SHSND Home > North Dakota History > Unit 6: Hard Times and War, 1929-1945 > The Internment Diary of Toyojiro Suzuki > Activity 1

Unit 6: Set 3. The Internment Diary of Toyojiro Suzuki - Activity 1

Introduction | Personae | Study Guide | Suzuki's Diary | Activity 1 | Activity 2 | Images

Discussion

  1. How does Suzuki describe the day of his detention by Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents? Read a contemporary newspaper account of the evacuation of Japanese Americans at http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist8/evac1.html. Compare the Suzukis experience with the newspaper account. Why are they different?
  1. How did Suzuki, his fellows from the Brittania Maru, and the other internees organize themselves at Fort Lincoln? How did the arrival of other internees from other places impact their social order?
  1. On 30 April 1942, Suzuki says that the internees discuss the impact of world events on their situation. What might they have been thinking about the course of the war? What did the news of the Pacific front mean for them and their families?
  1. In May, 1942 Suzuki was interrogated by Fort Lincoln officials. His interrogation was easy, but Mr. Sumi was savagely beaten. Why were they treated differently? How did the internees respond to Mr. Sumi’s beating? Was their solution satisfactory? Did it diminish the anger that swept through the camp upon hearing of the beating?
  1. Many of the internees at Fort Lincoln were “renunciators” – men who had declared that they would relinquish (or renounce) US citizenship and move to Japan as soon as they could leave. Is Mr. Suzuki a renunciator?
  1. Suzuki's diary gives us a close-up view of the US preparing for war. Was the nation ready in 1942 to fight an international war on two fronts? Support your answer with evidence from the diary.

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