Skip to main content

tv   Japanese American 9066 Exhibition  CSPAN  February 5, 2017 2:18pm-2:33pm EST

2:18 pm
and local funding contributed toward those larger objects, to make sure we got the water storage we so desperately needed back then. secondarily, another big issue on the federal side was labor and immigration. so many other crops you see around here are very labor intensive. so much of what we do here is not mechanized. it takes a human hand to pull the peach, plum, nectar rain from the tree. those are things that have to be done by human hands area it is a labor force that is incredibly important to us. the fact of the matter is it is a labor force that has become increasingly difficult for california agriculture to secure on a regular basis. we are part of discussions when it comes to immigration reform in how do we get individuals into this country to work with us? >> this weekend, we are featuring the history of fresno, california together with our comcast cable partners.
2:19 pm
♪ >> the commanding general determined that all japanese within the coastal areas should move inland. notices were posted. all persons of japanese descent were required to register. >> we have to put ourselves in their shoes in 1942 and not think through the lens of 2017. things were very different back then. we have to explain to people the environment people were in so they can understand how people endure that. we are at the special collection research center at california state university fresno. we are here to talk about the 75th anniversary of the executive order 9066 that franklin roosevelt signed on february 19, 1942.
2:20 pm
after the bombing of pearl harbor, the president franklin roosevelt decided that japanese americans need to be evacuated from all areas of the west coast because either they may not be loyal to the united states or just seem as some kind of threat, so they rounded up all the japanese-americans, including children and elderly people, and send them to these 10 camps. executive order 9066 authorized the removal of japanese-americans from the west coast. people wondered, why didn't they say anything at the time? they did. maybe they just didn't know about it. went to the supreme court, but it was denied. he lost the case. it wasn't until the 1980's that the decision was overturned not
2:21 pm
by the supreme court but by a federal court. fresno has always had a large japanese-american population because of the agriculture. that is what they are known for. when all the japanese-americans were evacuated, all the japanese-americans from this area were sent to one camp in particular. there were 10 camps in the nation. they were all out on the west coast area. there were no camps in california except for maza in our. the rest were in colorado, arizona, wyoming. a lot of our japanese-americans were affected to her this collection and focus on it. we have had the japanese-american collection for a long time. it comes from different donors over the years. it comes in fits and starts. we've gotten a lot more material, and there's been a lot more focus. we have been fortunate to meet
2:22 pm
up with a number of families, not just japanese-american families but other families. for example, the man who ran the fresno assembly center, his family gave us a number of items that are important. in recent years, it's become a major focus, although we have always had material on this topic. i think remembering the 75th anniversary of executive order 9066 is important because we have to remember that two thirds of the people put in these camps were american citizens. what was done to them has not been thought about from their point of view. that is one of my goals of this exhibition, to talk about how they felt about it. for decades, no one talked about it, especially from their perspective. one of the main goals of this exhibition is to explain to what happened but how people felt themselves who were in those camps. in the collection, we have a
2:23 pm
number of photographs, some of them really well known, but they illustrate what the environment was like before the japanese-americans were sent to camp. thee are just examples of racism and prejudice that was rampant at the time. people didn't distinguish between japanese-americans and japanese nationals who we were at war with after pearl harbor was attacked, so we will show these to remind people of the environment of the japanese-americans were in. these photographs illustrate that they had a few days to get rid of their property, their farms. everything had to go. we are only allowed to carry a certain amount. if you couldn't carry it, you couldn't bring it to camp.
2:24 pm
they didn't know how long they were going to be gone. days toe given a few dispose of everything. these photographs show them packing up, and so you see a variety of duffel bags as well as suitcases. they were taken by either bus or train, and as i understand, the government didn't want people to know that they were transporting dry -- japanese-americans. they had to be out of sight. they put the shades down on the train. they didn't want anyone to know this was happening. this is a shot of a family. they all have these tags on them. every family was issued an id number, and they were told to wear the tags when they were being transported so they could be identified. they didn't use their names. they just used their numbers, which was part of the shame and
2:25 pm
dehumanization of this experience for the japanese-americans. these maps show how the japanese-americans were evacuated. they are color-coded by where they were sent to the first one talks about exclusionary. it went all the way up to the washington state. this map shows where each of the assembly centers are. depending on where you lived, you were sent to a different assembly center, and this explains where all the assembly centers were. there is one at pinedale, and there was one at the fresno fairgrounds. the assembly center was just a temporary location. that are accounts about histor.y of fresno.
2:26 pm
hitting the hay was an appropriate term because they had to stuff their mattresses with ebert: when i was a hay was anthe appropriate term because they had to stuff their mattresses with hay. these people were prisoners. they had no choice about going to the camps. while families were in the camps, people may not know they did their own newspapers. this is the one from fresno. this was called the "fresno great mind." even though they were there six months, they took the time to create a newspaper for themselves. they wrote about happenings in .he camp i think they were trying to create a sense of normalcy.
2:27 pm
they didn't know how long they were going to be there. this was a way to communicate with each other and create a sense of community while they are in the assembly centers. they did this all themselves. they wrote, produced, and printed this all themselves. you can see how they mimeographed it. they didn't have real printing presses, but they did the best they could. people may be surprised to see that they actually had your books. -- yearbooks. they had high school classes, and these people graduated while they were in the camp, so this was their yearbook.
2:28 pm
i did want to point out that there were a lot of japanese-americans who enlisted in the war. while their parents were in the camps, some of them chose to sign up to join the war. they were made up of only japanese-americans in the 442nd infantry. when they came home on leave, they would come back to the camps and visit with their parents and other family members. one of the highlights of our exhibition is the go for broke and national association will be doing in a addition in this space to talk about the military of world war ii and how the japanese-americans helped win that war. it wasn't just them fighting. they also helped the military with intelligence, so there is a whole section called mis, and
2:29 pm
anyone that could speak japanese or read japanese was recruited to work for the government. we will move on to some of the items that will be in the exhibition that are borrowed, on loan to us. we are looking at items that will be in the exhibition. these are items on loan to us, and first one is a trunk from the morishita family. there's an army blanket issue to them in the camp, and as you see, this is their family id number .mr. ebert: when i was a their family id number .kid, the only books they , 4042 should kindly gave us this army blanket because a lot of the since theycold didn't know where they were going, a lot of them did not bring appropriate winter
2:30 pm
clothing, so they were issued army blankets or give an old army coats. this is an example of one of those. this is another piece of luggage, a duffel bag, and this is from the come auto family. you see their number is 40896, and the family were from sangha valley.e san joaquin what is interesting is they had to make their own duffel bag. this is a silver sac. wasou can see, this company a local company from fresno. that isa wood carving being lent to us. we don't know who made it. it's not signed, but it's quite beautiful. you see the guard tower and a lot of the intricate details.
2:31 pm
obviously, these people had a lot of time in camp. they were allowed to work later on off camp. the older people really had nothing to do. i think a lot of them took up parts and crafts. this is a little sculpture, and i have the translation here. someone carved in japanese, it means stay height and go forward, which is an ethic that the japanese-americans have. indoor -- endure, make the best of things, and go on your that is one of the elements of the exhibition we want people to understand. they went through these experiences, but over the generations, they have hopefully come to terms with it. many families have gone on to
2:32 pm
prosper and incorporate this history into their families' histories. we talk about how certain groups are being targeted. they certainly know that japanese-americans have taken up the banner to fight against any civil liberties violations. for example, with muslim americans, they don't want this to happen again to anybody. i would like people to understand that this is something that is not that far away. far it happened 75 years ago, but in the span of history. when people say, could it happen again, people have to understand, it did happen. that's one of the main reasons for doing this exhibition.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on