25 May 2013
The Virtual Museum Of San Francisco
I chose The Virtual Museum of San Francisco (www.sfmuseum.org) because of my interest in the Japanese people and the impact of the second World War. I learned that it is a great source for those interested in studying the internment of Japanese during World War II. This topic is reflected very accurately and fairly in the archives of the museum because the archives consist of primary documents. Their archives of original newspaper articles are the basis of this research document. The content listed on the museum’s web site is very relevant to the topic of Japanese internment because it provides a wealth of primary documents including opinions of ordinary people writing to their newspaper to express a wide variety of viewpoints on the subject of Japanese internment during the Second World War. One question stands above all others and the virtual museum gives a good first-hand account of events to answer it - what happened to the Japanese and why were they forced to move?
On February 14, 1942 Lt. General J. L. DeWitt, “commanding general of the Fourth Army and the Western Defense Command recommended to the War Department, the “evacuation” of Japanese living along the Pacific coast, deemed a Military Zone. About 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, many of those people American citizens, living on the West Coast and Southern Arizona were removed from their homes to locations of the government’s choosing. The very term “evacuation” is misleading to say the least because it suggests that the Japanese were being relocated to protect their safety. The excuses cited by the military were to establish “broad civil control, anti-sabotage, and counter-espionage measures.” The reasons given to justify “evacuation” suggested that the Japanese were a threat to the nation and not the nation a threat to the Japanese.
Drawing a dichotomy, the United States Government tried to put a human face on the forced...