Previously published in Examiner
Part 7 of the Japanese Americans citizens During World War 2 series
Work for the Japanese continued
Exceptions were granted in some areas because America needed farm workers. Since many American men were off to war there weren’t enough hands to man the farms and certain Japanese (nisei) were let out of the internment camps just to work the beef farms and save the industry.
Women’s Willingness to Go to the Camps
Not all women had to go to the camps, for example Mary Kimura was a Portuguese woman married to Japanese man. When they came for her husband and children they did not want to take her since she was not Japanese, but she refused to be separated from her children. They relented and had her sign papers. Many women made the same sacrifices to keep their families together.
Peaceful and Proud Nature of Japanese Americans
Most of the Japanese people wanted so hard to prove their loyalty that they went along with anything the American government dished out. But there were others especially from Tule Lake Camp who were enraged by the injustice of interment camps imposed upon them and they renounced their American citizenship. Many of these people were deported back to Japan. Wayne M. Collins successfully challenged the validity of these renunciations made under duress and won back the citizenship of the expatriates.
Japanese American Soldiers
Japanese Americans who agreed to serve in the American Military were restored their citizenship, that amounted to about 6% of Japanese American men. The famous 442nd regimental Combat team was comprised of Japanese American Soldiers.
Aftermath of the War
In December 1944, the detainment of Japanese Americans was deemed unconstitutional. In January 1945, the detainees were given a train ticket to go back to their former homes. Some were so dejected they returned to Japan. The Manzanar Camp was made into a National Historical Site in 1992.
In 1948, the USA passed the American Japanese Claims Act that would compensate for their loss but the tax records were destroyed making claims difficult to prove, of the $148 billion in claims, only 37 million was ever paid back.
Japanese Canadians were interned during that second world war days, also German and Italian Canadian political activists. Adrien Arcand was a Montreal Journalist and fascist who campaigned from 1929 until his death in 1967 who was also interned. He appointed himself the Canadian führer.