Historiography Final: Japanese Internment: United States, Minoru Yasui

1556 Words7 Pages

Jayna Marie Lorenzo
May 23, 2023
Historiography Paper
Professor Kevin Murphy
Historiography Final: Japanese Internment “A date which will live in infamy,” announced President Roosevelt during a press conference after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Due to the military threat by the Japanese on the West Coast, on February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, ordering for the incarceration of all people of Japanese descent. The Order forced about 120,000 Japanese Americans into relocation centers across the United States where they remained in captivity until the war ended. Many historians agree that this event was undoubtedly unconstitutional and an infringement of basic human rights. The forced incarceration of Japanese …show more content…

The idea of being viewed as the “Other” is prevalent in three court cases that arose when Roosevelt issued the Executive Order. In the case Yasui v. United States, Minoru Yasui, an American lawyer born in Oregon, tested the legitimacy of the executive order by staying out past curfew and turning himself into the police. When the notice came to evacuate, Yasui informed authorities he would not comply and appeared in front of the Supreme Court. He served one year in jail and was fined $5,000. Gordon Kyoshi Hirabayashi, a Japanese American born in Washington, openly defied internment. Hirabayashi refused to register for evacuation and disobeyed the curfew where he was found guilty for both counts. The most famous case is Fred Korematsu, a Japanese American man born in Oakland, California. He received plastic surgery to change his …show more content…

“All the class pictures are in there, from the seventh grade through twelfth, with individual headshots of seniors, their names followed by the names of the high schools they would have graduated from on the outside…” Although these students, like Houston, were forcefully withdrawn from their schools, her generation, Nisei, were able to overcome these barriers and went on to rebuild their lives. “The Nisei offspring, in their late teens and twenties, still had their lives before them. Despite significant barriers of racism and severe economic setbacks from the incarceration, they focused on building their future and assisting their Issei parents. Many went on to establish successful livelihoods, leading some to portray themselves as a model minority who overcame the wartime hardships.” Nisei worked hard to recover post-internment. American society perceived them as a “successful minority” based on the idea and stereotype that Japanese people were good workers. Eventually, they created the “model minority” stereotype that became associated with the Japanese American people. Houston, like other Nisei and unlike her father, worked to build their lives post-incarceration. She went onto graduate college and many of her essays and short stories earned her many awards. She also, unlike many internment survivors, had the courage to share her story of

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