After Camp: Portraits in Midcentury Japanese American Life and Politics

After Camp: Portraits in Midcentury Japanese American Life and Politics

After Camp: Portraits in Midcentury Japanese American Life and Politics

After Camp: Portraits in Midcentury Japanese American Life and Politics

Synopsis

This book illuminates various aspects of a central but unexplored area of American history: the midcentury Japanese American experience. A vast and ever-growing literature exists, first on the entry and settlement of Japanese immigrants in the United States at the turn of the 20th century, then on the experience of the immigrants and their American-born children during World War II. Yet the essential question, "What happened afterwards?" remains all but unanswered in historical literature. Excluded from the wartime economic boom and scarred psychologically by their wartime ordeal, the former camp inmates struggled to remake their lives in the years that followed. This volume consists of a series of case studies that shed light on various developments relating to Japanese Americans in the aftermath of their wartime confinement, including resettlement nationwide, the mental and physical readjustment of the former inmates, and their political engagement, most notably in concert with other racialized and ethnic minority groups.

Excerpt

This book illuminates various aspects of a central but unexplored area of American history: the midcentury Japanese American experience. a vast and ever-growing literature exists, first on the entry and settlement of Japanese immigrants in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, then on the experience of the immigrants and their American-born children during World War ii. Indeed, the official roundup of some 120,000 American citizens and permanent residents of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast and their subsequent confinement in government camps (often, if imprecisely, called the “Japanese American internment”) represents the single most-documented subject in Asian American studies and a vital theme of popular debate. Yet the essential question “What happened afterwards?” remains all but unanswered in historical literature. Such neglect is unjust, as the postwar evolution of Japanese American communities deserves extended and careful study. Excluded from the war time economic boom and scarred psychologically by their war time ordeal, the former camp inmates struggled to remake their lives in the years that followed, and to build new social ties and community structures. If the generation of resettlement and renewal that followed the release of inmates from camp lacks the massive drama and conflict of the war time events, it must be accounted equally important, if not more so, in setting the course of mainland Japanese American life.

This volume consists of a series of case studies, in the form of essays. They shed light on various developments relating to Japanese Americans in the aftermath of their war time confinement, including resettlement nationwide, the mental and physical readjustment of the former inmates, and their political engagement, most notably in concert with other racialized and ethnic minority groups. in the pro cess, I explore and test various . . .

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