Satsuki Ina Featured in an article on Smithsonian
What This Jacket Tells Us About the Degrading Treatment of Japanese-Americans During WWII
An exhibit in San Francisco explores the dark chapter in American history when the government imprisoned its own citizens
Question 28: “Will you swear unqualified allegiance to the United States… and forswear any form of allegiance or obedience to the Japanese emperor, to any other foreign government, power or organization?”
Such was one of the many accusatory questions directed at Japanese-American citizens by the U.S. government during World War II. Itaru and Shizuko Ina faced them in 1943, when at an internment camp in Topaz, Utah, they refused to swear their loyalty to the United States, their native country, answering no to that question and another about serving in the U.S. military.
Horrified at what was happening in the United States, the Inas decided to renounce their American citizenship, risking being without the protection of any nation-state. Until that moment they had been proud Americans, according to their daughter, Satsuki, but the Inas chose to defy the authorities rather than continue raising their children in a country so hostile to the Japanese.