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Redefinition of Japanese American Identity - Essay Example

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Name Professor Course Date Redefinition of Japanese American Identity Introduction Takaki Ronald’s book titled A Different Mirror: History of Multicultural America goes a long way in highlighting the cultural diversity in the country. Americans have been conscious about their race that they are eager to ask anybody they think is a stranger about their race…
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Redefinition of Japanese American Identity
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Download file to see previous pages Industrialists sought Japanese immigrants to replace the Chinese after the Chinese Exclusion Act took effect. The cultural diversity in the U.S resulted in fundamental questions being raised on America’s culture and identity. The reception of other Asian Americans in U.S had its basis on the reception that the Chinese received. The Japanese later discovered during the Second World War that their achievements in U.S did not lead to any acceptance by the American community. The Japanese were placed in internment camps, unlike the German and Italian Americans (Takaki, p. 7). After the Second World War, and following the treatment of the Japanese Americans during the war, their identity underwent redefinition. This is because of the historical experiences and changes in laws, economics and attitude during the war. After the Second World War, Japanese Americans faced numerous challenges that helped in the creation of their identity. In 1942 following the Pearl Harbor attack, President Roosevelt instituted the Executive Order 9066. Though the order appeared neutral, it targeted the Japanese classified as a danger to the American society. Thousands of Japanese-American citizens were sent to hurriedly constructed camps (Takaki, p. 6). Many of these citizens spent close to four years in this camps living under heavily armed guards. This Japanese American had American citizenship but faced internment because of their original country’s attack on Pearl Harbor. While the Japanese Americans faced internment, the African Americans faced extreme discrimination and segregation. African Americans would be forced into war and later be discriminated by the exact society it protected (Jones, p. 9). While the Japanese Americans population in West U.S represented a small portion of Japanese Americans in the country, they faced hostility from the vast white population. Customs and laws shut them out from participation in civil life and economics. Japanese immigrants did not have rights to property or citizenship. However, their descendants became citizens by birth and successful in farming and business. The Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese gave the white Americans an opportunity to renew and reinforce their hostility towards the Japanese Americans. It also gave the white community an opportunity for targeting their competitors in economic activities. This community agitated for the elimination or removal of unwanted competitors-Japanese (Takaki, p. 6). White Americans posted relocation notices all over the American West Coast. The white Americans gave the Japanese one week to leave the country. Japanese farmer’s desperately looked to their unwilling neighbors to take care of their farms. Business owners and farm owners faced financial ruin. They lost everything and forced to sell their shops, homes, furniture and clothes. The Supreme Court in 1944 reinforced the exclusion constitutionally by declaring the permissibility of the exclusion to curtail the civil rights of the Japanese Americans because of the pressing public necessity (Jones, p. 6). This treatment of Japanese Americans by the white Americans is similar to the treatment of other Americans. The African and Mexican Americans faced exclusion from economic activities. Economic and social activities were the preserve of the white Americans, and they viewed other races as competition or slaves. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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