Enduring Communities

Enduring Communities: The Japanese American Experience in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah is an ambitious three-year project dedicated to re-examining an often-neglected chapter in U.S. history and connecting it with current issues of today. These articles stem from that project and detail the Japanese American experiences from different perspectives. 

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Japanese Americans in Arizona

Today’s Arizona has hosted multiple civilizations for thousands of years. During the first millennium A.D., the Huhugam established villages in Arizona’s Lower Gila Valley and the Sonoran Desert of northern Mexico. Distinct indigenous cultures, including the Maricopa, Navajo, Apache, Walipai, Yavapai, Aravaipai, Pima, Pinal, Chiricahua, Cocopah, Hopi, Havasupai, Pascua Yaqui, Kaibab-Paiute, and Quechan coexisted throughout the area. But with sixteenth-century Spanish colonization and eventual settlements here, tensions flared between colonists and Indian nations.

The region underwent more dramatic change in the aftermath of the 1821 Mexican Revolution in which Mexico overthrew Spanish rule. Manifest Destiny motivated the arrival of land-seeking …

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Principled Protest

February 19, 1942—a day that should live in infamy. It was the day that United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order #9066 allowing military authorities to EXCLUDE anyone from anywhere without trial or hearings. It led to the removal of all Japanese Americans, citizens and aliens alike, from the West Coast and into concentration camps in the interior of our country. We lost our businesses, our possessions, our homes, our friends and neighbors. However, it was not the material losses or the physical deprivation that was so devastating. It was instead the humiliation that was the most demoralizing …

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Betrayal on Trial: Japanese American "Treason" in World War II - Part 4 of 4

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II. Law, Loyalty, and the “Permanent Source of Moral Danger”

The treason trial of the Shitara sisters in 1944 is admittedly but one episode in the American legal history of treason. It is dangerous to reach for broad conclusions about treason law from a sample size of one. As it happens, however, the leading theoretical work on law and loyalty identifies the precise dangers of error and oppression that plagued the prosecution of the Shitara sisters. This theoretical work has largely been done by two philosophers—Alisdair MacIntyre and George P. Fletcher.

A. Alisdair MacIntyre: Loyalty as a …

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Four Hirabayashi Cousins: A Question of Identity - Part 2 of 5

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Grant Jiro Hirabayashi

Grant Jiro Hirabayashi was born in November 1919. He was named after the Rev. Ulysses Grant Murphy, a Methodist minister and former missionary to Japan who befriended the Mukyokai group. Grant’s father, Toshiharu, was considered the most knowledgeable among the Mukyokai fellowship, since he had attended academy in Hotaka longer than any of the others. Grant’s early religious exposure came from his family setting: “My parents made sure we went to church. I had at least three Bibles for perfect attendance so there was something passed on; the twelve years I spent here left …

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Records at the National Archives—Rocky Mountain Region Relating to the Japanese American Internment Experience

The wartime removal of 110,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans living along the West Coast of the United States to internment camps situated in remote areas in the country’s interior, formally initiated when President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, was a sweeping act that continues to have ramifications for individuals, families, communities and the national conscience. The relocation process carried out by the federal government resulted in the creation of many “official records” which can now be found among the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The NARA, as the nation’s record-keeper, is …

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draft resisters E09066 Eric Muller executive order 9066 fair play committee heart mountain org:janm Shitara sisters trial World War II Yosh Kuromiya