Japanese-American Internment - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Instructor: Date: Japanese-American Internment Introduction Japanese American refers to the American citizens with their roots tracing back to Japanese heritage. Historically Japanese Americans are among the largest groups of Asian communities living in America…
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Japanese-American Internment
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Download file to see previous pages The Hawaiian sugar industry attracted many Japanese immigrants in the area in the 1870s and 1880s. By 1900, majority of the Japanese immigrants living in US were concentrated in Hawaii where their work force was much sought by both the farm owners and industries owners. Japanese were primarily hard working than whites, and since the payments depended on the amount of work done, they were better placed than the whites. Their outstanding reputation spread and overtook the whites substantially. The whites saw the Japanese as formidable competitors, and their presence was a threat to them. The Japanese grew more powerful, and in 1941, they attacked the Pearl Harbor; an act that marked a significant traumatic landmark in Japanese-American history (Niiya 11). This attack brought about relocation and internment of the Japanese by the angry anti Japanese community. Japanese-American immigration Japanese migration is significantly attributed to the establishment of sugar plantations in Hawaii. These sugar plantations required massive number of workers throughout the entire process of cultivation, harvesting and processing in the industries. This establishment called for many laborers and importing them was the most convenient way of getting cheap labor. In 1850s, plantation owners imported many Chinese to work in their farms and offered them meager salaries. By 1865, the Chinese immigrants started to drift away from these jobs slowly until there were no more enough laborers in the farms. With the shifting of Chinese to other better jobs, the Hawaiians foreign minister decided to seek laborers elsewhere. This decision compelled the migration of Japanese to Hawaii to replace the Chinese who had quit working in the farms. In 1868, the first ship carrying Japanese immigrants arrived with 148 people in whom 141 were men, 6 were women, and two were children (Hanel 7). The working conditions were harsh and upon the termination of the contract; thus, some went back claiming that they were treated with so much cruelty. However, the remaining Japanese were the beginning of Japanese-American citizens at the time. The Chinese exclusion act, which was passed in 1882, prohibited further migration of Chinese and paved way for further Japanese immigration. In the preceding years, Japan and Hawaii signed a contract that allowed whites to import Japanese laborers. More and more Japanese immigrants occupied Hawaii and a group of Japanese ancestry arose. The native born Japanese by 1910 had grown up to one third of the total Hawaii’s population. By 1930, the native born Japanese in Hawaii was numerous and exceeded those born in Japan by a great percentage. They continued to work hard in the farms, and their skills consequently outweighed that of Native Americans bringing a stiff competition. Through their efforts, they were finally able to purchase their own lands, and this challenged the Native Americans who perceived them as a threat. Factors that contributed to Japanese-Americans internment The internment of Japanese was marked by the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The attack sprouted a historical landmark amongst American Japanese (Chin 5). Retaliation by the anti Japanese ran high and brought their internment. This was a painful moment for the Japanese and thousands of them died in the process. Shortly after the attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized an order, to designate military boundaries within the US. Although the order was not targeted at anybody, it became the basis for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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