Uprooted! Japanese Americans During WWII

Through photographs and artifacts – including crafts and other artwork made in the internment camps – this exhibit surveys a century of Japanese American history in California.

Visitors will learn that Japanese immigrants and their American-born children built thriving communities, established farms and businesses, and contributed to California’s prosperity. But over the decades, they often faced hostility and discrimination from members of the state’s Caucasian population. The most notable offense against them, of course, was their forced internment during World War II. Visitors can imagine life behind barbed wire as they enter a recreated barracks under a scale model of a guard tower, and marvel at the ingenuity of internees who could turn discarded fruit crates into finely crafted furniture.

The exhibit continues the story through the 1980s, showing how, after the war, the former internees overcame lingering prejudices as they worked to reestablish their lives and communities. Later, they undertook a successful quest for redress of their wartime losses.

The artifacts on display are drawn primarily from the Japanese American Archival Collection at California State University, Sacramento.

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