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Japanese American Incarceration: Articles and Videos about Inmate Experiences

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Social Studies +1 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old), Post-Secondary, Adults

This topical collection includes articles and videos about Japanese American experiences in incarceration camps.  The collection highlights four individuals and their stories: Fred Korematsu, a civil rights activist; Minoru Yasui, a lawyer and civil rights advocate; Norman Mineta, a politician who grew up in the camps; and Isamu Noguchi, an artist who self-deported himself to an incarceration camp. Other important articles and videos about inmate experiences are located at the end. This collection is one in a series of collections, each containing different types of resources, about the Japanese American Incarceration; see also Japanese American Incarceration: Images of Camp LifeJapanese Incarceration: Publications, Letters, and Other Documents, and Japanese American Incarceration: Camp Objects.

In February 1942, following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 and authorized the imprisonment of approximately 75,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry and 45,000 Japanese nationals in incarceration camps.  This order was not rescinded until 1945.

Teachers and students may use this collection as a springboard for classroom discussion. This collection is not comprehensive but rather provides a launching point for research and study.

This Smithsonian Learning Lab collection received Federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

Keywords: internment camp, world war ii, ww2, wwii


Letters From Camp by Frank Chi

Smithsonian Institution

Fred T. Korematsu

National Portrait Gallery

Minoru Yasui

National Portrait Gallery

Barracks and Boy Scouts: Norman Mineta's story

National Museum of American History

Norman Mineta

National Portrait Gallery

Norman Y. Mineta: A Boy from San Jose

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

Isamu Noguchi

National Portrait Gallery

Isamu Noguchi, Ariz. letter to Man Ray

Archives of American Art

Ginger Rogers

National Portrait Gallery

Baseball behind barbed wire

National Museum of American History