Japanese Americans recall WWII forced incarceration

A new exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in downtown Los Angeles sheds a light on Japanese Americans recalling forced incarceration during World War II.

The augmented reality exhibition commemorates the 80th anniversary of the removal.

The centerpiece is an augmented-reality video re-creation of 200 Japanese American families reporting with their luggage to one of the mass-removal sites – a location which has since become the JANM plaza, allowing the exhibit to be displayed on the very spot such a scene once took place.

Three of the volunteers who participated in the recreation were themselves incarcerated in the concentration camps. Though both spent decades ambivalent about speaking up against the camps, they have since become outspoken about it to protect others’ civil rights. 

They were among an estimated 3,475 residents of Little Tokyo who were forced to leave their homes in May 1942, portrayed in the exhibition, "Be Here / 1942: A New Lens on the Japanese American Incarceration." 

It was one of the largest of the mass removals that ultimately incarcerated more than 110,000 Japanese Americans.

To learn more about the exhibit, visit the Japanese American National Museum's website by clicking or tapping here.