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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Late Senator’s Interview on Arkansas Internment Camps Digitized

An extensive interview with Sen. Daniel Inouye on the Japanese-American internment camps will be released 2013, the Center for Arkansas History and Culture recently announced.

Inouye, Congress’ most senior member, died Dec. 18 from a respiratory illness. He was 88.

The center was already in the process of digitizing Inouye’s talk. In 2004, he was interviewed for the documentary Time of Fear, which shared the stories of Japanese-Americans who were interned in Arkansas during World War II. In the hour-long interview, Inouye describes his shock at seeing the Rohwer internment camp during a visit there as a soldier of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

His interview is a part of the Center for Arkansas History and Culture’s collection Life Interrupted: The Japanese American Experience in WWII Arkansas.

The Life Interrupted project originally premiered in 2004 as part of a joint effort by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Public History Program and the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.  Their mission was to build up the archives of documents and artifacts related to internment, raise money for conservation efforts at the two internment camps in Arkansas – Rohwer and Jerome – and to create and distribute curriculum materials.

The collection is currently being processed by center archivist Shannon Lausch and is set to open in 2013.