Japanese Internment Camps Essay Topics

+ All Japanese Internment Camps Essays:

  • The Problems With Refugee Detention Camps
  • Conflict Occurs Between the Powerful and the Powerless
  • Japanese History and Culture
  • Japanese Poetry: Haiku
  • Recruitment and Selection: Comparative Management (Recruitment and Selection Process) Between American-Style and Japanese-Style
  • Comparing Novel and Film Version of Snow Falling on Cedars
  • Race As A Social Construct
  • Japanese Economic Development Post World War Ii
  • Double Victory: A Multicultural History of America in World War II by Ronald Takaki
  • Researching the Asian American Culture
  • The Nuremburg Race Laws
  • Role of Japanese Women: Traditional and Contemporary
  • Interned or Imprisoned
  • Women of the 20th Century
  • Ap Government and Politics
  • The Factors and Objectives The Russo Japanese War
  • Auschwitz: the Overview of a Concentration Camp
  • The Second Sino-Japanese War
  • The United States' Treatment of Japanese Americans During World War II
  • Asian American Experience
  • Farewell to Manzanar Q&a
  • We Must Not Treat Muslims as We Treated the Japanese
  • History of Japanese Technology Evolution
  • David Guterson's Snow Falling on a Race
  • The Influence that Issey Miyake´s Japanese Heritage Hand on his Designs
  • Japanese, Russian, Chinese, and Mexican Organized Crime
  • The Justification of the Use of Atomic Weapons in World War Two
  • Japanese Samurai Film Genre
  • Case Study of “Bookoff, Amazon Japan, and the Japanese Retail Bookselling Industry”
  • Russo-Japanese War
  • Comparing & Contrasting American & Japanese Marketing
  • Japanese Education
  • With the Old Breed Book Report
  • The Holocaust and The Final Solution Plan
  • Holocaust-concentration Camps
  • John Hersey's Hiroshima
  • Nazi Concentration Camps
  • The Social Cry In Planet of the Apes
  • Immigrants and Assimilation into American Society
  • The Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor
  • Jewish Living Conditions In Concentration Camps
  • Comparing the Role of Women in Indian Camp and Shiloh
  • Urban Legends Translated through Japanese Horror Films
  • The Civil Rights Movement and World War II
  • Poets Explore the Theme of Death in Educating for Leisure, Mother in a Refugee Camp, Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night, Remember, T...
  • Japanese Period
  • Comparing and Contrasting American and Japanese Marketing
  • Epic Failure at Boot Camp
  • History of Tea in Japan and the Japanese Tea Ceremony
  • Influence of the Samurai on Modern Japanese Society
  • The History of Human Rights in Canada throughout the 20th Century
  • War Without Mercy Essay
  • Castro Essay 3
  • Navajo Code Talkers in WW2
  • Turning Point in Ernest Hemingway's Indian Camp
  • The Odyssey
  • Impact of WWII
  • Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
  • Horror and Destruction of Auschwitz Death Camps
  • Events that Triggered World War II
  • Operation FEMA Camps
  • American vs. Japanese Automobiles
  • Prejudice, Stereotyping and Discrimination in Mauritius
  • Japanese and Chinese Culture
  • Tone of Manzanar and Night
  • Camp Happy Valley Case Study Analysis
  • Japanese Economy
  • To what extent should we embrace nationalism? To what extent has nationalism been positive throughout the world?
  • Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides (Analysis)
  • Bataan Death March
  • Roaring Camp
  • Notable Supreme Court Cases
  • American vs. Japanese Education Systems
  • Business Etiquette in Japanese Negotiations
  • Comparison of Japanese and American Cultures
  • Problems with the Japanese Whaling Industry
  • Police Influence on Society
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
  • Tokyo Rose: Iva Ikoku Toguri
  • Stagnant Japanese Economy
  • Conflict in Ireland
  • The Great Depression and World War II Shaped My Grandma's Life
  • Going to Canada by Warren Cariou


Since Japanese people began migrating to America in the mid-nineteenth century, there has been resentment and tension between Americans and Asian immigrants. In California at the turn of the century laws were passed making it difficult for Japanese to own land in America, become naturalized, or to even migrate to America. By the 1920s California had banned almost all immigration from Japan, and laws made interracial marriage illegal. After World War I and the failed attempts of America to create and join the League of Nations, there were strong national feelings of isolationism and nationalism that only added fuel to this fire.

For an easy-to-use interactive guide to Supreme Court cases challenging discriminatory policies towards Asian citizens, see the interactive feature in the March 2005 issue of History Now.

The 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan exacerbated the tension and animosity between people of Japanese descent and white Americans on the west coast. Many Americans were convinced that Japan was going to invade the U.S. by way of California and that the Japanese there were loyal to Japan and would aid its efforts. On February 19, 1942, Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which gave military leaders the authority to create military areas from which groups of people could be excluded. Eventually over 110,000 people of Japanese descent, half of whom were children and two-thirds of whom were American citizens, were removed from their homes and relocated to internment camps until the camps were closed in January 1945.


  • Students will understand the social and racial climate of America from the beginning of the twentieth century up to World War II.
  • Students will understand the effects that the bombing of Pearl Harbor had on America and American society.
  • Students will understand the Japanese internment camps that were instituted in America during World War II.
  • Students will analyze primary source photographs in order to understand the daily life of inmates of the Japanese internment camps
  • Students will understand the legal justification for the Japanese internment camps and the legal justification for discontinuing the camps through analysis of primary source materials.

Activity One: Post-Pearl Harbor America

Briefly review and explore racial tensions in America after the Civil War, including Plessy v. Ferguson, up to World War II. Discuss the effects of Pearl Harbor on America in terms of race and national security.

Use the sources below to introduce the the Japanese internment camps. Have students read primary source documents on FDR's Executive Orders 8022 and 9066 and complete questions in small groups. Bring the class back together to discuss the sources as a whole.

Introduction to the topic:

Activity Two: Life in the Japanese Internment Camps

Using images from the website below, have students analyze the photographs and complete the photo analysis sheets. Either print out copies of some of the pictures to use in small groups or display the images by projector and have the students complete the work individually.

Discussion questions:

  1. What was life like in the internment camps?
  2. How do these images make you feel? Why?
  3. What evidence did you see that confirms the fears and reasoning for removing these people from American society? What evidence did you see that contradicts the fears and reasoning for removing these people from American society?

Activity Three: The Legality of Internment Camps

Review the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment, and research the Japanese American court cases Korematsu v. US and Endo v. US.
A good source for studying these cases is the University of Dayton's page on Japanese Internment.

Follow-Up Questions

  1. Did the internment camps violate the rights of American citizens?
  2. Do you agree with the national security argument?
  3. Do the events of and surroudning Japanese internment have relevance in America today?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *