Japan Internment Camp

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked the United States Naval facility at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. 19
ships were sunk, 2,335 servicemen lost their lives, and, afterwards, the United States declared war on
Japan, and her allies Germany and Italy. However, another great loss occurred on United States soil--the
imprisonment of 120,000 people, 2/3 of whom were United States citizens. The Japanese Internment, the
name of this mistake, was illegal, unconstitutional, and an act of nothing more than severe prejudice and
paranoia.
Shiro\'s parents, Hachizo and Tsuru Nomora, were Issei, people of Japan who immigrated to America to
better their lives. The Namoras couldn\'t become US citizens because the Naturalization Act of 1790 didn\'t
include Asians. The children of the Issei were called Neisi, who were automatically US citizens because
they were born here. In 1905, they moved to Berkeley, CA. Hachizo grew fruits and vegetables on a
leased farm. He would sell his crop to local stores for low prices. The Japanese were talented at farming
and whites complained about how hard it was to compete. The San Francisco Chronicle headlined "Brown
Artisans steal Brains of Whites, The Yellow Peril-How the Japanese crowd out the White Race." In
October 1906, the San Francisco board of education segregated 93 Japanese kids in Chinatown. The Alien
Land Law of 1923 was passed, banning all purchase of land by Issei, and allowed them to rent for only 3
years. The Immigration Act of 1924 ended all immigration of !
Japanese. By now the Nomoras established a successful farm, and a family. Tsuru gave berth to Shuigeru
and Sadae. In 1923, Berkeley had a large fire and the Nomoras decided to move to Keystone, a suburb of
Los Angeles. Around this time, Shiro was born. At Banning High School, Shiro (who shortened his name
to "Shi") played baseball, football, and track. Shi recalls, "I was a girl chaser, all I thought about was girls
and sports." In 1940, he met Emiko (who adopted the name Amy) Hattori. Shi wanted to propose to her at
the end of the school year, but was hit in the head by a shot-put and spent 6 months in a hospital. In August
of 1941, Shi and Amy went to the annual Neisi Festival. At the festival, a singer on stage caught Shi\'s
eyes. Four months later Pearl Harbor was bombed. Shi\'s hopes of meeting the singer, marrying Amy, or
finishing high school were put on hold.

December 6, 1941, Shi was driving Amy home when he was hit from behind. After multiple victories in
the pacific, military officials were worried that if the Japanese reached the West Coast, Issei and Neisi
would aid them. Lt. General DeWitt was very influential in the Japanese-evacuation movement.
According to the Roberts report, Hawaiian--Japanese farmers were making arrows on their land pointing to
Pearl Harbor. In Seattle, there were rumors of a "flaming arrow" (workers burning brush) pointing towards
the city. Japanese farmers in California used paper to protect crops from frost. There were rumors of white
cloth covering crops pointing to a nearby airplane plant. Students studied German at the University of
California to meet the Foreign Language requirement. They must have been spies. In January of 1942 the
FBI and the FCC found no evidence of sabotage. However DeWitt and a variety of newspapers stated that
if no evidence was found, that proved the Japanese real!
ly were saboteurs. Time and Look Magazines published articles on how to tell "Japs" from your friends.
In LA times it read "A viper is a viper wherever the egg is hatched…" The Nisei became desperate and
tried to shed as much of their heritage as possible. Ceramics that were family heirlooms were dumped in
the streets. Priceless diaries, photos, letters, and other written treasures that happened to be written in
Japanese were burned. Mary Kageyana remembers burning her mother\'s sheet music, "We had to do it
because they would not know what it said. They might have thought it was code or something." By
February 9, DeWitt banned Japanese from 133 "strategic areas" in California. By mid February, the
California coast had been dubbed "Restricted Area Number 1." DeWitt suggested Japanese voluntarily
move inland. 4,000 did, and weeks later DeWitt prohibited Japanese