A Question of Loyalty – online presentation

A QUESTION OF LOYALTY Questions 27 and 28

Presentation & Discussion

Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 7pm – 8:30pm EST

Insights into the Japanese American experience during World War Two and a discussion about the differences between the treatment of Japanese Canadians and Japanese Americans during this time, with Professor Tak Fujitani of the University of Toronto.

In 1943, the War Department and the War Relocation Authority (WRA) joined forces to create a bureaucratic means of assessing the loyalty of all adults in the WRA camps, first, to prepare to extend the draft of the adult male population in camp and, second, to release “loyal” Japanese Americans from the camps for relocation to the non-restricted interior states. The final two questions on the forms created confusion and resentment. (from encyclopedia.densho.org)

A graduate of UC Berkeley, Professor Fujitani comes to U of T from the University of California, San Diego. He has done extensive archival work in researching the history of the questionnaire, viewing the original documents in which internees responded in amazingly creative ways by indicating more than *yes* or *no* concerning loyalty; but asking interrogators about the purpose of the questions, what they would do if they were imprisoned and what loyalty meant to them. In addition to gauging the loyalty of internees the questionnaire was used to assess the loyalty of potential Army recruits.

Professor Fujitani held numerous grants and fellowships, including from the John S. Guggenheim Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, Stanford Humanities Center, and Social Science Research Council. In addition to writing several books, he is editor of the series Asia Pacific Modern (UC Press).

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