The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) located in the Little Tokyo (JapanTown) section of Los Angeles, California, is a place to learn about the history of Japanese Americans.
An important part of history for Japanese Americans took place during World War II. Americans of Japanese heritage and their Japanese immigrant parents faced much discrimination, prejudice, and racism throughout their lives in the United States.
It all came to a head during World War II after the Imperial Navy of Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. It seemed to be an excuse to shower further racism upon the people of Japanese ancestry in the United States.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. This gave the military commanders in certain regions the authority to remove any persons from the area. It could have been used against Italians and Germans, but it was only enacted toward those of Japanese descent.
The military commander in Hawaii said the order was not necessary there, but it was enforced along the West Coast of the continental United States. It affected around 120,000 persons who were forced to leave their homes. Most were sent to what are now called "American concentration camps."
There were ten camps set up in remote and desolate areas of the United States. Individuals and families were unjustly placed in the camps in crowded conditions.
One of the current exhibits at the Japanese American National Museum has been on display since March 4, 2023. It is slated to close on October 1, 2023. It is entitled: Don’t Fence Me In: Coming of Age in America’s Concentration Camps.
The exhibit has photographs, personal stories, and artifacts which show the experiences of young Americans who came of age while living in the camps. They had to have strength and ingenuity to survive the experience. The wrongful imprisonment in their youth robbed them of growing up in normal conditions. They lives were forever changed by the incarceration.
The Japanese American National Museum is located at 100 North Central Avenue in Los Angeles. They provide many excellent programs and exhibits. Check the website for hours and more information.
This exhibit provides a worthwhile experience for education by learning about American history.