Fred Korematsu

Fred Korematsu was a welder who lost his job after the attack on Pearl Harbor when the Boilermakers Union expelled all Japanese American members. Korematsu decided to resist the mass removal orders, and planned to leave the state. On May 30, 1942, Korematsu was arrested for violating the exclusion order after failing to report to Tanforan Assembly Center. When Korematsu was contacted by an ACLU lawyer looking for a test case, he decided to fight the evacuation order. Korematsu lost his Supreme Court case in 1944. In the early 1980s, his case was reopened after the discovery of a crucial document indicating that in the original 1944 case, the federal government had lied to the high court. The conviction was vacated by U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel in 1983.

World War II (20)
Resistance and dissidence (10)
Supreme Court cases (10)
Fred Korematsu (75)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Ernest Besig, Final Report, Japanese Evacuation from the West Coast, 1942 (book), Korematsu v. United States, Fred Korematsu, Edward L. Parsons, Marilyn Hall Patel, A.L. Wirin

75 items
Fred Korematsu Interview Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1012-1-11)
vh Fred Korematsu Interview Segment 11 (ddr-densho-1012-1-11)
Looking back on wartime decisions (audio only)

This interview is audio-only. It contains raw footage used by Steven Okazaki in his 1985 film Unfinished Business.

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are ...

Dale Minami Interview II Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1012-7-2)
vh Dale Minami Interview II Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1012-7-2)
Description of Fred Korematsu (audio only)

This interview is audio-only. It contains raw footage used by Steven Okazaki in his 1985 film Unfinished Business.

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those ...

Peter Irons Interview II Segment 14 (ddr-densho-1000-127-14)
vh Peter Irons Interview II Segment 14 (ddr-densho-1000-127-14)
Volunteering to testify before the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians; assembling legal team, contacting Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi and Min Yasui
Peter Irons Interview II Segment 12 (ddr-densho-1000-127-12)
vh Peter Irons Interview II Segment 12 (ddr-densho-1000-127-12)
Discovering the "smoking gun": evidence of government misconduct in the "internment cases"
Fred Korematsu - Kathryn Korematsu Interview Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-181-8)
vh Fred Korematsu - Kathryn Korematsu Interview Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-181-8)
Children find out about World War II case in school

Due to technical difficulties and conditions at the time of taping, there is loud background noise in this interview.

Fred Korematsu - Kathryn Korematsu Interview Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-181-16)
vh Fred Korematsu - Kathryn Korematsu Interview Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-181-16)
Raising children, talking with them about Fred's case

Due to technical difficulties and conditions at the time of taping, there is loud background noise in this interview.

Lorraine Bannai Interview Segment 38 (ddr-densho-1000-113-38)
vh Lorraine Bannai Interview Segment 38 (ddr-densho-1000-113-38)
Lessons learned from work on Korematsu: critical perspective of the law, value of coalition work, and importance of being a good lawyer
Lorraine Bannai Interview Segment 30 (ddr-densho-1000-113-30)
vh Lorraine Bannai Interview Segment 30 (ddr-densho-1000-113-30)
Formation of the original legal team, "a very personal case to all of us"
Lorraine Bannai Interview Segment 29 (ddr-densho-1000-113-29)
vh Lorraine Bannai Interview Segment 29 (ddr-densho-1000-113-29)
Taking on the case with optimism, "We had no idea what we were getting into"
Lorraine Bannai Interview Segment 25 (ddr-densho-1000-113-25)
vh Lorraine Bannai Interview Segment 25 (ddr-densho-1000-113-25)
Explanation of Korematsu v. US (1944), and of new, powerful evidence instigating the reopening of the case
Fred Korematsu Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1012-1-2)
vh Fred Korematsu Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1012-1-2)
Hearing about Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor (audio only)

This interview is audio-only. It contains raw footage used by Steven Okazaki in his 1985 film Unfinished Business.

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in ...

Dale Minami Interview I Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1012-6-1)
vh Dale Minami Interview I Segment 1 (ddr-densho-1012-6-1)
First thoughts on the Korematsu decision (audio only)

This interview is audio-only. It contains raw footage used by Steven Okazaki in his 1985 film Unfinished Business.

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material ...

Peter Irons Interview Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1012-16-15)
vh Peter Irons Interview Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1012-16-15)
Initial reactions to the judge's ruling in the Korematsu case (audio only)

This interview is audio-only. It contains raw footage used by Steven Okazaki in his 1985 film Unfinished Business.

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or ...

Peter Irons Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1012-16-2)
vh Peter Irons Interview Segment 2 (ddr-densho-1012-16-2)
Fred Korematsu's plastic surgery and motivations for resisting the incarceration (audio only)

This interview is audio-only. It contains raw footage used by Steven Okazaki in his 1985 film Unfinished Business.

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or ...

Pacific Citizen, Vol. 94, No. 6 (February 12, 1982) (ddr-pc-54-6)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 94, No. 6 (February 12, 1982) (ddr-pc-54-6)
Selected article titles: "Immigration Raids Alarm Little Tokyo" (pp. 1, 12), "FDR 'Tapes' Tell More Than a Few Racial Slurs" (pp. 1, 7), "60th Anniversary Installation: Why the JACL Endures" (p. 7), and "The Major Supreme Court Error of WW2: Evacuation Cases" (p. 9).
Peter Irons Interview II Segment 21 (ddr-densho-1000-127-21)
vh Peter Irons Interview II Segment 21 (ddr-densho-1000-127-21)
Judge Patel vacates Fred Korematsu's forty-year-old conviction; reaction to Judge Patel's opinion: "I just felt overjoyed at what had happened"
Lorraine Bannai Interview Segment 26 (ddr-densho-1000-113-26)
vh Lorraine Bannai Interview Segment 26 (ddr-densho-1000-113-26)
Opportunity to work on "a case of a lifetime," meeting the "cultural icon" Fred Korematsu
Lorraine Bannai Interview Segment 33 (ddr-densho-1000-113-33)
vh Lorraine Bannai Interview Segment 33 (ddr-densho-1000-113-33)
Importance of public education campaign in conjunction with legal efforts, working with Fred Korematsu
Fred Korematsu - Kathryn Korematsu Interview Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1000-181-15)
vh Fred Korematsu - Kathryn Korematsu Interview Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1000-181-15)
Beginning to talk about Fred's wartime conviction

Due to technical difficulties and conditions at the time of taping, there is loud background noise in this interview.

Dale Minami Interview Segment 38 (ddr-densho-1000-141-38)
vh Dale Minami Interview Segment 38 (ddr-densho-1000-141-38)
Presenting Fred Korematsu's case in a larger political context: "this is an American story about civil rights"
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