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From Forgotten to National Monument: Community Archaeology at a World War II Internment Camp in Hawai‘i

  • Mary M. Farrell
  • Jeffery F. BurtonEmail author
Chapter
Part of the One World Archaeology book series (WORLDARCH)

Abstract

Sometimes part of a community’s heritage is buried not just physically but also historically. For decades, there was a widespread belief that there had been no internment of civilians in Hawai‘i during World War II, even as numerous scholars and activists chronicled the mass removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans from the west coast of the USA. When members of the Japanese American community in Hawai‘i learned of the existence of Honouliuli prison camp, community archaeology verified the location and determined what remained. Volunteers, students, and professionals collaborated in fieldwork and research to uncover the archaeological evidence of a hidden history, in which the US incarcerated citizens of a variety of ethnic and social backgrounds without cause, under the authority of martial law. Honouliuli transformed from a secret site of shame to a symbol of irrational racism and discrimination in the name of national security. In 2015 President Obama declared Honouliuli a National Monument, to serve as a powerful reminder of the need to protect civil liberties in times of conflict.

Keywords

Japanese American internment Honouliuli National Monument Japanese American relocation Archaeology as civic action Archaeology of internment World War II internment Community archaeology. 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Trans-Sierran Archaeological ResearchLone PineUSA
  2. 2.U.S. National Park ServiceIndependenceUSA

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