Japanese Internment Camps

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The attitudes and perceptions of Japanese-Americans relations soured peaking since the beginning of World War II. Devastated by Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and fill an anti-axis power mentality, many American citizens attacked Japanese-American homes, businesses, and communities. One of the most controversial moments in American history was President Roosevelt’s Executive order 9066, which forced thousands of Japanese descent, many of which were first generation American citizens or nisei, out of their homes and into internment camps. Arkansas was home to one of the most famous internment camps in America. It was here that many Japanese women faced hardships and adopted new liberties while adapting to their new lives.…show more content…
Surprisingly, the internment camp experience gave Japanese woman opportunities for independence as well as relief from domestic roles brought on by a new division of labor standard formed. Housed in a small apartment, and forced to live in a community with fellow detainees, a married woman’s chores transformed into collectivization of tasks for the entire community. Barren, small, and cramped, these apartments “hardly needed to be cleaned as often as their former homes (133).” Another example of collectivization is that “Japanese wives did not have to prepare food for her family; men took waged jobs as cook (133).” Because of shared bathroom and lavatory stalls laundry became a public group effort with women helping each other out by sharing soaps, heated water, etc (133). Japanese women were given personal time to themselves, as husbands could be away and it was safe for the children to be left to wander under the eyes of the guards or occupy themselves in schools; to make up for loss time, children, both boys and girl had longer school days within the camps to salvage the education time loss during the evacuation of the concentration camp. The internment camps eliminated the racial competition in the work force. This opened up opportunities for both Nisei, men and women. Men could finally attain a higher position they could not get ordinarily…show more content…
The Japanese internment camps is one of the most controversial topics in American history. Issei and Nisei men and women are treated in a spectrum between white and black citizens. Despite the unconstitutional of the ordeal, the situation brought a surprising amount of freedom to Japanese-American women. These women had to challenge the status quo and tradition to maintain their new freedom. Their struggle with male privilege and racial relation are some of the building blocks that create our modern day society and social order. If not for these changes, it would have taken women much longer to have the freedoms and pursuit of
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