Questions We Need to be Asking
The Evacuation and Relocation of Ethnic Japanese during WWII
Here's a questionnaire of my own about the evacuation and relocation of Japanese nationals and their
children during WWII that I would like to give all those who were
at any of the centers, as well as to educators teaching this history. There is quite an assortment of questions and
they are not necessarily in any related order; I will be updating this as I have time. Yes, Questions #27
and #28 are there, re-worded slightly. Remember that Issei refers to Japanese nationals, Nisei to American-born (2nd generation), and Nikkei inclusive of all. Please do feel free to email me your answers as I would be very much interested in reading your comments on these issues.
A New Questionnaire
Please answer the following questions to the best of your ability:
- Are you American or Japanese? And your parents?
- In referring to yourself or other Americans of Japanese heritage,
do you use the descriptor "Japanese" in front of "American"? If so, how
does that compare with how other Americans use similar ethnic
- On which country did the US first declare war: Germany,
Italy or Japan?
- Why didn't the Issei want to assimilate American culture,
esp. the language?
- What prevented the Issei from assimilating into American society?
- How did the Issei react to the US declaration of war against Japan?
- How did the Issei react to Japan losing the war?
- How soon after December 7th did the evacuation start?
- How much time was allotted for evacuation?
- What exactly was illegal about the evacuation and
relocation? What laws did the US Govt. or the US military break?
- Why were only the Nikkei evacuated from the West Coast and not
Germans and Italians?
- What are the differences between an assembly center, relocation center, and an internment camp?
- Did your parents register at the outbreak of the war?
- Did they apply for assistance? How much was granted?
- Did they have acreage that was transferred? What percent?
For how much? To whom? What conditions?
- What percent of that acreage was transferred back to your
parents after the war?
- Was there loss incurred of any kind during your evacuation?
If so, how much? Was it reimbursed after the war?
- Did you try to relocate to another district? If so, where?
If no, why not?
- How was hospital care at the camps?
- How many deaths do you remember? What was the cause?
many at the centers were beaten, or tortured, or starved, or placed in
solitary confinement, or made to stand at attention for
hours on end?
- Do you remember ever being shot at from the towers? Or having any gun pointed at you?
- Did you ever have any trouble getting through the barbed wire?
- Did you or anyone else ever think of escaping from any of the centers?
- How much medical care did you receive? Did you pay for it?
If not, did you pay monthly premiums or reimburse the Govt. for any
medical care received?
- Did you leave a center to attend college? If so, where? For
how long? Did you or your relatives pay for your education?
- If Japan had invaded the West Coast, would you
have fought against the Japanese, even your brother, uncle, cousin?
- How did you prove your loyalty to the US? Were any of the Nikkei proven loyal in a court of law during WWII?
- Did living conditions (such as manure-strewn stalls,
overheated barracks) produce any adverse health effects? Did these
result in hospitalization? Did you seek medical attention?
- Did you attend a Japanese school either in Japan or in the
US? What books did you study? Were they all approved by the Monbusho?
- Why did many of the Japanese, when they moved
to the US, create their own enclaves and not integrate with the Americans?
- Did the Germans create "Little Berlin" or the Italians
"Little Rome" here in the US?
- How much can you tell me about "war hysteria" against the Nikkei in the midwest and eastern US?
- How many Japanese were evacuated from the East Coast?
- How many Americans were in Japan at outbreak of war? How
many were interned?
- How many Nisei were interned in Japan during WWII?
- How many Nisei were on the exchange ships (e.g. Gripsholm)?
- Though American-born, were you ever registered as a Japanese with the Japanese Government?
- How did Japan view the doho in the United States?
- How much did you or your parents/grandparents contribute to the
Japanese war effort prior to outbreak of WWII?
- What Japanese organizations on the West Coast did the
Nikkei belong to?
- Did you belong to a Kenjinkai? Or attend any of the meetings?
- What type of efforts did the Central Japanese
Association, the Japanese American Citizens League, or any other
organization engage in to help the Issei obtain US citizenship?
- Why didn't the Issei push for relaxation of citizenship
- Did the Issei, in their so-called desire for US
citizenship, attend English classes, American history classes, etc., in
order to become Americanized?
- What language did you use at home? Did you ever have to
interpret for your parents or anyone?
- Have you ever been to Japan? When?
- How many Nisei were willing to fight against the Japanese
Army or Navy?
- Would you turn in your relative to the FBI if you thought
their activities were inimical to the interests of the US?
- How many "No-No" boys were in Japan? Did they say "No" to
giving up their US citizenship? Did they say "No" to being drafted into
the Japanese Army?
- Were any of the Nikkei in any court of law proven either guilty or not guilty of any crime against the US?
- In the Gordon Hirabayashi and Minoru Yasui cases, what evidence was there
that these two were loyal citizens? What evidence to the contrary was there?
- How did the actions of these two exhibit allegiance to the
US and a desire to uphold its laws?
- What was the basis for 23-yr-old Hirabayashi's confidence
that he could win against the US Govt.?
- Was 25-yr-old Yasui a US citizen or Japanese citizen when
he was arrested?
- Why didn't just the enemy-alien Issei go into the camps instead of
their whole family?
- What type of force was used against the Nikkei on the West Coast to make them leave their residences?
- What kind of hysteria was displayed towards the Japanese on the West Coast?
- How exactly were the Nikkei discriminated against by others?
- How did you deal with the paranoia toward yourself and other Nikkei?
- How many Nikkei spent only a short time at the centers and
then went to live in the Midwest or Eastern US?
- How many at the centers were sent to Tule Lake for subversive
- Why couldn't the Nisei at Manzanar who were from Los Angeles get along well with the Nisei
who arrived from the Northwest?
- How many Nikkei voluntarily went to any of the centers?
- Why do you think many of the older people who were evacuated and relocated never wanted to talk about it later in life?
- Were there any Nikkei unhappy that Japan lost the war?
- Among the Nikkei, who publicly wrote against Imperial Japanese aggression that had taken place in Korea and China?
- How many Nissei gave up their American citizenship when
they were in Japan? Of those, how many wanted their citizenship back
after the war?
- Why didn't Iva Toguri (of "Tokyo Rose" fame) give up her American citizenship?