Concentration Camps on the Home Front: Japanese Americans in the House of Jim Crow

By John Howard | Go to book overview

9
Resettlement and Dispersal

PERPETUAL LEAVE-TAKING. Perhaps more hurtful than all the intimidation and fear, bigotry and violence, corruption and confinement, Japanese American incarceration was characterized by constant separation—partings. An immigrant generation that had embarked upon the biggest of journeys, to a new continent, found they had many more journeys yet to make. Some, understandably, grew weary. In 1945, however, many Nisei—described as “pathetically eager” to be American—called upon the shopworn maxims of American mobility. A new frontier! Westward, ho! Go west, young man! Westward the course of empire makes its way! California or bust! California here I come! (Right back where we started from.)1

In Michigan a train set out for California with Taro and Kame Dakuzaku aboard. The two had already been all over creation. Around the beginning of the century, Taro had left Okinawa to go to Hawaii, then San Francisco, and on to numerous towns and crossroad communities in the Central Valley. He had worked on plantations and railroads, and in laundries, before finally settling, he thought, in Florin on a small farm. From Florin he and his wife, Kame—a former servant in the Okinawan royal palace, mother to six daughters and, at last, one son, now a soldier—were forced to move to Fresno, and then to a place called Jerome, in Arkansas. With rumors of Jerome's closing, they'd been set “free” to relocate to Chicago. From there, they decided to join three of their daughters in Michigan. A place called Kalamazoo. But the

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Concentration Camps on the Home Front: Japanese Americans in the House of Jim Crow
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1: Expansion and Restriction 23
  • 2: Subversion 45
  • 3: Concentration and Cooperation 65
  • 4: Camp Life 95
  • 5: Race, War, Dances 124
  • 6: Americanization and Christianization 150
  • 7: Strikes and Resistance 174
  • 8: Segregation, Expatriation, Annihilation 198
  • 9: Resettlement and Dispersal 220
  • 10: Occupation and Statehood 241
  • Epilogue 262
  • Acknowledgments 269
  • Notes 275
  • Index 323
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