Aftermath of Pearl Harbor

Uploaded by DenshoProject on 21.09.2009

On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked U.S. military bases in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
More than 3,500 servicemen were killed or wounded. The next day, the United States declared
war on Japan and entered World War II. The surprise bombing of Pearl Harbor shocked and
angered Americans. There was fear that the west coast of the United States would be attacked
next. During this time many people confused Japanese Americans with the Japanese enemy.
AK: I had just come home from church. And then we kept hearing, "Pearl Harbor was bombed,
Pearl Harbor was bombed." I had no idea where Pearl Harbor was. My geography was not that
sophisticated. I had no idea, and my father said, "Uh-oh, there is going to be trouble."
And I said, "Well, how come?" He said, "Well, Japan just bombed Pearl Harbor." And he says,
"We're at war with Japan." But, I thought, "Why should it bother me?" You know, "I'm
an American." And, then when I went back to school that following morning, December 8th,
one of the teachers said, "You people bombed Pearl Harbor." And I'm going, "My people?"
All of a sudden my Japaneseness became very aware to me. And then that I was no longer,
I no longer felt I'm an equal American, that I felt kind of threatened and nervous about it.
Voiceover Narration: In the weeks following
the attack at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese military won numerous battles in Asia. Newspapers were
filled with these troubling reports along with sensational stories about Japanese Americans
spying and sabotaging military bases. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was asked to investigate
and clearly stated that the stories were false rumors. During WWII not a single Japanese
American living in the United States, Hawaii, or Alaska was ever convicted of espionage
or sabotage, contrary to these news reports. Although no wrongdoing by Japanese Americans
was uncovered, intense political pressure from anti-Japanese farmers, labor unions,
and businessmen urged officials to remove all Japanese Americans, whether they were
citizens or not, from the west coast. On February 19, 1942, 10 weeks after the Pearl
Harbor attack, President Roosevelt signed an executive order, based on military necessity
that allowed the army to round up and remove "all persons of Japanese ancestry" from their
homes on the west coast. Families had only a week or two to sell or entrust to others
their houses, farms, pets, businesses, and personal belongings.
PB: We had to have money to survive, so we were trying to sell everything, and sell for
whatever we could get. We were selling plants and flowers and trees and everything we can
sell. And it was a horrible time because each day, it just seemed like we were being squeezed.
And since we'd never been in a war before, in our lives, it was just absolutely panic.
We, I still have nightmares. I have nightmares quite often, trying to decide, "What am I
going to take? What am I gonna do with everything?" and, "What's going to happen to us?"
It was just a horrible, horrible time.