Japanese American Museum

Topics: Japanese diaspora, Hawaii, Japanese American Pages: 1 (451 words) Published: June 11, 2012
     Visiting the Japanese American Museum was an extremely moving and often gut wrenching roller coaster ride of emotions both of happiness and sadness alike. The stories of triumph were ostensibly plastered along the walls in glass cases, but so too were the stories of terror and internment of Japanese Americans on no further grounds than their original origin. The Japanese were interned in barracks to supposedly prevent espionage from the US to Japan. The internment of the Japanese was akin to the internment of the Jews certainly not with as heinous of outcomes, but it is deplorable anytime one is treated differently and faces negative consequences simply based on their race. The stories of white empathizers really tugged at my heart strings, and two really stood out. One white attorney fought for the rights of citizenship for many Japanese people, and the other was a white man with a hint of Spanish blood who passed for Japanese and he let himself be interned with the rest of his Japanese friends. When asked why he did it he said simply, very simply; "I didn't have to do it, but neither should anyone else".        The museum was an eclectic mosaic of lives pieced together to make a wonderful quilt of both triumph and tribulation. It displayed a full set up of what the little huts looked like which they were forced to live in during WWII. 1 family per hut or up to three bachelors, but these recommendations were often ignored and overcrowding became a big problem.  Most Japanese immigrants originally landed in Hawaii to work the sugar cane fields, but an infamous group known as the Atlantic 5 came on a ship to New York as former Japanese businessmen and many of them did extremely well in business here in the US as well. The museum contains over 130 years of Japanese American history, dating back to the first Issei generation, but maybe the most interesting part of the museum in my opinion as a lover of documentarian type filmography was the 100,000 sq. feet of...
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