Farewell To Manzanar Essay

Submitted By joe_hernandez1991
Words: 2767
Pages: 12

Farewell To Manzanar and the Japanese American Concentration Camps After World War II the U.S government felt obligated to become more secure and over protective to a point of a vague and insolent racism toward the Japanese. The Japanese-Americans faced a huge change when many were forced to evacuate their homes and move to an abandoned land with nothing, but incomplete supply for survival. Many Japanese-Americans felt the injustice given to them all and plenty kept these memories as a latch of hate and others considered it as a lesson of appreciation for family and culture. Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston was one of the victims that had to go through such tragic imprisonment. Houston and her family went through an intense amount of time caged in a concentration camp called the Manzanar Relocation Center in the desert 225 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The Japanese-Americans went through a terrible time that Roosevelt, as president, managed to create such animosity without the consideration of the innocent individuals being killed. Even after the concentrations camps were abolished Japanese-Americans were considered a threat to many Americans and they were treated differently with a segregated effect. When President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 came to existence, Houston was only 7 years old. She was not entirely aware of the situation, but she saw how everyone around her was reacting. Houston’s father was one of the most affected individuals; he was accused for allegedly supplying oil to Japanese submarines and was imprisoned at Fort Lincoln, near Bismarck, North Dakota. After a year of imprisonment he returns to his family and are sent to a base camp where they all reside in poor conditions with limited supplies. This all happens so fast to Houston that she is only aware of the suffrage of her family, but forgets that she is being incarcerated from society. The people she is surrounded by are from her own culture, and the base of survival the Japanese tried to set forth was limited due to the inconsistent supply. Medication was limited, food was scarce, and the climate was unbearable. The concentration camps that the Japanese-Americans were placed in had nothing constructed. The camps had broken down restrooms, bad drainage, polluted water, no furniture, and limited space. The amount of people living in these camps were literally, abandoned and secluded there without any explanation or date of release. “Her eyes blazed then, her voice quietly furious. “Woody, we can’t live like this. Animals live like this” (Houston 24). Mama was a woman with very little to say, and when she speaks it is vague but nonetheless extremely concerning. Mama worried for the poor conditions they are being forced to live in and she expects her husband to take action. The desperation of all the citizens encaged was to an intense climax due to the fact that many of the men that were taken to the concentration camps were World War I veterans. These men felt dishonored by a country that they had fought for and is now secluding them from society for an act these men did not commit.
Under the same Japanese Americans there were also subdivided cultures, specifically the “Nikkei’s”, whom “Debated two equally unhappy options cooperation or resistance. Faced with intense pressure as the government froze bank accounts of enemy aliens and the FBI staged unannounced raids and arrested prominent Issei, or first-generation, leaders, most Nikkei passively awaited their fate” (Austin 59). For those that decided to defend their rights as citizens they were threatened by the government from all your property and left on complete poverty. At the time of relocation, many Japanese Americans had to sell all their belonging at the most insignificant price. It was devastating for many of these Japanese Americans, because all their lives they had lived in the United States, and for them to be treated with injustice and removed forcefully from their homes, it was