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Japanese Americans and Internment (book)

Creators: Harry H.L. Kitano (consultant)

Overview textbook on the Japanese American removal and incarceration published by Globe Fearon in 1994 as part of their "Globe Mosaic of American History" series. No author is credited with sociologist (and former inmate) Harry H.L. Kitano listed on the title page as the "consultant."


Japanese Americans and Internment follows a textbook-like format in telling its broad story in six chapters. Each chapter except the last begins by focusing on an individual story and is subsequently divided into three sections. A series of study questions follow each section. At the end of each chapter, there is a summary of the main points, more questions, and suggestions for writing assignments. The text is augmented by historical photographs, charts, and maps, and occasional sidebars on related topics.

The chapters cover immigration and the prewar history of Japanese Americans; the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Executive Order 9066 ; the expulsion of the ethnic community from the West Coast to " assembly centers "; life in the War Relocation Authority (WRA) Camps; exiting the camps, whether through short-term leave, permanent leave, attending college or joining the army; and postwar developments and the Redress Movement . Many individual stories of Japanese Americans are highlighted throughout.

Additional Information

Harry H.L. Kitano (1926–2002) was a pioneering sociologist who wrote extensively on the Japanese American experience. A native of San Francisco, he was incarcerated at the Topaz , Utah, concentration camp. He was a faculty member at UCLA throughout his academic career.

The historical accuracy of the main text is high, containing only a few minor errors. However there are more significant errors in the timelines and maps. Among these: listing the annexation of Hawai'i as having taken place in 1898 in the Chapter One timeline (page 5; the correct date of 1900 is noted in the main text two pages later); a map of the exclusion area and the various camps on page 45 has two errors—the shaded area from "which people of Japanese descent were evacuated" does not include the eastern half of California (what was know, as " Military Area No. 2 ") and the includes an invented "Tupelo" assembly center; and the timeline for Chapter 4 (page 51) places the loyalty questionnaire a year later than its actual date. Other errors in the main text: a claim that the "army rounded up more than 120,000 people" (24; while more than 120,000 were held at one time or another in the WRA camps, this figure includes the 6,000 born in camp and other later arrivals; the number removed from the West Coast was closer to 110,000); noting that assembly centers "had been hastily set up at racetracks and fair grounds in California, Washington, and Arizona" (41; there was also the Portland Assembly Center in Oregon); claiming that "barracks were arranged in blocks of two rows of six barracks each" (52; the number of barracks in a block varied from camp to camp, ranging from twelve to twenty-four); and claiming that the " 442nd was mainly recruited from WRA camps" (76; about half of those who served in the 442nd came from Hawai'i and most of those who came from the continental U.S. did not come directly from the WRA camps).

Authored by Brian Niiya , Densho

Might also like The Invisible Thread by Yoshiko Uchida; A Fence Away from Freedom: Japanese Americans and World War II by Ellen Levine; " Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata

Media Details
Author Harry H.L. Kitano (consultant)
Pages 96
Publication Date 1994