About this site

Exploring America’s Concentration Camps, produced by the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), is an online resource for learning about a tragic chapter in United States history: Following Japan’s attack on the Pearl Harbor naval base in the American territory of Hawai‘i on December 7, 1941, the US government removed more than 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry from their homes and confined them in American-style concentration camps. Exploring America’s Concentration Camps is organized around nine themes. Each thematic section features artifacts from the permanent collection of the Japanese American National Museum. These artifacts are accompanied by questions and information intended to lead the visitor to new insights and understanding about this chapter of American history. Equally important, it is intended to help the visitor make connections between this history and the dialogue and events taking place today.

The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) was established in 1985 and is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to sharing the experience of Americans of Japanese ancestry. It is located in the historic Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles.

The mission of JANM is to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience.

We share the story of Japanese Americans because we honor our nation’s diversity. We believe in the importance of remembering our history to better guard against the prejudice that threatens liberty and equality in a democratic society. We strive as a world-class museum to provide a voice for Japanese Americans and a forum that enables all people to explore their own heritage and culture.

We promote continual exploration of the meaning and value of ethnicity in our country through programs that preserve individual dignity, strengthen our communities, and increase respect among all people. We believe that our work will transform lives, create a more just America and, ultimately, a better world.