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LESSON / UNIT TITLE: Japanese Internment During World War II (Study of the Novel Farewell to Manzanar)

Teacher Name(s): Julie Quick

School District: Montoursville Area School District

Building: Montoursville Area High School

Grade Level: 10

Subject: U. S. History

Time Required: 4 class periods taught in conjunction with English teacher Miss Michelle Hopkins

Lesson/Unit Summary (2-3 sentence synopsis):
The four lessons included in this lesson plan are taught in conjunction with the English 10 teacher. Students will read, analyze, discover, and compare primary sources to the novel, Farewell to Manzanar, a Japanese-American’s view of treatment during World War Two.

Essential Question for Lesson/Unit

Do you think it was a “military necessity” to remove and imprison Japanese-Americans during World War II?

Pennsylvania Academic Standards Addressed in Lesson/Unit
CC.8.5- Reading Informational Text- Students will read, understand, and respond to informational text- with emphasis on comprehension, making connections among ideas and between texts with focus on textual evidence.
CC.8.6- Writing- Students will write for different purposes and audiences. Students will write clear and focused text to convey a well-defined perspective and appropriate content.

Lesson/Unit Objectives
Students will explore the treatment of Japanese-Americans during WWI by reading the novel, Farewell to Manzanar and related primary sources.
Students will research and explore how Japanese-Americans were removed and treated during WWII.

Vocabulary/Key Terms for Lesson/Unit

Executive Order

Concentration Camp


Historical Background for Teachers / Research Narrative

Japanese Internment during World War II

As the United States looks for trade opportunities during the 1850s, Commodore Matthew Perry forces trade with Japan. Japan is forced to open its doors to many western countries. Soon after, Japan rapidly industrializes as a coping mechanism to deal with the outside influence. This Meiji Restoration brought social disruption and agricultural decline to the country. Japanese are soon jobless and even poorer than before. The Japanese are lured to the United States looking for peace, prosperity, and a stable family life, all things Japan could not offer them.

By 1900, there are fewer than 25,000 Japanese living in the United States. Soon after, the number blossoms to over 100,000. Japanese are finding work in California’s canneries, mines, and migratory laborers in the farm fields. Many Japanese even found themselves as business owners and fisherman. By 1920, the Japanese control over 450,000 acres in California and producing 10% of the total crops in the state. Americans became wary of the Japanese as more and more “outsiders” made their way to the United States. Americans began to organize campaigns to limit Japanese immigration and obtaining citizenship. Labor unions saw the Japanese as an enemy to workers, menace to women, and as a factor corrupting American society. The United States government gave in to the demands of the nativists (people who favor native-born over immigrants). The Alien Land Law prevented the Japanese from owning land as well as obtaining citizenship. The Immigration Act of 1924 ends Japanese immigration almost completely.

The Japanese were outraged by the actions that were taken against them. After all, the Japanese saw themselves as Americans and hard workers contributing to the economy of both the United States and California. Many times the Japanese who did own land, simply registered the land in their child’s name, who just happened to be an American citizen since they were born in the US. Many times the Japanese even took loyalty oaths created by the Japanese-American Citizens League:

“I am proud that I am an American citizen of Japanese ancestry, for my background makes me appreciate more fully the wonderful advantages of this nation. ‘I pledge myself’ to defend her against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Unfortunately, this simple oath was not going to be enough. On December 7, 1941, the nation of Japan attacked the United States territory of Hawaii. The Japanese living in the United States were in grave danger. Many Americans became suspicious of the Japanese once again. Americans questioned loyalty. Many thought the Japanese were spies, saboteurs, enemy agents. As a result, the United States security rounded up Japanese businessmen, journalists, teachers, and civil offers labeling them as “security risks.” Soon over 2,000 Issei (Japanese-American citizens) and leaders found themselves behind jail bars. The Japanese were forced out of jobs and were subjected to warrantless searches and seizures.

What happened soon after, no Japanese-American could fathom. Executive Order 9066, ordered by President Franklin D Roosevelt, evacuated any and all persons from “military areas.” The United States would provide accommodations in relocation camps inland. The United States government moved over 100,000 people of Japanese decent within one year of the attack on Pearl Harbor. By the end of World War Two, more than 125,000, mostly children, were living in relocation camps set up by the United States government.

The Japanese-Americans living during World War Two faced tumult and uncertainty. Generally, the Japanese living in California were given approximately one week to pack up or sell their belongings and wrap up all their business ties. Because the move occurred so quickly, the Japanese had to sell their belongings sometimes for pennies. Soon, they were loaded on trains and were taken inland bound for prison-like camps surrounded by barbed wire in Idaho, Arizona, Arkansas, and California.

These interments camps were the new home for many Japanese Americans. Many times there was no running water, a huge mess hall serving unappetizing food, and public restrooms. Schools were created by the inhabitants, business bloomed, and the people created their own gardens, sports teams, newspapers, and worship halls. This was an attempt to create a comfortable living space by a group of people who refused to give up. To protest their internment, many Neisi men enlisted in the United States military as a method to show their loyalty. However, many were barred from service.

It is not until V-J Day when the Japanese Americans are able to leave the camps. Many lost all their worldly possessions and have nothing to return to. No home, no possessions, no jobs. However, the robust group refused to give in and did start their return to California to resume jobs in canneries, fisheries, and some even started their businesses over. The Supreme Court eventually hears arguments over the “military necessity” and the constitutionality of the Japanese internment in the Supreme Court case of Korematsu v United States. In a 6-3 decision the Supreme Court sided with the US government and stated that the treat of espionage outweighed individual rights and the rights of Americans of Japanese descent.

Works Cited:

"Immigration...Japanese: Introduction - For Teachers (Library of Congress)." Immigration...Japanese: Introduction - For Teachers (Library of Congress). N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2012.


Instructional Prodedures and Activities

Students will read the novel, Farewell to Manzanar with their tenth grade English class.

Day 1: Students will SOAP the primary source, Executive Order 9066 and answer the question: Does this Executive Order fit in with Franklin Roosevelt’s style?

Day 2: Students will SOAP loyalty oaths the Japanese Americans were required to take. Were the loyalty oaths really “military necessity”?

Day 3: Students will read excerpts from the novel and compare the excerpts to primary sources of photographs taken by the US government. Is there a difference between eyewitness reports and the reports of the government?

Day 4: Students will analyze the Supreme Court case of Korematsu v United States

Suggested Strategies for Differentiating Instruction

Modified Readings

Assessment of Student Learning (Formative and Summative)

Formative Assessments: Worksheets and SOAP worksheets

Summative Assessments: Paragraph/short essay answering essential question: Do you think it was a “military necessity” to remove and intern the Japanese-Americans during World War II?

Materials and Resources*

*Refer also to Auxiliary Materials at the end of this Unit Plan

Novel: Farewell to Manzanar, by Jeanne Houston and James D. Houston, Houghton-Mifflin, 1973.

Executive Order 9066 (http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=74&page=transcript)

Loyalty Oaths

Photos of the internment camps: (http://www.google.com/search?q=photos+of+japanese+internment+camps&hl=en&tbo=u&rlz=1T4GGNI_enUS512US512&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=axYAUdH_EePS0wHSl4CYAg&ved=0CDAQsAQ&biw=1129&bih=581 )

Supreme Court Case of Korematsu v United States http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0323_0214_ZO.html

Author(s) of Unit/Lesson Plan

Julie A Quick, Montoursville Area School District, Montoursville PA

Auxiliary Materials

Executive Order 9066: The President Authorizes Japanese Relocation

In an atmosphere of World War II hysteria, President Roosevelt, encouraged by officials at all levels of the federal government, authorized the internment of tens of thousands of American citizens of Japanese ancestry and resident aliens from Japan. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, dated February 19, 1942, gave the military broad powers to ban any citizen from a fifty- to sixty-mile-wide coastal area stretching from Washington state to California and extending inland into southern Arizona. The order also authorized transporting these citizens to assembly centers hastily set up and governed by the military in California, Arizona, Washington state, and Oregon. Although it is not well known, the same executive order (and other war-time orders and restrictions) were also applied to smaller numbers of residents of the United States who were of Italian or German descent. For example, 3,200 resident aliens of Italian background were arrested and more than 300 of them were interned. About 11,000 German residents—including some naturalized citizens—were arrested and more than 5000 were interned. Yet while these individuals (and others from those groups) suffered grievous violations of their civil liberties, the war-time measures applied to Japanese Americans were worse and more sweeping, uprooting entire communities and targeting citizens as well as resident aliens.

Executive Order No. 9066

The President

Executive Order

Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas

Whereas the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material, national-defense premises, and national-defense utilities as defined in Section 4, Act of April 20, 1918, 40 Stat. 533, as amended by the Act of November 30, 1940, 54 Stat. 1220, and the Act of August 21, 1941, 55 Stat. 655 (U.S.C., Title 50, Sec. 104);

Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deems such action necessary or desirable, to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion. The Secretary of War is hereby authorized to provide for residents of any such area who are excluded therefrom, such transportation, food, shelter, and other accommodations as may be necessary, in the judgment of the Secretary of War or the said Military Commander, and until other arrangements are made, to accomplish the purpose of this order. The designation of military areas in any region or locality shall supersede designations of prohibited and restricted areas by the Attorney General under the Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, and shall supersede the responsibility and authority of the Attorney General under the said Proclamations in respect of such prohibited and restricted areas.

I hereby further authorize and direct the Secretary of War and the said Military Commanders to take such other steps as he or the appropriate Military Commander may deem advisable to enforce compliance with the restrictions applicable to each Military area hereinabove authorized to be designated, including the use of Federal troops and other Federal Agencies, with authority to accept assistance of state and local agencies.

I hereby further authorize and direct all Executive Departments, independent establishments and other Federal Agencies, to assist the Secretary of War or the said Military Commanders in carrying out this Executive Order, including the furnishing of medical aid, hospitalization, food, clothing, transportation, use of land, shelter, and other supplies, equipment, utilities, facilities, and services.

This order shall not be construed as modifying or limiting in any way the authority heretofore granted under Executive Order No. 8972, dated December 12, 1941, nor shall it be construed as limiting or modifying the duty and responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with respect to the investigation of alleged acts of sabotage or the duty and responsibility of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice under the Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, prescribing regulations for the conduct and control of alien enemies, except as such duty and responsibility is superseded by the designation of military areas hereunder.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

The White House,

February 19, 1942.

1. What is the purpose of Executive Order 9066? How does FDR plan to achieve that purpose? Do

you believe the ends justify the means? Explain.

2. This Executive Order was used to intern primarily Japanese‐Americans; however, race is never

mentioned. Who is given the power to make the determination of military areas and do you

think Caucasians living in those areas would have been evacuated? Why or why not?

3. If this order only refers to one particular race what part of the Constitution would it violate?


4. Article II gives the president the role of Commander‐in‐Chief of the armed forces; does the

threat of sabotage give him the right to incarcerate 122,000 Japanese Americans without

charge? Explain.

5. Executive Order 9066 wasn’t fully repealed until 1976 by President Ford. Since the order was

vague how could have it been used again prior to that date? and Since then, had it not been repealed?

Title of the Non-Fiction work:______________________________________________


Date of Publication:_____________________________________________________

Source –What type of source/document is it (newspaper, magazine, map, advertisement, letter, telegram, report, journal, photo, film, etc?)

Occasion – What is the time and place of the piece? What is the situation that encouraged the author to write this?

Audience – Who are the group of readers to whom this piece is directed?

Purpose – What is the author’s purpose in writing this piece?





Please summarize below the non-fiction work you read in one to three sentences.

Choose three of the following sentence starters and write a brief reflection for each (one to three sentences). (If you need more room to write, simply attach a separate sheet of paper to this one.)

I noticed…

I wonder…

I was reminded of…

I think…

I was surprised that…

I’d like to know…

I realized…

If I were…

The central issue(s) is (are)…

One consequence of ______ could be _____...

I’m not sure…

Although it seems…

Amache (Granada), CO -Opened: August 24, 1942. Closed: October 15, 1945. Peak population: 7,318.
Gila River, AZ- Opened July 20, 1942. Closed November 10, 1945.Peak Population 13,348.  
Heart Mountain, WY- Opened August 12, 1942.Closed November 10, 1945. Peak population 10,767.
Jerome, AR      - Opened October 6, 1942. Closed June 30, 1944. Peak population 8,497
Manzanar, CA  - Opened March 21, 1942. Closed November 21, 1945. Peak population 10,046.
Minidoka, ID    - Opened August 10, 1942. Closed October 28, 1945. Peak population 9,397
Poston, AZ      - Opened May 8, 1942. Closed November 28, 1945. Peak population 17,814
Rohwer, AR     - Opened September 18, 1942. Closed November 30, 1945. Peak population 8,475
Topaz, UT       - Opened September 11, 1942. Closed October 31, 1945. Peak population 8,130
Tule Lake, CA - Opened May 27, 1942. Closed March 20, 1946. Peak population 18,789

Loyalty Oaths

In 1943 all internees over the age of seventeen were given a loyalty test. They were asked two questions:

1. Are you willing to serve in the armed forces of the United States on combat duty wherever ordered? (Females were asked if they were willing to volunteer for the Army Nurse Corps or Women's Army Corps.)

2. Will you swear unqualified allegiance to the United States of America and faithfully defend the United States from any or all attack by foreign or domestic forces and forswear any form of allegiance or obedience to the Japanese emperor, to any other foreign government, power or organization?

In December 1944 Public Proclamation number 21, which became effective in January 1945, allowed internees to return to their homes. The effects of internment affected all those involved. Some saw the camps as concentration camps and a violation of the writ of Habeas Corpus, others though, saw internment as a necessary result of Pearl Harbor. At the end of the war some remained in the US and rebuilt their lives, others though were unforgiving and returned to Japan.

Title of the Non-Fiction work:______________________________________________


Date of Publication:_____________________________________________________

Source –What type of source/document is it (newspaper, magazine, map, advertisement, letter, telegram, report, journal, photo, film, etc?)

Occasion – What is the time and place of the piece? What is the situation that encouraged the author to write this?

Audience – Who are the group of readers to whom this piece is directed?

Purpose – What is the author’s purpose in writing this piece?





Please summarize below the non-fiction work you read in one to three sentences.

Choose three of the following sentence starters and write a brief reflection for each (one to three sentences). (If you need more room to write, simply attach a separate sheet of paper to this one.)

I noticed…

I wonder…

I was reminded of…

I think…

I was surprised that…

I’d like to know…

I realized…

If I were…

The central issue(s) is (are)…

One consequence of ______ could be _____...

I’m not sure…

Although it seems…

Primary Sources

"It was really cruel and harsh. To pack and evacuate in forty-eight hours was impossibility. Seeing mothers completely bewildered with children crying from want and peddlers taking advantage and offering prices next to robbery made me feel like murdering those responsible without the slightest compunction in my heart."

Joseph Yoshisuke Kurihara speaking of the Terminal Island evacuation.  

They were housed in barracks and had to use communal areas for washing, laundry and eating. It was an emotional time for all. "I remember the soldiers marching us to the Army tank and I looked at their rifles and I was just terrified because I could see this long knife at the end . . . I thought I was imagining it as an adult much later . . . I thought it couldn't have been bayonets because we were just little kids." 

from "Children of the Camps"

November 16, 1942

Dear Miss Breed,

Guess who? Yup it's ole unreliable again, none other than yours truly,

Tetsuzo. Gosh the wind's been blowing all night and all morning. Kinda

threatening to blow the roofs down. Dust is all over the place. Gives

everything a coating of fine dust.

The food has been all right except for quantity...The medical situation

here is pitiful. For that matter in all three camps. The main and the only

hospital is at Camp I 15 miles away. Here in Camp III there is one

young doctor with not too much experience and one student doctor

working in an emergency clinic. They are supposed to take care of

approximately 5000 people!!!! and they (the Big shots) wonder why we

squawk about inadequate medical attention.

No I haven't hiked to the river yet. I'd better do it soon cause there is

going to be a fence around this camp!!!!!! 5 strands of barbed

wire!!!!!!!!!! They say it's to keep the people out. . . . It's also to keep

out cattle. Where in the cattle countries do they use 5 strands of barbed


If they don't watch out there's going to be trouble. What do they think

we are, fools?? At Santa Anita at the time of the riot the armored cars

parked outside of the main gates, pointed the heavy machine guns

inside and then the army had the gall to tell us that the purpose of that

was to keep the white folks from coming in to mob the Japs. Same thing

with the guards on the watch towers. They had their machineguns

pointed at us to protect us from the outsiders, hah, hah, hah, [I'm]

laughing yet.

I am sending you a few things in appreciation for what you have done

for me as well as for my sister and all the rest.... Your name plate I

made from mesquite as are also the lapel pins. However the dark pin is

made from a pine knot from Santa Anita. The rest are all Poston


I've got to close now so that I can make the outgoing mail today.

Very truly yours,


P.S. Have a nice Thanksgiving dinner. TH

P.S. Do you think you could send me some Welch's peanut brittle? TH

1. Which of the restrictions do you find most offensive? Why?

2. If people were allowed to leave the camp during certain hours to work, why would they return?

3. In looking at this list of rules and the U.S. Constitution, what elements of the Constitution would

you argue are violated by these requirements? Explain at least two Constitutional provisions.

4. With the exception of the rule concerning being allowed to leave the camp, this sign could have

been posted at another location in the world in different circumstances. Give at least one

location you can imagine this sign being posted and in comparing the events how does this

make you feel about Japanese Internment?

5. What other information about life in the camps does this photo make you wonder about? What additional information do you need to get a clearer view of what life was like in the camps?

Korematsu v United States Key Excerpts from the Majority & Dissenting Opinions

Korematsu v. the United States. 323 U.S. 214 (1944). http://www.landmarkcases.org/korematsu/home.html. Web.

The decision was 6‐3, and Mr. Justice Black delivered the opinion of the Court:

The petitioner, an American citizen of Japanese descent, was convicted in a federal district court for remaining in San Leandro, California, a "Military Area," contrary to Civilian Exclusion Order No. 34 of the Commanding General of the Western Command, U.S. Army, which directed that after May 9, 1942, all persons of Japanese ancestry should be excluded from that area. No question was raised as to petitioner's loyalty to the United States. The Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed, and the importance of the constitutional question involved caused us to grant certiorari

Exclusion Order No. 34, which the petitioner knowingly and admittedly violated, was one of a number of military orders and proclamations, all of which were substantially based upon Executive Order No. 9066, 7 Fed. Reg. 1407. That order, issued after we were at war with Japan, declared that "the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national‐defense material, national‐defense premises, and national‐defense utilities. . . ."
As is the case with the exclusion order here, that prior curfew order was designed as a "protection against espionage and against sabotage." In Hirabayashi v. United States, we sustained a conviction obtained for violation of the curfew order. … We upheld the curfew order as an exercise of the power of the government to take steps necessary to prevent espionage and sabotage in an area threatened by Japanese attack.
…Here, as in the Hirabayashi case, "... we cannot reject as unfounded the judgment of the military authorities and of Congress that there were disloyal members of that population, whose number and strength could not be precisely and quickly ascertained. We cannot say that the war‐making branches of the Government did not have ground for believing that in a critical hour such persons could not readily be isolated and separately dealt with, and constituted a menace to the national defense and safety, which demanded that prompt and adequate measures be taken to guard against it."
…The judgment that exclusion of the whole group was for the same reason a military imperative answers the contention that the exclusion was in the nature of group punishment based on antagonism to those of Japanese origin. That there were members of the group who retained loyalties to Japan has been confirmed by investigations made subsequent to the exclusion… There was evidence of disloyalty on the part of some, the military authorities considered that the need for action was great, and time was short. We cannot ‐‐ by availing ourselves of the calm perspective of hindsight ‐‐ now say that at that time these actions were unjustified.
…We uphold the exclusion order as of the time it was made and when the petitioner violated it. In doing so, we are not unmindful of the hardships imposed by it upon a large group of American citizens. But hardships are part of war, and war is an aggregation of hardships. All citizens alike, both in and out of uniform, feel the impact of war in greater or lesser measure. Citizenship has its responsibilities as well as its privileges, and in time of war the burden is always heavier. Compulsory exclusion of large groups of citizens from their homes, except under circumstances of direst emergency and peril, is inconsistent with our basic governmental institutions. But when under conditions of modern warfare our shores are threatened by hostile forces, the power to protect must be commensurate with the threatened danger.
Mr. Justice Murphy, dissenting:

This exclusion of "all persons of Japanese ancestry, both alien and non‐alien," from the Pacific Coast area on a plea of military necessity in the absence of martial law ought not to be approved. Such exclusion goes over "the very brink of constitutional power" and falls into the ugly abyss of racism.

In dealing with matters relating to the prosecution and progress of a war, we must accord great respect and consideration to the judgments of the military authorities who are on the scene and who have full knowledge of the military facts…

At the same time, however, it is essential that there be definite limits to military discretion, especially where martial law has not been declared. Individuals must not be left impoverished of their constitutional rights on a plea of military necessity that has neither substance nor support…

…Being an obvious racial discrimination, the order deprives all those within its scope of the equal protection of the laws as guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment. It further deprives these individuals of their constitutional rights to live and work where they will, to establish a home where they choose and to move about freely. In excommunicating them without benefit of hearings, this order also deprives them of all their constitutional rights to procedural due process. Yet no reasonable relation to an "immediate, imminent, and impending" public danger is evident to support this racial restriction which is one of the most sweeping and complete deprivations of constitutional rights in the history of this

nation in the absence of martial law.

… The main reasons relied upon by those responsible for the forced evacuation, therefore, do not prove a reasonable relation between the group characteristics of Japanese Americans and the dangers of invasion, sabotage and espionage. The reasons appear, instead, to be largely an accumulation of much of the misinformation, half‐truths and insinuations that for years have been directed against Japanese Americans by people with racial and economic prejudices ‐‐ the same people who have been among the foremost advocates of the evacuation…

Questions (some adapted from landmarkcases.org)

1. What happened to Korematsu as a result of Executive Order 9906? How did this case get to the Supreme


2. What does the U.S. Constitution say about the respective war powers of the president and Congress?

Does the power of the president as “commander in chief” give him unlimited power to act in time of


3. How does the Supreme Court justify excluding those of Japanese ancestry from “the West Coast war

area”? Cite at least two different arguments from the opinion. How convincing are these arguments?

4. How did the Supreme Court rule in the Korematsu case with regard to President Roosevelt’s use of

presidential power in wartime?

5. Why does Justice Murphy say this is a case of “obvious racial discrimination”? Give at least two different

reasons / pieces of evidence that he provides.

6. How does Justice Murphy refute the claim “disloyalty” claim given in the majority opinion?

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