Monthly Archives: October 2016
Where Would You Go?
When the relocation centers were closed at the end of World War II, the WRA provided inhabitants who had less than $500 a small sum of money ($25), train fare, and meals on the way home. Many inhabitants, however, had nowhere to go. In the end, some had to be evicted because they had not left the camps.
You and your family have been internees at Manzanar for the past three years. You have hear the war is over and you are free to go. You have been given and envelope with $25 inside and a train tickets for your whole family.
Where would you go?
How hard would it be to find a job and provide for your family?
What choice do you have?
Answer all three questions.
While interned in Manzanar, the Japanese Americans were asked to fill out a ancestry questionnaire to find our where there loyalty landed, with Japan or the U.S. Two questions were asked that caused much frustration, fighting, and hurt among families in the camp. For a moment, put yourself in their shoes, behind barbed wire, in cramped living, not able to leave. Maybe you are an Issei unable to get citizenship in the U.S. and don’t want to loose the ability to be a citizen in Japan.
How would you answer these two questions and why?
Question #27 asked: Are you willing to serve in the armed forces of the United States on combat duty, wherever ordered?
Question #28 asked: Will you swear unqualified allegiance to the United States of America and faithfully defend the United States from any and all attack by foreign or domestic forces, and forswear any form of allegiance to the Japanese Emperor or any other foreign government, power, or organization?
Watch the attached interview with Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston author of “Farewell to Manzanar” .
Answer the four questions below:
1. Why was Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston so choked up?
2. How did the Japanese Americans value loyalty and how where they shamed by the governments idea of putting them in relocation centers?
3. Why did Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston decide to write “Farewell to Manzanar”?
4. What is meant by the last statement she made. “This can be any group for any reason.”?
We are now learning about what took place to over 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II, just because of their ancestry and the way they looked. It is good for us to ask, “What if?” questions to better understand and feel what so many felt in places like Manzanar.
Here is the first question. What if this was your new living arrangement for the next three years of your life and sleeping across from you was someone you didn’t even know? What would you be feeling? Remember, this happened because of your race and ancestry and nothing else.