Students have read about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War
II. In this activity students will study an exhibit of historical materials
regarding one of the relocation centers—Puyallup Assembly Center, also
known as "Camp Harmony."
Students will use information from the Camp Harmony Web site to learn about
the experiences of Japanese Americans who were sent to live in relocation centers
and internment camps during World War II. Students will read newspaper articles,
journal entries, and letters that describe the living conditions in Camp Harmony,
a relocation center. Photographs of relocation efforts and of Camp Harmony enhance
students' understanding of the ordeal. Students will then answer four questions
and apply this information by writing a haiku that describes Japanese American
internment during World War II.
- Students will use materials from the Camp Harmony exhibit to analyze the
internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
- Students will be able to use this knowledge to write a haiku that describes
the experiences of Japanese Americans during the internment.
Student Web Activity Answers
- The Munson report described the Nisei as being "very American"
and dismissed rumors that Japanese Americans were disloyal to the United States.
However, the report had no effect on the rising tide of hostilities against
- Japanese Americans were given six days to pack everything that they would
carry to the center and sell, rent, or store everything else. These neighbors,
businesspeople, and farmers left Bainbridge Island under armed guard. Newspapers
reported that the Japanese Americans departed compliantly as their Caucasian
friends and classmates wept and said good-bye.
- Each building usually had six apartments, and each apartment was about 20
feet square. Each family occupied one apartment. The partition dividing the apartments did not rise to the top of the roof, and
so the living quarters were noisy and lacked privacy. The floors were laid
directly onto the ground, and in some apartments weeds grew up through the
floorboards. Army cots were provided for each family member, but not everyone
had mattresses. There was no running water within the apartments, and the
community bathrooms were inadequate and unsanitary. The food at the center
was mostly American, which was very difficult for those used to a Japanese
- Armed guards and barbed wire restricted Japanese Americans' movements within
the camps. Japanese Americans were also forced to obey camp schedules with
curfews, set meal times, and lights out. They had no rights to assemble, unless
by special permission, and the Shinto religion was forbidden. Japanese language
materials were confiscated, and police could search any apartment at any time
- Students' poems will vary.
Go To Student Web Activity