Instructions to All Persons: Reflections on Executive Order 9066

Exhibition Website

Feb 18 2017 - Aug 13 2017

February 19, 2017, is the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, which paved the way for the forced removal and incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast following Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor.

To commemorate this historic miscarriage of justice, the Japanese American National Museum presents Instructions to All Persons: Reflections on Executive Order 9066, an educational and interactive exhibition designed to engage visitors in critical discussions of the Japanese American World War II experience and its continuing relevance today.

“Instructions to All Persons of Japanese Ancestry” were the infamous first words seen at the top of a series of Civilian Exclusion Orders that were publicly posted all along the West Coast to notify persons of Japanese ancestry of their impending forced removal. Historic examples of these and other posters of the time—along with supplemental artifacts, artworks, and documentary videos—will form the substance of the exhibition, which will ask viewers how they would respond if presented with similar “instructions” today.

Through docent talks and video clips, visitors will also learn about the actions and experiences of real persons who were subjected to these instructions. In addition, special performances exploring the impact of legalized discrimination against minorities in America—produced with the assistance of East West Players—will take place in the galleries during the run of the exhibition.

Instructions to All Persons is a unique exhibition that aims to examine the social impact of language and give viewers a critical space in which to contemplate the lessons of the past and how they continue to be relevant to the struggle for social justice today.

Please check back for more information about the exhibition and related programs, including a schedule of gallery performances.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.

  • 20th Century
  • History
  • Various artists

Exhibition Venues & Dates