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.

World War II (66)
Temporary Assembly Centers (93)
The journey (108)

108 items
Baggage inspection (ddr-densho-151-221)
img Baggage inspection (ddr-densho-151-221)
Original caption: Turlock, California. Heads of families of Japanese ancestry are gathered about the table where their hand- baggage is being inspected for contraband before being admitted into the Assembly center.
Japanese American crying as train leaves station (ddr-densho-151-302)
img Japanese American crying as train leaves station (ddr-densho-151-302)
Original caption: Woodland, California. Ten cars of evacuees of Japanese ancestry are now aboard and the doors are closed. Their Caucasian friends and the staff of the Wartime Civil Control Administration stations are watching the departure form the platform. Evacuees are leaving their homes and ranches, in a rich agricultural district, bound for Merced Assembly center ...
Japanese Americans arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-155)
img Japanese Americans arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-155)
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 boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-208)
img Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-208)
Original caption: Centerville, California. Members of farm family board evacuation buses. Evacuees of Japanese ancestry will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration.
Boarding train to Merced Assembly Center (ddr-densho-151-291)
img Boarding train to Merced Assembly Center (ddr-densho-151-291)
Original caption: Woodland, California. Families of Japanese ancestry leave the station platform to board the train for the Assembly Center about 125 miles away. About 750 people of Japanese ancestry have been evacuated from this area under Civilian Exclusion Order Number 78.
Japanese Americans waiting for medical examination (ddr-densho-151-222)
img Japanese Americans waiting for medical examination (ddr-densho-151-222)
Original caption: Turlock, California. These evacuees of Japanese ancestry are awaiting their turn for medical examination before being assigned to their places in the barracks, after their arrival at this assembly center.
Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-148)
img Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-148)
Original caption: Byron, California. The moment has come for these farm families of Japanese descent to board the bus which will take them from their farm homes and ranches to the Assembly center 65 miles away.
Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-147)
img Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-147)
Original caption: Byron, California. The moment has come for these farm families of Japanese ancestry to board the bus that will take them from their homes and ranches to the Assembly center, 65 miles away.
Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-206)
img Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-206)
Original caption: Centerville, California. The bus has just arrived and these farm families of Japanese ancestry are being kept intact while enroute to the Assembly center.
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 boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-142)
img Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-142)
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 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 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.
Family walking to barracks (ddr-densho-151-284)
img Family walking to barracks (ddr-densho-151-284)
Original caption: Sacramento, California. Another family of Japanese ancestry has just arrived at this Center by bus. Their baggage has been inspected for contraband and they have been registered, medically examined and are now being escorted by a volunteer guide to their assigned location 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.
Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-260)
img Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-260)
Original caption: San Francisco, California. One more busload about to depart from the Japanese quarter of San Francisco to the Tanforan Assembly center. The Japanese onlookers will themselves have been evacuated within a few days.
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 boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-171)
img Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-171)
Original caption: Hayward, California. Farm families of Japanese ancestry are being checked into the evacuation buses which are enroute to the Assembly center. Their identification tags and numbers are inspected before entering the bus by a member of the Wartime Civil Control Administration Control Station staff. Over 400 persons were evacuated from this district on this ...
Japanese Americans arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-160)
img Japanese Americans arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-160)
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.
Baggage inspection (ddr-densho-151-224)
img Baggage inspection (ddr-densho-151-224)
Original caption: Turlock, California. Possessions brought to the Assembly center by evacuees of Japanese ancestry, are inspected for contraband upon arrival. Evacuees are here here shown unfastening their bundles and unpacking their suitcases for the inspector. They will then be assigned to their places in the barracks.
Mass removal (ddr-densho-151-49)
img Mass removal (ddr-densho-151-49)
Original WRA caption: Woodland, Yolo County, California. Ten cars of evacuees of Japanese ancestry are now aboard and the doors are closed. Their Caucasian friends and the staff of the Wartime Civil Control Administration stations are watching the departure from the platform. Evacuees are leaving their homes and ranches, in a rich agricultural district, bound for ...
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.
Issei man arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-157)
img Issei man arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-157)
Original caption: San Bruno, Calfiornia. Evacuee of Japanese ancestry arrives at this Assembly center where he and approximately 8,000 others will remain until transferred to War Relocation Authority centers for the duration.
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.
Mother and baby arriving at Stockton (ddr-densho-151-309)
img Mother and baby arriving at Stockton (ddr-densho-151-309)
Original caption: Stockton, California. Young mother of Japanese ancestry has just arrived at this Assembly center with her baby and she is the last to leave the bus. Her identification number is being checked and she will then be directed to her place in the barracks after preliminary medical examination.
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