Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Tetsuden Kashima
AAS 372
Seattle Campus

Internment Camps in North America: United States and Canada

Comparative study of United States and Canadian internment camps incarcerating Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians during World War II. Focuses on early history, dislocation and internment, effects (disorganization and adjustments), effects on the internees and society, and present situation.

Class description

The internment of particular nationals in the United States from Germany, Italy, and Japan, and the incarceration of nearly an entire ethno-racial group, most of whom were citizens, is still a relevant issue. Recent U.S. National Park Service designations have made two incarceration camps into a Historical Site and Monument; the Bainbridge Island Eagledale Ferry Terminal is an approved satellite of the Minidoka National Historical Site. Likewise, the Canadian government removed almost all persons of Japanese ancestry in that country and placed them in deserted mining and ghost towns, road camps, and farm labor projects for the duration of the war. After the war, attempts were made to deport all Japanese Canadians; a move legally successful but politically difficult. This course will take a comparative approach to the internment and incarceration camps used to hold persons of Japanese ancestry in the United States, its territories -- Hawaii and Alaska, Canada during World War II, and even numerous individuals virtually kidnapped and transported here from Latin America. The course examines the precursor events prior to December 7, 1942. Then we examine the events occurring during the War such as dislocation, internment of "enemy aliens," the mass incarceration of persons of Japanese ancestry on the mainland U.S. The comparative experience of the Hawaii Japanese Americans will be stressed. The effects of the incarceration is explored: disorganization and adjustment as experienced by the internees and inmates. Finally, we examine the post-World War II return and resettlement experience, the Redress Campaign and the present situation with respect to the yearly Day of Remembrance ceremonies held in many locations. This question will also be answered: "How did the United States Japanese Americans and Japanese Canadians obtain a Presidential/Prime Ministerial apology and a symbolic monetary redress payment for the acknowledged grievious violation to their civil rights of World War II"? New concepts will be introduced. There will be lectures, discussions, readings, video-tape/films.

We will schedule some guest lecture(s).

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lecture, discussion, readings, video-tape/films.

Recommended preparation

A general knowledge of Asian American and Japanese American culture and history is desirable.

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Tetsuden Kashima
Date: 09/12/2013