American-Japanese Women

An examination of the life of Japanese women, before, during, and after their internment in the American internment camps that were established during World War II.

This paper examines how Japanese women came to America from their homeland and how, instead of starting anew, they simply brought the repressive culture with them. It looks at how, during the time they were in camps, they were forced to let go of tradition in many areas of life and how they found they had the ability and strength to make decisions, survive, and handle adversity. It also examines how, once they were out of the camps, they still faced attitude problems from those who blamed the residents for the Pearl Harbor attack. It shows how the camps were an atrocity and unfair to all who were forced into them and how, for Japanese women, they did help break a multi-generational pattern of self-doubt.
“While the women were in the camps their treatment was a catalyst for their future. Women were ripped away from everything and everyone they had depended on before the camps were constructed. Their husbands were often sent to far away places, and if the females had married Americans then their husbands were not interned, but the women were. They were ripped away from their children many times as well. With very little notice, everything that they nurtured and lived for each day was suddenly gone. Their existence was stripped from them and once they were placed in the camps they were forced to re-invent and identify their existence.”