Japanese Internment

Objective: Students will observe photographs and watch videos about Japanese Internment, reflect, and formulate a written response.

Directions: Watch the two videos below about Japanese Internment. After each video, write your response to the questions that follow in complete sentences. For extra credit, you may also watch the third video from George Takei.

This assignment is due Thursday, 4/4.


Video 1: “Japanese Relocation” – Released by the United States Government, 1942

  1. What reasons did the U.S. government give in this video for relocating and incarcerating Japanese people?
  2. How does the video portray internment? Positively, negatively? Explain.
  3. Who might have been the audience for this video? How might audiences have responded?
  4. What questions can you develop based on this video? How might you begin to answer the questions, or what other documents might help you find answers?

Video 2: “Japanese Americans Visit A WW2 Incarceration Camp” – Buzzfeed, 2016

  1. How do these teenagers feel about visiting the camp? How does their status as modern Japanese Americans affect their perspective?
  2. How would you compare or contrast Japanese internment camps with your understanding of Nazi concentration camps?
  3. What questions do you still have about Japanese internment? How might you begin to answer these?
  4. After watching these videos, what is your reaction/what are your thoughts about Japanese Internment? Write an extended response to this question.

OPTIONAL EXTRA CREDIT Video 3: “Why I love a country that once betrayed me” – George Takei’s Ted Talk, 2014

  1. Describe at least two details from Takei’s memories and respond personally to them. How do these details make you feel? Do they remind you of anything? What questions do you still have?
  2. How does Takei feel about this part of American history? What reasons does he give? Explain.
  3. Do you think something like this can happen again today? Why or why not?