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.

Returning home (911)

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

911 items
[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
Junkoh Harui Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-11-16)
vh Junkoh Harui Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-11-16)
Efforts to rebuild Bainbridge Gardens: father's hurt at seeing his trees, taken during the war, in neighbors' yards

This interview was done outdoors in the Bainbridge Gardens Nursery which resulted in increased background noise and frequent interruptions by the business P.A. system.

Junkoh Harui Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1000-11-15)
vh Junkoh Harui Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1000-11-15)
Positive memories of returning to school on Bainbridge Island, Washington

This interview was done outdoors in the Bainbridge Gardens Nursery which resulted in increased background noise and frequent interruptions by the business P.A. system.

An Oral History with Katsuma Mukaeda (ddr-csujad-29-56)
vh An Oral History with Katsuma Mukaeda (ddr-csujad-29-56)
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 ...
Toru Sakahara - Kiyo Sakahara Interview II Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1000-77-19)
vh Toru Sakahara - Kiyo Sakahara Interview II Segment 19 (ddr-densho-1000-77-19)
Toru's beginning a career in law and insurance

This interview was conducted over two days at the Sakaharas' home.

Emery Brooks Andrews Interview Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-155-18)
vh Emery Brooks Andrews Interview Segment 18 (ddr-densho-1000-155-18)
Father's activities immediately after returning to Seattle: opposing the teamsters and aiding Japanese American farmers
Lawson I. Sakai Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1000-472-13)
vh Lawson I. Sakai Segment 13 (ddr-densho-1000-472-13)
Returning home to wife's family's neighborhood after the war, experiencing discrimination
Barbara Reiko Mikami Keimi Segment 10 (ddr-densho-1000-459-10)
vh Barbara Reiko Mikami Keimi Segment 10 (ddr-densho-1000-459-10)
Meeting ethnically diverse kids right after the war in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles
Yae Wada Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-476-16)
vh Yae Wada Segment 16 (ddr-densho-1000-476-16)
Trying to reclaim prewar beauty shop business after the war
Issei man in Los Angeles (ddr-densho-242-16)
img Issei man in Los Angeles (ddr-densho-242-16)
Caption by Ike Hatchimonji: "Los Angeles - around 1947-48. Kumezo Hatchimoji at his home."
Hostel, Japanese language school (ddr-densho-31-1)
img Hostel, Japanese language school (ddr-densho-31-1)
These children are on the front steps of the Japanese language school. The school housed many Japanese Americans immediately after the incarceration. Front row (left to right): Nancy Tada and Susumu Ohashi holding Kiyomi Ohashi. Second row: Ronnie Tada, Takashi Aoki, Yoshiko Tokita, Yasuo Tokita, and Yuzo Tokita. Third row: Janet Tada, Setsuko Kojima, Peggy Ohashi ...
Scrapbook page (ddr-densho-35-371)
doc Scrapbook page (ddr-densho-35-371)
Newspaper clippings from the Oregon Journal and an advertisement for a mass meeting from the Gresham Outlook.
Advertisement for anti-Japanese meeting (ddr-densho-35-365)
doc Advertisement for anti-Japanese meeting (ddr-densho-35-365)
Advertisement for a meeting held by the Oregon Property Owners' Protective League, Inc.
Scrapbook page (ddr-densho-35-353)
doc Scrapbook page (ddr-densho-35-353)
Newspaper articles from the New York Times, Oregonian, and Pacific Citizen all describing public reactions to Japanese Americans returning to the West Coast. One of the articles is titled "Union Limits Nisei to Ex-Service Men: Teamsters' Union Says it Will Oppose All Other Japanese in West Coast Jobs."
Couple reclaiming property (ddr-densho-36-6)
img Couple reclaiming property (ddr-densho-36-6)
Japanese Americans waiting to reclaim their property after World War II.
API