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.

Economic losses (231)

231 items
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.
Close-out sale at nursery (ddr-densho-151-305)
img Close-out sale at nursery (ddr-densho-151-305)
Original caption: Berkeley, California. Residents of Japanese ancestry are closing out their businesses in preparation for the coming evacuation. They will be moved into War Relocation Authority centers to spend the duration.
img "Evacuation sale" at shop run by Japanese Americans (ddr-densho-151-139)
Original caption: San Francisco, California. A close-out sale- prior to evacuation- at store operated by proprietor of Japanese ancestry on Grant Avenue in Chinatown. The evacuees of Japanese descent will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration.
Yugoslavian man taking over Japanese-operated farm (ddr-densho-151-122)
img Yugoslavian man taking over Japanese-operated farm (ddr-densho-151-122)
Original caption: Centerville, California. Yugoslavian farmer is taking over berry farm formerly operated by residents of Japanese ancestry, who are being sent to assembly points and later to be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration.
People shopping at
img People shopping at "evacuation sale" (ddr-densho-151-213)
Original caption: San Francisco, California. At a close-out sale these patrons were buying merchandise to take with them when they are evacuated. Evacuees of Japanese ancestry will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration.
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.
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 42, No. 14 (April 6, 1956) (ddr-pc-28-14)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 42, No. 14 (April 6, 1956) (ddr-pc-28-14)
Selected article titles: "Jr JACL program adopted for 14th national convention" (p. 1), "Picture-bride practice reversed as eight Nisei fly to Japan to be married" (p. 1), "Escheat case fight on appeal; JACL to sign amicus brief" (p. 1), "Justice Dep't orders certain claims to be heard by examiner" (p. 1), "Hilo Nisei doctor at ...
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 42, No. 24 (June 15, 1956) (ddr-pc-28-24)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 42, No. 24 (June 15, 1956) (ddr-pc-28-24)
Selected article titles: "Claims bill ready for consideration on Senate floor within two weeks" (p. 1), 'Alien Land Law Repeal Measure Set as Prop. 13" (p. 1), "Nat'l JACL Director Satow visits Nation's capital, visits with California congressmen" (p. 1), "Reveal identity of Nisei meeting housing bias in SF area as Richmond-El Cerrito CLer ...
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 42, No. 9 (March 2, 1956) (ddr-pc-28-9)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 42, No. 9 (March 2, 1956) (ddr-pc-28-9)
Selected article titles: "Lane-Hillings evacuation claims bill slated for Mar. 5 consent calendar" (p. 1), "Newsweek Backs Nisei Loyalty, Regrets Letter" (p. 1), "Self-sacrifice of Marysville JACLers during flood emergency lauded as finest page in JACL history written by a chapter" (p. 2), "Hollywood CL aids Shonien with $104" (p. 3), "Cincinnati Mayor Charles Taft to ...
Dave Tatsuno Interview Segment 10 (ddr-jamsj-2-6-10)
vh Dave Tatsuno Interview Segment 10 (ddr-jamsj-2-6-10)
Renters of home in San Francisco steal and sell belongings

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.

Mitsuko Hashiguchi Segment 33 (ddr-densho-1000-12-33)
vh Mitsuko Hashiguchi Segment 33 (ddr-densho-1000-12-33)
Packing for camp, and trying to protect farm assets; property loss and damage
Art Abe Interview Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-206-16)
vh Art Abe Interview Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-206-16)
Preparing for mass removal: selling the family's grocery store
Mutsu Homma Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1000-24-19)
vh Mutsu Homma Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1000-24-19)
Preparing for mass removal: forced to sell belongings, a piano for $25
Pacific Citizen, Vol. 60, No. 17 (April 23, 1965) (ddr-pc-37-17)
doc Pacific Citizen, Vol. 60, No. 17 (April 23, 1965) (ddr-pc-37-17)
Selected article titles: "Alan Kumamoto Designated National JACL Youth Director" (p.1), "U.S. Agrees to Pay Nisei Family for Personal Effects Lost in Dec. 7 Bombing" (p.1), "2 Issei Chosen for Garden Hall of Fame" (p.1), "Bitter Young Republicans Get Their Comeuppance" (p.2).
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