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
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.
Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-328)
img Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-328)
Original caption: Byron, California. Evacuees of Japanese ancestry boarding a bus for the Turlock Assembly center, sixty-five miles away. Six bus-loads left on this day from this small agricultural town which included highly skilled managers, farm owners, tenant operators, tractor drivers, and farm laborers.
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.
Baggage inspection (ddr-densho-151-220)
img Baggage inspection (ddr-densho-151-220)
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 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 at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-162)
img Japanese Americans arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-162)
Original caption: San Bruno, California. Evacuees of Japanese ancestry have just arrived at this Assembly center. They have been registered and are now awaiting a guide to show them to their place in the barracks. Later they will be transferred to War Relocation Authority centers.
Japanese Americans on board train (ddr-densho-151-300)
img Japanese Americans on board train (ddr-densho-151-300)
Original 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 this rich agricultural district, bound for Merced ...
Bus leaving for Tanforan Assembly Center (ddr-densho-151-262)
img Bus leaving for Tanforan Assembly Center (ddr-densho-151-262)
Original caption: San Francisco, California. These evacuees of Japanese ancestry are part of a group of 600 persons being evacuated on this morning to the assembly center. The Japanese American Citizens League headquarters is being used as a Wartime Civil Control Administration station. Prior to evacuation orders it was used as a language school.
Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-146)
img Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-146)
Original caption: Byron, California. These families of Japanese ancestry, evacuated from farms in Contra Costa County, board bus for assembly center in Turlock Fairgrounds, 65 miles away. Evacuees will be transported later 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 American family arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-156)
img Japanese American family arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-156)
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-151-209)
img Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-209)
Original caption: Centerville, California. the bus has just arrived and these farm families of Japanese ancestry are being kept intact enroute to the Assembly center.
Japanese Americans arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-161)
img Japanese Americans arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-161)
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.
Government workers on train platform (ddr-densho-151-303)
img Government workers on train platform (ddr-densho-151-303)
Original caption: Woodland, California. This staff of Wartime Civil Control Administration workers have completed their job and stand on the platform awaiting the departure of the special train which has been loaded with evacuees of Japanese ancestry bound for the Merced Assembly center, 125 miles away.
Issei woman crying as she boards train (ddr-densho-151-293)
img Issei woman crying as she boards train (ddr-densho-151-293)
Original caption: Woodland, California. Women at railroad station on morning of departure of persons of Japanese ancestry from this agricultural community to the Merced Assembly center. The woman in the dark slack suit is one of the few exhibiting grief on leaving.
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 Americans saying goodbye from train (ddr-densho-151-297)
img Japanese Americans saying goodbye from train (ddr-densho-151-297)
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 from the platform. Evacuees are leaving their homes and ranches, in a rich agricultural district, bound for Merced Assembly center, ...
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.
Unloading baggage from truck (ddr-densho-151-458)
img Unloading baggage from truck (ddr-densho-151-458)
Original caption: Stockton, California. The first day at an assembly center. A new unit of the barracks is being opened today for the eight busloads of arrivals. This photo shows the luggage and bed-rolls which have come in by truck, deposited here for inspection for contraband. Evacuees then take their possessions to the barracks to which ...
Mass removal (ddr-densho-162-51)
img Mass removal (ddr-densho-162-51)
These buses are en route to the Tanforan Assembly Center, California.
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.
Postcard send to Kinuta Uno at Fort Missoula (ddr-densho-324-26)
doc Postcard send to Kinuta Uno at Fort Missoula (ddr-densho-324-26)
Correspondence from Kinuta Uno's daughter about their arrival at Pinedale Assembly Center.
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."
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