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American Yawp Paper Topics

This topic guide is designed to assist students in HIST 2020 to write papers.

Japanese Americans Oral Histories & Reflections at a Camp

The Grave on the Wall

A memoir and book of mourning, a grandson's attempt to reconcile his own uncontested citizenship with his grandfather's lifelong struggle.A memoir and book of mourning, a grandson's attempt to reconcile his own uncontested citizenship with his grandfather's lifelong struggle. Award-winning poet Brandon Shimoda has crafted a lyrical portrait of his paternal grandfather, Midori Shimoda, whose life—child migrant, talented photographer, suspected enemy alien and spy, desert wanderer, an American citizen—mirrors the arc of Japanese America in the twentieth century. In a series of pilgrimages, Shimoda records the search to find his grandfather, and unfolds, in the process, a moving elegy on memory and forgetting.

Experiences of Japanese American Women During and after World War II

Experiences of Japanese American Women during and after World War II: Living in Internment Camps and Rebuilding Life Afterwards examines the experiences of Japanese American women who were in internment camps during World War II and after. Precious Yamaguchi follows these women after they were released and shows how they tried to rebuild their lives after losing everything. Using evidence from primary sources as well as over seven years of interviews with sixteen women, Yamaguchi provides a feminist, intergenerational, and historical study of how unequal the justice system has been to this group of people and how it has affected their quality of life, sense of identity, and relationship with future generations.

And Justice for All: An Oral History of the Japanese American Detention Camps

At the outbreak of World War II, more than 115,000 Japanese American civilians living on the West Coast of the United States were rounded up and sent to desolate relocation camps, where most spent the duration of the war. In this poignant and bitter yet inspiring oral history, John Tateishi allows thirty Japanese Americans, victims of this trauma, to speak for themselves. And Justice for All captures the personal feelings and experiences of the only group of American citizens ever to be confined in concentration camps in the United States. In this new edition of the book, which was originally published in 1984, an Afterword by the author brings up to date the lives of those he interviewed.

Life Behind Barbed Wire: The World War II Internment Memoirs of a Hawaiʻi Issei

Yasutaro Soga’s Life behind Barbed Wire (Tessaku seikatsu) is an exceptional firsthand account of the incarceration of a Hawai‘i Japanese during World War II. On the evening of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Soga, the editor of a Japanese-language newspaper, was arrested along with several hundred other prominent Issei ( Japanese immigrants) in Hawai‘i. After being held for six months on Sand Island, Soga was transferred to an Army camp in Lordsburg, New Mexico, and later to a Justice Department camp in Santa Fe. He would spend just under four years in custody before returning to Hawai‘i in the months following the end of the war.

Most of what has been written about the detention of Japanese Americans focuses on the Nisei experience of mass internment on the West Coast―largely because of the language barrier immigrant writers faced. This translation, therefore, presents us with a rare Issei voice on internment, and Soga’s opinions challenge many commonly held assumptions about Japanese Americans during the war regarding race relations, patriotism, and loyalty.

Out of the Frying Pan

In Out of the Frying Pan, Hosokawa offers his insights on the gradual reassimilation of the Japanese American community into the mainstream of American life after the bitterness of internment. Bringing his narrative into the present, he examines with humor and insight the current place occupied by Japanese Americans in the larger culture of our nation. A searching and insightful memoir from an extraordinary man, Out of the Frying Pan is a significant statement on the state of race relations in the U.S. today.

FDR's Executive Order 9066

Japanese Americans : From Relocation to Redress

From Relocation to Redress presents the most complete and current published account of the Japanese American experience from the evacuation order of World War II to the public policy debate over redress and reparations. A chronology and comprehensive overview of the Japanese American experience by Roger Daniels are underscored by first-person accounts of relocations by Bill Hosokawa, Toyo Suyemoto Kawakami, Barry Saiki, Take Uchida, and others, and previously undescribed events of the internment camps for "enemy aliens" by John Culley and Tetsuden Kashima.

Pre and Post World War II History

Altered Lives, Enduring Community: Japanese Americans Remember Their World War II Incarceration

Examines the long-term effects on Japanese Americans of their World War II experiences: forced removal from their Pacific Coast homes, incarceration in desolate government camps, and ultimate resettlement. As part of Seattle's Densho: Japanese American Legacy Project, the authors collected interviews and survey data from Japanese Americans now living in King County, Washington, who were imprisoned during World War II. Their clear-eyed, often poignant account presents the contemporary, post-redress perspectives of former incarcerees on their experiences and the consequences for their life course. .Using descriptive material that personalizes and contextualizes the data, the authors show how prewar socioeconomic networks and the specific characteristics of the incarceration experience affected Japanese American readjustment in the postwar era. Topics explored include the effects of incarceration and resettlement on social relationships and community structure, educational and occupational trajectories, marriage and childbearing, and military service and draft resistance. The consequences of initial resettlement location and religious orientation are also examined.

Jewel of the Desert: Japanese American internment at Topaz

In the spring of 1942, under the guise of 'military necessity,' the U.S. government evacuated 110,000 Japanese Americans from their homes on the West Coast. About 7,000 people from the San Francisco Bay Area were moved to an assembly center at Tanforan Racetrack and then to a concentration camp in Topaz, Utah. Dubbed the 'jewel of the desert, 'the camp remained in operation until October 1945. This book tells the history of Japanese Americans of San Francisco and the Bay Area, and of their experiences of relocation and internment. Sandra C. Taylor first examines the lives of the Japanese Americans who settled in and around San Francisco near the end of the nineteenth century. As their numbers grew, so, too, did their sense of community. They were a people bound together not only by common values, history, and institutions but also by their shared status as outsiders. Taylor looks particularly at how Japanese Americans kept their sense of community and self-worth alive in spite of the upheavals of internment. The author draws on interviews with fifty former Topaz residents, and on the archives of the War Relocation Authority and newspaper reports, to show how relocation and its aftermath shaped the lives of these Japanese Americans.

Japanese-American Civilian Prisoner Exchanges and Detention Camps, 1941-45

Specifically, look at Chapters 5-8
The important and previously undocumented event in the history of the Second World War: the negotiation of prisoner exchanges between the United States and Japan from 1941 to 1943, is examined here by Bruce Elleman. Approximately 7000 American citizens had been arrested by the Japanese authorities while visiting Japan as tourists, conducting business, teaching English, or carrying out missionary work. The same amount of Japanese citizens living illegally in the United States had to be repatriated to secure the Americans'release. Challenging the conventional perceptions regarding the role and justification of the detention camp, this insightful book addresses questions regarding the diplomatic agreement between Japan and the United States, the Japanese-American detention camps, and the role of one of the most successful minority groups in the United States today: the Japanese-Americans.

Governing of Men

Commander Leighton is a psychiatrist and anthropologist who was assigned to go to the Japanese Relocation Center at Poston, Arizona, and 'apply the methods of social science' to that community-find out in terms of human relationships what was working well and why, what was going wrong, and why, and attempt to draw general principles from that experience. He fulfilled his mission brilliantly, and his manuscript account was immediately hailed by those who read it as one of the most thoughtful and truly literate government reports ever written. Under the sponsorship of the American Council, Institute of Pacific Relations, Commander Leighton has prepared this fascinating book from the material which went into his report.