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The Spectacle of Japanese American TraumaRacial Performativity and World War II$
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Emily Roxworthy

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832209

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832209.001.0001

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Spectacularizing Japanese American Suspects

Spectacularizing Japanese American Suspects

The Genealogy of the FBI’s Post–Pearl Harbor Raids

(p.57) Chapter 2 Spectacularizing Japanese American Suspects
The Spectacle of Japanese American Trauma

Emily Roxworthy

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the FBI’s spectacular raids on Japanese communities in the wake of Pearl Harbor. The FBI spectacles anxiously asserted the duplicity of Japanese American suspects by attempting to pacify the American public with polished, choreographed containment of “the enemy” at home. These raids were very much the stage upon which the FBI sought the American public’s approval for consolidating its national power. But the mimicry between the spectacularity of the FBI’s highly constructed raids and the theatricalized identity of the Japanese American suspects met with dissatisfaction from domestic anti-Japanese factions, who pushed past the FBI’s partial containment of roughly one thousand Japanese Americans by agitating for the wholesale removal of all those of Japanese descent.

Keywords:   Japanese Americans, FBI, raids, internment, World War II, American public, national power

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