Japanese Internment Camps of World War II (Part I)
World War II produced a cataclysmic upheaval in the lives of people of Japanese ancestry living in America. Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt authorized the mass incarceration of 120,000 Japanese living on the west coast -- they were quickly removed from their homes and imprisoned in “internment camps” surrounded by armed guards, guard towers and barbed wire fences. Two-thirds of the Japanese were American citizens who were denied their Constitutional rights and due process in the name of military necessity.
On Wednesday, June 5 at 6 PM, Ken Nomiyama will tell the story of this drastic action taken by the U.S. government against its own citizens, including a description of life in the Tule Lake Segregation Center in California.
This presentation will be followed by a talk by James McIlwain on Wednesday, June 12 at 6 PM who will discuss the role of Japanese Americans who served in uniform during World War II, despite the fact that many who served were themselves, as were their family and friends, confined in the camps as prisoners by their own government. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segrated Japanese unit, for its size and time in service, is the most highly decorated unit ever to serve in the United States military.
Free and open to the public. Registration requested.
- Wednesday, June 5, 2019
- 6:00pm - 7:00pm
- Program room
Ken Nomiyama, a retired businessman living in Newport, has developed a deep interest in the history and plight of the Japanese American. He is a third generation Japanese American, born during WWII at Tule Lake, California, one of the ten internment camps established by the U.S. Government after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He is a board member of the Tule Lake Committee. He is also involved in many volunteer activities with the Newport Public Schools and as member of the Newport Trust and Investment Commission.
James McIlwain is Fox Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Emeritus at Brown University. He is a student of Japanese American history with a special interest in the service of Japanese Americans in the U.S. Army during World War II. Many Japanese Americans served in uniform during WW II despite having been interned and he has undertaken a special project over the last several years to document their service in a database now available on the web: www.soldiersandthecamps.com. He is a life member of the Japanese American Veterans Association and an honorary member of Fox Company chapter of the 442nd Veterans Club.