"Voluntary evacuation"

For a three-week period during World War II, after Japanese Americans had been excluded from the West Coast but before plans for concentration camps had been finalized, a period of "voluntary evacuation" took place. Government officials hoped that the Japanese Americans barred from keeping their homes on the West Coast would make arrangements to move inland on their own, saving valuable military resources. However, state government officials and residents of neighboring states reacted with outrage that Japanese Americans were being encouraged to move there. Most Japanese Americans feared moving into such hostile territory where they would know no one. Further, few Japanese Americans had the resources to move their families to a new place. In total, 4,889 Japanese Americans left the West Coast "voluntarily" and moved to the interior of the U.S. during that period.

World War II (66)
Non-incarcerated Japanese Americans (5)
"Voluntary evacuation" (47)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Voluntary evacuation

47 items
Family standing outside a gas station (ddr-densho-5-18)
img Family standing outside a gas station (ddr-densho-5-18)
The Fukuda family was originally from Seattle and voluntarily relocated to Nampa, Idaho, during World War II. After the war, the family moved to Spokane, Washington. Front (left to right): Janet, Lillian, and Alan Fukuda. Back: Jim Fukuda holding his daughter Mitsue, Mrs. Fukuda, and Rina Fukuda.
Issei farmer discussing lease with Chinese businessman (ddr-densho-151-285)
img Issei farmer discussing lease with Chinese businessman (ddr-densho-151-285)
Original caption: Hayward, California. Negi family, operators of a forty-acre leased truck farm, complete arrangements with a Chinese business man who is taking over this farm and equipment at the time of the family's voluntary evacuation to Colorado, prior to Civilian Exclusion Orders.
Travel permit (ddr-densho-338-182)
doc Travel permit (ddr-densho-338-182)
Travel permit allowing Guyo Tajiri to move to Salt Lake City, Utah before forced removal.
George Kobayashi Interview (ddr-densho-400-13)
av George Kobayashi Interview (ddr-densho-400-13)
George Kobayashi was born on February 20, 1924, in Torrance, California. He was one of three children, and his parents' names were Tamechi and Yuko Kobayashi. His father was a farmer in Gardena and his mother was a housewife. When the war broke out, he and his family moved to Fort Lupton, Colorado. During the war …
Harold Takashi Kobata Interview (ddr-densho-400-12)
av Harold Takashi Kobata Interview (ddr-densho-400-12)
Harold Takashi Kobata was born on April 5, 1926, in Gardena, California. He grew up in Gardena where his uncle, mother and older brothers ran a flower nursery. The family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, during World War II, where Kobata worked as a gardener while attending high school. After the war the family returned …
Namiye Fukuzawa Interview (ddr-densho-400-3)
av Namiye Fukuzawa Interview (ddr-densho-400-3)
Namiye Fukuzawa was born on June 30, 1925, in Los Angeles, California. Namiye's father was a vegetable hauler and her mother was a housewife living in Gardena, California. During World War II, Namiye and her family relocated to Logan, Utah. After the war they moved back to Gardena, California. This interview is part of the South …
Four letters to Yuri Domoto from Tak Negi (ddr-densho-356-290)
doc Four letters to Yuri Domoto from Tak Negi (ddr-densho-356-290)
Four letters to Yuriko Domoto Tsukada from Tak Negi. All letters stored in one envelope, unclear if they were mailed together or separately. Letter dated 9/24/1942 most likely associated with the envelope. Letter dated 9/24: details about a visit to Granada and the thoughts and feelings that came from the visit. 7/21 letter: describes weather conditions …
Letter to Yuri Domoto from Alice (ddr-densho-356-341)
doc Letter to Yuri Domoto from Alice (ddr-densho-356-341)
Letter to Yuriko Domoto Tsukada from Alice in which Alice writes about her feeling on being away from Amache, and the various reactions she gets from people outside the camp, including Japanese-Americans who fled to the East Coast before mass removal. Item tied together with all objects between ddr-densho-356-321 and ddr-densho-356-413.
Joseph Norio Uemura Interview Segment 21 (ddr-densho-1014-3-21)
vh Joseph Norio Uemura Interview Segment 21 (ddr-densho-1014-3-21)
Helping Japanese Americans from the West Coast who "voluntarily evacuated" to the U.S. interior
George Koshi Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1008-1-6)
vh George Koshi Segment 6 (ddr-densho-1008-1-6)
The bombing of Pearl Harbor: "What a stupid act on the part of Japan"to Denver

Members of the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) arranged for and conducted this interview in conjunction with Densho.

Jimmie Omura Interview Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1002-11-19)
vh Jimmie Omura Interview Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1002-11-19)
Avoiding mass removal by moving to Denver, Colorado

This interview was conducted by sisters Emiko and Chizuko Omori for their 1999 documentary, Rabbit in the Moon, about the Japanese American resisters of conscience in the World War II incarceration camps. As a result, the interviews in this collection are typically not life histories, instead primarily …

Zen Shibayama Interview Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1001-15-4)
vh Zen Shibayama Interview Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1001-15-4)
Family's decision to move inland rather than be removed to camp
Natsuko Hashitani Interview Segment 7 (ddr-one-7-42-7)
vh Natsuko Hashitani Interview Segment 7 (ddr-one-7-42-7)
Moving east to avoid mass removal

This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

George Yano Interview Segment 10 (ddr-jamsj-2-11-10)
vh George Yano Interview Segment 10 (ddr-jamsj-2-11-10)
Family organizes a car caravan of families to "voluntarily evacuate" to Colorado
Lily C. Hioki Interview Segment 12 (ddr-jamsj-2-10-12)
vh Lily C. Hioki Interview Segment 12 (ddr-jamsj-2-10-12)
Parents decide to join a caravan to "voluntarily evacuate" after the bombing of Pearl Harbor
James Sakamoto Interview Segment 7 (ddr-jamsj-2-1-7)
vh James Sakamoto Interview Segment 7 (ddr-jamsj-2-1-7)
Moving to Stockton, California, in an attempt to avoid mass removal

This interview was conducted by the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, and is part of a project entitled "Lasting Stories: The Resettlement of San Jose Japantown," a collaborative project between the Japanese American Museum of San Jose and Densho.

George T.
vh George T. "Joe" Sakato Interview Segment 12 (ddr-manz-1-29-12)
Traveling to Arizona, having to show travel permit at each town
Frank Konishi Interview Segment 15 (ddr-manz-1-25-15)
vh Frank Konishi Interview Segment 15 (ddr-manz-1-25-15)
Employing Japanese families who had "voluntarily relocated" from the West Coast
Art Imagire Interview Segment 8 (ddr-manz-1-34-8)
vh Art Imagire Interview Segment 8 (ddr-manz-1-34-8)
Family's decision to move to Reno following the bombing of Pearl Harbor
Mae Kanazawa Hara Interview Segment 10 (ddr-densho-1000-168-10)
vh Mae Kanazawa Hara Interview Segment 10 (ddr-densho-1000-168-10)
Disposing of belongings; brothers moved during "voluntary evacuation" period
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