Encyclopedia of Japanese American Internment
by Gary Y. Okihiro, Editor
June 2013, 342pp, 7x10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-39915-2
$108, £84, 94€, A148
eBook Available: 978-0-313-39916-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Could what happened to Japanese Americans during WWII happen again? Or has it already?

This book addresses the forced removal and confinement of Japanese Americans during World War II—a topic significant to all Americans, regardless of race or color.

The internment of Japanese Americans was a violation of the Constitution and its guarantee of equal protection under the law—yet it was authorized by a presidential order, given substance by an act of Congress, and affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Japanese internment is a topic that we as Americans cannot afford to forget or be ignorant of. This work spotlights an important subject that is often only described in a cursory fashion in general textbooks. It provides a comprehensive, accessible treatment of the events of Japanese American internment that includes topical, event, and biographical entries; a chronology and comprehensive bibliography; and primary documents that help bring the event to life for readers and promote inquiry and critical thinking.


  • Provides comprehensive, authoritative, concise, and clearly written information about the internment of Japanese Americans in a single volume
  • Combines first-hand accounts by participants in this tragic and historic experience with detailed descriptions of assembly centers, concentration camps, and military and Justice Department internment camps to enable readers to imagine what being interned was like
  • Describes historic events; examines the legal, political, and social ramifications; supplies biographies of key individuals; and discusses the significance of Japanese internment in Asian American history
  • Serves as an effective introduction to the subject of Japanese American internment for high school and undergraduate students as well as general readers
Gary Y. Okihiro, PhD, is professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University, New York, NY. His latest books include Pineapple Culture: A History of the Temperate and Tropical Zones and Island World: A History of Hawai`i and the United States. Okihiro holds a doctorate in history from the University of California, Los Angeles.


"This is an excellent resource. . . . Users can profitably search America: History and Life for a wealth of articles about this event and its aftermath."—Reference Reviews, May 1, 2014

"This will be a valuable resource for a variety of audiences interested in Asian American history. Summing Up: Highly recommended."—Choice, December 1, 2013

"Was it 'military necessity,' as the order invoked—or simply racism? Okihiro (international and public affairs, Columbia Univ.) makes a compelling case for the latter in this reference collecting topical, event, and biographical entries related to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The work is supplemented by a host of primary source materials, including the heartbreaking photographs of the camps and testimony of internees at hearings leading to the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, in which a formal apology was issued. A chronology is provided. . . . A critical compendium documenting a shameful, often overlooked part of World War II history." —Library Journal, November 15, 2013

"This is an excellent, handy reference source on one of the less heroic but still vitally important aspects of American history. Recommended for all types of libraries." —Booklist, September 15, 2013
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