HomeDocumentaryHistoryProjectBroadcastResources

Historical DocumentsThe CampsTimeline
Health Impact


"Long-term health consequences included psychological anguish as well as increased cardiovascular disease. Survey information found former internees had a 2.1 greater risk of cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular mortality, and premature death than did a non-interned counterpart."
"The Experience of Injustice: Health Consequences of the Japanese American Internment", Gwendolyn M. Jensen

 

The following are excerpted from studies and books which document the long-term mental and physical impact of the WWII internment experience on Japanese Americans.

    "One of the most hauntingly pressing issues facing Japanese Americans today is their concentration camp experience during World War II. Yet, the major group of survivors -- the Nisei -- generally do not confront the implications of it within themselves or with their own children. In many respects the Nisei have been permanently altered in their attitudes, both positively and negatively, in regard to their identification with the values of their bicultural heritage; or they remain confused or even injured by the traumatic experience."
    - "Identity Crisis of the Sansei and the Concentration Camp", Nobu Miyoshi, 1978.

    "Recognizing the great injustice that took place, they carry with them the legacy of their parents' internment. Time has not severed the psychological ties to events that preceded them, nor has the fact that their parents will not openly discuss the internment. On the contrary, the vast majority of Sansei (third generation) feel that the incarceration has affected their lives in significant ways..ot;
    - "Legacy of Injustice: Exploring the Cross-Generational Impact of the Japanese American Internment", Donna K. Nagata, 1993.

    "Trauma may directly or indirectly affect the children of trauma victims. The multiple pathways of its effects create a variety of consequences. Despite the silence, or perhaps because of it, the Sansei who had a parent interned felt the effects of that experience in numerous ways. They are sad and angry about the injustice and attribute a number of negative consequences in their own lives to their parents' internment. These include feelings of low self-esteem, the pressure to assimilate, an accelerated loss of the Japanese culture and language, and experiencing the unexpressed pain of their parents."
    - "Legacy of Injustice: Exploring the Cross-Generational Impact of the Japanese American Internment", Donna K. Nagata, 1993.

    "Long-term health consequences included psychological anguish as well as increased cardiovascular disease. Traumatic stress was buffered by culturally constructed coping mechanisms that were less inculcated in the youngest detainees. They reported more post-traumatic stress symptoms of unexpected and disturbing flashback experiences than those who were older at the time of incarceration. "
    - "The Experience of Injustice: Health Consequences of the Japanese American Internment", Gwendolyn M. Jensen, 1997.

    "Survey information found former internees had a 2.1 greater risk of cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular mortality, and premature death than did a non-interned counterpart. California Nisei-age individuals, the proxy for internment, died 1.6 years earlier than Hawaiians who represented non-interned status. I concluded traumatic stress has life-long consequences even in the presence of efficacious coping strategies."
    - "The Experience of Injustice: Health Consequences of the Japanese American Internment", Gwendolyn M. Jensen, 1997.


    See also: Dr. Ina's Tule Lake Symposium Remarks