In 1942, claiming military necessity and ignoring the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution, the federal government forcibly removed over 110,000 Japanese Americans from their homes and incarcerated them in 10 concentration camps away from the West Coast.
These displaced citizens and legal aliens were denied their rights and freedoms solely on the basis of race and ethnic origin. Most were held behind barbed wire and guard towers until 1945. In 1988, the United States government issued an apology to the former inmates and provided limited reparations to the survivors.
The Japanese American National Museum is dedicated to promoting understanding and appreciation for America’s diversity by sharing the Japanese American story. It is affiliated with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, founded to promote principles of democracy and to inspire civic participation.
Congratulations to JANM for receiving the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the United States’ highest honor for museums and libraries that make extraordinary civic, educational, economic, environmental, and social contributions.
Wrongly Incarcerated – gift of Masy A. Masuoka, O.D., Japanese American National Museum; Nishi Hongwanji Temple – gift of Jack and Peggy Iwata, Japanese American National Museum; Heart Mountain Camp – gift of Yoshiko Hosoi Sakurai, Japanese American National Museum; Diary Drawing – gift from the estate of Frank Naoichi and Asano Hayami, Japanese American National Museum. All other images provided by the Japanese American National Museum