The Long Afterlife of Nikkei Wartime Incarceration
Karen M. Inouye
Stanford University Press, 2016
Re-examining the history of imprisonment of U.S. and Canadian citizens of Japanese descent during World War II, The Long Afterlife of Nikkei Wartime Incarceration explores how historical events can linger in individual and collective memory and crystallize in powerful moments of political engagement. Drawing on interviews and untapped archival materials, Inouye considers the experiences of former wartime prisoners and their ongoing involvement in large-scale educational and legislative efforts. Inouye shows how imprisonment and the suspension of rights impact political discourse and public policies in the U.S. and Canada long after their supposed political and legal reversal. She attends to how activist groups can use the persistence of memory to engage empathetically with people across cultural and political divides and addresses the mechanisms by which injustice can transform both its victims and its perpetrators.