From 1942 to 1945, over 46,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans who had been forcibly removed from their homes arrived in Arizona to wait out the war in internment camps located in Gila River or Poston. Americans' response to the internment camps and the treatment of Japanese Americans varied widely. Some supported the internment as a measure of national security, some rejected it out of fear from having so many of the “enemy” on Arizona land, and some campaigned on the part of their Japanese-American neighbors and friends to end the internment. The presence of Japanese Americans in Arizona highlighted the nuanced ideas of race, ethnicity, and what it is to be "American" during a time of war and transition.
Read About It
Use the document analysis sheet and the photograph analysis sheet to uncover clues about the people that created the documents.
- Letter from Ralph T. Fisher, Jr. to Governor Osborn, April 3, 1942
- Letter from H. W. Fowler, May 11, 1942
- Letter from Sarah Garcia to Miss Flying, May 28, 1942
- Copy of a letter from Charles S. Kilburn to Frank E. Flynn, June 5, 1942
- Copy of a letter from Governor Osborn to Frank Flynn, May 20, 1942
- Letter from Herbert B. Maw to Govenor Osborn, April 13, 1942
- Copy of a letter from Governor Osborn to Herbert B. Maw, April 22, 1942
- Letter from B. N. Lawrence to Governor Osborn, August 4, 1942
- Copy of a letter from Governor Osborn to C. H. Nelson, March 4, 1942
- Letter from Clyde F. Rowe to Governor Osborn, December 19, 1941
- Copy of a letter from Governor Osborn to Clyde F. Rowe, February 4, 1942
- Copy of a letter from Governor Osborn to Ruth Page, August 11, 1942
- Letter from Margaret E. Rynning to Governor Osborn
- When were Japanese-Americans interned in Arizona? Why?
- Who created the documents linked above? What did they think of Japanese-American internment? How are their opinions reflected in the documents they created?
- Do you think it was wrong to intern Japanese-Americans during World War II? Why or why not?
Visit the websites below to learn more. Based on this new information, have your answers to the questions above changed?
The Whole Story: Books About The Japanese-American Internment
Kadohata, Cynthia. (2006). Weedflower. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.