Biography / Administrative History
Scope and Content of Collection
Title: William M. Marutani papers
Bulk Dates: (bulk 1980-1983)
Collection number: 98.9.1
William Marutani, 1923-2004
Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Los Angeles, California 90012
Abstract: Philadelphia judge, the Honorable William M. Marutani (1923-2004), was the only Japanese American commissioner to sit on the
Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC). The CWRIC was a congressional commission established
in 1980 and charged with studying the mass removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and recommending
an appropriate remedy. The collection documents Judge Marutani's participation in the CWRIC, especially the hearings held
across the country as part of the commission's research. In addition to hearing transcripts, the collection includes written
statements by individuals, organizations, and drafts of
Personal Justice Denied (the CWRIC report).
Physical location: Japanese American National Museum
369 East First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
By appointment only.
Contact the Hirasaki National Resource Center
by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone (213.830.5680)
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in this collection must be submitted to the Hirasaki
National Resource Center at the Japanese American National Museum (email@example.com).
[Identification of item], William M. Marutani papers. 98.9.1, Japanese American National Museum. Los Angeles, CA.
This finding aid was created as part of a project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The project started in 2007. Project Director was Yoko Shimojo and the Project Archivist was Marlon Romero.
Biography / Administrative History
The Honorable William M. Marutani (1923-2004) was a second generation Japanese American (Nisei) born in the state of Washington.
During the early part of World War II he was interned for six months in Pinedale and Tule Lake. Later during the war he served
in the U.S. Military Intelligence Service as a second lieutenant with the Army of Occupation in Japan. In the summer of 1947,
Marutani attended the University of Chicago Law School. With a law degree to his credentials he moved to Philadelphia where
he practiced law and established a distinguished legal career as a lawyer and judge. In 1975, he was appointed to the Court
of Common Pleas in Philadelphia County making him the first Asian American judge in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. From
1980-1983, Judge Marutani sat as a commissioner for the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC).
The CWRIC was created to conduct an official governmental study of the facts, circumstances, and impact surrounding Executive
Order 9066. In addition, the commission also reviewed the directives of United States military forces requiring the relocation
and detention in concentration camps of American citizens, including Aleut civilians, and permanent resident aliens of the
Aleutian and Pribilof Islands. From July to December of 1981 the CWRIC held eleven hearings in ten cities throughout the
United States. More than 750 witnesses testified before the commission.
On February 1983 the commission released its findings in the report titled,
Personal Justice Denied. The major finding of the report stated:
The promulgation of Executive Order 9066 was not justified by military necessity...The broad historical causes which shaped
these decisions were race, prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership. Widespread ignorance of Japanese
Americans contributed to a policy conceived in haste and executed in an atmosphere of fear and anger at Japan.
Personal Justice Denied also addressed the injustices experienced by the Aleuts and Pribilof Islanders. The CWRIC accepted the U.S. government's
reason for the evacuation of the Aleuts, but they could not find any justification for the treatment of the Aleuts in the
Four months after the release of the findings, the CWRIC issued out their recommendations for redress.
For Japanese Americans:
1. Congress should pass a joint resolution apologizing for the injustice done, and the president should sign this resolution;
2. A presidential pardon should be given to those convicted of curfew or exclusion order violations;
3. Congress should direct executive agencies to review with liberality Japanese Americans' applications for "restitution of
positions, status, or entitlements lost" during the war;
4. Congress should appropriate money for an educational and humanitarian foundation that would sponsor research and public
educational activities; and
5. Congress should appropriate $1.5 billion to provide $20,000 in individual compensation to every surviving evacuee and internee.
For Aleut and Pribilof Islanders:
1. The establishment of a $5 million trust fund to compensate both the Aleut community and individuals for losses and injuries
they suffered because of their evacuation;
2. Direct individual payments of $5,000 to those surviving Aleuts who were evacuated from the Aleutian or Pribilof Islands
by the federal government during World War II;
3. The government restoration of Aleut village churches that were damaged or destroyed during World War II;
4. The removal of military debris remaining on the Aleutian Islands; and
5. A declaration by Congress that Attu Island is native land and the transfer of Attu Island to the Aleuts Native Corporation.
Commissioner Marutani was a strong supporter of monetary compensation for internees. He felt that, "this society's currency
medium of acknowledgment of wrong involves something more than an apology. An apology may be helpful, but the currency medium
is money...I think as a group we were torn a little bit between the cultural aspect of an apology, which means a great deal
within the Asian culture. But within the western culture, it is money which has significance." (Marutani 1998, 26) As a
commissioner of the CWRIC he felt it was important to relinquish any monetary redress payments to ensure his credibility and
to avoid any criticism on his participation on the commission.
The CWRIC's findings helped educate and change the public perception about the experiences of camp internees. No longer was
there any argument on whether internment was wrong or right. The argument now focused on what the government can do to right
the wrong. Personal Justice Denied "dispelled the myth of military necessity and indicated that the exclusion and incarceration
were the result of failed political leadership." (Maki, Kitano, and Berthold 1999, 115) The commission hearings and findings
helped convince members of Congress to redress the wrong and unjustifiable acts conducted by the government during World War
Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians.
Personal Justice Denied. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 1982.
Maki, Mitchell T., Kitano, Harry H. L., and Berthold, S. Megan. 1993.
Achieving the Impossible Dream: How Japanese Americans Obtained Redress. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
Redress Oral History Project (1998-1999). Mitchell Maki
interviews the Honorable William Marutani, Media, Pennsylvania, August 27, 1998. Los Angeles: Japanese American National
Scope and Content of Collection
The Judge William Marutani Papers focus on the work and research of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of
Civilians (CWRIC). The principles of provenance have been closely followed to preserve Judge Marutani's original filing arrangement.
This collection of manuscripts is divided into six series: Administrative Records, CWRIC Report, Hearings, JACL, Statements
and Testimonials, The Alaskan Experience.
Series 1: Administrative Records
This series contains administrative records of the CWRIC. There are financial records, staffing information, meeting minutes,
and resumes of applicants requesting to be a part of the CWRIC staff.
Series 2: CWRIC Report
This series focuses primarily on the CWRIC's report entitled
Personal Justice Denied. There are four sub-series in this section: Personal Justice Denied, Economic Losses, Remedies, and Research Materials.
The first sub-series titled Personal Justice Denied contains various drafts of the redress report created by the CWRIC as
well as the drafts of the commission's recommendations on redress. The drafts are arranged chronologically and are followed
by papers on terminology and William Marutani's notes.
The second sub-series contains reports on the income and property losses experienced by internees. Two sets of economic reports
were compiled for the CWRIC by ICF Incorporated.
The third sub-series consists of various recommendations on remedies for redress. These were submitted to William Marutani
as suggested inclusions for the CWRIC's official recommendations report. There are recommendations submitted by Gordon Hirabayashi
and the JACL to name a few.
The fourth sub-series contains research materials collected by Judge Marutani. Some materials include newspaper clippings,
a U.S. government organizational chart during World War II, a writ of error coram nobis of Korematsu v. United States, and
the Munson Report. These are arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Series 3: Hearings
This series contains transcripts from the CWRIC hearings in Washington D.C., New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
The hearings are arranged chronologically.
Series 4: JACL
The fourth series contains the correspondences and reports from the JACL that Marutani collected. The series is arranged
by dates; documents with no dates are placed at the end of the folder.
Series 5: Statements and Testimonials
The fifth series is the largest series in the collection, it contains a mixture of academic papers, oral testimonies, and
written testimonies that were presented to the CWRIC. Some of the testimonials included are from key political figures during
World War II such as John McCloy and Karl Bendetson. The series is arranged alphabetically by the name of the geographic
location then within those folders the statements are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the person. The final two
folders in this series are organized based on Judge Marutani's original arrangement. It includes a table of contents as a
Series 6: The Alaskan Experience
This series contains all of the materials relating to the Aleuts and Pribilof Islanders. There are testimonies, transcripts
of hearings, and examinations of the Aleut Experience during World War II. This series is arranged alphabetically.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
Marutani, William M.
World War, 1939-1945
Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945
United States. Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians
United States. Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. Personal justice denied