Japanese Internment Camps

After the US was bombed at Pearl Harbor, Japanese internment camps (also called War Relocation Camps by the US government) were set up in parts of Canada and the US. Thousands of Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians were relocated to these internment camps, which were disbanded in 1945.

1,824 Questions
Japanese Internment Camps

Why were the Japanese internment camps important?


World War 2
Japan in WW2
US in WW2
Japanese Internment Camps

How were conditions for Japanese-Americans in internment camps during World War 2?

Most camps were very hard to live in. People had small houses that could have anywhere from 1 to 3 families living in them. Most camps had very little food that was given out to people in very small amounts for 48 cents per meal. Because of this, many people were malnourished.

When they were brought to the camps, they could only bring what they were wearing and what they could carry. Many lost possessions and many could not keep their homes or farms.

Compared to POW Treatment

Nobody was tortured in the US camps where Japanese people were held during the war. Nobody was beaten to death, nor were they forced to work as slave labour. Nobody was executed for being "lazy". Nobody went blind from vitamin deficiency, or lost a leg to gangrene.

The American, British, Canadian, Australian, and Indian soldiers who were prisoners of the Japanese government WERE beaten to death, and starved to death, and worked to death, and so were the civilian women and children that were also captured by the Japanese army. The difference in treatment was huge and the number of western POWS who died in Japanese camps was a disgrace.

And here is more input:

  • I don't recall ever hearing that anyone was close to starving in the "camps"; sounds like an exaggeration. However, these internment camps were surrounded by barbed-wire fences and guard towers. There were armed guards. The barracks were hastily-constructed tar-paper covered structures with multiple families assigned to live together with no privacy. Meals were eaten in mess halls. Toilet facilities were in a separate building, with no partitions between them. Yes, if you're going to compare prison camps, conditions for the Japanese-Americans during WWII were not as bad. They made the best of their forced situation by trying to create a sense of normalcy with sports and dances for the kids. But the American government had every reason to make apologies to the internees, many of whom were US citizens deprived of their legal rights. Many lost their homes and businesses. Higher education and career paths were interrupted or abandoned due to the circumstances. They were looked upon as traitors in their own country, where not even a single incident of treason was found to be committed by Japanese Americans.
  • 62% of the people held in the Japanese concentration camps were United States Citizens. They were not soldiers sent to our country to kill us unlike the people held in internment camps in Japan. You can try to deny this fact but they definitely weren't there to serve them milk and cookies.

    The United States government actions were un-American and more importantly unconstitutional, regardless of the ruling of Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black.

  • They internees did have small portions, but the only reason people died was of poor sanitation and lack of the proper nutrients in the food.
  • While the living conditions were austere, the Japanese Americans certainly were not treated inhumanely in respect to food. In fact they were allowed to eat in dining halls spread out within their blocks, and they were even allowed to utilize more than one dining facility if they desired. In respect to the above writers contention that 48 cents per meal was near starvation levels one needs to consider that in 1942 $19 per month was considered a pretty fair wage and that a good breakfast in a restaurant cost 35 cents. Every Japanese Internee was offered a job if they could work and room and board were not taken out of their wages. Every camp had a hospital which was on par with hospitals located in combat to soldiers and sailors, so the contention that internees expired due to lack of medical attention is also meritless. These facilities were so good in fact that local municipalities competed for their equipment at the end of the war. When one attempts to make a comparison with the conditions that Americans and other national lived under in both the German and Japanese POW camps abroad is not a feasable argument either and cheapens the suffering of the Holocaust by a wide margin.
  • There is always the condition of not being able to become a doctor, of not being able to fullfill your dreams. And once those camps were done, there were still the ramifications of being a Japanese American, of not having been trusted as loyal. The condition of the camps was still the condition of being trapped someplace, imprisoned without having comitted a crime. Whether other people suffered more or not, doesn't mean that it wasn't suffering to be ripped away from your friends and school and home. FDR had good reasons, that doesn't mean that it was fair to these Americans.
  • It is true that during the war, a number of Japanese-Americans could not get livesaving medical care because they were not transported to hospitals outside the camps. They could not visit their families in other camps, and had little or no contact with non-Japanese friends. Although the camps did serve to reduce bloodshed from racial incidents, the internees were essentially deprived of control over their own lives for up to 4 years. The wartime propaganda campaign deemed all Japanese to be not just un-American, but inhuman, and this was reinforced by wartime atrocities. However, as shown by the combat valor of Japanese-American soldiers, the families of these immigrants were just as loyal as German-Americans and Italian-Americans.
Pearl Harbor
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Japanese Internment Camps

What clothes did Japanese wear in internment camps?

old dirty rags old German prisoner uniforms, thin clothing, no underclothing

Languages and Cultures
English to Japanese
Japanese Internment Camps

What is Beth in Japanese?

This is what the name "Beth" looks like in Japanese: It is pronounced "BESU". (Consonants are pronounced more or less the same way as in English. "U" sounds like oo in hook, but with less rounding of the lips. "E" sounds like e in met.) http://www.japanesetranslator.co.uk/your-name-in-japanese/

Japan in WW2
Japanese Internment Camps

How many people were in tule lake internment camp?

Tule Lake, in northern California, was one of the most infamous of the internment camps. Prisoners there held frequent demonstrations and strikes, demanding their rights under the U.S. Constitution. As a result, it was made a "segregation camp," and internees from other camps who had refused to take the loyalty oath or had caused disturbances were sent to Tule Lake. At its peak, Tule Lake held 18,789 internees. Tule Lake was also one of the last camps to be closed, staying open until March 20, 1946.

History, Politics & Society
Japan in WW2
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Japanese Internment Camps

Where did the Japanese invasion on the US take place?

On several islands in the Aleutian Island chain (Kiska and Attu), off the coast of Alaska. Note that Alaska was not a state at the time.

Investing and Financial Markets
Nike, Inc.
Japanese Internment Camps

Why does the Japanese fiscal year end in March?

Because that's when it started and fiscal years count 12 months, not '06 to '07.

Japanese Internment Camps

How many Japanese-Americans died in internment camps during World War 2?

At least 6 and as many as 20 were shot or otherwise directly killed by sentries, allegedly while trying to escape. Several died from disputes within the camps. An unknown number, certainly in the hundreds, died from lack of proper medical care. Many who died in the camps could not receive a proper burial in their US hometowns, although some were re-interred after the war.

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Japanese Internment Camps

What is Japanese bento?

A Bento is a Japanese lunchbox.

Japanese Internment Camps

What were Japanese Internment Camps?

During World War II, the military feared that some persons of Japanese ancestry might conduct espionage or sabotage in the important industrial centers on the US Pacific coast.

The federal government was concerned enough to establish a policy that removed all ethnic Japanese from the West Coast, even those who were US citizens, and relocated them to guarded camps built in remote areas, often deserts. More than 100,000 Japanese people, half of them children, were forced to go to these camps. There were 10 camps, surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards. They could only bring what they could carry, and many lost their homes and businesses. They were imprisoned in the camps from 1942 to early 1945, when the Supreme Court ruled their detention unconstitutional.

Some Japanese-American men from the camps and elsewhere still volunteered to fight for the US in the war, and many served with distinction.


Assembly Centers and Internment Camps

There were three different kinds of camps that they would send Japanese-American citizens to. The first were Civilian Assembly Centers, which were temporary camps when they were initially taken out of their communities. These included:

Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia, California

Fresno Fairgrounds in Fresno, California

Marysville/Arboga, California

Civilian Conservation Corps camp in Mayer, Arizona

County Fairgrounds in Merced, California

Owens Valley, California

Parker Dam, Arizona

Pinedale Assembly Center in Pinedale, California

Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona, California

Pacific International Livestock Exposition in Portland, Oregon

Camp Harmony in Puyallup, Washington

Sacramento/Walerga, California

Salinas, California

Tanforan racetrack in San Bruno, California

San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton, California

Tulare, California

Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock, California

Woodland, California

Most were then transferred to one of 10 Internment Camps:

Gila River War Relocation Center, Arizona

Granada War Relocation Center, Colorado (also known as Amache)

Heart Mountain War Relocation Center, Wyoming

Jerome War Relocation Center, Arkansas

Manzanar War Relocation Center, California

Minidoka War Relocation Center, Idaho

Poston War Relocation Center, Arizona

Rohwer War Relocation Center, Arkansas

Topaz War Relocation Center, Utah

Tule Lake War Relocation Center, California

Some, for reasons of security or correction, were sent to other facilities.

-- Justice Department Detention Camps:

Crystal City, Texas

Fort Lincoln, North Dakota

Fort Missoula, Montana

Fort Stanton, New Mexico

Kenedy, Texas

Kooskia, Idaho

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Seagoville, Texas

-- Citizen Isolation Centers:

Leupp, Arizona

Moab, Utah (A.K.A. Dalton Wells)

Old Raton Ranch/Fort Stanton, New Mexico

-- Federal Bureau of Prisons

Catalina, Arizona

Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

McNeil Island, Washington

-- US Army Facilities

Angel Island, California/Fort McDowell

Camp Blanding, Florida

Camp Forrest, Tennessee

Camp Livingston, Louisiana

Camp Lordsburg, New Mexico

Camp McCoy, Wisconsin

Florence, Arizona

Fort Bliss, New Mexico/Texas

Fort Howard

Fort Lewis, Washington

Fort Meade, Maryland

Fort Richardson, Alaska

Fort Sam Houston, Texas

Fort Sill, Oklahoma

Griffith Park, California

Honolulu, Hawaii

Sand Island Hawaii

Stringtown, Oklahoma

Internment camps were created for both German and Japanese Americans. The intent behind these camps was to limit communications between the US and Japan or Germany as there was a fear that relatives would share national secrets or information that would harm the US.

World War 2
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Japanese Internment Camps

What was life like for Italian and German Prisoners of War in American camps?

My father was an Italian prisoner of war in WW II. He was captured somewhere in Africa and taken to the U.S. and sent to prison camps in Boston and in Albuquerque, New Mexico. When he was in Boston, I know he told us that once in a while the Italian families in Boston would be able to pick them up and take them to Italian dances at the local churches. So I would say that they were treated with dignity and respect, I feel he was very lucky to be captured early on by the Americans, it could have saved his life. My father is 89 years old, and he doesn't talk much about the war. I really should try to get him to tell me more, and I know if I asked him he would tell me more stories.

God Bless America

Japanese Internment Camps

Did the Japanese receive health care in the internment camp?

a Short answer would be yes they did actually they had hospitals and stores farms and homes.

Japanese Internment Camps

Why do some people still argue that the Japanese internment camps comprised one of the most disgraceful events in US history?

It is one of many historical events that seems "more" evil in retrospect, because it is difficult to fathom the minds of those who lived in an earlier age, those who had fewer qualms about the violation of individual rights when establishing national policies. In hindsight, much of history includes man's inhumanity to man, and this continues into the present day.

During World War II, the US government authorized the internment of many thousands of ethnic Japanese in the western US. Most of these individuals were in fact American citizens. Compared to wartime POW camps, or the concentration camps of the Nazis, the conditions were not inhumane. But they were still prisons, and almost no one was allowed to leave. In retrospect, this seems cruel, barbaric, and against traditional American ideals.

However, the national mentality at the time was one of hostility toward most Asians, because any distinction between Chinese, or Japanese, or Koreans was beyond the capacity of much of the population. The primary recognition was that a war with Japan was killing Americans, just as the war with Germany had cost American lives in World War I. For many Americans, this often translated to suspicion and even racial hatred.

At the time, the ideal of racial equality was nowhere universal. Some states in the US in 1940 were also still treating African-Americans as second-class citizens, 75 years after the last Southern slaves were emancipated. (Segregation and discrimination continued for another 25 years after World War II.) The Japanese, with their strange customs and language, were an unknown and distrusted minority.

It is important to note that this internment did not occur in Hawaii, where ethnic Asians made up a larger percentage of the population. It also did not extend to the Eastern US, where first and second generation Asians were somewhat rarer.

War and Military History
Nazi Concentration Camps
Japanese Internment Camps

How does a concentration camp differ from an extermination camp?

General Difference Between A Concentration Camp vs Extermination Camp:NOTE: For information on the the difference as regards **Nazi** camps, please see the related question at the bottom
  • In a concentration camp you are generally just held there, somewhat like a prison, possibly doing hard labor for an indefinite amount of time and the name says it all for the extermination camp. It's merely a holding place where, although you may do labor as well, your ultimate destiny is execution. It's sad, but true.
  • Most people think of the Nazis as having formed the first concentration/extermination camps. While they did in fact exterminate over 6.5 million Jews and over another 6.5 million non Jews they cannot begin to compare to the extermination attempts of 'the church' in the middle or dark ages. The church via the crusades put over 52 million people to death. All one had to do if one wanted someone eliminated was accuse them of some sort of witchcraft. It was not up to the accuser in most cases to prove it, it was up to the accused to disprove it. Unfortunately the only methods allowed to disprove it usually ended up the accused person's death. The first recorded group to use the 'camp' method of control and extermination was and is the US Government. In the early 1700s the US Government herded all the Cherokee tribe that they could find together and forced them to march almost 1400 miles from the eastern seaboard to what was later called the Oklahoma Territory. Almost 75% of them died en route. It came to be known as the trail of tears. The reason it is called the trail of tears is not because the Cherokee people wept at the loss of their family members. It was called this because people along the route when they saw the conditions that the Cherokee were forced to endure, and saw them carrying their dead on their backs to their new home in order to properly bury them wept at the sight. Military officers offered wagons for this use, but the Cherokee did not accept. Later and even today most native Americans reside in what is called -reservations-. All this was actually a means to the end of exterminating them. They were given blankets that were known to have disease bearing fleas in order to carry out this extermination process. Other concentration camps was used by the British on the 'Boers' or Afrikaners of South Africa, as they are known today. Boer war 1899 - 1902. Oh yes, let us not forget the 'concentration' camps (resettlement camps) that most of the US CITIZEN Japanese were forced to relocate to during WWII. To this day most of them have not received even a pathetic apology for this, much less adequate remuneration for the lost future value of the property and businesses that were stolen from them and given to someone else. One might ask how does this sort of thing come about. The best explanation comes with the question 'Why did GOD allow HIS people the Jews to be treated this way by the Nazis?' Many have said that this was GOD'S punishment for the Jews killing JESUS. The fact is it was the Romans that that physically put HIM to death, but it was our sin which caused HIS death. Actually it was because over ONE BILLION people whom lived on the face of the earth prior to and during WWII sat back in apathy and allowed not only a tyrant and his henchmen to run amok throughout Europe during the late 1920s, all of the 1930s and the first half of the 1940s, they also chose to ignore the millions of dispatches coming out of Europe about what the Nazis were doing. Know what? The same thing is going on today in the Sudan and much of South Africa. I cannot help but wonder if the USA is now paying the price of what it has put native Americans and others through in the name of liberty. What I do know is that GOD has blessed the USA with abundant freedom. I also know that when GOD gives an abundant blessing HE does so with the intent that the blessing be shared. If it is not shared it is very likely that the abundant part will be gone before long. If it is hoarded you can be assured that both the blessing and the abundance will disappear. Our US military whom are doing what they are able to share the blessing with others need to be supported and not disregarded simply because a bunch of do gooders don't like the politics that are necessary to accomplish this. AND what I have come to know is that when GOD'S people do not take the blessing to the poor, HE will bring the poor to the blessing. Could the reason for this be what is now called -illegal immigrants- after all no one seems to know what to do about that situation. If this is HIS doing, guess what, there will be no man whom can find the resolution.
  • The Indians did reach Canada and were met by the Mounted Police. As the above poster said, people had tears in their eyes when they saw these proud people carrying their dead and were half-starved. The journey was hard for all. A great proud people were dwindling before every one's eyes. The Canadian Government had no problem giving land to the Indians and allowing them to stay, but the American Government kicked up such a fuss that they were forced back into the U.S. The Indians were forced onto reservations (a type of concentration camp) as the U.S. Government had promised to provide them with food and clothing, but many times the Indians did not receive this. In the Nazi extermination camps many different nationalities were held by the Nazis; some were exterminated in the cars of the trains; others did labor and then groups would be exterminated when they thought they were going to have a shower and cyanide was used to murder them. As sad as these stories are you can beat, torture, chase-down any proud group of people, but you can NEVER kill the spirit. All of us should learn from such stories of concentration camps or any form of human abuse and know that they still exist in other countries today. What about the forgotten country ... AFRICA! The Congo is brutal and people are dying so fast there are more dead than the living.
Japanese Internment Camps

How many deaths were in the internment Japanese camps?

Way too many. It was horrible and it's a scary part of our American history.

Canada in WW2
Japan in WW2
Japanese Internment Camps

What was the Japanese-Canadians internment like?

Even though the Japanese-Canadians had every right in Canada, the Canadians just decided on the color of their skin and sent them to interment camps. The Japanese were considered "enemy aliens."
This actually preceded the acts of the US in February 1942, which interned most of the Japanese-American citizens who lived on the US west coast.
Canada had already declared war on Germany in 1939.
US in WW2
Japanese Internment Camps

How long were the japanese in internment camps?

Most Japanese were in the camps for 3 years. Following Executive Order 9066 (February 19, 1942), the first Relocation Centers were staffed in March, 1942. Following the US Supreme Court ruling in January, 1945, most internees were released between April and November, 1945. Some were held for various reasons (including criminal offenses) into 1946, and the \"segregation\" camp at Tule Lake closed in March of that year.

Home Electricity
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Japanese Internment Camps

Will a Japanese Famicom aka Japanese Nintendo mess up if it is plugged into an American outlet?

No, that's just a myth. It will work if plugged in correctly. Always check the voltage of a foreign device before plugging it in. Mayny electronic devices nowadays use switching powersupplies with wide input voltage ranges. As it is cheaper to design one supply capable of handling 100-240VAC on the input as opposed to one for each country's individual supply, they do that instead. On the power block or on the back of the unit there will be a sticker or molding that says the input voltage range. If it says 220V only, it cannot be used directly in the US, special steps are needed. If it says 120V, or a range encompasing 120V, it will work. Also note the line frequency. Again, most devices don't care (The first thing a switcher does is rectify it to DC), but if it doesn't say 60hz it will not work correctly. You have to use a converter. Because Japanese things have a different voltage level than America. Japan uses 100V, which is 60 hertz in western Japan and 50 hertz in eastern Japan. Radio Shack sells the converter you need.

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Japanese Internment Camps

What does internment mean?

Internment is the imprisonment of large groups without any legal process. Nazi concentration camps are imprisonment which would be internment.

Pearl Harbor
Japan in WW2
US in WW2
Japanese Internment Camps

Why were the Japanese Americans forced to live in internment camps?

They were in internment camps because of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Hope that helps!!!

Germany in WW2
Nazi Concentration Camps
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What kind of camp was Izbica Lubelska camp?

izbica in the II war help people away germany

Japanese Internment Camps

Were Japanese forced to live in internment camps?

Yes it is true. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, President FDR issued Executive Order 9066 which lead to the relocation of thousands of Japanese-Americans to internment camps. Though not as harsh as concentration camps set up by the Germans, people died and living conditions were rough.

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English to Japanese
Japanese Internment Camps

What is 'nothing' in Japanese?

kaimu kotonashi

those are two words for the Japanese translation for 'nothing'

Answer何もない (nanimonai) literally meaning "None".

虚 (kyo) literally meaning "Imaginary".

水泡 (suihou) literally meaning "Nothing".

かいむ (kaimu) literally meaning "Nothing".

ことなし (kotonashi) literally meaning "Without".

History, Politics & Society
Summer Camp
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Japanese Internment Camps

What is the oldest camp in the US?

Camp Welch was founded in 1882 in Massachusetts.

The oldest camp (continuously operated, private) in the USA is Camp Highlands for Boys in Sayner, Wisconsin. Founded in 1904 by a group of parents from the University of Chicago Laboratory School who wanted their city-raised boys to have a wilderness and work experience, Camp was first managed and then owned by Harry O'Gillet...the Headmaster from the "Lab School". Camp Highlands was not the first camp in the US... there were a small number of others, but they have since ceased operations. Camp Highlands derives its name from the fact that it is located in the "Highlands of Wisconsin," which is an area of land and lakes about 30 miles square in Vilas County. The camp occupies two peninsulas at the Northeast end of Plum Lake, and sits surrounded by the Northern Highlands State Forest. The primary architect of Camp Highlands for Boys was Doctor William J. Monilaw. "Doc" bought the camp in 1914 after having been a counselor there since 1911. "Doc" was the school doctor and athletic trainer for the "Lab" school. Doc followed through with the original concept of providing a wilderness and physical work experience for the campers but along with that he stressed character building. After 45 years of building and directing, at the age of 85, Doc sold camp to: Norvil and Cleo Beeman, Anthony and Lucille (Mickey) Anthony, Unk and Alice Nelson, Orville (Snow) and Miriam Nothdurft, Ralph Magor and Bob Mannschott...a group of counselors hoping to keep camp going. When Norvil, Tony, Unk, Ralph and Bob passed away, Lucille Anthony and the Nothdurfts were joined by Mike and Sharon Bachmann. Mike Bachmann started as a camper in 1950 and has been continuously since. The staff member with the greatest number of summers is Mike's spouse Sharon, who has attended continously (originally as the daughter of parents Snow and Mim Northdurft) since 1944. The two met at camp. Mike Bachmann has directed Camp Highlands for Boys since 1963. He is joined by his son Andy, who took the title of Co-Director in 2007, and has attended since 1974. Sharon Bachmann manages the camp kitchens and Highlands Lodge (an area of camp for guests). Notable alumni include Heisman Trophy winners' Jay Berwanger and Nile Kinnick, American Advisor and Ambassador George Kennan, Senator William Proxmire, and Managing Partner of Edward Jones, John Bachmann (brother of Mike).

Japanese Internment Camps

Could the Japanese internment case be considered as a witch hunt?

Possibly, but one must consider that Italians and Germans were rounded up also, but possibly not in the same numbers, nor possibly with the same publicity.


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