Welcome to the Student Digital Exhibition of the Japanese American Relocation Centers Records at Cornell University. Here you will find select primary documents from the Japanese American Relocation Centers Records accompanied by student historical analysis. This digital exhibition is a part of a class project from two courses taught by Dr. Chrissy Yee Lau, including AAS 2130: Introduction to Asian American History and AAS 3470: Asian American Women’s History.
In the fall of 2014, students organized the digital exhibition around major themes, including Issei and Nisei Generational Differences, Women’s Experiences, Gender Relations, Family Dynamics, Politics of Food, Community Governance, and Recreation. Students selected their own primary documents and underwent several rounds of peer review in order to provide an honest and informed analysis of these themes. The goal of this first part of the digital exhibition is to bring public attention to the historical documents located at this unique archive and to offer an analytical insight, with attention to race, gender, class, and generation, into the incarceration experiences of Japanese Americans during World War II.
In the fall of 2015, students contributed a new section to the digital exhibition that focused on former internee Gene Sogioka’s watercolor paintings. Student groups went on archival visits to select one of Sogioka’s watercolor paintings and pair it with one other primary document from the archive. From these two primary sources, student groups developed descriptive labels, a research paper and one keyword. The goal of this section is to highlight Sogioka’s paintings and contribute to the larger literature on the history of Japanese Incarceration.
Please enjoy this Student Digital Exhibition!