Why I’m Still Talking About My Incarceration as an American Japanese
The Pain of Remembering Is Deep, But the Danger in Forgetting Is Far Worse
I am a member of a once despised minority group, American Japanese, who spent three and a half years incarcerated in an American concentration camp during World War II. Although that ordeal ended 72 years ago, the impact of that experience on my life and its broader implications for American society resonate deeply to this day.
In 1941, at the beginning of the war, roughly 10 percent of the adult “alien” men (Japan-born persons being ineligible for citizenship) were picked up by the FBI as potentially dangerous and interned by …