The journey

The journey to temporary "assembly centers" was a difficult and disorienting experience. After gathering at designated locations, Japanese Americans were met by armed soldiers and transported in buses, private cars, and trains to sixteen temporary "assembly centers." When they arrived at their new homes -- often hastily refurbished fairgrounds and racetracks -- they were shocked to see barbed-wire fences, guard towers, and searchlights.

The journey (102)

102 items
Letter to Kinuta Uno at Fort Missoula (ddr-densho-324-17)
doc Letter to Kinuta Uno at Fort Missoula (ddr-densho-324-17)
Correspondence from Kinuta Uno's wife and daughter discussing life at Pinedale Assembly Center.
Harry Ueno Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1002-7-9)
vh Harry Ueno Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1002-7-9)
The day of mass removal: traveling to Manzanar, California, by bus
Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 19 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-19)
vh Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 19 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-19)
Journey to Santa Anita Assembly Center, California; description of conditions
Japanese Americans boarding buses (ddr-densho-151-143)
img Japanese Americans boarding buses (ddr-densho-151-143)
Original caption: Byron, California. Farm families of Japanese ancestry boarding buses for Turlock Assembly center 65 miles away. An official of the Wartime Civil Control Administration is checking the families into the bus by number.
Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-207)
img Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-207)
Original caption: Centerville, California. Members of farm family board evacuation bus. Evacuees of Japanese ancestry will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration.
Elderly Japanese Americans waiting on bench (ddr-densho-151-231)
img Elderly Japanese Americans waiting on bench (ddr-densho-151-231)
Original caption: San Bruno, Caliofnira. These older evacuees of Japanese ancestry have just been registered and are resting before being assigned to their living quarters in the barracks. The large tag worn by the woman on the right indicates special consideration for aged or infirm.
Japanese Americans arriving to Stockton (ddr-densho-151-249)
img Japanese Americans arriving to Stockton (ddr-densho-151-249)
Original caption: Stockton, California. People of Japanese ancestry from the Lodi grape-producing district. Their identification numbers, and family groups are checked by officials as they leave the buses. They are then directed to the place where there baggage is checked for contraband; medically examined, and assigned to their place in the barracks.
Japanese Americans saying goodbye (ddr-densho-151-42)
img Japanese Americans saying goodbye (ddr-densho-151-42)
Original WRA caption: Woodland, California. Filled with evacuees of Japanese ancestry, the special train is ready to depart from this rich agricultural section for the Merced Assembly Center, 125 miles away.
Japanese Americans walking to barracks (ddr-densho-151-227)
img Japanese Americans walking to barracks (ddr-densho-151-227)
Original caption: Turlock, California. Arrivals at Assembly center on their way to their new quarters. Evacuees of Japanese ancestry will be transferred later from assembly centers to War Relocation Authority centers where they will spend the duration.
Young Japanese Americans boarding train (ddr-densho-151-294)
img Young Japanese Americans boarding train (ddr-densho-151-294)
Original caption: Woodland, Yolo County, California. Persons of Japanese ancestry, bound for Merced Assembly center, 126 miles away, bid farewell to friends.
Japanese Americans boarding train (ddr-densho-151-295)
img Japanese Americans boarding train (ddr-densho-151-295)
Original caption: Woodland, Yolo County, California. The train is about to depart which will take these evacuees of Japanese ancestry, from this rich agricultural district, to the Merced Assembly center about 125 miles away. Many leave close friends behind.
Japanese American family arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-154)
img Japanese American family arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-154)
Original caption: San Bruno, California. Family of Japanese ancestry arrives at assembly center at Tanforan Race track. Evacuees will be transferred later to War Relocation Authority centers where they will be housed for the duration.
Japanese Americans arriving to Stockton (ddr-densho-151-250)
img Japanese Americans arriving to Stockton (ddr-densho-151-250)
Original caption: Stockton, California. People of Japanese ancestry from the Lodi district. Their identification numbers and family groups are being checked by officials as they leave the buses. They are then directed to the place where their baggage is checked for contraband; medically examined, and assigned to their place in the barracks.
Bus leaving for Tanforan Assembly Center (ddr-densho-151-263)
img Bus leaving for Tanforan Assembly Center (ddr-densho-151-263)
Original caption: San Francisco, California. This bus loaded with evacuees of Japanese ancestry, is bound for Tanforan Assembly center on the first day of evacuation of the Japanese quarter.
Young Japanese American during mass removal (ddr-densho-151-40)
img Young Japanese American during mass removal (ddr-densho-151-40)
Original WRA caption: Hayward, California. A young evacuee looks out the window of the evacuation bus before it starts for Tanforan Assembly Center. Evacuees will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration.
Roy H. Matsumoto Interview Segment 41 (ddr-densho-1000-153-41)
vh Roy H. Matsumoto Interview Segment 41 (ddr-densho-1000-153-41)
Memories of mass removal: traveling to the Santa Anita Assembly Center, becoming head of the "vegetable department" at Santa Anita

Although Mr. Matsumoto does not identify himself as a Kibei (American-born person of Japanese ancestry sent to Japan for formal education and socialization when young and later returned to the U.S.), some of his life ...

Japanese American family preparing for the journey to the Pomona Assembly Center (ddr-densho-242-4)
img Japanese American family preparing for the journey to the Pomona Assembly Center (ddr-densho-242-4)
Caption by Ike Hatchimonji: "May 1942 - El Monte, California - In front of family store. Hatchimonji family about to leave for the Pomona Assembly Center then the WRA camp at Heart Mountain, Wyoming. L-R: Tasuke Ike, Megumi Mike, Kumezo father, Nobue mother, and daughter Gloria, wearing the family ID tags."
Japanese Americans boarding train for Manzanar, California (ddr-densho-36-15)
img Japanese Americans boarding train for Manzanar, California (ddr-densho-36-15)
Japanese Americans from Bainbridge Island, Washington are being transported to the Manzanar Assembly Center, California.
Mass removal (ddr-densho-36-16)
img Mass removal (ddr-densho-36-16)
Sumiko Furuta of Bainbridge Island, Washington, on a special ferry to Seattle. From Seattle, she will board a train headed for Manzanar Assembly Center, California.
Newspaper clipping
doc Newspaper clipping "Tanforan, 1942" (ddr-janm-4-42)
Newspaper clipping titled "Tanforan, 1942". The article was written by Soji Kashiwagi on December 17, 1984.
Baggage inspection (ddr-densho-151-225)
img Baggage inspection (ddr-densho-151-225)
Original caption: Turlock, California. Baggage is inspected as families arrive at Turlock assembly center. Evacuees of Japanese ancestry will be transferred later to War Relocation Authority centers where they will spend the duration.
Japanese Americans arriving to Stockton (ddr-densho-151-248)
img Japanese Americans arriving to Stockton (ddr-densho-151-248)
Original caption: Stockton, California. People of Japanese ancestry from the Lodi grape-producing district. Their identification numbers and family groups are checked by officials as they leave the buses. They are then directed to the place where their baggage is checked for contraband; medically examined, and assigned to their place in the barracks.
Japanese Americans arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-159)
img Japanese Americans arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-159)
Original caption: San Bruno, California. Families of Japanese ancestry arrive at assembly center at Tanforan Race Track. Evacuees will be transferred later to War Relocation Authority centers where they will be housed for the duration.
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