"Japanese Relocation"
July 25, 2007 4:19 PM   Subscribe

"Japanese Relocation" - A short propaganda film created by the US government & the "Office of War Information - Bureau of Motion Pictures." The subject has been much discussed previously on MetaFilter. Here and here, among other threads.
posted by The Deej (21 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The Heart Mountain Relocation Center (WikiPedia) is only about 100 miles from me. Here's one of the photos I took while there. (Self-link, obviously.)
posted by The Deej at 4:20 PM on July 25, 2007

I keep being amazed at how Europeans around me, saturated with WWII history as they may be, are wholly unaware of this part of war history. Thanks for posting this.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:31 PM on July 25, 2007

I drive past Tanforan every day. It's now a (dying) shopping mall.

And a few years ago we were up in Tulelake (the name of the town in NE California, up on the Oregon border), near where the Tule Lake relocation center was. We were there for a birding trip. The first thing our guide told us was "Don't ask anyone about the Japanese internment camp. It's a very sore subject." Our driver that weekend told us stories about the German POWs who were kept in the area - they stayed in essentially unguarded barracks, and officers at least could pretty much come and go as they pleased. The whole area is beautiful, and very spooky.
posted by rtha at 4:33 PM on July 25, 2007

This film made perfect sense to me. I found it helps if you're standing on your head while viewing.
posted by nola at 4:49 PM on July 25, 2007

Wow, they sure made internment sound fun! I sure wish someone would come and take me to a land that was raw and full of opportunity. That would be keen. Swell even!

Does anyone else find the title 'War Relocation Authority' really menacing? Like something from Newspeak.
posted by quin at 4:52 PM on July 25, 2007

Much better (and downloadable) copy at the Internet Archive. A companion film, Challenge to Democracy, is also there.
posted by footage at 4:58 PM on July 25, 2007

Happy Camps!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:26 PM on July 25, 2007

footage, your Challenge to Democracy link is great. Thanks!
posted by The Deej at 6:09 PM on July 25, 2007

This is fascinating. Can't help but compare with it the footage from the Jewish round ups in Europe, especially when they board the trains for their "final stop".

I wonder how many really did accept the relocation as their contribution to the war effort?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 7:00 PM on July 25, 2007

Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps -- and don't forget that this adminstration says they can do whatever they want to anyone at any time based on nothing more than their own say so.
posted by amberglow at 7:03 PM on July 25, 2007

"quick disposal of property often involved financial sacrifice for the evacuees" - you don't say.

"new pioneer communities" - in the fertile desert.

The propaganda in this clip is fascinating and creepy. It will be interesting for people in the future to look at some of the propaganda we are living though today since it seems to reach a fevered pitch anytime a lot of citizens are afraid or enraged.

Good post, The Deej, thanks.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:32 PM on July 25, 2007

Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps

The only plus side to that article is the amount of money given to Halliburton to build the camps: $385 million.

Judging by how much Halliburton charges for everything else, 385 million bucks should get us a two-room tin shack with some barbed wire around it.
posted by Avenger at 8:21 PM on July 25, 2007

Golly-jeepers that was swell.

To sum it up, the documentary might as well have concluded with a special message to all of the American citizens of Japanese ancestry who were interned against their will:

You're Welcome!

Did I say 'slave labor camps?' I meant 'happy camps!'
posted by Davenhill at 12:51 AM on July 26, 2007

All countries use propaganda, the US is one of the worst.
posted by Okinawa at 1:14 AM on July 26, 2007

Concentration camps are yay!
posted by dirigibleman at 1:29 AM on July 26, 2007

Okinawa: "All countries use propaganda, the US is one of the worst."

But not all of those countries brags about being the "most democratic" country in the world and they most of them don't give lessons to others.

Anyway America didn't change a bit from these time, these kind of acts always needs some back up from the people, Guantanamo is a good example of that.
posted by zouhair at 1:38 AM on July 26, 2007

This makes me feel sick.

The use of words to gloss over the reality of what is taking place is amazing, 'community', 'residents', 'opportunity', 'homes' and the desire of the Japanese to 'reclaim the desert'. Nothing like being forced out of your home and being put into a prison camp. Sounds like a great opportunity to me.

'We are setting a standard for the rest of the world in the treatment of people who may have loyalties to an enemy nation' - Guilty until proven innocent.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:23 AM on July 26, 2007

The part that keeps replaying in my head is the image of the buses and trucks, while the narrator explains how they were "provided by the government," making it sound like the vehicles were a favor.

It's a fascinating look at the use of language, and made me wonder how many hours/day/weeks and how many people it took to write that script.
posted by The Deej at 6:14 AM on July 26, 2007

Concentration camps are yay!

The internment camps were concentration camps as the term was used at the time (not as it's commonly understood now).

Please change the "interment" tag to "internment."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:55 AM on July 26, 2007

Please change the "interment" tag to "internment."

Yikes! Lazy finger. Thanks, done. Sure, they were bad, but certainly not interment camps!
posted by The Deej at 7:59 AM on July 26, 2007

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