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 (261)
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
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 …
Wedding party (ddr-densho-363-1)
img Wedding party (ddr-densho-363-1)
Photograph of the wedding party at Sam Sakamoto and Hanaye (Fujiwara) Sakamoto's wedding. The photograph was taken by Frank C. Hirahara.\n\nTo view more photographs of the Sakamoto wedding and other photographs taken by Frank C. Hirahara please visit the Oregon Nikkei Endowment's Frank C. Hirahara Collection.
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.

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"
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 …
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
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 …

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
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
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.

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