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
An Oral History with Katsuma Mukaeda - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-56-1)
vh An Oral History with Katsuma Mukaeda - Segment 1 (ddr-csujad-29-56-1)
Chairman of Japanese American Cultural Center and former president of Japanese Chamber of Commerce recounts conditions of prewar Los Angeles's Little Tokyo, its wartime conversion into a black community, postwar reestablishment as a Japanese-American cultural and commercial center. Includes comments on discriminatory legislation, prewar Japan-American relations. World War II removal and incarceration, camp conditions, wartime repatriation …
Mollie Nakasaki Interview Segment 21 (ddr-jamsj-2-4-21)
vh Mollie Nakasaki Interview Segment 21 (ddr-jamsj-2-4-21)
Visiting a hostel for returning Japanese Americans postwar

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.

Perry Dobashi Interview Segment 11 (ddr-jamsj-2-3-11)
vh Perry Dobashi Interview Segment 11 (ddr-jamsj-2-3-11)
Returning home after the war, restarting the family business

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.

Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 27 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-27)
vh Eiichi Edward Sakauye Interview Segment 27 (ddr-jamsj-2-7-27)
Returning to San Jose before the West Coast was opened for Japanese Americans
Willie K. Ito Interview Segment 19 (ddr-manz-1-149-19)
vh Willie K. Ito Interview Segment 19 (ddr-manz-1-149-19)
Returning to San Francisco and witnessing changes in the Japantown area
Marion I. Masada Interview Segment 22 (ddr-manz-1-155-22)
vh Marion I. Masada Interview Segment 22 (ddr-manz-1-155-22)
Leaving camp and hearing that Japanese Americans were not welcome to return to hometown
Masako Yoshida Interview Segment 24 (ddr-manz-1-153-24)
vh Masako Yoshida Interview Segment 24 (ddr-manz-1-153-24)
Returning to California to raise a family, facing discrimination
Mary Suzuki Ichino Interview II Segment 19 (ddr-manz-1-52-19)
vh Mary Suzuki Ichino Interview II Segment 19 (ddr-manz-1-52-19)
Seeing Little Tokyo for the first time after the war: "it was so devastating"
Hal Keimi Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1000-458-13)
vh Hal Keimi Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1000-458-13)
Family members split up and leave camp at different times
Ronald Ikejiri Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-461-4)
vh Ronald Ikejiri Segment 4 (ddr-densho-1000-461-4)
Living in Gardena after the war, parents' financial struggles
Mitsuko Hashiguchi Segment 62 (ddr-densho-1000-12-62)
vh Mitsuko Hashiguchi Segment 62 (ddr-densho-1000-12-62)
Shock at condition of family farm upon returning after the war
Mitsuko Hashiguchi Segment 63 (ddr-densho-1000-12-63)
vh Mitsuko Hashiguchi Segment 63 (ddr-densho-1000-12-63)
Struggling to rebuild the family farm, finally deciding to sell
Mitsuko Hashiguchi Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-12-16)
vh Mitsuko Hashiguchi Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-12-16)
Caucasians reach out to the Japanese Americans returning home from the camps
Mary Kageyama Nomura Interview Segment 24 (ddr-densho-1000-255-24)
vh Mary Kageyama Nomura Interview Segment 24 (ddr-densho-1000-255-24)
Leaving camp and returning to California, living in a hostel run by the Quakers
Mako Nakagawa Segment 23 (ddr-densho-1000-66-23)
vh Mako Nakagawa Segment 23 (ddr-densho-1000-66-23)
Issues of racism and identity, learning a meaningful poem in school
Frank Yamasaki Interview I Segment 34 (ddr-densho-1000-107-34)
vh Frank Yamasaki Interview I Segment 34 (ddr-densho-1000-107-34)
Starting over after the war: denial of all things Japanese, and attitude toward pardon of draft resisters
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