Holidays and festivals

Striving to maintain normal lives, Japanese Americans held holiday celebrations and festivals inside the concentration camps. Whether decorating mess halls during the Christmas holiday as part of a camp-wide competition or participating in parades to celebrate the harvest of crops from their own gardens, the Japanese Americans demonstrated their resourcefulness and resilience.

World War II (66)
Concentration camps (575)
Holidays and festivals (210)

210 items
Block 41 Christmas display (ddr-densho-2-39)
img Block 41 Christmas display (ddr-densho-2-39)
This Block 41 Christmas display, made by Japanese Americans from scrap materials, won third prize during a competition in 1944.
Incarceree performing in camp parade (ddr-densho-2-23)
img Incarceree performing in camp parade (ddr-densho-2-23)
Patsy Yorita performing a flag salute at the Tule Lake concentration camp at the Independence Day parade.
Holiday greeting card (ddr-csujad-3-17)
img Holiday greeting card (ddr-csujad-3-17)
Christmas card of Santa Claus presenting a landscape photo of the Tule Lake incarceration camp featuring a barbed wire fence, snow covered path to a gate leading outside camp to a railroad crossing, and a hillside. Card reads "Season's greetings." See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tos_01_001_018
Holiday greeting card (ddr-csujad-3-16)
img Holiday greeting card (ddr-csujad-3-16)
Christmas card of Santa Claus presenting a photo of the Tule Lake incarceration camp featuring a barbed wire fence, what appears to be a section of a guard tower, and a distant hillside. Card reads "Season's greetings." See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tos_01_001_017
Holiday greeting card (ddr-csujad-3-19)
img Holiday greeting card (ddr-csujad-3-19)
Christmas card featuring Santa Claus presenting an aerial photo of the Tule Lake incarceration camp showing buildings, a train, and the surrounding landscape. Card reads "Season's greetings." See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tos_01_001_020
Christmas card from Emma Hesse to Mr. and Mrs. Henry [Katsumi] Fujita, December 21, 1941 (ddr-csujad-23-12)
doc Christmas card from Emma Hesse to Mr. and Mrs. Henry [Katsumi] Fujita, December 21, 1941 (ddr-csujad-23-12)
Card depicts winter scene with snow and people walking down a path. Message from Emma Hesse states: "I pray for you, and ask that all kindness and understanding surround you these days." Object includes envelope showing address in Petaluma, California. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: lp028-08-012
[Carp banner (Koinobori) and Boys Day]: Japanese holidays (ddr-csujad-2-62)
doc [Carp banner (Koinobori) and Boys Day]: Japanese holidays (ddr-csujad-2-62)
Report on the history and culture of "Boys' Day," a Japanese holiday practiced on May 5. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: sjs_sch_0062
Toshio Oku photo album (ddr-csujad-3-22)
img Toshio Oku photo album (ddr-csujad-3-22)
Photo album is a collection of landscape and panoramic photos of Tule Lake incarceration camp, holiday greeting cards, photos of a fire, graduation portrait of Toshio Oku, group photo of the Electrical Department, and inside the print shop of the Newell Star. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tos_01_001_023
Holiday greeting card (ddr-csujad-3-18)
img Holiday greeting card (ddr-csujad-3-18)
Christmas card featuring Santa Claus presenting a landscape photo of the Tule Lake incarceration camp from outside a barbed wire fence looking in on buildings in camp with a hill in the distance. Card reads "Season's greetings." See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tos_01_001_019
Holiday greeting card (ddr-csujad-3-14)
img Holiday greeting card (ddr-csujad-3-14)
Christmas greeting card featuring Santa Claus presenting a photo of the Tule Lake incarceration camp buildings and landscape from what appears to be a guard tower. Card reads "Season's greetings." See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tos_01_001_015
Holiday greeting card (ddr-csujad-3-15)
img Holiday greeting card (ddr-csujad-3-15)
Christmas card of Santa Claus presenting a photo of the Tule Lake incarceration camp featuring buildings, fencing, a snowy road, and vehicles. Card reads "Season's greetings." See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tos_01_001_016
Obon, Rohwer, Arkansas (ddr-csujad-5-339)
img Obon, Rohwer, Arkansas (ddr-csujad-5-339)
Photographed are Akiko An and Kiku Tanimoto, Ayame May Okine, and Dorothy Ai Okine. It is taken during the obon event in the Rohwer incarceration camp. The handwritten notes on the backside read: Obon, Rohwer, Arkansas. A photograph from "Dorothy Ai Aoki photo album" (csudh_oki_0300), page 11. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese ...
Amache summer carnival program (ddr-csujad-7-18)
doc Amache summer carnival program (ddr-csujad-7-18)
Program listing events and showing locations for a carnival put on by the incarcerees at Amache. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: HMLSC_Amache Summer Carnival
Personality cards (ddr-csujad-26-43)
doc Personality cards (ddr-csujad-26-43)
Journal entries written by high school students discussing their observations and perspectives on a variety of topics including family interactions, memories, homesickness, friendships, social interactions, school, self-reflection, juvenile delinquency, peer behaviors, death, religion, opinions, and worldviews. Each entry includes the full date and student name. The entries were part of a class assignment and collected for ...
Tule Lake recreation center community affairs report for the period August 20, 1942 to September 20, 1942 (ddr-csujad-26-11)
doc Tule Lake recreation center community affairs report for the period August 20, 1942 to September 20, 1942 (ddr-csujad-26-11)
Summary of community youth recreation activities at Tule Lake before school began including descriptions of administration, leadership and training, the "Community Activities Commission," advisory board, planning board, staff, organization, and activities. Report compiled as a portion of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS). See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization ...
Camp Christmas card (ddr-densho-13-29)
doc Camp Christmas card (ddr-densho-13-29)
This is the interior of a Christmas card that was designed by a camp inmate.
Harvest Festival Parade (ddr-densho-37-258)
img Harvest Festival Parade (ddr-densho-37-258)
Original WRA caption: Great originality in costumes was show[n] at the Harvest Festival Parade held at this relocation center.
Christmas decoration contest (ddr-densho-37-15)
img Christmas decoration contest (ddr-densho-37-15)
Original WRA caption: Dining hall 32 won fourth place with its beautiful centerpiece complete with life-size Santa Claus in the Christmas dining hall decorations contest.
Christmas decorations (ddr-densho-37-12)
img Christmas decorations (ddr-densho-37-12)
Original WRA caption: "Block 1 dining hall." Block residents cleverly decorated their dining halls with waste material for Christmas. The blocks were judged for their decorations and ingenuity.
Japanese Americans sorting Christmas presents (ddr-densho-37-678)
img Japanese Americans sorting Christmas presents (ddr-densho-37-678)
Original WRA caption: Santa's Helpers - Through kind donations from thoughtful friends all over the United States, a happy and merry Christmas will be possible for the children of Hunt. Thousands of presents have been sent in day after day, swamping Rec. 21 and overflowing the Federated Christian church office.
<i>Bon Odori</i> festival (ddr-densho-37-775)
img Bon Odori festival (ddr-densho-37-775)
Original WRA caption: Granada Relocation Center, Amache, Colorado. Part of the approximately 1,000 dancers who participated in the Bon Odori festival sponsored by the Granada Buddhist Church on August 14. Spectators are shown in the background. This dance was held at night on the baseball diamond.
Harvest Festival Parade (ddr-densho-37-595)
img Harvest Festival Parade (ddr-densho-37-595)
Original WRA caption: Gila River Relocation Center, Rivers, Arizona. One of the floats in the Thanksgiving day Harvest Festival Parade.
Harvest Festival Parade (ddr-densho-37-73)
img Harvest Festival Parade (ddr-densho-37-73)
Original WRA caption: Three costumes that were worn in the Harvest Festival Parade held at this relocation center.
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