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March 12, 1982 - Image 5

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-03-12

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, March 12, 1982-Page 5

Local minister recalls internment

Japanese -
*American
remembers
evacuation'
By NATHANIEL WARSHAY
As most of the world community
shudders at the memory of such places
as Auschwitz, Dachau, and Treblinka,
the Japanese-American community
also shudders at the memory of Tula
Lake, Gila Lake, and Topaz-places not
in Germany, but in California, Arizona,
and Utah.
The memory for Japanese-
Americans is also of "concentration
camps," recalls Rev. Jitsuo Morikawa,
who was interned at the Potsan
Relocation Center in Arizona, and who
now is the minister of the First Baptist
Church on East Huron in Ann Arbor.
AMERICANS OF Japanese descent
were already living in uncertainty
when war was declared between Japan
and the United States in December
1941, according to Morikawa. The ap-
prehension proved to be warranted
when, in the spring of 1942 under orders
from President Franklin Roosevelt,
government officials began rounding
up Japanese-Americans for Internment
in "relocation centers." A War
Relocation Authority document written
in 1943 called the forced relocation "one
of the largest controlled migrations in
history."
Morikawa was evacuated in April
1942 with his wife. At that time, the
Immigration Act of 1934 was still in for-
ce. Under this Act, Japanese who were
not born American citizens could not
become naturalized. Morikawa, then
living in Los Angeles, was born in
Canada and was not allowed to become
an American citizen.
WHEN MORIKAWA was interned, he
was told that he had to dispose of his
property. He and his wife were allowed
to keep 50 lbs. of luggage, or the
equivalent, he said, of what a couple
would take on a week-long vacation.
They were then taken to the desert with
other Japanese-Americans.
When they arrived, they were
separated into groups of five to seven
people and placed in single room
dwellings. According to Morikawa, his
group of seven "existed together for six
months" out of his 18-month inter-
nment.
Those who were ordered to relocate
had absolutely no recourse. "We simply
were ordered to go," :Morikawa said.,
All sorts of reasons were given to the in-

76-GUIDE is looking for students to work
as paid peer counselors during the 1982-83 school
year. Duties include leading workshops and provid-
ing personal telephone counseling.
Applications are available from 8:00-5:00, M-F at Counseling
Services, 3100 Michigan Union beginning March 10 and ore
due on March 24. For further information call 76-Guide.
OPEN MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY AND SATURDAY
9:30 AM UNTIL 5:30 PM THURSDAY AND FRIDAY
9:30 AM UNTIL 9:00 PM
VERSATILE
WAIST WRAPS'

ternees, he said. One of the major ones
given was, "This is a matter of military
necessity."
ACCORDING TO official U.S.
documents, the government claimed
the internment was necessary because
"at that time, with invasion of the west
coast looming as an imminent
possibility, the Western Defense Com-
mand of the United States Army
decided that the military situation
required the removal of all persons of
Japanese ancestry from a broad
coastal strip."
This coastal strip included all of
California, the western half of Oregon
and Washington, and the southern third
of Arizona. Although it feared a
possible invasion of the "coastal strip,"
the WRA did not intern Japanese-
Americans in Hawaii.
The constitutionality of the inter-
nment program was upheld by the U.S.
See JAPANESE, Page 8

GRADUATE ASSISTANTS WANTED
in Eastern Michigan University
English Department
Get good teaching experience,while working toward an M.A.
$1575 per semester, plus 8 hours free tuition per semester.
r-or intormation call Donald Lawniczak or Judith Johnson,
487-1363 or 487-4220.
For application forms write:
Director of Graduate Studies
English Department
Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI 48147
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER

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SIX FLATTERING WAYS TO WEAR A WRAP
The scarf-sash defines the waist for spring
any number of ways... with less structure and
more softness. To drape the hip, to bow or tie
in front, in back or to the side, to twist around
the waist. Choose from solids and prints in
cotton and cotton blends...from wide sashes
that double as shawls, to pleated and boned
cummerbunds that accent the season's

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