The Children of Topaz by Michael O. Tunnell and George W. Chilcoat

During the early to mid 1940s, America was engaged in a war, not only with the totalitarian governments of Europe, but with
the very principles that formed the foundation of everything that America stood for: liberty and justice for all. Torn between combatting the evils and injustices done unto those in Europe and protecting their own nation from an invasion, the American Government singled out a group of its own citizens, on account of racial affiliation. As a result, Japanese Americans soon found themselves the targets of discrimination and hatred by their fellow Americans, treated as the enemy simply for physically resembling the enemy.
Tora !"
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Commander Mitsuo Fuchida radioed
these code words to the commanders of
the Japanese Imperial Navy to inform
them that the Japanese had succeeded
in the airstrike on the American naval base
in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on the morning of
December 7, 1941.

"The Bombing of Pearl Harbor"

"They took us differently
and we were not quite
American in the their eyes despite the things they taught us in classes about equality and so forth." (3)

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After Pearl Harbor, the U.S. took immediate action, declaring war on Japan and thus throwing itself into the conflict in Europe with Nazi Germany and Italy(Japan's allies). This led to irrational hatred
and discrimination towards the Japanese by white Americans and
anti-Japanese propaganda began spouting up all around American cities and towns.

"We are ready and
prepared to expend every effort to repel this invasion together with our fellow Americans." (4)

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Wanting to express their outspoken patriotism and counter-attack the discrimination plaguing Japanese Americans, the JACL(Japanese American Citizen's League), stated these words in a telegram to Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt. The league also organized war bond and Red Cross drives and even worked with the FBI to identify possible enemies within the Japanese-American community.

"It makes no difference whether the Japanese is a citizen. He is still Japanese. Giving him a scrap of paper doesn't change him."
Lieutenant General John L.
DeWitt (7)
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"Japanese Deportation"
Despite the Japanese Americans' best efforts to prove their loyalty and patriotism to their country, the U.S. government deemed them a threat to U.S. security. On February 19, 1942, Pres. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, allowing the army to create military zones. Although the order did not specify Japanese Americans, the army labeled the west coast as one of the military zones and an 8:00pm curfew as well as a five-mile travel limit was imposed on all Japanese Americans. Beginning February 5, 1942, West Coast *Nikkei began receiving orders from the U.S militaryto evacuate their homes and prepare to leave for the internmet camps.

*Citizens of Japanese ancestry.
"I feel most deeply that when this war is over and we consider calmly this unprecedented migration of 120,000 people, we as Americans are going to regret the unavoidable injustices that may have
been done."
Milton Eisenhower, *WRA Director
*War Relocation Authority
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"Japanese Internment"
The end of the relocation was announced in December of 1944 and by the time January arrived, the Japanese were once again allowed to move back to the West Coast. Relocation centers were kept open only for the purpose of "helping the residents make a satisfactory transition to normal life"(pg. 67). In 1983, the CWRIC recommended the passing of a resolution to Congress as a way of apologizing for the injustices that many of the Japanese-Americans endured during the relocation. However, many people were slow to realize the wrongs of the relocation and even more were felt that no harm had been done and there was no need for apology. But, at last, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1988, transforming the recommendations of the CWRIC into law and in 1990, the first letters of apology, along with redress payments, were sent out.
"japanese 20internment " 1 Dec. 2008 <>.
Tunnell, Michael O., and George C. Chilcoat. The Children of Topaz. New York: Holiday House Inc., 1996.