Exposing Japanese Internment Camps
What Really Went on Behind the Gates
United States' Use of Propaganda
The United States Government portrayed the Japanese internment camps as a small community with opportunity and freedom. Unlike what was being advertised, the internment camps were prisons. The Japanese had to leave behind their jobs, homes, and loved ones.
The image below shows instructions for all people of Japanese ancestry to depart from their homes (www.archives.gov)
The picture below enforces the ideas that other Americans wanted the Japanese to evacuate from their neighborhoods because they assumed their Japanese American neighbors were associated with the attack on Pearl Harbor ("Imprisoned")
Discriminating Against the Japanese
The United States associated all Japanese Americans as the enemy because of their race. The Japanese were generalized as being all bad and potentially dangerous to the country. In order to "solve" this problem, the United States isolated Japanese Americans from the rest of the country,
Propaganda vs. Reality
This image depicts a man resting on his bed in a spacious room filled with all of his possessions. The government wants to portray the camps as a pleasant place to live where they don't treat the Japanese cruelly, which is not the case. The United States is worried about their image, which is the reason why the separate the Japanese from the rest of America. That is also the reason why the U.S. put out propaganda like this to the country to make it seem like the Japanese were being treated well.
In reality, the living quarters in the camps were cramped and unsanitary. In times of extreme cold or heat, the living conditions were brutal. As you can see, comfortable housing was not provided. The reason for the propaganda is to promote false conditions within the camp so the rest of the United States will think that putting the Japanese in the internment camps is okay.