Japanese-American Internment

Japanese-American Internment

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. 

Understand It

  1. When were Japanese-Americans interned in Arizona? Why?
  2. Who created the documents linked above? What did they think of Japanese-American internment? How are their opinions reflected in the documents they created?
  3. Do you think it was wrong to intern Japanese-Americans during World War II? Why or why not?

Explore More

Visit the websites below to learn more. Based on this new information, have your answers to the questions above changed?

For Students

For Teachers

The Whole Story: Books About The Japanese-American Internment

Kadohata, Cynthia. (2006). Weedflower. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 


People in Motion