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Returning home

When the camps closed, Japanese Americans were handed $25 and put on trains headed for the places they had been forcibly removed from nearly four years earlier. Harassment was common -- many returning Japanese Americans were greeted with signs reading "No Japs Allowed." Other discovered their property had been vandalized or stolen. Homes and businesses that had been boarded up or left in the care of others were abandoned and stripped of furnishings and goods. For the majority, who did not have homes to return to, housing was the most serious problem. Housing discrimination was severe in many areas and persisted to varying degrees until the civil rights legislation of the 1960s. Former camp inmates with no other options moved into hostels and converted community institutions with conditions not much better than the camps they had just left. Although this period was stressful, it is remembered as a time when people came together to share what they had.

World War II (215)
Leaving camp (260)
Returning home (1010)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Alien land laws, Hood River incident, Kazuo Masuda, Return to West Coast


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1010 items
Telegram from G. Arnold to Robert Cullum, Relocation Supervisor, War Relocation Authority, August 5, 1944 (ddr-csujad-42-104)
doc Telegram from G. Arnold to Robert Cullum, Relocation Supervisor, War Relocation Authority, August 5, 1944 (ddr-csujad-42-104)
A telegram from G. Arnold to Robert M. Cullum, Relocation Supervisor, War Relocation Authority, United States Department of the Interior regarding Fumio Fred Takano's request for the permission to reenter California. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: tak_01_53_001
Photograph of the Little family (ddr-csujad-47-310)
img Photograph of the Little family (ddr-csujad-47-310)
Photograph of the Little family getting ready to depart the Manzanar incarceration camp with the Sierra Nevada in the background. They are leaning against the family car. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: ecm_merritt_0461
Photograph of people in front of a barracks at Manzanar (ddr-csujad-47-333)
img Photograph of people in front of a barracks at Manzanar (ddr-csujad-47-333)
Photograph of four men, a woman and a young boy outside of a barracks at Manzanar incarceration camp. They are getting ready to depart. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: ecm_merritt_0492
Letter from W.W. Lessing, Relocation Officer, War Relocation Authority, to Mrs. George H. Nakamura, November 25, 1945 (ddr-csujad-55-2450)
doc Letter from W.W. Lessing, Relocation Officer, War Relocation Authority, to Mrs. George H. Nakamura, November 25, 1945 (ddr-csujad-55-2450)
Correspondence from W.W. Lessing to Dorothy Nakamura regarding grants for former incarcerees returning to their former homes after World War II. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: sac_jaac_2556
Letter from H.C. Herring to Mr. M. Abe, November 20, 1945 (ddr-csujad-55-26)
doc Letter from H.C. Herring to Mr. M. Abe, November 20, 1945 (ddr-csujad-55-26)
Correspondence from H.C. Herring to Mr. M. Abe outlining a work arrangement for carpentry, painting, and general labor. Includes the type of work, hourly rate, other compensation, and effective dates of the contract and a signed acceptance from M. Abe. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: sac_jaac_00029
Letter from Helen Hopt Kleven, 1945, page 11 (ddr-csujad-55-791)
doc Letter from Helen Hopt Kleven, 1945, page 11 (ddr-csujad-55-791)
Correspondence (page 11 only) from Helen Hopt Kleven regarding attitudes towards resettlement of Japanese Americans to the west coast. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: sac_jaac_0793
Resettlement bulletin, vol. 2, no. 7 (September 1944) (ddr-csujad-55-1671)
doc Resettlement bulletin, vol. 2, no. 7 (September 1944) (ddr-csujad-55-1671)
Bulletin covering issues related to "resettlement" including news, resources, and opinions. Current issue includes articles on family resettlement through churches, California annual conference of the Methodist Church, Missionary Society of the Evangelical Church, the Southern California-Arizona conference of the Methodist Church, relocation to Chicago, integration, and information on hostels. See this object in the California State …
Report of survey on West Coast (ddr-csujad-55-790)
doc Report of survey on West Coast (ddr-csujad-55-790)
Report regarding a survey of incarcerees who intend to return to the west coast after leaving the incarceration camp. Conducted by Rev. John M. Yamazaki. Yamazaki provides a descriptive account of his travel to survey the conditions on the west coast and outlines several factors impacting incarcerees return including "housing problem," "job situation," and "local sentiment …
Granada community analysis report, #2 (ddr-csujad-55-788)
doc Granada community analysis report, #2 (ddr-csujad-55-788)
Report on "resettlement" from Granada incarceration camp. Includes: Are you interested in leaving the Center?; Why are you hesitant about resettlement? (including subsections on uncertainty of public sentiment, lack of money, lack of information, lack of confidence in making a reasonably satisfactory living, lack of proper living quarters, family ties and responsibilities, lack of confidence in …
Message from D.S. Myer, the Director of the War Relocation Authority (ddr-csujad-55-182)
doc Message from D.S. Myer, the Director of the War Relocation Authority (ddr-csujad-55-182)
Response by D.S. Meyer, director of the War Relocation Authority, to incarcerees discussing the implications and procedures following the lifting of the exclusion orders by the Western Defense Command in January 1945. Includes "Summary of WRA policies and procedures for the final phase of the relocation program" and information on relocation assistance, property assistance, welfare assistance, …
Address to the Sheriffs of California by Robert W. Kenny, Attorney General of California, Sheriffs meeting, Sacramento, March 16, 1945 (ddr-csujad-55-1674)
doc Address to the Sheriffs of California by Robert W. Kenny, Attorney General of California, Sheriffs meeting, Sacramento, March 16, 1945 (ddr-csujad-55-1674)
Speech given to the Sheriffs of California at the Sheriffs meeting regarding protection, civil liberties, and discrimination against former incarcerees returning to the state. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: sac_jaac_1676
Story of the Nittas (ddr-csujad-55-342)
doc Story of the Nittas (ddr-csujad-55-342)
Pamphlet on the story of the Nitta family during World War II. Covers the Nitta's "evacuation", incarceration at Poston, and "resettlement." From verso, "Reprinted from NOW, through co-operation with the Congregational Committee on Christian Democracy from original manuscript supplied by the Reports Division of the War Relocation Authority, Los Angeles, July, 1945." See this object in …
Memo from Frank S. Okusako, 1st Lt, Infantry, Company H, 442d Infantry to Commanding General, Western Defense Command, Presidio of San Francisco, California (Thru Channels), August 30, 1945 (ddr-csujad-55-229)
doc Memo from Frank S. Okusako, 1st Lt, Infantry, Company H, 442d Infantry to Commanding General, Western Defense Command, Presidio of San Francisco, California (Thru Channels), August 30, 1945 (ddr-csujad-55-229)
Memorandum of understanding from Frank S. Okusako to Commanding General, Western Defense Command regarding relocation of Okusako's family from the Tule Lake incarceration camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: sac_jaac_0231
When you leave the relocation center (ddr-csujad-55-792)
doc When you leave the relocation center (ddr-csujad-55-792)
Pamphlet on instructions for leaving the "relocation center." Covers: Giving notice of time of arrival; Travelers' aid society; Report of arrival and change of address cards; Travel and change of address for aliens; Relocation assistance payments; Special regulations in Western Defense Command; Relocation officers; War manpower restrictions on job changes; West coast security problems; Shipment of …
Letter from Mrs. K. Befu to Mr. and Mrs. S. Okine, January 15, 1946 [in Japanese] (ddr-csujad-5-119)
doc Letter from Mrs. K. Befu to Mr. and Mrs. S. Okine, January 15, 1946 [in Japanese] (ddr-csujad-5-119)
A letter from Komaki Befu in Los Angeles, California to Seiichi and Tomeyo Okine, in Hawthorne, California. She thanks Mr. and Mrs. Okine for their visit and the mochi mailed to her. She also informs that Mr. Yoshikawa has given her son, Masuo Befu, a farewell gift. The handwritten notes on the back of the envelope …
Letter from Ayame Okine to Mr. and Mrs. Okine, December 13, 1945 [in Japanese] (ddr-csujad-5-112)
doc Letter from Ayame Okine to Mr. and Mrs. Okine, December 13, 1945 [in Japanese] (ddr-csujad-5-112)
Ayame Okine writes from Bartlett, Illinois, to her parents-in-law, Seiichi and Tomeyo Okine in Hawthorne, California. She states that she is glad to hear that they have returned to California safely and would be able to spend winter holidays at home. She also describes the Japanese community in Chicago, making mochi for new year's day. The …
Letter from Makoto Okine to Mr. S. Okine, January 15, 1946 [in Japanese] (ddr-csujad-5-123)
doc Letter from Makoto Okine to Mr. S. Okine, January 15, 1946 [in Japanese] (ddr-csujad-5-123)
A letter from Makoto Okine to his father, Seiichi Okine in Hawthorne, California. This letter is probably written in Italy where Makoto is stationed as a U.S. Army soldier and mailed via New York by the U.S. Army Postal Service. He regrets not being able to write to his father for a long time because he …
Letter from Usami Terada to Mr. A.W. Thomas, February 7, 1945 (ddr-csujad-4-23)
doc Letter from Usami Terada to Mr. A.W. Thomas, February 7, 1945 (ddr-csujad-4-23)
A letter from Usami Terada, an incarceree at the Rohwer incarceration camp, to a Mr. A.W. Thomas in Lawndale, California. In the letter, Usami discusses about returning to California and asks Mr. Thomas how Lawndale has changed during the past three years. He also asks for photographs of Mr. Thomas' family, Terada's home, and their neighbor, …
Letter from Usami Terada to Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Thomas, October 3, 1943 (ddr-csujad-4-18)
doc Letter from Usami Terada to Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Thomas, October 3, 1943 (ddr-csujad-4-18)
A letter from Usami Terada, an incarceree at the Rohwer incarceration camp, to Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Thomas in Lawndale, California. The letter discusses the Japanese American incarcerees returning to California and the West Coast. He describes the returning people as "half bred or wife of Caucasian" and a female attending Pasadena Junior College. He expresses …
Letter from Emiko [Amy] Terada to Miss Laura Thomas, January 19, 1945 (ddr-csujad-4-22)
doc Letter from Emiko [Amy] Terada to Miss Laura Thomas, January 19, 1945 (ddr-csujad-4-22)
A letter from Emiko Amy Terada, an incarceree at the Rohwer incarceration camp, to Miss Laura Thomas in Lawndale, California. In the letter, Emiko asks Laura about the conditions in Lawndale, California, expressing her concern about housing. She also describes school in the camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project …
War Relocation Authority Evacuation Property Office receipt (ddr-csujad-5-193)
doc War Relocation Authority Evacuation Property Office receipt (ddr-csujad-5-193)
A receipt issued by War Relocation Authority Evacuation Property Office for Seiichi Okine's belongings, listing "5 cartons, 3 trunks, 2 bundles." See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: oki_02_37_001
[Travel permit] (ddr-csujad-5-98)
doc [Travel permit] (ddr-csujad-5-98)
A travel permit issued by Leave Officer of "Rohwer Relocation Center." It certifies that Seiichi Okine is permitted to leave for Long Beach, California with the permission of the United States Attorney. Enclosed with the letter (csudh_oki_0098). See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: oki_01_30_002
Letter from Sojiro Nishimura to Mr. and Mrs. Okine, December 24, [1945] [in Japanese] (ddr-csujad-5-114)
doc Letter from Sojiro Nishimura to Mr. and Mrs. Okine, December 24, [1945] [in Japanese] (ddr-csujad-5-114)
A greeting letter from Munejiro Nishimura in Gardena, California to Seiichi and Tomeyo Okine in Hawthorne, California. In the letter, he thanks them for a Christmas gift and informs that he and his family has been staying in a house provided by a Caucasian friend who is supportive to the Japanese. The arrival date and place …
Letter from Ed Bethune, Personnel Technician, United States Department of the Interior War Relocation Authority, November 7, 1945 (ddr-csujad-5-101)
doc Letter from Ed Bethune, Personnel Technician, United States Department of the Interior War Relocation Authority, November 7, 1945 (ddr-csujad-5-101)
A recommendation letter for Hatsuno Hotty Okine written by Ed Bethune, United States Department of the Interior War Relocation Authority, who is her supervisor when she is employed in "the Evacuee Personnel Section of the Rohwer Relocation Center." See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: oki_01_31_001
[Travel permit] (ddr-csujad-5-99)
doc [Travel permit] (ddr-csujad-5-99)
A travel permit issued by Leave Officer of "Rohwer Relocation Center." It certifies that Tomeyo Okine is permitted to leave for Long Beach, California with the permission of the United States Attorney. Enclosed with the letter (csudh_oki_0098). See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: oki_01_30_003
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