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Perl Harbor(Japanese-American Relationship) - Research Paper Example

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Name Professor Course 21 November 2011 Strained Relationships Following Attacks on the United States At the end of 1941, Japan attacked the United States. In response, over 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced into internment camps. This response was the direct result of other Americans and the government fearing that Japanese Americans would aid the enemy and not the country they lived in…
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Perl Harbor(Japanese-American Relationship)

Download file to see previous pages... A similar reaction of racism towards a group of people can be seen from the events of September 11, 2001. Because the terrorists were from the Middle East, many Middle Eastern Americans have been singled out by other Americans and treated poorly. The attack by the Japanese on the American naval base Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, will forever be known as “a day that will live in infamy.” The decision by the Japanese to attack the United States on their own soil has often been referred to as “awakening a sleeping giant.” This attack prompted the United States to declare war with Japan. The Japanese-American relationship went from somewhat peaceful to in a state of war almost overnight. The only response the United States could have had was to declare war on Japan. The book Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford provides a fictional, personal account of the strained relationship between the Japanese and Americans at the beginning of World War II. In the book, a young Henry Lee becomes friends with a Japanese American girl named Keiko Okabe. He is from China but she was born in the United States. After the events of Pearl Harbor, the setting of the book in Seattle has grown anti-Japanese. Keiko and her family are sent to an internment camp because they are Japanese in origin. The fictional novel shows the widespread panic by Americans toward other Japanese Americans during this time period. After America declared war on Japan, Americans started to lose trust in their Japanese immigrant friends and neighbors. The solution was to force the Japanese immigrants into internment camps in order to prevent any spies from assisting Japan. This solution was the result of fear, misinformation, and overall ignorance from the American people and government. Two months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an order that forced Japanese Americans to move to internment camps (Peterson 16). Between 1942 and 1945, an estimated 117,000 Japanese Americans lived in these camps. After an estimated 3,500 Americans died during Pearl Harbor, and America declared war immediately on Japan in response (Tunnell 1). In his book about Japanese internment camps, Tunnell explains the reaction by Americans to their friends and neighbors who happened to be Japanese: “Fiery patriotic propaganda against Japan filled newspapers and radio broadcasts, and many Americans were overcome by an irrational hatred of anything Japanese- including fellow Americans who wore Japanese faces (1).” America has many immigrants, and in 1941 there were many immigrants who had come to America from Japan. The problem was that they “looked like the enemy” (Tunnell 2). Racism towards Japanese Americans prior to the attacks on Pearl Harbor was not uncommon: In the Pacific States, they were not even allowed to own land or marry outside their race- in a country established by immigrants, no less! It was not uncommon to see billboards during the 1920’s, 1930’s, and early 1940’s on the West Coast that read ‘Japs, don’t let the sun shine on you here. Keep moving,’ or ‘Japs keep moving. This is a white man’s neighborhood. (Tunnell 3) Many Americans were unexplainably racist to Japanese immigrants prior to the events of Pearl Harbor. The term “Japs” was a derogatory term for the Japanese people. Then, when Japan attacked Pearl ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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