In the spring of 1942, the federal government forced West Coast Japanese Americans into detainment camps on suspicion of disloyalty. Two years later, after stripping them of their livelihoods, liberty, and dignity, the government drafted them into the same military that had been guarding them as subversives. Most of the American citizens grudgingly complied with being drafted, but several hundred refused and practiced a different sort of American patriotism - the patriotism of protest. This work tells the story of the men who rejected the government's demands.
Based on years of research and personal interviews with the resisters, their families, and their supporters and detractors, this book attempts to re-create the welter of emotions and events that followed the arrival of the draft notices in 1944: the untenable situation of the Japanese American men caught between national loyalty and personal indignation; the hypocrisy of the government in asking men to die for their country when it had denied them their rights as citizens; the shoddy trials of the protestors that produced convictions and imprisonments; and the treatment of the resisters by the Japanese American community, who looked upon them as pariahs who were hindering progress towards assimilation.