Material Engagements with Japanese American Incarceration History

Author(s): Koji H. Ozawa

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Reckoning with Violence" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

The World War II mass incarceration of Japanese Americans was a traumatic event that had lasting repercussions on multiple communities. Archaeologists have sought to productively pursue community-based methodologies in studying this period, employing object based oral histories, outreach events, and community participation in fieldwork. However, less scholarly attention has looked to the ways in which materials have become central to understanding and mobilizing around the incarceration camp history. Acts of pilgrimage, memorialization, scholarly study, and activism constitute key arenas through which this heritage is participated with, each interacting with materials in different ways. This paper will discuss these material engagements, from the politics of object ownership to origami activism and their importance in reckoning with this violent past. Through deliberate attention, archaeologists can perhaps productively move towards better understandings around the materiality of the legacies of violence.

Cite this Record

Material Engagements with Japanese American Incarceration History. Koji H. Ozawa. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457480)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 712