Economic losses

The economic and emotional toll associated with the uprooting of Japanese Americans from their homes and businesses was enormous. The cost was especially high for the issei (first-generation immigrants), who had worked most of their lives to establish financial security for themselves and their children. Many Japanese Americans bitterly recall being forced to sell property, personal belongings, and business equipment for a fraction of their value to opportunistic scavengers. Evacuees could take only what they could carry. They left behind heirlooms, cherished toys, and family pets. Farmers continued to work for a harvest they would never see, told it would be "disloyal" to stop. The bustling Nihonmachis (Japantowns) of the West Coast closed down and never fully recovered, even after the war ended.

World War II (66)
Economic losses (235)

235 items
Japanese Americans boarding up their store (ddr-densho-151-234)
img Japanese Americans boarding up their store (ddr-densho-151-234)
Original caption: San Francisco, California. Owners of Japanese ancestry board up windows of their stores prior to evacuation. Evacuees will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration.
Laundry business preparing to close (ddr-densho-151-304)
img Laundry business preparing to close (ddr-densho-151-304)
Original caption: San Francisco, California. Everywhere in the Japanese quarter are evidence of the coming evacuation. This is a laundry and cleaning business which is just winding up its affairs prior to evacuation.
Japanese American boarding up store (ddr-densho-151-93)
img Japanese American boarding up store (ddr-densho-151-93)
Original caption: San Francisco, California. With the the owner scheduled to be evacuated, a store front is boarded on Post Street, San Francisco, California.
Goods for sale in Japantown (ddr-densho-151-233)
img Goods for sale in Japantown (ddr-densho-151-233)
Original caption: San Francisco, California. A common sight on the streets of the Japanese quarter of the city prior to evacuation.
Father and son in front of store (ddr-densho-151-272)
img Father and son in front of store (ddr-densho-151-272)
Original caption: San Francisco, California. Dave Tatsuno and his father, merchants of Japanese ancestry in San Francisco prior to evacuation.
Farewell letter posted in Chinatown restaurant (ddr-densho-151-117)
img Farewell letter posted in Chinatown restaurant (ddr-densho-151-117)
Original caption: San Francisco, California. Farewell letter posted in show window of T.Z. Shiota, importer in San Francisco's Chinatown, prior to evacuation of residents of Japanese ancestry. Evacuees will be housed at War Relocation Authority centers for the duration.
Japanese American farmers prior to mass removal (ddr-densho-151-126)
img Japanese American farmers prior to mass removal (ddr-densho-151-126)
Original caption: Near Mission San Jose, California. This family of Japanese ancestry have but a few more days to work in their stawberry field before evacuation to an assembly point from where they will later be transferred to a War Relocation Authority center to spend the duration.
Japanese-owned farm recently sold (ddr-densho-151-121)
img Japanese-owned farm recently sold (ddr-densho-151-121)
Original caption: Near Centerville, Alameda County, California. Japanese berry farm transferred to a Yugoslavian in United States since 1913.
Japanese American selling possessions (ddr-densho-151-275)
img Japanese American selling possessions (ddr-densho-151-275)
Original caption: Centerville, California. Scene in the Japanese American Citizens League local office. This office is assisting the farmers of Japanese ancestry in this district to arrange their affairs for evacuation and to keep them posted on events. Harry Konda, officer of the league, is disposing of a washing machine to a local Mexican farm laborer's ...
Claim for Damage to or Loss of Real or Personal Property by a Person of Japanese Ancestry (ddr-densho-167-43)
doc Claim for Damage to or Loss of Real or Personal Property by a Person of Japanese Ancestry (ddr-densho-167-43)
Yukio Kuroishi owned a restaurant in Los Angeles prior to World War II. He filed this claims form for losses against the business.
Letter from Min Tamesa to Adam Beller (ddr-densho-333-27)
img Letter from Min Tamesa to Adam Beller (ddr-densho-333-27)
Letter regarding seeking financial restitution for highway being put across Tamesa property
Letter sent to Kinuta Uno at Tule Lake concentration camp (ddr-densho-324-75)
doc Letter sent to Kinuta Uno at Tule Lake concentration camp (ddr-densho-324-75)
Request to use Kinuta Uno's radio and phonograph while he is incarcerated.
Agreement regarding the safekeeping of goods and equipment (ddr-densho-324-94)
doc Agreement regarding the safekeeping of goods and equipment (ddr-densho-324-94)
L.P. Shield will safeguard household goods and equipment left by the Prato Family.
Letter sent to Kayuko Uno at Pinedale Assembly Center (ddr-densho-324-70)
doc Letter sent to Kayuko Uno at Pinedale Assembly Center (ddr-densho-324-70)
Correspondence from Carl Prato regarding management of the Uno's farm while they were incarcerated.
License for the sale and transfer of goods (ddr-densho-324-12)
doc License for the sale and transfer of goods (ddr-densho-324-12)
Allows the Seattle-First National Bank to sell farm equipment, vehicles, and household furnishings for the Uno Family.
Letter to Kinuta Uno at Tule Lake concentration camp (ddr-densho-324-10)
doc Letter to Kinuta Uno at Tule Lake concentration camp (ddr-densho-324-10)
Correspondence regarding an inventory of possessions left behind, as well as for the sale of some large items.
Letter sent to Kinuta Uno at Tule Lake concentration camp (ddr-densho-324-71)
doc Letter sent to Kinuta Uno at Tule Lake concentration camp (ddr-densho-324-71)
Correspondence from Carl Prato regarding sale of the Uno's farm and equipment.
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