Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Professor Lisa Koch

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In the first half of my paper, I will be reviewing the rationale from political leaders, citizen group organizers, and military officers on the issuing of Executive Order 9066. Additionally, I will be addressing the types of support and dissent that contributed to the eventual mandating of the Japanese internment camps during World War II. By looking into these aspects, I hope to find clarity behind why the internment camps were considered constitutional at the time and how it was received throughout society. The second half of my paper will address the dual identities amongst the Issei and Nisei Japanese generations, especially concentrating on the dynamics of being both Japanese and American after the War. To do this, I will be looking at memoirs of personal reflections from past internees. I am choosing to focus on memoirs as opposed to scholarly literature in order to find both political and emotional responses from their experiences in the camps. Through this, I hope to find a relationship between the internment camps and their impact on the prospective futures of Japanese Americans and how they choose to identify in this country.

Overall, most justifications for the issuing of Executive Order 9066 were based on racial prejudices which motivated the xenophobic attitudes of policymakers. The sentiment of white supremacy in the US also dictates many of the ways policymakers advertise internment to adhere to their own ulterior motives. Many of the justifications regarding internment were internalized by Japanese Americans as they experienced demoralization, worthlessness, and financial ruin. Ultimately, the ways Japanese Americans identify are contingent on their generation and the strength of the connection to their Japanese heritage.