Wakayama case


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Wartime test case that challenged the detention of Japanese Americans forcibly removed from the West Coast. Ernest Kinzo and Toki Wakayama were a Nisei couple living in California who approached the American Civil Liberties Union in April 1942 about challenging their forced removal. Given Ernest's status as a World War I veteran and American Legion member, they were initially viewed as a good test case. Upon their incarceration at Santa Anita Assembly Center, a habeas corpus petition was filed on behalf of Toki Wakayama. Though the petition was eventually granted in February of 1943 and set for a full hearing, the Wakayamas had by this time decided to abandon the case; embittered by their incarceration, they had decided to seek "repatriation" to Japan.

For More Information

Irons, Peter. Justice at War: The Story of the Japanese American Internment Cases. New York: Oxford University Press, 1983. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.

Robinson, Greg. After Camp: Portraits in Midcentury Japanese American Life and Politics. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012.