“Courage and Compassion: Our Shared Story of the Japanese American World War II Experience” Exhibit

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

This exhibit chronicles the stories of Japanese Americans during and immediately after WWII, and highlights the bravery, integrity, and extraordinary support of Japanese Americans within 10 communities across the country during that turbulent time.

Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, plunged the United States into WWII and forever changed the lives of Japanese Americans across the nation. Those living on the West Coast of the mainland United States were forced from their homes to isolated incarceration camps scattered across the American West and South. Denied their constitutional rights and imprisoned without trial, approximately 120,000 residents of Japanese ancestry—nearly two-thirds of whom were American citizens—were forced to leave their lives behind simply because they looked like the enemy.

Through the use of images, audio and interactive elements, Courage and Compassion provides a 360-degree perspective of the WWII experience of Americans of Japanese ancestry while exploring its relevance today. The exhibit honors everyday people in cities and towns across America who rose above the wartime hysteria to recognize Japanese Americans as friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens.

Courage and Compassion is made possible through a collaboration between Go For Broke National Education Center and select communities across the country. Each community has reached into its past to recognize local voices of conscience that embody the American ideal of justice for all.

Go For Broke collaborated with the Twin Cities Japanese American Citizens League and Historic Fort Snelling to explore the history of the Military Intelligence Service Language School, which trained soldiers as Japanese linguists during WWII and helped shape Minnesota’s Japanese American community today.

This project is funded, in part, by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Site Grant Program. Additional support provided by the Earl K. and Ruth N. Tanbara Fund for Japanese American History in Minnesota.

The exhibit is free and open through Historic Fort Snelling’s open hours and runs through June 30-Sept. 3, 2018.

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