If you are a third-, fourth- or fifth-generation Japanese American, it is likely your great-grandparents, grandparents or parents spent World War II behind the barbed wire of American concentration camps. Although these so-called “war relocation authority centers” were shuttered nearly 70 years ago, to this day they still serve as a historical touchstone, so profound was their impact on Japanese America.
Politicians, jurists, academics and activists have written speeches, scholarly papers and analyses of this dark chapter of U.S. history. But sometimes lost in all the high-falutin’ words is the fact that 110,000 people lived through this indignity. But now, thanks to the efforts of Crafted Knowledge, a San Diego-based internet public domain media development agency, and project supporters and contributors, everyone from former camp inmates themselves to relatives generations removed can track inmates as they were first taken from their homes on the West Coast and put into temporary “assembly centers” before being loaded on buses and trains headed for concentration camps in desolated areas of America.
Some Japanese Americans, drawn by curiosity to the inmate database, have commented that the search process and the data received stirred up memories of the camps for those who experienced them, and sparked conversation and contemplation among those who’ve only read about the WWII experiences of their ancestors.
[Crafted Knowledge ~ WW2 Japanese American Relocation Camp Internee Directory] [National Archives ~ Personal Justice Denied (U.S. Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians Final Report and Recommendation] [Wikipedia ~ Japanese American Internment]