Convicting the Innocent: Japanese American Youth at Topaz: Conclusion
“After we came back from camp, we were afraid to make noises. But when our kids came up; ‘What is the matter with guys?’ . . . You don’t want to call attention to yourself. You want to just be quiet and do your things and not make any waves and go by your very calm order of being. . . . Because in many ways if you went to prison or something really bad happened to you, and you weren’t happy about it, you are not going to sit there and tell your kids about it.” —Fumi Hayashi
At the beginning of internment, many Japanese American youth blamed the reason for their internment on the war and not on prejudice towards those of Japanese American ancestry.
Although not at Topaz but another internment camp, Tule Lake, Nancy Takahashi stated in a class paper: “I fully realize the fact of why they relocated the Japanese citizens for I know some who are disloyal Americans and some who are loyal.” Many youth did not feel the effects of internment until later in their lives. When asked what evacuation meant to him, Isao Baba reflected: “Being young at the time, I thought it was quite an experience. As I grew older, I began to realize it was a great injustice to the people of Japanese ancestry.”