"I think we all felt that we had an obligation to do the best we could and make a good record. So that when we came back we can come back with our heads high and say, Look, we did as much as anybody else for this country and we proved our loyalty; and now we would like to take our place in the community just like anybody else and not as a segregated group of people. And I think it worked." —Speaker Unknown, Go For Broke
Rejoining society was difficult for many. Each individual received a $25
payment and transportation tickets at the time of release. Many
detainees discovered that their pre-1941 communities had vanished,
and their homes and businesses were lost.
The postwar housing shortage, the competition for jobs with returning veterans, and lingering discrimination added to the difficulties. In some West Coast communities there was a special effort to welcome old neighbors home. In other areas, there were episodes of vandalism and threats against life and property.
Morgan Yamanaka: Could it Happen Again? Today, I don't think this would ever happen to ethnic Japanese... at this point on. In the 1940s we had no power in Washington. Today, we have Senators, we have Congress people, we have mayors of cities of the United States, we have governors of ethnic Japanese. This would never happen with the ethnic Japanese community in the United States... but it might happen with another group, with no power. And therefore, I feel the ethnic Japanese community has a responsibility to keep on pushing this knowledge. It won't happen to ethnic Japanese, I'm pretty sure of that, but I don't want it to happen to any other group of people. (Morgan Yamanaka Interview, Copyright 2001 Smithsonian Institution)