What Role Did Harry Ueno Play in the Manzanar Riot?

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Manzanar, California, Harry Ueno, riot, detention camp, United States history


Law | Political Science | Social History | Sociology | United States History


Manzanar, and other detention camps were established to intern the Japanese-American population of the United States. Many of the interned were American citizens; a large proportion citizens by birth--this was their native land. The sentiment found in the words on the [California Historical Landmark] plaque are those of a more modern era, we can look back in time and conclude that the operating principles of that day were fear, prejudice, racism, and guilt by association. The reminder is of great value to us. For not only does the plaque do honor to the persons who were imprisoned there, but it also reminds those of us who were not that the protections of law are only as strong as our beliefs. If belief in the rule of law is lost in time of crisis, the almost sure result is injustice, and for a society with a conscience, shame.

This paper describes life in the camps from the point of view of the participants. Thus, instead of making use of second hand sources and using the impressions of others, it attempts to paint a picture using camplife as the participants saw it--through the oral history process. This paper will be constructed by examining the words and views of those who were interned. From this, a picture will be developed that provides a unique look at the phenomenon of an American concentration camp. Particular attention will be paid to one man in particular. He is Harry Ueno, a self proclaimed martyr in the history of the camps. Special attention is given to one camp, one event in the life of that camp, and the role Ueno played in that event. Another aspect to be looked at is what do others say about Ueno and his role in the event. The camp is the Manzanar Detention Camp in the Owens Valley of California, and the event is the riot of December 6, 1942 which occurred there.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status


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