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The Little Known History of Japanese Internment on Angel Island



Months before the coronavirus outbreak bay curious received a question from a listener wanting to know about what happened on Angel Island during World War. Two turns out the island played a very specific role in the internment of Japanese-americans. Though very few people know much about it reporter. Cecilia lay headed to the island to learn more. It's a picturesque pre pandemic Sunday morning in San Francisco when a border fairy to Ireland under way. The last time I visited the island was during middle school field trip. They learned about the Chinese exclusion. Act Saw the poems that Chinese immigrants had carved onto the walls. But I didn't learn anything about the Japanese being held here during World War Two. So I'm on my way to meet the only expert who knows this part of the island's little known history house and me any and that's what the immigrants were classified as and also a number of the drop in on Grant Din who is teaching Angel Islands Own tour guides about the internment of Japanese residents. That happened here my name is Scranton. I'm a volunteer with the Angel and the Immigration Station Foundation. Seventy eight years ago after Pearl Harbor had broken out and president. Franklin D Roosevelt signed executive order nine. Oh six which authorized the rounding up of Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans who were citizens into relocation camps in one thousand nine hundred eighty two Japanese residents all along the west coast were arrested because the US government suspected that many of them had allegiances to Japan and could secretly be working on their behalf. Fishermen had every opportunity to watch the movement of our ships. Japanese farmers were living close to vital aircraft plants. So as a first step all. Japanese were required to move from critical areas. Such these more than one hundred ten thousand Japanese American civilians including children hatch abandon their homes and businesses. We're taking two racetracks fairgrounds for the army. Almost overnight had build assembly center. They lived here until new. Pioneer communities could be completed on federally owned lands in the Interior. They were relocated to remote camps throughout the US surrounded by armed guards and barbed wire. They lived like this for the duration of the war. About two thirds of them. Were born right here in the US and then there was another group people the US government considered to be the biggest threat and the most dangerous. This is the group that grants researched all the people who are rounded up during this program by the Department of Justice by the FBI were Japanese immigrants and so by that means they were considered enemy aliens. Unlike the other Japanese civilian internees a majority of these quotes enemy. Aliens were men who were born in Japan. They faced interogations and were separated from their families during their internment. These men were singled out because the government had been keeping an eye on them for a while as far back as five years before Japan. Bombed Pearl Harbor even before World War. Two broke out. There were dossiers being kept on Japanese immigrants who are in this country both in Hawaii and on the mainland the FBI was watching anyone who had close ties to Japan or held prominent roles in the Japanese community. Buddhist priests language schoolteachers shopkeepers. Newspaper editors anyone who was considered a leader or expert in Japanese culture especially martial arts. I found several cases of people who are in Kendo or judo and so they went to Japan for meats and so they were often put on the list of potential saboteurs. The rounding up of these Japanese residents happened very quickly. Homes were raided without warrants. Papers were confiscated about seventeen thousand. Total Japanese immigrants were arrested and seven hundred of them were from the West Coast. Mostly from Hawaii sent here to the bay area to Angel Island.

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