Executive Order 9066

Japanese Internment Camp

Perceptual View

Government propaganda often described the Japanese Americans as nationalistic and loyal to the United States. Their loyalty was proven by their willingness and gratitude in their relocation. The below above is a classic example of the "nationalistic Japanese" that the government painted in the ordinary Americans' lives. The children were vigorously waving the American flag or holding the peace sign. Even the man in the background smiled and joined the children in the posing. Their cooperation was evident in their pride to be on the train. One propaganda video characterized the Japanese view of the relocation as "a tedious but necessary sacrifice for the war against Japan." However, such characterization only described the minority. The Japanese Americans were not represented accurately by the government.


Photo taken by Ansel Adams

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The Daunting Reality

The woman's desperate stare of fear was especially contradictory to the widespread belief that the Japanese was content with their situation. Unlike the previous image, the young children also appeared to be upset and uncertain about what was happening. Many Japanese felt that they were treated unfairly because the US did not relocate the German or the Italian population. What the Japanese Americans were facing was an abject future of suffering at the concentration camps (which was more accurately described as prisons) They did not move willingly. Rather, they were ejected from their homes and had to pack up in an unreasonably short period of time. Their cooperation during the relocation was not voluntary. The government stated otherwise to sugarcoat their mistreatments to the Japanese Americans.


This photo was taken from "Evacuation Order 9066" by Maisie & Richard Conrat.