Mrs. Moritz's 9th Honors English

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

6th Hour Manzanar Scribe

We started off the class looking at the last t-shirt that was left. After this we talked about "Farewell to Manzanar", and talked about why sand could get into their cabins. This was because their floors had so many holes. Then we talked about how we have a bad conception of what Asians eat and how the book makes fun of us for this. Ms. Moritz then handed us a sheet to read, the sheet had the orders given to Japanese people telling them that they needed to get ready to move to camps. Then on the same sheet we read the back, which was a letter from someone in a camp explaining what it was like in there. Then we talked about celebrities, and how people act like they know who they are when they really don't. After this we read up to page 59 in our book.s Friday we have a substitute and Ms. Moritz asked us to lead the discussion then. The homework was to finish reading to page 59.

Read the following passages that occur in the beginning of the book. What do you think of them? How do they make you feel? What emotions have you experienced since beginning this novel and how do you feel about this part of American History? How can we prevent this from happening again?

"It is sobering to recall that though the Japanese relocation program, carried through such incalculable costs in misery and tragedy, was justified on the ground that the Japanese were potentially disloyal, the record does not disclose a single case of Japanese disloyalty or sabotage during the whole war..."
Harper Magazine, 1947

Life has left her footprints on my forehead
But I have become a child again this morning
The smile, seen through leaves and flowers,
is back, to smooth
Away the wrinkles
As the rains wipe away footprints
on the beach. Again a
Cycle of birth and death begins.
Viet Nam Poems, 1967


  • Ok I just read some of 1st hours posts, and I know they probably wont read this, and others dont know what they said but I completely agree with them.
    To read about what Americans did to fellow americans makes me terribly sad, and whenever I hear the words internment, or concentration camps I always think about the Holocaust. I think its really sad that we were trying to win a war over in Germany to get Jews out of camps, when back here we were doing the same thing to our citizens. The person from the magazine kind of has the same opinion as me. We just dont get how we as "Americans" could betray our own people.
    I think as far as preventing it again, we have to be able to trust people. For example, not everyone from middle eastern descent is a terrorist and we have to trust that. Now if there were reasons to support them being a terrorist that would be a different issue, but stereotyping an entire group of people is just not right.

    By Blogger NatalieJ, at 2:53 PM  

  • It's kind of a ridiculous position we put these people in. To be uprooted from your home and placed in these camps where you are fed food that you would never normally eat, and then to wake up the next morning covered in fine sand and dust, all in the name of fighting something similiar, if not as terrible, as this.

    Some of the things I read about make me laugh, like the food issue mentioned above, and when they're trying to guess what they'll have for breakfast. Som of them make me sad, like how they have absolutely no privacy, and some of them make me feel crazy. I have four younger siblings and both my parents living in the same, HUGE house with me, and goodness knows sometimes I can't stand having that many people. I would go crazy if I had to live with them in that small area Moritz pointed out to us today in class.

    In response to Natalie:

    Trust is such a fragile thing, hard to gain and easy to lose. Suspicion is a natural part of humans, and it's difficult to override that because we are interested in protecting ourselves first, and not about what happens to the other person or group. I agree, we must learn trust, but I think that's easier said than done.

    I also think that many parts of our culture revolve around how Americans are the best, the strongest, the most just of all the people in the world. We don't teach elemtary kids about things like this, because we want to promote our nationalistic views to them before saying, "oh, yeah, and by the way we did all these bad things like imprisoning innocent people and saying we were interning them, etc." Isn't it almost kind of Aryan, the way we promote ourselves as the master culture? And it's that mentality that brings us to what Natalie was saying, about how Americans can't fathom betraying our own people.

    By Blogger JoanneH, at 3:40 PM  

  • I totally agree with Natalie. It was absolutly horrible that we would beat up the Germans for the concentration camps, when we were do the same thing, with absolutly no justification. Like the article said, there was no record saying that the japanese-americans were going to sabatoge or endanger the United States. Its just like the letter we read in class, people act crazy during a war.

    In class today we discussed what we would do we were to get a letter telling us we would leave, and it hit me: i couldn't do it. I would not be able to, in a days notice, just pick up and leave. For me it would be impossible, and i have no idea how these people were able to. Its a next to impossible request from the government.

    Like Joanne said, Mrs. Moritz showed us the size room the people were given. They were these closet sized rooms which would house about six people. I would go CRAZY. I need my space. I cannot even comprehend how they could have done it. They must be really patient. And its not just the rooms, its everything they were faced to endure. It drives me crazy sometimes that we were so rude to people that did NOTHING wrong.

    By Blogger haleycc, at 3:55 PM  

  • I think bath are outstanding. They are so deep and i can't imaging what heart it takes to write them, especially the poem. The first one make me feel depressed taht this had to happen to the Japanese when all were loyal to America and never showed signs of betrayal. THis is also how i have felt through out the book. Although these are not concentration camps, this is what probably led to concentrationg camps and that is a scary thing to think about. I know that this will never happen again because children are learning about this in history class and American regretted this afterwards. Also we could have put people of middle eastern dissent into relocation camps after 9/11 but that didn't happen and i think that definatelu shows how the US has grown and that it will never happen again.

    By Blogger tneal8, at 5:25 PM  

  • When I first learned that the Japanese internment camps had existed (which was amazingly this year) I was utterly shocked. I could not believe that just because Japan had carried out the act of bombing Pearl Harbor, we took our own American citizens and put them basically into a prison. The housing and living conditions they had in the camps were also shocking. I couldn't believe how six people, who often did not know each other, would have to coexist in a tiny room!

    I was honestly kind of embarassed by the U.S. response, putting people of Japanese descent into camps. I feel like so many terrible things had happened during WWII that the world as a whole should learn from (Holocaust, internment camps, atomic bombs, etc.).

    Hopefully, by learning our lessons from our past mistakes, we can prevent this from happening again.

    By Blogger jordancard, at 5:28 PM  

  • sorry this is right after i posted my answer but i have a response to natalie's comment:

    we weren't doing the same thing that the Nazi's were doing to the jews in the concentration camps and were weren't fighting in Germany/Europe because of the concentration camps. The thing is that no body knew what was happening to the Jews. We had no idea that there were concentration camps that were pretty much death camps. The wolr found out about this after the camps were released and the Russians first saw the horrors of everything. I am not supporting the Relocation camps, but they were totally different from the holocaust. Yes it was wrong, but its not like we were starving people to death and the Japanese weren't sent there to die like the Jewish people were in Europe. They were sent there to protect the US(which was a wrong assumption) from possible spies. YOu should never take people hostage or relocate them just becasue of their dissent./ You should only do this if you have clear evidense that they might be guilty. It was very wrong but still totally different from what Hitler and the Nazi's were doing.

    By Blogger tneal8, at 5:32 PM  

  • I thought the poem was very pretty.

    This was a horrible thing to do to the Japanese. Simply because of a paranoia, the government thought they could round up a whole poputlation of people and stick thenk into small camps in the middle of nowhere. Not only that, but the United States was continuing it's streak of hypocrasy. We looked down upon the Germans for putting the Jews in concentration camps, but we turn right around and quietly shove all the Japanese together.

    I don't think something to this degree will happen again in the United States, but it could happen elsewhere in the United States. The only thing that fuels these actions is ignorance.

    By Blogger Rachel L, at 5:59 PM  

  • I am ashamed of our country during this part of our countries history. We were fighting a war against Nazi Germany who during this time were discriminating against the Jewish race. Our country was fighting this evil, and while we are, we turn around and do the same thing to the Japanese [well the USA does not kill them off or torture them but you get my point]. These articles and poems make me feel awful for the things we did to these people just because we potentially thought they were dangerous. This book shows the readers what really happened and how these poelpe were treated with disrespect. Since the Japanese hold a great sense of pride and respect this was a heart breaker for them. I hope we will think out our plans and not place blame on a certain race the next time. I hope we have learned our lesson.

    By Blogger kayla f, at 1:28 PM  

  • I don't have much to say about those two quotes, but I think that America has turned a blind eye toward this whole horrible event. I think that America as a whole should learn more about the Japanese internment camps and the Japanese who endured the whole ordeal should be given some sort of recognition and we should give them a true, heart felt, apology. The only way to keep an event like this from happening again is to make sure everyone knows about it and has seen the consequences of this terrible blemish on the American society. Also, considering that two of the worst pieces of American have involved the Japanese (the nuclear bombs and internment camps); I think Japanese-Americans deserve more respect and liberty not only from the American Government, but also from the American people.

    By Blogger goodriddance, at 6:32 PM  

  • I agree with natalie j, isnt it kind of ironic that we can feel so bad for jewish people and others in Hitler's concentration camps, when we had our own camps sort of like his. I know the situation was different and we treated the Japanese here alot better than the jews were treated over there, but its still the same main idea and its funny that we can be so hypocritic.

    By Blogger hmadsen, at 6:59 PM  

  • I do agree with Natalie J. Whenever I hear these kind of stories, it reminds me of the Holocaust. All those people were humiliated and they had no freedom or even any respect. We said that we learned from the Nazis to not treat human beings that way, but we turned right around and did the same thing to them. It is just not right.

    By Blogger clewis, at 1:38 PM  

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