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Posted on 25 May 2013 00:07

The Undergoing Hatred in the American Society

This paper explores one book and three published articles that report the Japanese Americans treatment under American orders during World War II. The primary sources, however, define the issue from various perspectives in the American society. James A. Michiner, a Navy cooperative, and Michi Weglyn, a Japanese internee, (1976 & 1996) suggested that America’s misguided intuition affected its people by experiencing conflict, caused Japanese-Americans and other Americans conflict. Moreover, the American public influenced national leaders such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, president, and Colonel Frank Knox, Secretary of Navy, for the imprisonment of Japanese Americans in the mainland, United States. In addition, America’s benefit under catastrophically circumstances, the extermination of Pearl Harbor, helped the increase of industrial production.
Keywords: American nation, American Government, mistreatment, Japanese, interment


Due to the attack on Pearl Harbor, the American nation placed most Japanese into internment camps for its satisfaction of such devastation that affected the lives of many Americans and Japanese Americans. Indeed, the American government took action due to the significant occurrence that preceded the Second World War in history. Evidently, United States empowered with such devastation that affected many American citizens, to take a place in the world’s stage. The following documents demonstrate the intuition and competitiveness of America significantly.

Evidently, many Americans felt hatred toward the Japanese people. This prejudice caused by the attack on the main military establishment, Pearl Harbor, located at the Pacific Fleet Center of Hawaii, was the key of the initiation of relocating all Japanese from the West Coast. Executive order 9066 circulated on February 19, 1942, broadcasting that all Japanese within forty-eight hours would be relocated into camps. The demolition of Pearl Harbor affected the national leaders very deeply. It filled their hearts with hostility on wanting to advocate and persecute all Japanese concerned to this issue. According to James A. Michiner (1976), “Our nation had suffered its worst defeat in history, of a magnitude that could have proved fatal yet the general public had to be denied knowledge of how extensive our losses were” (p. 27). In addition, as described by James, as a fair Navy cooperative he perceived that, Commanders believed that Japanese soldiers, sailors , and air men were lower rank (p. 27 ). Many Americans were amazed with such coordination that was prepared to the destruction of the military naval base, Pearl Harbor, which many believed it must have required outstanding method. Leaders of the nation were shocked and began viewing all Japanese as foes of America while they encountered difficult decisions under these circumstances, yet resulted fatal (Michiner & Weglyn, 1976).

Moreover, investigations played an important role during this suffering period of time to many Americans. Under Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency, special representatives were sent to investigate the loyalty of the Japanese people, this includes both groups; the Issei [Japanese] and the Nisei [Japanese-American]. The investigation by FDR’s commission declared, “The Issei is considerably weakened in their loyalty to Japan by fact that they have chosen to make this [United States] their home and have brought up their children here. They were expected to die here” (Oracle Foundation Education, 2003). The Japanese proved loyalty to America by separating from their religion, their God, their family, and most significantly, their culture. This analysis showed that the Japanese people loved the American nation just as if they were born here, in fact, they will even battle against the Naval Force of the Japanese Empire with pride to serve the one nation, America.

According to Michi Nishiura Wenglyn (1976), “In our immaturity… many of us [Japanese-Americans] who were American citizens—two-thirds of the total—believed that this, under this circumstances [concentration camps and extermination of Pearl Harbor], was the only way to prove our loyalty to our country which we loved with the same depth of feeling that the children in Japan…”

In addition, many Japanese-Americans were to obtain citizenship if allowed to do so, according to the research done by the State Department (Oracle Foundation Education, 2003). Furthermore, due to this inquisition, many Americans perceived Japanese Americans’ pathetic eagerness to assimilate into the American culture (Oracle Foundation Education, 2003). Through FDR’s analysis, the Nisei [Japanese-American] loyalty estimation to America was from 90 to 98 percent if Japanese educated element of the Kibei was exclusive. The term, Kibei, determined the years of Japanese education in their homeland, Japan, and maintained them from almost full loyalty to America (Oracle Foundation Education, 2003).

In addition, the United States left its isolationist position and began to take action that constructed its path to strengthen the nation and set a better foothold on this issue. In fact, industries strengthened and urban growth occurred during the Second World War, emerging a strategic victory over the Naval Forces of Japan by using the first atomic bomb, 1945, in the history of mankind. This affected the society leading to an immediate increase of industrial production, allowing “many women to contribute in forces” (Weglyn, 1976, 28). In addition, children played an important part by collecting scrap metals during this event, which improved social and industrial conditions across the nation. However, the relocation of the Japanese could have critically affected the United States’ economy by damaging industrial productivity. According to Michiner and proven by historians no relocation occurred in Hawaii, where the population consisted of 150,000 Japanese Americans. To transport that many people to the mainland [United States] would have been difficult to accomplish, in addition, the Hawaiian economy would have collapse without that many workers (1976). This would have led to an economic crisis affecting the Hawaiian community and its inhabitants.

Furthermore, during this significant event in American history many Japanese suffered injustices and humiliation, which resulted in delirium in many of them. However, considering the catastrophic event preceded by the Japanese forces on Pearl Harbor, many Americans who were part of this act developed cruelty. Japanese Americans treatment under American orders proved to be outrageous through this statement, “the sick were not exempt from the round up removal, except critically ill individuals [Japanese] who were left behind in institutions” (National Archives). Including the American government cared less about the Japanese by not providing milk for the born babies. Through Sue Tokushige’s statement, it demonstrated the American public afterwards the Japanese treatment under American orders, “My daughter still pays for it today, health-wise, for the way our government treated us” (Oracle Foundation Education, 2003). According to Reiko Oshima Komoto’s experience as an internee, “I remember waiting in line to receive our food and lots of organ meats being served” (“A Personal Account, 1997), this showed the American public how Japanese internees were being feed repulsive food. In addition, the American government did not introduce any scholar who will help the Japanese people to continue their education. Moreover, The Japanese relocation was encouraged by President Roosevelt’s anti-Japanese sentiment among farmers, politicians, and the American public whose devotion for the Japanese internment heightened their agitation. For instance, Colonel Frank Knox, Secretary of Navy, issued to confirm the imprisonment of all Japanese people. Knox statements during the congressional committee announced considerable amount of evidence prior to the Japanese attack (Michiner, 1976). However, his collected evidence of such affirmation on Japanese espionage turned out to be false.

Meanwhile, some Americans opposed to their government’s perspective of the imprisonment of all Japanese . For instance, James A. Michiner argued about the mistreatment of all Japanese people in the mainland based on this statement, “These grave injustices were perpetrated in spite of the fact that the government had its possession proof that no one Japanese American, citizen or not, had engaged in espionage, not one had committed any act of sabotage” (1976, p.29). This was a depressing period in the American history, which showed people the humiliation that the American forces perpetrated in the lives of these individuals. “A few voices from some clergymen…and some members of the government, and a surprising number of military personnel who knew the Japanese Americans and understood the true situation were heard to protest” against this madness that national leaders set their mind upon (Michiner, 1976, p.29). However, many other Americans participated in this act of hysteria and perfectly constructed devastation in the lives of the Japanese people. For instance, “the prohibition of allowing full American citizenship to Japanese was preceded by John J. McCloy, Henry Stimson, Abe Fortas, Milton Eisenhower, and Hugo Black, who successfully engineered these acts” (Michiner, 1976, p. 29). James A. Michiner stated (1976), “Americans were vigorously consumed of the disastrous event that happened on January and February 1942 when the fate of our nation swung in the balance” (p. 29) .Hostility took over the hearts of American leaders during this event, in which they developed into more inexplicable decisions that were directed against all Japanese. Moreover, the interesting wartime behavior of Earl Warren, who sought local popularity by rebellious acts against the Japanese, and wanting to obtain the governor position, was when he became a strong defender of individual freedoms, a crusader of social justice, and one of the greatest Supreme Court justices (Michiner, 1976).

To conclude, American leaders faced terrible decisions during the attack of the main military naval base located in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. During this event, the Naval Forces of Japan played a significant role of the evacuation of Japanese from the West Coast to imprisonment camps. Under Roosevelt’s Executive Order, Japanese people were excluded from American public to deserts. Many American soldiers as well as leaders devoted themselves to pay the Japanese with the same actions that devastated the lives of the American public. Most Americans deeply contributed in this act of hysteria aside from those who devoted themselves to justification, and the unjust behavior toward the Japanese American. However, no individual should ever live under a circumstance of satisfaction from others concerning an issue.


Komoto, R.O. (1997). Japanese Internment: A Personal Account. Retrieved from

National Archives. (1942). Exec. Order No. 9066. C. F. R. (1942 comp.). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Oracle Education Foundation. (2003). Japanese internment and their effects: “Life Before Internment Camps”. Retrieved from

Wegly, M. N. (1976 & 1996). Introduction. Michiner, J. A. Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps. Seattle, CA: University of Washington Press.

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