. This makes it impossible to get clarification of the conclusions presented, or even to verify that Lowman was in fact the author.
What a laugh! And what would they ever think of Robar's book?

Mar. 21, 2013
Isamu Noguchi

Interesting story (Gaman and the Story of Isamu Noguchi) of one of the "volunteer residents" at the camps -- something the media does not pick up on, that there really were Nikkei in the US who were never "forcibly interned" anywhere.

Revealing in this 2010 article is perhaps a major reason why exactly the camps were so horrible -- the other residents made it so!
...many in the camps—unsophisticated farmers and fishermen—were suspicious of him. Many thought that he was sent in by the authorities. Within a month, he wanted out...
It is surprising the FBI did not detain him if they felt he was involved in espionage -- the FBI had great interest in him even after the war... quite a sketchy life, and sad, having been abandoned by his father (who already had a family in Japan).

More on Noguchi here:


Mar. 21, 2013
Wanda Werff Damberg

Another "nido to nai yo ni" (never again) story (Former POW Holds Audience Captive With Her Story of Courage and Deliverance) of the real kind that needs to be taught in school textbooks. Here are some more links:


PDF, story on page 2:

Many photos of the liberation of Santo Tomas here in "Related images":

Mar. 15, 2013
Culture of assimilation

An old article from 2000 (Japan Unsettles Returnees, Who Yearn to Leave Again) but very good insight into the Japanese mentality -- I would say the Japanese who immigrated here had no desire to assimilate into the American culture (though so advised by the Imperial Govt. in order to suit their purposes -- merely acculturation).

If the pressure is strong toward modern Kinichi (like Kibei but going the other way), think how much stronger it was back in the 30's. Maintaining cultural identity is strong in any nationality, but for the Japanese, it is very near compulsory.
''The kind of assimilation pressure here is very strong,'' said Kazuhiro Ebuchi, a professor of cultural anthropology at the University of the Air in Tokyo. ''Even people who speak good English are teased here because Japanese should speak English in the Japanese way. Japanese people like to say that we appreciate cultural differences, but this is only lip service. In fact, there is not much place for difference here.''
For further study into this:
New Worlds, New Lives: Globalization and People of Japanese Descent in the Americas and from Latin America in Japan
Between Two Empires: Race, History, and Transnationalism in Japanese America
"...we, the Japanese in America, occupy the most important place, representative of the Japanese national interests."

Mar. 5, 2013
Rohwer/Jerome Museum to Open in Arkansas

Here is another cheery museum to visit telling of the dark times of people forcibly held "against their will." With plenty of funds to do their work of memoralizing their view of the dark side, it seems more and more of these sites will be built... and more and more misinformation promulgated.

The Rohwer and Jerome camps, like all others, had majority populations of adult Issei -- enemy aliens -- who were required to have their American-born children with them, naturally. I have yet to see any article discussing this foundational point, especially in light of how enemy aliens were treated in Japanese-held territories.

Note in this excerpt the numbers at these camps, the vastness of resources provided, and the expense ($130 million in today's dollars):

Each camp was approximately 10,000 acres, including 500 acres of tarpapered, A-framed buildings arranged into numbered blocks. All were partially surrounded by barbed wire or heavily wooded areas with guard towers situated at strategic areas and guarded by a small military contingent. Each block was designed to accommodate around 250 people residing in fourteen residential barracks with each barrack (20'x120') divided into four to six apartments. Each block also consisted of a mess hall, a recreational barrack, a laundry building, and a building for a communal latrine. The residential buildings were without plumbing or running water, and the buildings were heated during the winter months by wood stoves. The camps also had an administrative section segregated from the rest of the buildings, a military police section, a hospital section, a warehouse and factory section, a residential section of barracks for WRA personnel, barracks for schools (kindergarten through twelfth grade), and auxiliary buildings for such things as canteens, motion pictures, gymnasiums, motor pools, and fire stations. Both camps were immense, sprawling cities that were two of the largest agricultural communities in Arkansas. During the construction phase of the incarceration camps, more than 5,000 workers were employed to clear hundreds of acres of land, to build more than 1,200 barrack-type buildings, and to lay miles of gravel-laden roads. The cost to the federal government alone in 1942–43 was $9,503,905.

The Rohwer Camp operated from September 18, 1942, to November 30, 1945, under the project director, Ray D. Johnston, and its peak population reached 8,475. The Japanese American population was divided into classifications known as Issei, first-generation nationals (aliens) precluded from American citizenship by federal immigration laws; Nisei, second-generation American citizens born in this country; and Sansei, third-generation offspring of the Nisei who were also American citizens. Another classification in the camps was the Kibei—American citizens who had received some of their primary years of education in Japan.

Although accurate population and age statistics were in a state of flux due to the WRA’s constant movement of the Japanese American population, the total Rohwer population of 8,475 Japanese Americans in January 1943 indicates well over ninety percent of the adult population had been involved in farming, commercial fishing, or agricultural businesses. Thirty-five percent were Issei (aliens), with ten percent over the age of sixty. Sixty-four percent were Nisei (American citizens), with forty percent under the age of nineteen. There were 2,447 school age children in the camp—a full twenty-eight percent of the total population.

The Jerome Relocation Center operated from October 6, 1942, to June 30, 1944. In operation the fewest number of days (634) of any of the ten relocation camps, Jerome was under the direction of Paul A. Taylor. Eli B. Whitaker, former regional director of both camps in Arkansas, became project director of Jerome during its last few months of operation. Of a total agriculturally based population of 7,932 as of January 1943, thirty-three percent were Issei, with fourteen percent over the age of sixty. Sixty-six percent were Nisei—American citizens—with thirty-nine percent under the age of nineteen. There were 2,483 school age children—a full thirty-one percent of the total population.

Feb. 25, 2013
Japanese in Latin America

Articles such as this one (CAPAC Members Reflect on Japanese Latin American Experience During WWII) on the Japanese-Latin American's come out every so often by activists to help boost support for their cause. As is usual, they conveniently fail to report the real "experiences" of these Nikkei in Latin America, as the excerpts below reveal. And they love to talk about the "dark chapter," "dark period," and "dark days" -- undoubtedly because they still have their eyes closed.

David Lowman gave testimony in June 1984 where he specifically mentioned the J-LA threat:

I would like now to discuss a related topic where the Commission has again gone astray because it was unaware of Magic. In its appendix, the report has a section entitled Latin Americans. This section describes in some detail how about 1500 Japanese, mostly diplomatic and consular officials, were deported from Latin America to the U.S. for internment. The report correctly states that the United States encouraged this movement because it did not feel confident that the countries in Latin America could control subversive activity within their borders. Having said that, the Commission once again leaves its readers with the impression that the U.S. acted against Japanese people without reason or cause by concluding that section of its report as follows: "Although the need for this extensive, disruptive program has not been definitely reviewed by the Commission, John Emmerson, a well-informed American diplomat in Peru during the program, wrote more than thirty years later: 'During my period of service in the embassy, we found no reliable evidence of planned or contemplated acts of sabotage, subversion, or espionage.'"

That is the "view" which the Commission wants to leave with the reader. In truth, the whole South American continent was riddled with both Nazi and Japanese agents, and this was well known to United States security authorities.

There was a good deal of Magic intelligence available concerning Japanese espionage in Latin America directed at the U.S. I've already covered some of the messages dealing with Mexico and Panama. Other messages from Tokyo levied requirements on its diplomatic facilities in Central and South America to gather intelligence on the U.S. and to keep abreast of U.S. activities in Latin America so that actions could be taken to counter U.S. aims and desires in these countries. Again, the diplomatic posts were instructed to recruit Japanese residents to assist in the intelligence effort. In the messages intercepted are discussions of how communications would be handled in the event of war, and there was the usual array of intelligence reports. Although there are military dispatches, the intelligence from Latin America, understandably, tended to be more diplomatic and economic.

One of the more dramatic messages was a proposal to incite and finance a revolution in Guatemala. The Japanese message pointed out that:
    "Such a plot might not necessarily be a success in every respect; however, even if it fails, if it's carried out to a certain extent, it would have to be quieted by the United States using its armed forces. In such a case, it would cast a shadow on the so-called 'Good Neighbor Policy' of the United States and cause a cleavage among the countries on the American continent. It would also endanger considerably the fundamental policy on which the United States attaches the greatest importance, a policy which envisages placing within her influence the regions extending to Panama. If it succeeds to an extent, it would at least upset at once the political balance among the countries as far as Panama. It would seem to me that there is considerable likelihood of its turning that region into an arena of political confusion... It seems to me that we should provide funds sufficient to commence preparations for the rebellion..."
With messages like this being intercepted along with previously mentioned reports that the Japanese had obtained details of the Panama Canal Zone fortifications, is it any wonder that the U.S. preferred not to leave stranded Japanese officials running loose in Latin America?

Just a few days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Terazaki, Second Secretary at the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. and Chief of Intelligence in the Western Hemisphere, received a message from Tokyo ordering him to leave immediately. The Japanese ambassador protested and asked as a personal favor that Terazaki be allowed to remain until December 19. But the Japanese Government was adamant. Their chief spymaster had to be safely out of the U.S. before the Pearl Harbor attack in order to manage the espionage nets which had been so carefully constructed for just this eventuality. Commander Kramer, who selected out the most important Magic for the President and others, penciled on this message: "Terazaki -- is head of Japanese espionage in the Western hemisphere. He and his assistants are being sent to South America." Ominous words indeed.
From Dec. 4, 1941, Office of Naval Intelligence report:
In the event of open hostilities, Mexico will probably be the Japanese Intelligence nerve center in the Western Hemisphere, and in anticipation of war, U. S. - Mexican Intelligence routes are being established. This network, covering Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and the Central American countries, will come together in Mexico City, and Japanese co-operation with the German and Italian Intelligence organizations is expected. Such co-operation has been discussed in Tokyo with representatives of the Axis powers and the plan is said to have been approved by them.
On Dec. 24, 1941, this ONI report on the Tokyo Club:
Japanese activities are by no means limited to Mexico. In Peru it is reported that the 30,000 or more Japanese living there are highly organized and that, following anti-Japanese riots, they distributed rifles to all their establishments. Here in the United States there has been reported a possible infiltration of Japanese espionage agents through Cuban and Florida ports. A similar danger exists with regard to the Pacific Coast and the Mexican border.
And this MAGIC decrypt:

23 January 1942
Circular #153.

From: Tokyo
To: Lima

Regarding Rio (?) to Lima #4.

The principle functions of the diplomatic organization in war time are political and informational, and that which particularly applies to our diplomatic organization in Latin America is the latter.

The brilliant success of our armed forces at Pearl Harbor was due, mainly, to the military information based on reports sent by our informers on the spot, whose efforts represent untold sacrifices in blood and tears.

Although we could hardly hope to effect a decisive destruction of England and the United States, the success or the failure of our efforts will depend largely on the information which your office will be able to furnish us. In view of this, the maintenance of neutral attitude by the Latin American countries has a special significance. However, bearing in mind the possibility of the breakdown of relations, please take immediate steps to extend the intelligence net set up by our Legation in Peru (in accordance with Tokyo Lima #7), to include Argentina and Chile.

Please relay Tokyo - Lima #7 to Argentina and to Chile and also this message to Argentina, thence to Chile.

(Secret outside the Department.)
JD-2: 790 --- (A) Navy Trans. 1-29-42 (2-TT)

Feb. 21, 2013
History 13.11 – Japanese American Internment Camps | MR. BELLO'S BLOG

All the wrong questions... I think Mr. Bello needs some history lessons!

Feb. 20, 2013
Japanese American Internment Camp Survivors Speak at MSU

I'd love to hear their horror stories of deprivation and torture. Not sure what these kids really think they survived, though... maybe the three square meals a day?

Dec. 10, 2012
The Japanese in Hawaii

See this PDF (Japanese in Hawaii by Okumura 1920) for a very straightforward piece by a Japanese church minister, written 20 years before Pearl Harbor, regarding the problems the Japanese created for themselves in Hawaii and the West Coast.

It is a great misfortune that agitation has given rise to a feeling of restlessness, misunderstanding, and suspicion between these two peoples. The blame is on the Japanese themselves, who have had undoubtedly the greater share in inciting the fears and suspicions of America. What the Japanese in Hawaii have done has stamped deeply into the mind of the American people in Hawaii and America the impression that Japanese are unassimilable and undesirable people. When we realize that the condition of Japanese in Hawaii has been the root of all anti-racial sentiment in California, we cannot help but feel our tremendous responsibility. Japanese in Hawaii should strive to destroy the mist which is sweeping over the two nations, and should keenly feel that it is their duty to remove all traces of charge against Japanese in general.

Nov. 21, 2012
Japanese-American business in the Free Zone

From this article (Japanese-American Internment Camp Letters Found In Denver Building): "Japanese-Americans who lived in Colorado and elsewhere in the interior West weren't interned."

This business, like many that were owned by Nikkei who lived in the "Free Zones" (outside the West Coast military zone), probably did well during the war, taking care of the many orders from the camps. The well-known Toguri family ("Tokyo Rose") had a business in Chicago and apparently prospered.

Oct. 31, 2012
Report on Japanese Activities

In case you have not read this report before, I've posted an HTML version of it online along with a few of my own notes and links:

1942 - Investigation Of Un-American Propaganda Activities In The United States - Report on Japanese Activities

Much can be said about this document and the immense amount of research that went into its production. It stands on its own as proof of those pre-war concerns we had regarding the growing threat of Japan's imperial plans, in spite of the opinions of those who wish to ignore it and its conclusions.

Oct. 22, 2012
Japanese American college students and marker in Salem, Oregon

See this news item (Japanese-American Internment Marker - Salem, Oregon - Civil Rights Memorials) and then read my comments below.


Victims of discrimination? I would say they received preferential treatment in helping them pursue their education. This info is online and needs to be repeated:
In October 1944, Henry Tanaka visited Manzanar to encourage other Nisei to attend college outside camp. During his visit, Superintendent of Education Genevieve Carter noticed "how serious the gap was between the Nisei who have stayed behind the barbed wire... and those who have left the centers behind." Two years earlier, the Quaker-led American Friends Service Committee and the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council started working together to transfer 4,300 Nisei college students to institutions outside the exclusion zone.

Although the Quakers were one of the few organized groups to consistently protest the internment of Japanese Americans, support also came from neighbors, ministers, priests, teachers, and friends who stayed in touch with internees. As Swarthmore College student William Inouye reflected, "my faith and my hope in America is greatly strengthened whenever a willing hand helps us."

Beginning in June 1942, the WRA granted permission for some internees to leave camp. After being investigated and cleared on an individual basis they moved east to work or attend college. Hundreds of people left on temporary furloughs to help farmers harvest crops. By August 1943, 11,000 had left the War Relocation Centers; by 1944, that number increased to 35,000.

The Nomuro family was one of nearly one thousand families who "voluntarily" moved from the West Coast in March, 1942. They later helped other Japanese Americans relocate to their neighborhood in Madison, Wisconsin.
S. I. Hayakawa said:
Being a firm believer in democracy and justice and knowing the people in the camps had done nothing to deserve their internment, Mr. Myer did everything possible to make life tolerable for the internees. He encouraged camp self-government, hired teachers from outside to continue the education of the children, sent WRA staff around the East and Middle West to seek college admittance for Nisei who had graduated from the camp high schools. One result was that many Nisei students who, without enforced evacuation from the west coast, might have stopped with a high school education to work in their father's shops or farms, instead went on to college, including prestigious and private institutions such as Antioch, Oberlin, and Mount Holyoke, as well as to such great public institutions as Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Purdue.

A large number of young people -- middle-aged people by this time -- from very modest families got a college education which they otherwise would never have if they had not been sent to relocation camp.
And also:
Among those whose lives were seriously disrupted by the relocation order were the students attending colleges and universities in California, Washington, and Oregon.

John H. McCloy, Assistant Secretary of War, requested Clarence Pickett of the America Friends Service Committee in May 1942 to start planning a program of student relocation that would enable young people to continue their studies. Distinguished educators from west coast universities and other institutions from elsewhere, plus the Japanese-American Citizens League, Government agencies and church groups and so on, began to form within a few short weeks a National Student Relocation Council. The problem was not only to relocate students already in college, but to place students in college as they graduated from high schools in the relocation centers. A further problem was to raise scholarship money to enable students to pay for their education.

The efforts of the Student Relocation Council were supported by the Staff of the War Relocation Authority as well as by the internees themselves.

In 1941, according to a study by Robert O'Brian entitled "The College Nisei," there were 271 Nisei students in colleges and universities east of the Rockies. Then, because of the combined efforts of everyone concerned, including especially the America Friends Service Committee, from 1942 to the end of the war, almost 4,300 students were relocated in all parts of the United States outside the west coast.

Among the many institutions that had never had Nisei students before, but received them during the relocation, were Illinois Institute of Technology, fashionable schools like Bryn Mawr, Carleton, Kenyon, Louisiana State University, University of Texas, Rutgers, Antioch, Oberlin, Haverford, Mount Holyoke, and Purdue University and so on.

In most places, Nisei were alone or virtually alone in a white society, but they soon found themselves among friends in their classmates and their professors, who received them warmly. Many Nisei distinguished themselves scholastically, others distinguished themselves in sports, and some in both. But all found themselves at home in a larger America than they had ever known before.

Their basic learning was summed up by a girl who attended an eastern school, who is quoted by O'Brian. She said,
I've always wanted to be looked upon as an American. I have found it here. They treat me as an American. They do not treat me as a Japanese-American.
Note this article:

WWII JA relocatee college students sought

Nisei to thank Nat'l Student Relocation Council supporters

PORTLAND, Conn. -- Were you able to attend college during World War II? If so and you are Japanese American, then you were very likely helped in gaining this opportunity by the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council. over 3000 Nisei were assisted during the war by the council in relocating from the wartime concentration camps in which they were incarcerated to more than 500 institutions of higher education across the country.

The National Student Relocation Council was formed under the leadership of the YMCA-YWCA, the Pacific College Association and such West Coast college presidents as Robert Gordon Sproul of the Univ. of Calif., Lee Paul Sieg of the Univ. of Washington, and Romson Bird of Occidental College. It established a central office in Philadelphia under the auspices of the American Friends Service Committee and a board of directors which included college presidents and deans, officers of college associations, and representatives of leading Protestant churches, Jews, Catholics, Quakers and the YMCA-YWCA. Operations of the council were carried out by scores of volunteers and supported by grants from church boards and philanthropic foundations.

As a result of such efforts, thousands of Japanese Americans were eventually able to complete their college education, thus lessening the tragic impact of the wartime internment on their lives. A few of the Nisei who were among those selected recently met and discussed the possibility of commemorating the humanitarian efforts of these various organizations and individuals. "It wasn't popular to support Japanese Americans back in those days," recalls Dr. Lafayette Noda, a member of the group. "I think it's time we expressed our appreciation in some formal way to those who helped us. Many of us were able to pursue successful professional careers because of the education we received during the war," he said.

Noda and the others are all members of a larger group called the New England Nisei which was formed two years ago to bring together Japanese Americans in the New England region for various programs of mutual interest. This larger group is offering to organize a national commemoration project which would culminate in a tribute to those organizations and individuals who were involved in the work of the council.

Among the ideas for an appropriate tribute discussed by the New England Nisei was the establishment of a perpetual fund to support students who are presently in need of similar assistance, or to support continuing humanitarian efforts of such organizations as the American Friends Service Committee. Also discussed was the idea of naming the fund after a ------ {illegible} organization or individual that would exemplify the efforts of the many organizations and individuals involved with the council. However, no final decision on the form of the tribute was reached, and it was agreed that suggestions from more people should be solicited.

As a first step in organizing the commemoration project, the New England Nisei is working to identify Japanese Americans throughout the country who were aided by the council. Such individuals and others interested in the project are being asked by the New England Nisei to contact its representative, Mrs. Nobu Hibino, of ----- Drive, Portland, Connecticut, 06480. Suggestions concerning the project should also be forwarded to Hibino. A deadline of Oct. 31, 1979, has been set for the receipt of expenses.

Sept. 28, 2012
The dark days of Japanese American detention in New Mexico

Dark indeed is this piece (Dark Days of Detention: The legacy of Japanese American internment in New Mexico) with more confusion, classifying all as simply "Japanese Americans" and making the internment camps the same as the relocation centers. Someone needs to turn on the light for them!

Does anyone know a good source of info on the "free zone" Japanese? I'm not too familiar with those like the Ebihara's who were "forced" to move to the Old Raton camp, and why.

Sept. 27, 2012
Japan-produced drama series

For a VERY fictionalized version of the evac & relocation, view this Japanese drama (TV drama shot in Seattle a big hit in Japan) when you have the time and inclination. I would say there is very little difference with the J-A activist's view -- the line between Japanese nationals and Americans of Japanese descent is so blurred that they may as well forget the American part. You'll find many parts very strange and unbelievable. Perhaps thinking of the series as a "spoof" may help to alleviate the pain as you watch it!

The credits at the end list Tom Ikeda of Densho -- I wonder if he really understands the historical embarrassment of this series. The other article (Film Screenings of TBS 60th Anniversary Drama “99 Years of Love-Japanese Americans” (January 8, 15, 22, 2011)) is from the Japanese Consulate in Seattle, but unfortunately the link to the survey doesn't work. Maybe they got tired of all the low scores they were getting.

99-nen no Ai - JAPANESE AMERICANS (Japanese Drama)

Aug. 13, 2012
News Should Run More Balanced Reporting about Minidoka

Gotta agree with this letter to the editor!

August 12, 2012 2:00 am

Regarding Edith Robertson’s letter concerning an apology from Japan for the way it treated the Americans, our U.S. Allies and Filipino prisoners of war, I commend her. Along with the stories of what the USA did to its internees, how about telling the other side — what the Japanese did to our POWs?

Tell the story about the infamous Camp O’Donnell or the Cabanatuan prison camp or maybe even the Bataan Death march. Tell about the Japanese soldiers making the prisoners dig long trenches and thatching the top for “air raid shelters,” then making them climb in, pouring gasoline on them and setting them afire, shooting anyone that tried to escape.

My uncle, Donald Nelson Smith, was a survivor of the Death March, Camp O’Donnell and Cabanatuan. He was among the 513 POWs liberated by Lt. Col. Henry Mucci of the 6th Ranger Battalion on Jan. 30, 1945. My dad, who was with the admiral’s fleet in the South Pacific, found him in a hospital tent on Leyte.

Tell the story about all the mothers, fathers, wives, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters who just didn’t know if their loved ones had survived these atrocities. Think of the worry and frustration they went through.

Before you write these stories, perhaps it would be fitting to read some of the accounts of these “death camps” written by the survivors or maybe the book, “Ghost Soldiers” by Hampton Sides. As these are the men and women of the greatest generation, they are my heroes.

I would be pleased to see some balance in reporting here. When you run articles about the Minidoka Internment Camp, run another relating to the Japanese POW camps and the way they treated our POWs. Japan certainly owes America an apology, as does Germany.

Aug. 8, 2012
American Muslims & Heart Mountain

Go George!

Yoshinaga (HORSE’S MOUTH — About Signing ‘Markers’ in Vegas) sees many of the real issues, but I wonder what he really thinks... and wants to write about what he really thinks.

It touched off a bit of a flurry:
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR — American Muslim Exhibition’s Relevance to the Japanese American Internment Story
Controversy Emerges Over Heart Mountain Exhibit

July 9, 2012
J-A Pilgrimage to Tule Lake Mecca

Another article (At Internment Camp, Exploring Choices of the Past) for your reading enjoyment. There are many out there who will never let go of their "pain." Quite a number of comments for this one.

June 18, 2012
Another true tale of survival

Here is yet another story (FINDING FORGIVENESS: Palmer woman recalls torture as POW) of a teenage internee that should be included in school and online curriculae containing all those supposedly tragic tales by Japanese-Americans who were in their teens back then. Their "suffering" under the US Govt. during WWII can in no way compare with the treatment Allied civilians received under Imperial Japanese rule in SE Asia. Rachel Block and her brother and sisters were interned at Santo Tomas.

June 9, 2012
More "degrading" news

County supervisors rescind 1942 Japanese American internment vote
George Takei recalls 'degrading' internment of Japanese Americans

Takei has no authority, in my view, to evaluate what is degrading, given his lifestyle.

I see the number has gone up to 150,000 in the 2nd article. Ha! Maybe next, Los Angeles will rescind our declaration of war against Japan...

Apr. 19, 2012
A Dutch survivor

Here is another article (Former teacher from Notts recalls time as Japanese POW) that should be required reading in public schools. No J-A activist can come anywhere close to describing their so-called incarceration and deprivation in similar words as these real survivors of the camps do -- "The horrendous cruelties inflicted on their prisoners of war by the Japanese are too numerous to mention."

By the way, NO assembly/relocation center director or even any personnel was ever arrested and made to appear in a war crimes tribunal, as was in the case of Sonei and thousands of other Japanese imperialists.

The camp was ruled by a cruel and brutal officer named Captain Kenichi Sonei. Beatings were a daily event, women would have their heads shaved for failing to bow properly, Red Cross parcels were hidden away.

Every day Sonei would order Tenko. "Tenko means roll call," Tine explained. "We were constantly left standing for hours in the sun during Tenko.

"On one such occasion, as we walked past the guards, my mother was smoking a cigarette, just received in a precious Red Cross parcel.

"The camp commandant spotted her and, furious because she had not shown him the respect he expected from the hated Dutch women, he strolled over and smacked her hard on the face. My world nearly fell apart. I pleaded with him not to hit her again and at that moment he was distracted because one of the guards drew his attention to somebody else's misdemeanour."

A girl had been spotted holding a little puppy. Sonei rattled out an order.

"The guard took the puppy from her and, with a wide grin on his face, put a piece of string round its neck and hanged it from the barbed wire fence."

Such barbarous acts were committed on an almost daily basis. Tine, a former chairman of the Nottingham Retired Teachers Group (NUT), said: "The horrendous cruelties inflicted on their prisoners of war by the Japanese are too numerous to mention.

"It gets rarely talked about because the reaction is usually, 'Well, it was all a long time ago, it should be forgive and forget now'. This always makes me want to argue the point.

"Forget? This may not be possible for those of us for whom the war meant so much suffering: imprisonment, family break-up, constant fear, hunger, deprivation of human dignity and unmentionable hygienic conditions.

"Forgive? Now here is a possibility."

In September 1946, Captain Kenichi Sonei was sentenced to death by a War Crimes Tribunal. He appealed against the sentence to acting Governor General Hubertus J van Mook but this was rejected. Mrs van Mook had been one of Sonei's prisoners. In December 1946, Sonei was executed by a Dutch firing squad.

Apr. 14, 2012
A child's view of internment

Here is more (Truth without sugar-coating) on the book by Lise Kristensen... where can be found the real meaning of forced removal and incarceration, of rounding up and herding into camps, not the hijacked version so prevalently used by J-A activists who were children then as well.

Apr. 10, 2012
More on "The Troublemaker"

Article: Fred Korematsu Joins Civil Rights Heroes in the Portrait Gallery

Key sentence here: "Most families returned to nothing." Except for the Korematsu family...

I'm sure their situation was an encouragement to many back then! In reality, most did NOT return to nothing. See below some excerpts about so-called "losses" -- it is so convenient to ignore the facts, but what a fight with human pride to accept them. As the article ends, "a lot of people still don’t know about this part of history." How true.

By the way, Korematsu was a shipyard welder... not involved in the flower nursery at the time of his escapades.


From a 1943 sub-committee hearing:

Senator GURNEY. I am foggy on a lot of regulations that must be in force. What happened to the property of these evacuees when they were taken away from their homes in Los Angeles? Who is controlling and handling the administration of those individuals' property?

Mr. MYER. In most cases the individual has control, the evacuee himself. At the time of the evacuation the War Department asked the Federal Reserve bank and the Farm Security Administration to give assistance to evacuees in either disposing of, leasing, or handling property such as real property. The Farm Security Administration assisted with the farm property in particular. The Federal Reserve bank assisted with their personal property and city properties.Moving van, Hayward, 1942 They provided storage if the evacuee cared to have thing stored. They gave them any other assistance they could in finding buyers or lessees. We thought, up until about the middle of July, that the majority of these people had utilized the services of those two agencies. When W. R. A. began to take over these responsibilities, in August, we found that about one out of ten utilized the services of the Federal Reserve bank and the Farm Security Administration. Most of the evacuees made their own arrangements with individuals. They had leased their properties and stored their goods with a neighbor or in a house or church. Personal property was left scattered all over the west coast in all kinds of states and conditions.

We now have a Property Division in the War Relocation Authority, with the main office at San Francisco, with offices at Seattle and Los Angeles, to assist in servicing that property.

Our general policy in that respect is that since the evacuee cannot get back to look after his own property, he may designate anyone he wished to assist him. If he requests service, we try to serve as his agent and carry out his requests in protecting his interests, or in servicing the property. We are beginning to meet real headaches in that program. There is about $200,000,000 worth of property located in the 4 States out there, in the evacuated area, consisting of all kinds of property -- personal, real estate, all types. For example, there are 258,000 acres of farm land. There are approximately 700 hotels. A good many of them are in Seattle, ranging in size from 20 rooms to 400 rooms. There are 14 liquor stores. There are florists' shops and greenhouses. Well, I could go on indefinitely.

From a 1946 report:

The evacuees had suffered a considerable amount of property damage and loss as a result of the evacuation. The WRA handled many inquiries during this period from owners who had returned to their homes and found that their property had been vandalized. Property was also lost and damaged while it was in storage and in transit from one place to another. In cases where the owner knew who had taken the property, the individual allegedly responsible could be sued in the courts, but in the majority of cases there was no evidence to prove who was responsible. In cases where the loss or damage was due to negligence on the part of the WRA, the Authority began to accept claims to be processed under the provisions of the Small Claims Act. It was anticipated, however, that payment of the suits would take a considerable amount of time. Another recourse was for an evacuee to ask his Congressman to introduce an individual relief bill. In spite of these two methods of handling claims growing out of the evacuation, there appeared to be little possibility that many evacuees with indemnifiable losses would be able to receive compensation for claims unless a special evacuation claims procedure should be established by the Congress.

The WRA property offices on the West Coast had handled a good many real estate cases for evacuees, such as those involving sale, purchase, and lease of property. This type of property management was no longer available after February 1.

Important to the aliens who had been interned by the Department of Justice was the announcement by the Treasury Department on March 14 that persons who had been interned but later released or paroled were restored to unrestricted used of their money and other assets which had previously been blocked. Specifically excluded from the benefits of the order were former internees who were under deportation orders.

From a 1984 hearing, testimony of Lillian Baker:

There is ample documentation which, sir, you do have, showing that the Japanese-American Citizens League, and the publications of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in 1960, freely admit that when the United States tried to close down the relocation centers, a contingency of evacuees from the relocation centers went to Washington, DC, in early 1944, protesting the closure of the relocation centers for several reasons. Primarily, it was because their properties on the west coast were leased -- not lost -- for the duration of the war. This fact itself voids the argument that most properties were lost. Lands were leased and personal property stored at taxpayers' expense.

The evacuees protested the closures because they did not want to return to their communities until the war was over, and the documents even go on to show that some said "they would rather sit it out and see who will win the war."

From a 1984 hearing, testimony of Karl Bendetsen:

But when you are told that the household goods of the evacuees after I took over were dissipated, that is totally false. The truth is that all of the household goods of those who were evacuated or who left voluntarily were indexed, stored, and warehouse receipts were given. And those who settle in the interior on their own told us, and we shipped it to them free of charge.

As far as their crops are concerned, the allegations are totally false. I used the Agriculture Department to arrange harvesting after they left and to sell the crops at auction, and the Federal Reserve System, at my request, handled the proceeds. The proceeds were carefully deposited in their bank accounts in the West to each individual owner. And many of these farms were farmed for the whole time -- not sold at bargain prices, but leased -- and the proceeds were based upon the market value of the harvest. You should know that.


Entirely opposite from the false statements of the Commission's Report, the Wartime Civil Control Administration carefully and separately stored the household goods of all evacuees. In each case, a detailed inventory was taken and each family was issued warehouse receipts. For those who evacuated themselves and took up residence elsewhere, the WCCA arranged the shipment of their possessions in each case at no cost to the family. As soon as the relocation centers had been built and furnished and the remaining evacuees were moved into them, the War Relocation Administration {Authority} (WRA) took over and it continued these arrangements.

The statements in the Commission's Report are totally false that action under E.O 9066 caused the pillage and destruction of the household goods and furnishings of the evacuees. When the relocation centers were emptied, each evacuee obtained his household goods at no cost.

E.O 9066 delegated authority through the Secretary of War to General DeWitt and, in turn, he delegated it to me to call on any and every agency of the Federal Government to assist in making the evacuation as painless as possible. I did so and received full cooperation and indispensable services which greatly benefited evacuees. Many evacuees owned very excellent truck gardens and truck farms. I arranged with the Agriculture Department to bring about the harvesting of all crops. Sales were made by the Department at auction. The cash payments were handled at my request by the Federal Reserve District and their funds were deposited in the bank accounts of each evacuee -- no exceptions.

See this compilation:
"We didn't lose everything"

Apr. 9, 2012
Japanese in Mexico

The first 8 pages of Chapter 1 in this book are quite entlightening:

This Grim And Savage Game: The OSS And U.S. Covert Operations In World War II

Mexico had probably the largest Japanese spy organization on the American continent.

Mar. 25, 2012
A worthy Asian American event

Here is a forward from our POW listserv:
A presentation at California State University, East Bay in Hayward, CA on April 10, 2012 --

"In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Fall of Bataan, Cal State University's Philippine American Student Alliance (PASA), Theatre and Dance Department and Artis Mundi will present a program to honor the defenders of Bataan on Tuesday, April 10 at 4PM at the University Theatre. Guest appearances from the Philipine Scouts Heritage Society, Battling Bastards of Bataan, Bay Area Civilian Ex-Prisoners of War and USAFFE. Please spread the word."

The message came from Cecilia I. Gaerlan,
With all their emphasis on never forgetting and never repeating, this is definitely an Asian American event that members of the JACL, Densho, etc., should plan on attending.

Mar. 23, 2012
More word studies

Key words of their mantras are in bold. CAPAC has immense clout... and impaired vision, obviously -- their insistence on using the term "internment" is one example.

WASHINGTON, DC – Thursday, the Department of Interior announced that the National Park Service will award 17 grants totaling nearly $2.9 million to preserve and interpret the confinement sites where over 120,000 Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements commending the Department of Interior for its commitment to ensuring that these sites are preserved and that the Japanese American experience during WWII is never forgotten.

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), CAPAC Chair: “Seventy years have passed since President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 which led to the internment of thousands of Japanese American citizens. As the years pass, it is vital that we never forget that dark chapter in American history and ensure those mistakes are never repeated. I commend the National Park Service for its dedication to preserving the Japanese American internment sites, which will serve as a reminder to future generations that we must always be vigilant in upholding our civil and Constitutional rights as Americans.”

Congressman Mike Honda (CA-15), CAPAC Chair Emeritus: “As a Japanese American who was forced into a World War II internment camp with my family some 70 years ago, I commend the National Park Service for their efforts in helping to preserve the camps and broaden understanding. In 2009, I was proud to lead the effort on the House Appropriations Committee to increase the funding for the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program to a $3 million annual appropriations—and I am pleased that my colleagues on both sides of the political aisle continue to recognize the importance of this program. Preserving the lessons of the past is crucial as we work to build a future free of the misunderstanding and discrimination that characterized the internment.”

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), CAPAC Whip: “Educating the public about one of the darkest chapters in America’s history will help ensure that these mistakes are never repeated. Both of my grandfathers were among the more than 120,000 Japanese Americans interned during World War II, a reflection of how far wrong we can go when we are driven by fear and prejudice. I applaud the National Park Service for supporting the preservation of these national internment sites – including the Honouliuli Internment Camp on Oahu – and for their commitment to sharing the stories of injustice so future generations may understand the importance of defending the civil and constitutional rights of all our citizens.”

Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-31), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus: “Seventy years ago during World War II, thousands of American men, women and children of Japanese descent, as well as individuals of Japanese descent from Latin American countries, were held captive in U.S. internment camps. For helping to raise awareness for this grave injustice, and continuing their efforts to tell a more inclusive story of American history, I applaud the Department of Interior and the National Park Service for taking action to preserve the Japanese American internment camps.”

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (HI-02): “There is a misconception that Japanese Americans in Hawaii were not interned during World War II. The fact is the opposite is true. Some 1,800 Japanese Americans from Hawaii were sent to internment camps in the islands or the U.S. mainland. What remains of these camp sites reminds us of how wartime hysteria led to the incarceration of thousands of innocent American citizens based on race. The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii’s project ‘Just’ Youth: Taking the Lessons of Hawaii’s WWII Confinement Sites to Our High Schools’ will share how civil rights and personal freedoms were lost resulting in the internment of Japanese-Americans across the mainland U.S. and Hawaii. Mahalo to the JCCH and the U.S. Department of the Interior for working to preserve these sites and stories to ensure those dark times will never be repeated.”

Congresswoman Doris O. Matsui (CA-05): “I applaud the National Park Service for providing funding to preserve World War II Japanese American internment sites. These sites are part of the fabric of American history. They must be maintained so that future generations can learn about one of the darkest periods our nation has known, and to serve as reminders to our country to never repeat the injustices of the past.”

Congresswoman Janice Hahn (CA-36): “We must honor our history in full—even the difficult parts, even the parts where we betrayed our principles. We must remember the story of the thousands of Japanese-Americans from the Los Angeles area who were ordered to distant internment camps, and I am glad we’re taking this step to memorialize their story for future generations.”

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA-16): “As a supporter of the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, I applaud the Department of Interior for moving forward in preserving the World War II Japanese American Internment Sites. The internment of Japanese Americans was a dark period for our nation, and it is important that we preserve these sites as educational tools for future generations so our mistakes in the past are not repeated.”

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34): “This is a sad, but important piece of American history. Preserving these internment sites reminds and educates us about our past so that we may go forward with a renewed awareness of the need to fight for civil rights and justice for all.”

The awards were granted as part of the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program established by Congress in 2006. This year’s grants total $2,890,368 and will support projects in 11 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The program’s goal is to teach present and future generations about the injustice of internment during World War II and inspire a commitment to equal justice under the law.

For more details about these projects, visit:

Mar. 22, 2012
Preserving a biased interpretation

Just as big dollar Govt.-funded projects are usually liberal-based, so it is with these J-A meccas. Key words are also usual -- "grave injustice," "incarceration," "unjustly held," "fear and prejudice," "shameful episode," "injustice," "confinement."

With all our tax money available, they need to make sure they tell the "more inclusive story" of Tokyo Club syndicate members and their extensive network on the West Coast, as well as the larger Japanese Association of America (controlled by the Japanese Consul General), and their devotion to their Imperial Mikado.

Oh, and they must not forget the delightful story of the "Club of Seven Lives" at the Santa Fe camp:
A right-wing youth group called Shichisho-kai (literally "Club of Seven Lives") held its first meeting in the east classroom on the night of December 12. I decided to attend. At the meeting, young people seated themselves in groups and roll was taken. Then they all stood up and chanted in unison: "We are the loyal subjects of the Emperor. We are determined to be reborn seven times and serve our country." After that Rev. Dojun Ochi talked about the great history of Japan, beginning with the Meiji era and going back in time. It was very interesting. The leader of Shichisho-kai was apparently a man from Tule Lake.
And the shameless story of the Seinendan Hokokai (Youth Group Service Association), with their battle cry, "Not words but action. Trust the mother country, Japan. Crush 'em to bits!":
Among the internees at Tule Lake, two groups that were constantly at odds with one another were the pro-Japan or "disloyal" faction and the pro-American or "loyal" faction. Such a division in thinking could be found at any relocation center or camp, but it was especially serious at Tule Lake. The pro-Japan group set up a spy ring to gather information on those who were sympathetic to the United States. They infiltrated various groups, placing certain individuals under surveillance and using gatherings to collect information abour their enemies. They selected faction members who were to take direct action against the enemy through extraordinary measures. If this proved unsuccessful, they planned to report the enemy to the Japanese government after the war.

Once a person was identified as pro-American, they intimidated him by throwing human feces at his house or even boiled feces at the windows. Families were afraid of what others might think and quickly and quietly cleaned up the mess. In July 1944, after a certain Mr. Hitomi had been murdered, fear among the pro-American internees reached a panic stage. Thirteen families fled to a separate enclosed barracks, leaving everything behind. Some of the soldiers who were asked to retrieve their possessions were said to be in sympathy with the pro-Japan group, because when they went to collect one person's belongings, they asked, "Where's the dog's luggage?" [NOTE: Dog, or inu in Japanese, was a derogatory term for an informant, presumably so termed due to the nature of a dog always sniffing around.]
And there were other groups, such as the Sokuji Kikoku Hoshidan (Immediate Return to Japan Services), the Hokokudan (Patriots Association), the Hosai-kai (Worshipers Association of Meiji Shrine), and the Kesshi-dan (Blood and Death Group)... what exciting stories they have, deserving to be memorialized by the Dept. of Interior! Oh, and should we dare recommend a special pavilion be made to commemorate the honorable principles and activities of the Kokuryu-kai (Black Dragon Society)?

Room does not allow for all the many other instances of those "Japanese Americans" who continued to support the Imperial system even while "unjustly incarcerated" in the various camps.

A Japanese article in 1920 stated:
It is urged, then, when as American citizens (by birth) the opportunity comes for them to reinforce the Japanese residents in America who have no citizenship rights, they must, on behalf of His Majesty, the Emperor of Japan, become the loyal protectors of the race.
And the president emeritus of the University of California commented after his visit to Japan in 1920:
The two civilizations can not mingle, and the leaders in Japan agree that it is not well to attempt to amalgamate them. They can not and will not understand our civilization, and no matter in what part of the world he is, a Japanese always feels himself a subject of the Emperor, with the Imperial Government backing him, much as a feudal retainer had the support of his overlord in exchange for an undivided loyalty.
This was but 20 years prior to Pearl Harbor, and with the amazing military build-up and many victories of Imperial Japan in Asia, this national pride and patriotic fervor increased. If there were any grave injustice, it would be to hide these "poignant reminders" of pro-Japan activities from the American public.

Interior Moves Forward with Efforts to Preserve and Interpret World War II Japanese American Internment Sites

WASHINGTON, D.C.--(ENEWSPF)--March 22, 2012.  The Department of the Interior today announced that the National Park Service is awarding funding to help preserve and interpret the U.S. confinement sites where more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were detained during World War II. The 17 grants, totaling nearly $2.9 million, are part of Interior’s ongoing efforts to capture and tell a more inclusive story of American history.

“If we are to tell the full story of America, we must ensure that we include difficult chapters such as the grave injustice of internment of Japanese Americans during World War II,” Secretary Salazar said. “The internment sites serve as poignant reminders for us - and for the generations to come - that we must always be vigilant in upholding civil liberties for all.”

The incarceration of thousands of Japanese Americans, two-thirds of them American citizens, followed Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

“These places, where more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were unjustly held, testify to the fragility of our constitutional rights in the face of fear and prejudice,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “The National Park Service is honored to help preserve these sites and tell their stories, and thus prevent our nation from forgetting or repeating a shameful episode in its past.”

The awards, under the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, now in its fourth year, will support projects in 11 states. This year’s grants total $2,890,368 and bring to nearly $9.7 million the funds awarded since Congress established the grant program in 2006.

Grants from the Japanese American Confinement Sites program may go to the 10 War Relocation Authority camps established in 1942 or to more than 40 other sites, including assembly, relocation, and isolation centers. The program goal is to teach present and future generations about the injustice of the World War II confinement and inspire a commitment to equal justice under the law.

This year’s successful applicants comprise a variety of undertakings, including a documentary film about an isolation center on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona; the expansion of an online encyclopedia that focuses on all aspects of the Japanese American internment experience; the return of a former barracks building to its original internment camp site at Granada in southeastern Colorado; and a program to engage high school students in Hawaii in the study of World War II confinement and similar justice and equality issues that resonate today.

The award amounts range from $24,132 for the University of Idaho to further excavate the Kooskia Internment Camp site in northern Idaho, to $714,314 to a group in Delta, Utah, to build a museum and education center for the Topaz Relocation Center outside of town.

Congress established the Japanese American Confinement Sites program in 2006 and authorized up to $38 million in grants for the life of the program.

This year’s winners were chosen through a competitive process that requires applicants to match the grant award with $1 in non-federal funds or “in-kind” contributions for every $2 they receive in federal money.

A list of the winning projects follows. Projects marked with an asterisk (*) indicate that the grantee is from one state and includes a project site in another. For more details about these projects, visit:


Project: “Japanese-American Leupp Citizen Isolation Center Project”
Applicant: Developing Innovations in Navajo Education Inc., Flagstaff, AZ
Award: $290,000
Site: Leupp Citizen Isolation Center, Leupp, AZ


Project: “Telling the Stories of Japanese American detainees on Angel Island during World War II”
Applicant: Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, San Francisco, CA
Award: $25,573
Site: Angel Island Detention Station, Marin County, CA

*Project: “Passing the Legacy Down: Youth Interpretations of Confinement Sites in the Western United States”
Applicant: Japanese American Citizens League, San Francisco, CA
Award: $150,130
Sites:  Manzanar National Historic Site, Inyo County, CA; Minidoka National Historic Site, Jerome County, ID; Tule Lake Relocation Center, Siskiyou County, CA

Project: “Venice Japanese American Memorial Marker”
Applicant: Venice Community Housing Corporation, Venice, CA
Award: $50,000
Site: Manzanar National Historic Site, Inyo County, CA

Project: “Hidden Legacy: Japanese Traditional Performing Arts in the World War II Internment Camps”
Applicant: East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Richmond, CA
Award: $138,586
Sites: Multiple


Project: “Amache Barrack Relocation and Rehabilitation”
Applicant: Colorado Preservation, Inc., Denver, CO
Award: $241,124
Site: Granada Relocation Center (Amache), Prowers County, CO


Project: “ ‘Just’ Youth: Taking the Lessons of Hawaii’s WWII Confinement Sites to Our High Schools”
Applicant: Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI
Award: $64,795
Sites: Honouliuli Internment Camp, Honolulu County, HI, and other Hawaii sites


Project: “Minidoka Guard Tower Reconstruction”
Applicant: Friends of Minidoka, Boise, ID
Award: $280,378
Site: Minidoka National Historic Site, Jerome County, ID

Project: “Kooskia Internment Camp Archaeological Project”
Applicant: University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
Award: $24,132
Site: Kooskia Internment Camp, Idaho County, ID


Project: “The Legacy Center Archives”
Applicant: Japanese American Service Committee, Chicago, IL
Award: $75,268
Sites: Multiple


*Project: “Minidoka Oral History Project”
Applicant: Oregon Nikkei Endowment, Portland, OR
Award: $168,460
Sites: Minidoka National Historic Site, Jerome County, ID, and other sites


Project: “Japanese American and Enemy Alien Confinement at Crystal City Family Internment Camp, Texas”
Applicant: Friends of the Texas Historical Commission, Inc., Austin, TX
Award: $25,580
Sites: Crystal City Family Internment Camp, Zavala County, TX


Project: “Topaz Museum and Education Center Construction Project”
Applicant: Topaz Museum, Delta, UT
Award: $714,314
Site: Topaz Relocation Center, Millard County, UT


*Project: “Honoring a Legacy, Forging a Future: Preserving the Stories and Collections of World War II Veterans and Internees”
Applicant: Wing Luke Memorial Foundation. (Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience), Seattle, WA
Award: $170,833
Site: Minidoka National Historic Site, Jerome County, ID

*Project: “Enhancing Access to Heart Mountain Collections at Washington State University”
Applicant: Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Award: $77,769
Site: Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Park County, WY

Project: “Japanese American Confinement Sites Encyclopedia-Phase II”
Applicant: Densho, Seattle, WA
Award: $362,450
Sites: Multiple


Project: “Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation – Website Project”
Recipient: Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, Powell, WY
Award: $30,976
Site: Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Park County, WY


Mar. 18, 2012
More real survivors

I can never tire of stories like this... an inspiration to all who think they've ever had it tough.

There were nearly 400 deaths at Santo Tomas, approx. 10% death rate. On Jan. 31, 1945, the chairman of the camp medical staff was jailed by the Japanese for refusal to exclude the words "malnutrition" and "starvation" from death certificates.

Note the last words:
I hope no other American has to go through what we did, simply because they are American.
How many times have we heard similar from J-A activists?

Local mother, son recall POW tribulations

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Editor’s Note: This is the first part of a two-part series on a Lebanon family held as prisoners of war in the Philippines during World War II. Part two will run in the Wednesday, March 14 edition of The Wilson Post.

The Wilson Post


This should be added to the list of required reading in schools that promote "Japanese American internment" stories:

The Blue Door by Lise Kristensen – review

Lise Kristensen bears witness and finds closure in this unflinching account of her family's time in a Japanese PoW camp

Kristen Treen

The Observer,

The Blue Door: A little girl's incredible story of survival in the Japanese POW camps of Java
by Lise Kristensen

"The unrecorded life," wrote Iris Chang in her study of Japan's brutal occupation of Nanking, "disappears as if it never existed." For Lise Kristensen, who survived a two-year imprisonment in Java's PoW camps during the second world war, the act of writing is both an exercise in recording an event all but forgotten by the west and an attempt to find "closure". The Blue Door details the merciless treatment of her family at the hands of Japanese soldiers. Opening with the disappearances of Lise's friends, the memoir unflinchingly relates the camps' inhumane conditions and the ritual of tenko in which prisoners are forced to bow to their captors. The family's only respite is finding an abandoned blue door: raised off the ground away from rats, it is a platform from which to remember the world. Perhaps inevitably, Kristensen frequently struggles to find adequate language to describe her experiences. Yet, narrating in the voice of her childhood self, Kristensen's difficulty with words becomes a devastating portrayal of a child's loss of innocence to humiliating cruelty.


"On the island of Java, the stirrings of the Second World War in Europe and the angry-looking man called Hitler seem a million miles away from Norwegian-born Lise and her siblings. Then one day, her friends and neighbours start to disappear, and she begins to realise that they are not safe after all. Through ten-year-old eyes, Lise tells of her family's two-year imprisonment in POW camps and the brutal treatment received at the hands of their Japanese captors. For respite from the rat-infested floor of their shelter they adopt a blue door, which sits on concrete posts in the ground. They live on it during the day as young Lise plots ways to protect her family from disease, starvation and the desperate behaviour of fellow prisoners. This is a little girl's heartbreaking tale of survival."


Mar. 18, 2012
New interpretation of honorable?

Article: Longmont sisters work to ensure father's experiences during World War II internment, prison aren't forgotten

The push to remember continues... and the dream of making what these "bold and brave" J-A draft dodgers did somehow honorable.

Those who did join and fight for the US sure won't forget the trouble the no-no's caused, nor can many other J-A's forget. See here for the list of those pardoned in 1947 -- along with Tono there were over 1,500 through those years, even after the war ended.

Mar. 6, 2012
Changi camp internees

Here's a story of real survivors of civilian internment that should be used for comparative studies by Densho et al. Quite a revealing statement: "I am glad that the Red X (Red Cross) have been misled and our true conditions of living and housing have not been revealed."

'Oh, for a house, a garden, seclusion': How English couple kept apart in brutal Japanese WWII PoW camp for three years kept spirits up with secret letters about their dream cottage

  • Donald and Isobel Grist were interned in Changi camp in Singapore
  • 5,000 people packed in prison meant for 600
  • 13 women shared room 3ft 3in x 6ft
  • Mr Grist later became world authority on rice after becoming fascinated by how it could sustain humans for so long
By Nick Enoch

Feb. 28, 2012
Funds for J-A Meccas

Article: Japanese American Citizens League discusses federal funds for Camp Preservation Appropriations

"Camp Preservation Appropriations budget, which helps fund projects such as Bridging Communities, a program that creates awareness, dialogue and activism between Japanese American and Muslim American youth"

Feb. 27, 2012
More "survivor" tales

Article: Japanese American Internment Camp Stories: Survivors Urged To Tell Their Tale For 'Remembrance Project'

What these "survivors" do not want anyone to remember is the fact that these kids, like Shishima, had dual citizenship, though not on paper necessarily, but based on parental ancestry. They could, therefore, have "survived" just as well in Japan during the war, avoiding any form of real incarceration -- thousands of Nisei actually did. Take a look at this webpage, "Nisei in His Imperial Majesty's Service," which features quite a number of Nisei who spent the war serving in the Japanese military or similar capacity. Thousands of other Nisei were automatically, and conveniently, declared Japanese in that land (and returned to status as Americans after the war).

The glaring omission in articles of this nature is that these Japanese nationals on the West Coast could not remain in their homes due to their country being at war with ours. They could have been placed under house arrest, but this was unfeasible and would greatly strain our military, not to mention law enforcement personnel. Deportation was another option, but ruled out due to logistics. Those on the dangerous list were interned, which was totally legal and appropriate. The majority, though, of these new enemy aliens were evacuated, along with their American-born children, out of the critical areas and then placed into camps (months after Pearl Harbor), NOT because they had no choice in the matter, but rather they left it up to our Govt. to decide their fate, knowing that the Govt. would take care of them and keep their families intact.

The benevolence of our Govt. to these Japanese nationals is a grand subject that has been deliberately omitted from history books, textbooks and webpages that deal with this topic. No Axis nation ever dealt in like manner with Allied nationals living in their lands during the war. One only has to look at the many books by those who had to endure real concentration camps under Japanese rule to see who the true survivors really are.

Feb. 21, 2012
Twenty-Three Things You May Not Have Known

...and there are a hundred and twenty-three things this writer ("student activist"!) still does not know. Sometimes I wonder if these people are even searching for the facts.

Here are some February 1942 events that should be known by all:

02-Feb-1942 Japanese invade Java in the Dutch East Indies.
08-Feb-1942, 09-Feb-1942 Japanese invade Singapore.
14-Feb-1942 Japanese invade Sumatra in the Dutch East Indies.
15-Feb-1942 British surrender at Singapore.
19-Feb-1942 Largest Japanese air raid since Pearl Harbor occurs against Darwin, Australia; Japanese invade Bali.
22-Feb-1942 President Roosevelt orders Gen. MacArthur out of the Philippines.
23-Feb-1942 First Japanese attack on the U.S. mainland as a submarine shells an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, Calif.
26-Feb-1942 First U.S. carrier, the LANGLEY, is sunk by Japanese bombers.
27-Feb-1942 to 01-Mar-1942 Major Japanese naval victory in the Battle of the Java Sea as the heavy cruiser USS HOUSTON and nine other Allied ships are sunk.

And the number of civilians interned in those countries by the Japanese is well over those they claim were "imprisoned" here in the US, not to mention the number of Allied POWs taken, especially at Singapore. February 1942 was a wretched month in Japanese-controlled Asia.

Twenty-Three Things You May Not Have Known About the Japanese-American Internment

February 19, 2012
Angus Johnston @studentactivism

Today is the 70th anniversary of , the FDR executive order that authorized Japanese deportation from the West Coast during WWII.

I just posted a string of tweets, including the one above, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Executive Order 9066. EO 9066, signed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, authorized the exclusion of Japanese Americans from large portions of the United States solely on the basis of their ethnicity. It led almost immediately to seizure of property, ethnic curfews, and — on May 3, 1942 — the authorization of the establishment of internment camps to house those who would be relocated from exclusion zones.

  • 70 years ago today FDR #EO9066 created the Japanese-American internment policy. 120,000 people, 2/3 of them citizens, were imprisoned.
  • The number of Japanese Americans interned without cause by FDR was greater than the population of Wichita, KS. #EO9066
  • 62% of Japanese Americans interned by FDR were US citizens. (The rest were immigrants barred from naturalization due to their race.) #EO9066
  • Americans with as little as 1/8 Japanese ancestry were interned, including orphan infants. #EO9066
  • Internment order included Americans of Taiwanese and Korean descent, since Japan occupied those countries. #EO9066
  • “A viper is nonetheless a viper wherever the egg is hatched.” —LA Times editorial endorsing Japanese-American internment #EO9066
  • Surviving #EO9066 internees received $20,000 compensation each in 1988. Families of internees who had died got nothing.
  • I said a few minutes ago that Americans with as little as 1/8 Japanese ancestry were interned. I was wrong. The cutoff was 1/16th. #EO9066
  • The 1944 Korematsu decision declared the Japanese-American internment constitutional. It has never been overturned. #EO9066
  • “I dissent, therefore, from this legalization of racism.” —Justice Frank Murphy dissenting in Korematsu. #EO9066
  • Justice Murphy’s Korematsu dissent was the first Supreme Court opinion ever to use the word “racism.” #EO9066
  • “military urgency…demanded that all citizens of Japanese ancestry be segregated from the West Coast.” —Korematsu, majority opinion. #EO9066
  • “Korematsu…has been convicted…merely of being present in the state…where all his life he has lived.” –Korematsu dissent. #EO9066
  • Fred Korematsu was born in Oakland, CA in 1919. He was arrested in San Leandro in 1942 for being Japanese-American. #EO9066
  • In 1946 Fred Korematsu married Kathryn Pearson in Michigan. (Interracial marriage was illegal in California at the time.) #EO9066
  • Fred and Kathryn Korematsu moved back to California in 1949, the year after interracial marriage was legalized in the state. #EO9066
  • Fred Korematsu’s conviction was set aside in 1983. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998. He died in 2005. #EO9066
  • Two years before his death Korematsu filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court arguing for legal rights for Guantanamo detainees. #EO9066
  • Survivors of the Japanese-American internment camps include George Takei, Norman Mineta, Isamu Noguchi, and Pat Morita. #EO9066
  • Los Angeles internees were housed in stables at the Santa Anita racetrack while awaiting relocation. #EO9066
  • George Takei’s first schooling was under the grandstands at Santa Anita while his family was interned in a stable. #EO9066
  • “We gave the fancy name of ‘relocation centers’ to these dust bowls, but they were concentration camps nonetheless.” –Harold Ickes. #EO9066

Feb. 10, 2012
238 Japanese buried in Ft. Sam cemetery, Texas

Article: Enemies in war now rest together for an eternity

In all, 132 German, four Italian, three Japanese and one Austrian POW are in one section of the cemetery, which is home to 133,154 veterans, spouses or their children.

That is the highest number of Germans of 15 Veterans Affairs Department national cemeteries in the United States. All the other Japanese, 235, were cremated and buried at Fort Richardson National Cemetery in Alaska. A monument stands over a common grave containing the Japanese dead, only 18 of whom were identified.

The Japanese and Italians, as well as most of the Germans buried here, were held prisoner at Fort Sam's Dodd Field, but some came from seven other POW camps in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.

Jan. 30, 2012
Spinning out of control - POW plates for J-A's???

More from the Land of Unbelievable... (Spin Control: A simple way to honor those we’ve done wrong)

The full bill is here:

Jan. 30, 2012
Biography of S.I. Hayakawa Published

Perhaps he is most "infamous" to the activists for this statement:
Mr. President, I am proud to be a Japanese American. But when a small but vocal group of Japanese Americans calling themselves a redress committee demand a cash indemnity of $25,000 for all those who went to relocation camps during World War II, including those who were infants at the time and those who are now dead, a total of some two and three-quarters of a billion dollars -- we have been seeing this in a series of articles being published in the Washington Post -- my flesh crawls with shame and embarrassment.
For more on Hayakawa, see here: Hayakawa

Jan. 21, 2012
"Clyde Sarah" Korematsu Day

I agree with Torlakson -- "I urge everyone to take a moment to study this case" -- but definitely not with Liu's opinion that Korematsu was "a role model for Californians and all Americans." Thousands of older Nisei back then did not consider him their role model, else they would all have challenged the US Govt.

Korematsu, like Hirabayashi, was convicted of a crime. That has not changed in the books. Peter Irons later found so-called "suppressed evidence" and "lies" which would seem to make the conviction null, but it was only vacated in the District Court -- the Supreme Court decision was never overturned. I would say the ones suppressing evidence are the activists who continue to re-educate the public with anything but the whole truth.

From the 1944 case:

Our task would be simple, our duty clear, were this a case involving the imprisonment of a loyal citizen in a concentration camp because of racial prejudice. Regardless of the true nature of the assembly and relocation centers -- and we deem it unjustifiable to call them concentration camps with all the ugly connotations that term implies -- we are dealing specifically with nothing but an exclusion order. To cast this case into outlines of racial prejudice, without reference to the real military dangers which were presented, merely confuses the issue. Korematsu was not excluded from the Military Area because of hostility to him or his race. He was excluded because we are at war with the Japanese Empire, because the properly constituted military authorities feared an invasion of our West Coast and felt constrained to take proper security measures, because they decided that the military urgency of the situation demanded that all citizens of Japanese ancestry be segregated from the West Coast temporarily, and finally, because Congress, reposing its confidence in this time of war in our military leaders -- as inevitably it must -- determined that they should have the power to do just this. There was evidence of disloyalty on the part of some, the military authorities considered that the need for [323 U.S. 214, 224] action was great, and time was short. We cannot -- by availing ourselves of the calm perspective of hindsight -- now say that at that time these actions were unjustified.

Korematsu could have avoided a lot of shame and trouble had he complied with the laws as did thousands of other Nisei his age. What a different story would have evolved had he moved back East when he could have, and where he eventually ended up anyway. One wonders what motives Besig had in wanting Korematsu to agree to challenging the military decisions, and even posting bail for him.

Jan. 19, 2012
Digging up more propaganda?

Article: Archaeologists Return to World War II Japanese American Internment Camp

They have a lot to excavate -- see attached for Granada maps, including showing the wider boundaries. How this defines a "concentration camp" is beyond me. And remember, this site was opened in late August 1942, nearly 9 months after Pearl Harbor... not a good role model at all for proving war hysteria.

For more on what the US really provided at this camp for the Japanese, see this file:

And here's a good story by one of the many who were part of this so-called "captivity" but found the solution. Note what she says re the Issei in New York:

By the way, among all the relocation center photos I have looked through, I have yet to find any showing those ubiquitous guard towers with machine guns. Let me know if you come across any.

Jan. 19, 2012
More from "the oppressed"

Article: Cinema Asian America: – Five Questions with ‘From A Silk Cocoon’ Director Satsuki Ina

"From a Silk Cocoon, a Japanese American Renunciation Story"... Another American against America. Sounds like nothing has changed... still pro-Japan, still making trouble.

Nov. 20, 2011
Kids in real concentration camps

Article: 'I was days from starving to death in brutal Japanese prison camp,' says deputy prime minister Nick Clegg's mother

"I stood nailed to the ground with fright as it all came flooding back."

What a world of difference. This is a "pilgrimage" all J-A activists need to participate in to know what a real child internee experienced during WWII.

Nov. 14, 2011
Letters from the Japanese American Internment

Take a look at the PDF files -- these letters to Miss Breed are quite revealing. The lesson material will undoubtedly turn things around to show the worst, unfortunately.

Encourage students to draw conclusions about life in an internment camp by reading, comparing and sharing ideas about letters written by young internees. Consider and discuss the advantages of looking at a historical event from the points of view of multiple eyewitnesses.

Learning Standards

History, 9-12 (from the National Center for History in the Schools)

  • Era 8: The Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)
    Standard 3C: The student evaluates the internment of Japanese Americans during the war and assesses the implication for civil liberties.      

Historical Thinking, 9-12 (from the National Center for History in the Schools)

  • Benchmark 9: Analyzes how specific historical events would be interpreted differently based on newly uncovered records and/or information.
  • Benchmark 10: Understands how the past affects our private lives and society in general.
  • Benchmark 11: Knows how to perceive past events with historical empathy.


In this lesson, students make deductions about life in an internment camp by reading and comparing letters written by young internees to an old friend, children’s librarian Clara Breed. Along the way, they consider the advantages of looking at a historical event from the multiple points of view of eyewitnesses.


Step One: F. and M. Ishino's Letter (PDF) and Letter Questions (PDF)

Step Two: F. Tsumagari's Letter (PDF), L. Ogawa's Letter (PDF), T. Hirasaki's Letter (PDF), and History Whose Story (PDF)


Key Terms/Concepts
internment, resiliency, first-hand accounts

On December 7, 1941, the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, there were more than 110,000 people of Japanese descent living on the West Coast of the United States. Within a few months, they were all gone from their homes. Out of fear of espionage and sabotage along the Pacific, the government placed Japanese American men, women, and children in internment camps in the interior of the country. Two-thirds of the internees were U.S. citizens. None of them was ever charged with a crime.

Clara Estelle Breed was the supervising children’s librarian at the San Diego Public Library, where she came to know many young Japanese Americans. When they were evacuated from San Diego, she was at the train station to see them off. She handed out stamped, self-addressed postcards and urged them to write to her when they reached their destination.

Miss Breed spoke out publicly against the internment policy, believing that democracy "must be defended at home as well as abroad." But by taking an interest in the internees, she was not merely taking up a cause. Her correspondents were her friends. Like anyone writing to a friend, the internees tended to report on personal concerns and ordinary matters: their parents, their classes, the dances they held, the books they were reading, the movies they saw. It is a great irony that the letters tell us as much about life as a young American in the 1940s as they do about the internment—the punishment imposed upon these young people because they were not fully recognized as Americans.

Students examine four of the Miss Breed letters in this lesson on primary-source documents. As they compare the writers’ differing points of view, they might see more clearly that the history of an event or period of time is never a single story.

Step One
We suggest that students examine one of the primary sources before you introduce the subject of the internment and the story of Miss Breed and her friends. Hand out printouts of the letter by Margaret Ishino and the Letter Questions . Ask students to try answering the questions—individually or in groups—after carefully reading the letter.

When they have completed the exercise, begin a class discussion to discover more clues. Reveal only that sixteen-year-old Margaret Ishino wrote the letter, though it was signed by both Margaret and her six-year-old sister Florence.
It should be immediately clear to students that Margaret and Florence are at a camp, but what kind of camp? The discussion might bring out details that are inconsistent with the idea that this is, say, a summer camp. Why is their baby brother and the rest of their family with them? Why does Margaret refer to their living quarters as a barrack?

The students might also try to solve these mysteries: How do Margaret and Miss Breed know each other? What is Miss Breed's profession?

Step Two
Share background information on the Miss Breed letters and the circumstances in which they were written. Divide the class into three groups and hand out printouts of these three letters. Give Fusa Tsumagari's letter to the first group, Louise Ogawa's to the second, and Tetsuzo Hirasaki's to the third. Give each student a copy of the Graphic Organizer (see Required Materials).

Have each group discuss its designated letter and the Graphic Organizer questions in order to present an informal report on this topic: How did life at the camp differ from normal life?

After the groups have presented their reports, read the three letters aloud. Have each student fill in all of the boxes of the Organizer.

Note: You might divide the class into smaller groups, to facilitate full participation. More than one group can work with each of the letters.

Step Three

Lead the class in a discussion of the letters, including Margaret's. Look for differences and similarities. Which differences might be due to the personalities of the writers or their relationships with Miss Breed? Which ones might be due to the times at which the letters were written? Did the camp change? How did the presence or absence of a fence around the camp affect the writers?
Move on to a discussion of the reliability of first-hand accounts. At the board, make lists of the statements that seem to be facts and those that seem to be expressions of opinions or feelings. Look for support for one writer's statements in the statements of the others.
Conclude by considering questions such as these:

  • What is the value of reading more than one source?
  • Can one document help a historian judge other documents?
  • Did the combination of all the letters affect your judgment of each letter?
Step Four
In a writing assignment, students might try to imagine a typical day at the camp, or they might focus on one aspect of the internment, using both the Miss Breed collection and other classroom resources. The exercise will perhaps highlight the differences between primary sources—the raw material of history—and the accounts of historians. In evaluating the essays, consider the strength of the students’ documentary evidence and the soundness of their interpretations of the evidence. Suggested topics:
  • Family life in the camps
  • The survival of Japanese traditions
  • American loyalty among internees
  • Internment and the Bill of Rights


  • Ask students to write a newspaper article describing the reasons for Executive Order 9066.
  • Ask them to write a journal entry in the persona of someone whose neighbor or good friend has just been removed to an internment camp.
  • Have students read "History: Whose Story," then ask them to find a piece of their own writing from the past—a school essay on a personal subject, maybe, or a journal entry. Ask the students to read it as a historical document. They should consider the following: Does it seem to be a truthful and full account of your thoughts on the subject? If not, why not? Did you write in a certain way to suit the teacher or other readers? Did you leave things out for any reason?

National Museum of American History, A More Perfect Union
For additional teaching resources visit

Oct. 13, 2011
Revisiting Japanese-American internment

 Very good interview of a friend and fellow researcher.

American historian Linda Goetz Holmes' meeting with an Australian prisoner of Japan led her to solve some mysteries of World War II and now she debunks the charge that the internment of Japanese and Japanese-Americans after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 was entirely wrong. She speaks to Asia Times Online contributor Victor Fic.

Sept. 19, 2011
Heart Mountain internment photos donated to WSU

I'm always amazed by their use of "survivor" -- what exactly did they survive? The "food on the table" and the "crops grown"? Note also that cameras were allowed from 1943. "People want to make sure this story is told correctly"... From the likes of these articles, I would say they have a long long way to go yet.

-- Table of Contents --