Wrestling with Tradition: Japanese Activities at Amache, a World War II Incarceration Facility
Date of Award
Bonnie Clark, Ph.D.
Inter-generational, Internment, Japanese American, Japanese practices, Ofuro, Traditional practices
I employ archaeological analyses, archival research, and oral histories to investigate traditional Japanese practices that were performed at Amache, a World War II Japanese American incarceration facility. I argue that these inter-generational practices helped to bridge a cultural gap that existed between several generations of Japanese Americans. For many incarcerated Japanese Americans, their first exposure to many traditional activities occurred during incarceration. The resulting social environment incorporated aspects of Japanese, Japanese American, and mainstream American influences, all of which were adapted to conditions during incarceration. Similarly, archaeological analyses allow for the investigation of traditional practice features. These provide evidence regarding the significance of the adapted landscape at Amache. Evidence of these practices suggests Amache internees had both a strong desire to maintain and celebrate these aspects of their Japanese heritage but they also incorporated non-traditional elements that reflected the unique living conditions during incarceration. Incarceration, I argue, created an environment in which a unique internee consciousness was formed in which the use of traditional practices was a focal point. The physical remains of traditional practices allow archaeologists to determine aspects of this newly formed consciousness that are not readily apparent in historical documentation.
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Starke, Zachary Allen, "Wrestling with Tradition: Japanese Activities at Amache, a World War II Incarceration Facility" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1051.
Received from ProQuest
Zachary Allen Starke
Archaeology, Asian American Studies, History