Japanese American Women During World War II

TitleJapanese American Women During World War II
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1984
AuthorsMatsumoto, Valerie
JournalFrontiers: A Journal of Women Studies
Date Published1984

In this article, Matsumoto examine the lives of Japanese American women during the trying war years and resulting internment, focusing on the second generation—the Nisei—whose work and education were most affected. The Nisei women entered college and ventured into new areas of work in unfamiliar regions of the country, sustained by fortitude, family ties, discipline, and humor. Their personal letters, which comprise a major portion of the author's research, were written in English by Nisei women in their late teens and twenties. Their writing reflects the experience and concerns of their age group. It is important, however, to remember that they wrote these letters to Caucasian friends and sponsors during a time of great insecurity and psychological and economic hardship. In their struggle to be accepted as American citizens, the interned Japanese Americans were likely to minimize their suffering in the camps and to try to project a positive image of their adjustment to the traumatic conditions.

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