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
Hank Shozo Umemoto Interview II Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-462-3)
vh Hank Shozo Umemoto Interview II Segment 3 (ddr-densho-1000-462-3)
First impressions of Los Angeles soon after the city was reopened to Japanese Americans returning from camps
Hank Shozo Umemoto Interview II Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-462-8)
vh Hank Shozo Umemoto Interview II Segment 8 (ddr-densho-1000-462-8)
Description of the Little Tokyo neighborhood of Los Angeles immediately following World War II
Nancy Kyoko Oda Segment 5 (ddr-densho-1000-463-5)
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Returning to California after the war where father taught judo
Lawson I. Sakai Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1000-472-13)
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Returning home to wife's family's neighborhood after the war, experiencing discrimination
Marjorie Matsushita Sperling Interview Segment 22 (ddr-densho-1000-273-22)
vh Marjorie Matsushita Sperling Interview Segment 22 (ddr-densho-1000-273-22)
Returning to Wapato, observing changes in the Japanese American community

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 …

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)
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Living in Gardena after the war, parents' financial struggles