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August 1946

NIGHT VISION: A Comparison of the Scotopic Visual Ratings of Young Japanese and Caucasian Adults Living in Hawaii

Author Affiliations


Arch Ophthalmol. 1946;36(2):141-154. doi:10.1001/archopht.1946.00890210146002

FOR TWO years after the war began residents of the Territory of Hawaii lived under conditions of rigidly enforced nightly blackouts.

The maintenance of vital public utilities, hospitals, docks, ship repair yards and scores of other essential activities, however, required that many employees continue their duties during the hours of blackout. It soon became evident that under conditions of absence of or greatly reduced artificial illumination some workers were less able to carry on their usual occupations than were others. The preponderance of those who were so handicapped were of Japanese ancestry.

In the capacity of chief of the Light Control Section of the Office of the Military Governor of the Territory of Hawaii and as a practicing ophthalmologist, I had numerous occasions to observe this "racial" trend of inferior scotopic seeing ability. In 1943 I reported this observation to the Headquarters of the Army Air Forces, as I

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