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 (66)
Leaving camp (128)
Returning home (941)

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

941 items
Sorelles Group Photo (ddr-one-1-8)
img Sorelles Group Photo (ddr-one-1-8)
Original black and white photographic print of the Sorelles, a high school social group. Back Row (left to right): Elsie Okazaki, Anges (Inouye) Kitayama, Atsuko "Alice" Kida, Atsuko “Alice” (Matsumoto) Ando, Nami (Miura) Koida, Kimi Wakabayashi, Grace Mieko (Muramatsu) Ouchida, Masae “Elsie” (Morita) Onishi, and Betty Nakashimada. Middle Row (left to right): Rose Haruye (Muramatsu) Ouchida, …
Portland Rose Festival Parade- float 11
img Portland Rose Festival Parade- float 11 "The Calliope" (ddr-one-1-137)
Color slide of Rose Festival Parade float 11 driving down W Burnside in front of a crowd outside W.L. Reid Company Building Hardware Specialties. Float depicts a calliope with a player dressed as a clown on top. Three female riders sit up front in short poofy dresses, one holds a blue ribbon while the other two …
Record DJ (ddr-one-1-97)
img Record DJ (ddr-one-1-97)
Black and white photographic negative of Jayne (Katada) Furukawa at a record table with 78 rpm records. She and Oscar Murahashi are exchanging a record.
Obon Festival- Odori folk dance (ddr-one-1-219)
img Obon Festival- Odori folk dance (ddr-one-1-219)
Black and white photographic negative of Obon dancers performing before a crowd. First woman in crowd on left side: Marian Hara. Obon dancers left line from right to left: Haru Fujii, Tamuro Miura, and Nobuko Yoshida. Obon dancers right line from right to left: Jimmy Yoshida. Obon is an annual event hosted by the Oregon Buddhist …
Valentine's Day potluck at Oregon Buddhist Church (ddr-one-1-61)
img Valentine's Day potluck at Oregon Buddhist Church (ddr-one-1-61)
Color slide of young men and women filling plates at Valentine's Day potluck at Oregon Buddhist Church (now known as the Oregon Buddhist Temple). From left to right: Ben Ishida, Atsuko "Alice" (Matsumoto) Ando, Frances (Kinoshita) Mayeda, and Arthur "Art" Ojiro Sasaki.
Obon Festival- Odori folk dance (ddr-one-1-215)
img Obon Festival- Odori folk dance (ddr-one-1-215)
Black and white photographic negative of Obon dancers performing before a crowd. Obon dancers from left to right: Susanne Mineko (Sasaki) Myer, Susan Shizuko (Yoshida) Kurimoto, Mrs. Okayama, unidentified, Mary Yamaguchi, Jean (Tsujimura) Takashima, Atsuko "Alice" (Matsumoto) Ando, Noburo Takashima, Atsuko "Alice" Kida, remaining dancer unidentified. Obon is an annual event hosted by the Oregon Buddhist …
Portland Rose Festival Parade- Float 43
img Portland Rose Festival Parade- Float 43 "Kiwanis" (ddr-one-1-159)
Color slide of Rose Festival Parade float 43 driving down W Burnside in front of a crowd outside the Shoreline Hotel. The sign for the Blue Eagle Cafe is visible in the background as well as a woman dressed in a Native American costume riding a Paint horse. The float is a large clown head with …
Obon Festival- Dancers (ddr-one-1-274)
img Obon Festival- Dancers (ddr-one-1-274)
Black and white photographic negative of two Obon dancers with tenugui (light cotton towels) around their necks posing for the camera. On left is Yukiye Itoyama. Obon is an annual event hosted by the Oregon Buddhist Church (now known as Oregon Buddhist Temple) and attended by the wider Nikkei community.
Northwest Methodist Rally Portland (ddr-one-1-74)
img Northwest Methodist Rally Portland (ddr-one-1-74)
Original black and white photographic print of the attendees of the Northwest Methodist Rally in Portland on November 23-25, 1951. The group is posed in front of the old Epworth Methodist Church building. Inscription on photograph reads "Northwest Methodist Rally Portland Nov. 23-25, 1951". Front row left to right starting third from left: Rupert Fujii, Shig …
Mas Hashimoto Interview Segment 27 (ddr-densho-1015-7-27)
vh Mas Hashimoto Interview Segment 27 (ddr-densho-1015-7-27)
Mixed reactions from community members upon return of Japanese Americans
Shig Yabu Interview Segment 10 (ddr-densho-1011-10-10)
vh Shig Yabu Interview Segment 10 (ddr-densho-1011-10-10)
Leaving camp and returning to California

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.

Hisaye Yamamoto Interview Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1002-10-13)
vh Hisaye Yamamoto Interview Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1002-10-13)
Leaving camp and returning to California

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 focusing on …

Yaeko Yoshihara Interview Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1001-17-7)
vh Yaeko Yoshihara Interview Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1001-17-7)
Leaving camp and returning home to Bainbridge Island

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.

Brooks Andrews Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1001-7-9)
vh Brooks Andrews Interview Segment 9 (ddr-densho-1001-7-9)
Thoughts on hardships faced by Japanese Americans returning to the West Coast after the war
Kay Sakai Nakao Interview Segment 14 (ddr-densho-1001-3-14)
vh Kay Sakai Nakao Interview Segment 14 (ddr-densho-1001-3-14)
Adjusting to returning home: "I don't know why, I just kept looking over my shoulder"
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