In the original "Karate Kid", during the scene when Mr. Miyagi is drunk and talking about his wife, he mentions that she was in an internment camp when she died. It seems strange that the military would simultaneously imprison a woman because of her ethnicity while allowing her husband, who is of the same ethnicity, to serve in the armed forces.

Is this historically accurate?

  • 1
    This is America. Jun 22, 2021 at 13:55
  • 1
    @ToddWilcox Maybe if I imprisoned a bunch of Americans without trial based on their ethnicity, I’d get a memorial in my honor in DC as well. Jun 22, 2021 at 22:43

1 Answer 1



During the early years of World War II, Japanese Americans were forcibly relocated from their homes in the West Coast because military leaders and public opinion combined to fan unproven fears of sabotage. As the war progressed, many of the young Nisei, Japanese immigrants' children who were born with American citizenship, volunteered or were drafted to serve in the United States military. Japanese Americans served in all the branches of the United States Armed Forces, including the United States Merchant Marine. An estimated 33,000 Japanese Americans served in the U.S. military during World War II, of which 20,000 joined the Army. Approximately 800 were killed in action.


Despite their husbands being in military service it was still deemed that Japanese-American civilians were a security risk and so remained interned.

  • 1
    What a stupid and awful thing to do. Jun 19, 2021 at 14:39
  • 4
    It's generally acknowledged that the internment of Japanese-Americans was one of the most incredibly shameful actions in American history ranking up there with slavery and the treatment of the Native Peoples.
    – Paulie_D
    Jun 19, 2021 at 15:15
  • Electrocuting Ethel Rosenberg was kind of awful. Jun 27, 2021 at 12:35

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