Japanese American Incarceration

The Office of Naval Intelligence and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted surveillance on Japanese Americans beginning in the 1930s. After the Pearl Harbor attack, these two agencies, plus the Army’s G-2 intelligence unit, arrested over 3,000 suspected subversives, half of whom were of Japanese descent.

At the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, about 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry lived on the US mainland, mostly along the Pacific Coast. About two thirds were full citizens, born and raised in the United States. Following the Pearl Harbor attack, however, a wave of anti-Japanese suspicion and fear led the Roosevelt administration to adopt a drastic policy toward these residents, alien, and citizen alike through Executive Order 9066

Japanese American Experiences

Mealtime in the Mess Halls

World War II shaped the culinary experiences of Japanese Americans in incarceration camps.

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Japanese American Experiences

High School Life at Rohwer War Relocation Center

Rohwer War Relocation Center in McGehee, Arkansas, was created to educate the children of Japanese American descent who were forced from their homes along the West Coast of the United States and required to live behind barbed wire for the duration of WWII, far from the homes they knew.

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The National WWII Museum

Oral Histories

The National WWII Museum is home to thousands of oral histories, including Walter Imahara and Norman Mineta—Japanese Americans incarcerates.

Digital Collections

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