Fred T. Korematsu

"I was just living my life, and that's what I wanted to do."

About Fred T. Korematsu

At age 23, Fred T. Korematsu was arrested for standing up against the government's internment camps, which had been set up after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. His case against the government went all the way to the Supreme Court in 1944. The Supreme Court ruled against Korematsu, but he continued fighting. Documents were discovered that demonstrated that the U.S. government did not have sufficient justification for the internment of those of Japanese descent. HIs conviction was eventually overturned in 1983.

Mr. Korematsu's words of wisdom:

"All of them turned their backs on me at that time because they thought I was a troublemaker."


"It may take time to prove you are right, but you have to stick to it."


"If you have the feeling that something is wrong, don't be afraid to speak up."

What you should know about Fred T. Korematsu

Korematsu was born in Oakland, CA in 1919. He was an American citizen!


Korematsu attempted to join the military and fight FOR the United States. He was turned down because of his Japanese ancestry.


Korematsu tried to hide his heritage in order to live a "normal" life: he had surgery on his eyes and he used an alias.


Korematsu married a white woman. They lived for many years in Detroit. They had two children. His daughter has been actively involved in her father's court case and preserving his legacy.