I have been meaning to respond to your inquiry about how I became aware of the internment of Japanese Americans in the United States.
I don't recollect an instantaneous moment of recognition, but it seems I had been aware of this for some time.
My late father, was in the Navy from about 1952 to 1966.Right after my brother Clark and I were born, he "went to sea" for a tour of duty as the ships doctor on a naval destroyer. Their destination was Japan. I remember as a kid all of the souveniers from Japan he had brought back. Some of them are a pair of beautiful, black enameled porcelain vases, that my mother still treasures. He would regale us with Kodachrome slides of his visits to Kyoto, for many years after. It was obvious he had fallen in love with Japan, Japanese culture and the people of Japan. He held Japanese people in highest esteem for how kind and generous they had been to him when he was in Japan.
When he was stationed at the Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, he made friends with a Japanese American doctor, also in the Navy. He was a bachelor, so my parents would have him over for dinner on occasion. I was just a kid, probably 8 or so.
I don't remember the exact conversation, but I do remember him talking to my father about being in a camp as a young man. Of course I was thinking day camp, summer camp. It was not until later, when I was older, that I realized of course this was an internment camp.
It was over the course of several years that my father would talk to us about this as a regrettable and incomprehensible American action against the Japanese Americans.
From further reading and probably from documentaries, my awareness has grown, and now from your personal involvement with the tag project.