Internment & Service Stories

Date, Location

    Imprisoned Patriots

    In 1942, the U.S. government ordered 120,000 Japanese American men, women, and children, many of them American citizens, to leave their homes, farms, and businesses then incarcerated them in remote, military-style camps.

    On March 24, the Army issued its first Civilian Exclusion Order for Bainbridge Island—the real-life model for San Piedro Island in Snow Falling on Cedars. Forty-five families had just one week to prepare for forced relocation to a War Relocation Authority (WRA) camp.

    Shortly after Pearl Harbor, Japanese American men were categorized 4C (non-draftable enemy alien). But in 1943, the government reversed its decision on Japanese Americans serving in the armed forces. The Army then recruited volunteers from the camps.

    Guest speakers Dr. Iwao Ishino, professor of anthropology, and Dr. Sadayoshi Omoto, professor of art, both retired from Michigan State University, will share their stories of internment in a WRA camp and WWII military intelligence service.

    Dr. Takashi Yoshida, Western Michigan University professor of history, will moderate.