IMAGES OF

INTERNMENT


Top to Bottom:


1. Sign: "JAPS KEEP MOVING"


2. Camp Tule

Lake, in California, the largest of the relocation camps; it housed 18,000 Japanese Americans—as well as 800 German officers and 150 Italian prisoners of war


3. Life behind barbed wire


4. Barracks-style  dormitory 


5. Family prepared for relocation


6. Children in the camps

the American way, the loyalty of the “Nisei Kid”

remains suspect because of his ethnicity. 


Grade Levels: Middle School and High School


Objective:

The student will be able to demonstrate knowledge of the major causes and effects of American involvement in World War II; describe the impact of World War II on the home front; analyze the factors that led to the internment of Japanese Americans; research and describe the characteristics of life at an internment camp.


Time Allotted: Depending on class length. One 90 minute class or two 45 minute classes. 


Vocabuluary: nisei, surrender, loyalties, consistently, internment


Make the Connection:

The story “9066” follows in the long comic book tradition of inserting superheroes into the events of American history. During the 1930s and 1940s, also known as the “Golden Age” of comic books, it was common to see heroes such as Superman and Captain America battling Nazis alongside the Allies. Rather than having their fictional superhero join the fight against the Axis forces, the creators of “9066” cast their hero as a victim of his own government’s actions. Named after President Roosevelt’s executive order that interned 120,000 Japanese Americans, “9066” shows that even the superpowerful are powerless against the forces of

hate and paranoia. 

Background:

When films, stories, or books discuss American involvement in World War II, the topics typically include the attack on Pearl Harbor, the storming of the beaches of Normandy and the dropping of atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. However, one event often gets overlooked in the history books: the forced relocation and incarceration of Japanese Americans by official act of the United States government. This wartime action, directed by Executive Order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and carried out by the U.S. military, led to nearly 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent being displaced from their homes and brought under guard to 10 relocation camps scattered throughout the western part of the country. 


Rationale:

The story “9066” in Secret Identities reflects on this dark period in American history through the lens of the superhero story. In it, an unnamed crimefighter, who refers to himself self-deprecatingly as "just a Nisei kid flying by the seat of his pants,” is one of a number of specially talented individuals who have donned costume to defend justice and protect the nation in an era corresponding to the “Golden Age” of comic book history, the early to mid 1930s. It is implied, but not stated that he is the first Asian American to "don the mask" of the superhero—or at least the first to win the acceptance of his peers and the American public. After the events of December 7, 1941, however, he is singled out by his contemporaries and imprisoned alongside hundreds of thousands of other Japanese Americans. Despite his heroism and commitment to truth, justice, and