The Return Home Essay During WWII Japanese Americans were evacuated to internment camps, leaving their
lives behind. Even though most of them were born in America, they still had to go to internment
camps. During their stay at these camps, the children were able to go to school and the adults
were able to work but only within the camps. They were excluded from the rest of the country
and mistreated because of their looks. Although Japanese Americans faced many issues before
and during these internment camps, the major affects they encountered was how their lives
changed when returning home.
The Return Home Essay
To start with, Japanese Americans had to worry about selling their homes, businesses and
possessions before going into the camps. According to Nagata, Mr. Uesugi, a camp internee, tells
us that his mother had 48 hours to sell their family restaurant, he states “my mother had a
restaurant – the place was fully equipped. She got just $500 for it” (Nagata 8). Since they had
little time before relocating most Japanese ended up getting little to no money for their things
causing them to stress about what would happen when they returned home. There were also other
concerns Japanese Americans had before going into the camps such as, where they would be and
how long they would be gone for (Nagata 2). An article written by Donna Nagata “Psychological
effects of camp” tells us the many difficulties Japanese Americans went through before, during
and after the camps. It states that the internment camps had poor living conditions with lack of
privacy and low standard education (Nagata 3). Japanese Americans did have many struggles in
the camps that affected them during their stay but had a bigger impact on them afterwards.
Even though there are many articles that show the hardships Japanese Americans faced
before and during the camps, there are many more that show the difficulties Japanese Americans
encountered when they returned home after years in internment camps. After the camps closed,
they realized their lives could not go back to how it was before.
The Return Home Essay
According to Newcomb’s article
Hiroshi Kamei, a camp internee, states “many of us thought we were there for only two or three
months, so we stored our equipment instead of selling it. It was all gone when we returned”
(Newcomb 13). This shows that once leaving the camps, most Japanese Americans went home to
nothing. Since they did not know how long they were going to be gone, the Japanese did not
know how to prepare. Going back to their lives was difficult because “property was stolen, and
stories abounded about prejudice and attacks on anyone resembling a Japanese” (Newcomb 18).
Some did not even have a home to return to and none had their jobs back. In Rosalie H. Wax’s
article “In and Out of the Tule Lake Segregation Center: Japanese Internment in the West, 1942-
1945” she states that “one woman said that she and her husband stayed at a Philadelphia hotel for
six months, ‘visiting employment offices everyday’ until her husband finally was given a job as a
farm manager” (Wax 25) this shows how difficult it was for them to find jobs after the camps.
Everyone viewed them as the bad guys, making it harder for them to go back to their normal
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