Journey to Topaz Ideas for Reports and Papers
by Yoshiko Uchida

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Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

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1. Uchida's book Desert Exile is an autobiography of her experiences in Berkeley, Tanforan, and Topaz during World War II. Compare this nonfiction book with Journey to Topaz. How much of the novel is taken from real life? What are the most important events in Journey to Topaz that were based on Uchida's personal observations?

2. Why did the U.S. government intern Japanese-Americans? How did it choose who was interned and who was not? Were there any good reasons for interning Japanese-Americans? How might the government have better responded to the problems and needs of Japanese- Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor?

3. How many internment camps were there? Where were they? Who was put in them? What was daily life in the camps like? Journey to Topaz and Desert Exile are good places to start your research, but you should read at least a few other books about the camps in order to be sure that you cover all their most important aspects.

4. In what ways have the internees tried to obtain redress for their suffering? Which of these ways have been the most effective? Give a history of the efforts of not only internees but their supporters to gain official recognition of the injustice done to them. How did the Congress's payment of damages to the internees come about?

5. What is the history of Japanese immigrants and their descendants in the western U.S.? How have they been treated by the government and by society? What have been their contributions to America?

6. During the first half of the twentieth century, severe restrictions were placed on the immigration rights of people from East Asia. What were the immigration laws for these people? Why couldn't people such as Mr. and Mrs. Sakane become American citizens? What were the reasons for...

(The entire section is 443 words.)