When They Came for the Japanese

By Mabie, Nora | In These Times, November 2017 | Go to article overview

When They Came for the Japanese


Mabie, Nora, In These Times


The Alphawood Gallery in Chicago has partnered with the Japanese American Service Committee (JASC) to produce the exhibition, Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII and the Demise of Civil Liberties. The exhibition includes photographs of the internment camps taken by Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams and others, video interviews with survivors and their families, and objects such as ID cards, suitcases and camp newsletters.

In These Times spoke with Ryan Masaaki Yokota, legacy center manager for JASC and a member of the exhibit's curatorial board. Yokota's greatgrandfather was among the 120,000 U.S. citizens and legal residents held in the camps.

Tell us about your connection to the exhibit.

My great-grandfather came to America in 1899. One month after Pearl Harbor, he was picked up by the FBI. As I learned more about my family's history, it became a responsibility of mine to protect the story of Japanese incarceration.

How is the Japanese-American community responding? …

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