Item # 158558.


Inclusion: How Hawai‘i Protected Japanese Americans from Mass Internment, Transformed Itself, and Changed America

By Tom Coffman.

Following December 7, 1941, the United States government interned  120,000 people of Japanese ancestry evicted from scattered settlements  throughout the West Coast states, yet why was a much larger number  concentrated in the Hawaiian Islands war zone not similarly  incarcerated?  At the root of the story is an inclusive community that worked from  the ground up to protect an embattled segment of its population. 

While  the onset of World War II surprised the American public, war with Japan  arrived in Hawai‘i in slow motion. Responding to numerous signs of  impending conflict, the Council for Interracial Unity mapped two goals:  minimize internment and maximize inclusion in the war effort. The  council’s aspirational work was expressed in a widely repeated saying:  “How we get along during the war will determine how we get along when  the war is over.” The Army Command of Hawai‘i, reassured by firsthand  acquaintances, came to believe that “trust breeds trust.”  

Where most histories have shielded President Franklin D. Roosevelt  from direct responsibility for the U.S. mainland internment, his  relentless demands for a mass removal from Hawai‘i—ultimately  thwarted—reveal him as author and actor. In making sense of the  disparity between Island and mainland, Inclusion unravels the  deep history of the U.S. “sabotage psychosis,” dissecting why many  continental Americans still believe Japan succeeded at Pearl Harbor  because of the unseen hand of Japanese saboteurs. Contrary to the  explanation of hysteria as the cause of the internment, Inclusion documents how a high-level plan of mass removal actually was pitched to Hawai‘i prior to December 7, only to be rejected. 

Paper: 384 pp.


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A Resilient Spirit: The Voice of Hawai'i's Internees


Collections: Books & Media

Type: book

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