It was also striking to see this object in person, because it solidified many of the things I have learned about the actions of Japanese Americans during the complicated and tumultuous time that defined WWII across the globe and within the United States. I have always heard of the admirable acts of loyalty by Japanese Americans in the face of fear, but only when I saw the Purple Heart did that fact come to be so significant for me. It was the actions of individuals, and their noble character that made up the history of all Japanese Americans.
My second favorite objects were the artifacts from the camps. The small handcrafted birds from Topaz and other internment camps were significant because they are physical proof of the resilience of Japanese Americans who were interned.
A few objects that we recently found in the archive are athletic uniforms from Japanese American Chicagoans who migrated to the Midwest after being released from the Internment Camps. These objects are significant to Japanese American history as they represent the activities of the Japanese Americans as a community after being displaced by the forced relocation and internment.
|It may look backwards, but it opens up like a classic |
Japanese book from left to right
These books are very well organized and made from high quality paper making our accessioning process very easy, as we do not have to worry about the storage of the photos. My family does not have many photos of our ancestors as our family's migration to the United States occurred many generations ago. Seeing these photos of other Japanese families who have relocated to Chicago like my own are especially interesting. Most of the photos depict humble farm - tending families, as most of the Japanese people that sought to migrate to the U.S. were from humble backgrounds. Some however, appear to be more affluent, or have very extensive families with many children and grandparents. These are intriguing because they show the diverse backgrounds of Japanese American families.