Museum Picks

Marie Masumoto’s pick: Guilt By Association

Guilt by Association: Essays on Japanese Settlement, Internment, and Relocation in the Rocky Mountain West is an interesting compilation of essays by various contributing historians and expertly edited by Mike Mackey. The various essays are of great interest and value because they explore topics that are among the least researched. The essays will help you to understand the many different aspects of the Japanese American WWII experience.

In Phantom Explosives and Smoking Guns: The White Pine County Interment Case Revisited After Redress for Japanese Railroad and Mine Families by Andrew B. Russell tells the story of the towns of Ruth and McGill, Nevada during World War II. Japanese and Japanese American railroad and mining workers were dismissed from their jobs and forcibly removed. Russell’s research for his master’s thesis was the “smoking gun” that helped the surviving railroad and mining workers in receiving their delayed redress payments in 1998.

Censored!:U.S. Censors and Internment Camp Mail in World War II by Louis Fiset relates how community leaders, Japanese language teachers, religious leaders, and others considered as subversives, were picked up first in the wholesale roundup and then incarcerated in government internment camps scattered across the United States. They were separated from their families and their only form of communication was by letter writing. The camps had bilingual censors that opened, read and censored the in-mates’ letters by blocking with ink or cutting out strips what they deemed sensitive sentences. Some inmates used creative ways so their letters would go undetected and their families could read a complete letter.

Here is a sampling of some of the other chapters:

  • Koreans as Interpreters at Japanese Enemy Alien Detention Centers During World War II by Hyung-ju Ahn

  • Political Ideology and Participant Observation: Nisei Social Scientists in the Evacuation and Resettlement Study, 1942-1945 by Arthur A. Hansen

  • Japanese and Japanese Latin Americans at Idaho’s Kooskia Internment Camp by Priscilla Wegars

  • From Settlement in the Rocky Mountain West to the War Years: Japanese Settlement in the Intermountain West, 1882-1946 by Eric Walz

  • Get a copy from the Museum Store and good reading to you.

    Marie Masumoto is a Research Assistant in the Hirasaki National Resource Center of the Japanese American National Museum. She is also an avid reader and student of the Japanese American experience.

    June 2002

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