The journey

The journey to temporary "assembly centers" was a difficult and disorienting experience. After gathering at designated locations, Japanese Americans were met by armed soldiers and transported in buses, private cars, and trains to sixteen temporary "assembly centers." When they arrived at their new homes -- often hastily refurbished fairgrounds and racetracks -- they were shocked to see barbed-wire fences, guard towers, and searchlights.

World War II (231)
Temporary Assembly Centers (231)
The journey (119)

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119 items
Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-209)
img Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-209)
Original caption: Centerville, California. the bus has just arrived and these farm families of Japanese ancestry are being kept intact enroute to the Assembly center.
Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-207)
img Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-207)
Original caption: Centerville, California. Members of farm family board evacuation bus. Evacuees of Japanese ancestry will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration.
Japanese Americans arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-159)
img Japanese Americans arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-159)
Original caption: San Bruno, California. Families of Japanese ancestry arrive at assembly center at Tanforan Race Track. Evacuees will be transferred later to War Relocation Authority centers where they will be housed for the duration.
Family walking to barracks (ddr-densho-151-284)
img Family walking to barracks (ddr-densho-151-284)
Original caption: Sacramento, California. Another family of Japanese ancestry has just arrived at this Center by bus. Their baggage has been inspected for contraband and they have been registered, medically examined and are now being escorted by a volunteer guide to their assigned location in the barracks.
Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-260)
img Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-260)
Original caption: San Francisco, California. One more busload about to depart from the Japanese quarter of San Francisco to the Tanforan Assembly center. The Japanese onlookers will themselves have been evacuated within a few days.
Issei man arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-157)
img Issei man arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-157)
Original caption: San Bruno, Calfiornia. Evacuee of Japanese ancestry arrives at this Assembly center where he and approximately 8,000 others will remain until transferred to War Relocation Authority centers for the duration.
Mother and baby arriving at Stockton (ddr-densho-151-309)
img Mother and baby arriving at Stockton (ddr-densho-151-309)
Original caption: Stockton, California. Young mother of Japanese ancestry has just arrived at this Assembly center with her baby and she is the last to leave the bus. Her identification number is being checked and she will then be directed to her place in the barracks after preliminary medical examination.
Bus leaving for Tanforan Assembly Center (ddr-densho-151-263)
img Bus leaving for Tanforan Assembly Center (ddr-densho-151-263)
Original caption: San Francisco, California. This bus loaded with evacuees of Japanese ancestry, is bound for Tanforan Assembly center on the first day of evacuation of the Japanese quarter.
Japanese Americans arriving to Stockton (ddr-densho-151-249)
img Japanese Americans arriving to Stockton (ddr-densho-151-249)
Original caption: Stockton, California. People of Japanese ancestry from the Lodi grape-producing district. Their identification numbers, and family groups are checked by officials as they leave the buses. They are then directed to the place where there baggage is checked for contraband; medically examined, and assigned to their place in the barracks.
Japanese Americans saying goodbye (ddr-densho-151-42)
img Japanese Americans saying goodbye (ddr-densho-151-42)
Original WRA caption: Woodland, California. Filled with evacuees of Japanese ancestry, the special train is ready to depart from this rich agricultural section for the Merced Assembly Center, 125 miles away.
Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-328)
img Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-328)
Original caption: Byron, California. Evacuees of Japanese ancestry boarding a bus for the Turlock Assembly center, sixty-five miles away. Six bus-loads left on this day from this small agricultural town which included highly skilled managers, farm owners, tenant operators, tractor drivers, and farm laborers.
Baggage inspection (ddr-densho-151-220)
img Baggage inspection (ddr-densho-151-220)
Original caption: Turlock, California. Baggage is inspected as families arrive at Turlock assembly center. Evacuees of Japanese ancestry will be transferred later to War Relocation Authority centers where they will spend the duration.
Japanese Americans walking to barracks (ddr-densho-151-227)
img Japanese Americans walking to barracks (ddr-densho-151-227)
Original caption: Turlock, California. Arrivals at Assembly center on their way to their new quarters. Evacuees of Japanese ancestry will be transferred later from assembly centers to War Relocation Authority centers where they will spend the duration.
Japanese American family arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-154)
img Japanese American family arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-154)
Original caption: San Bruno, California. Family of Japanese ancestry arrives at assembly center at Tanforan Race track. Evacuees will be transferred later to War Relocation Authority centers where they will be housed for the duration.
Japanese Americans arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-161)
img Japanese Americans arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-161)
Original caption: San Bruno, California. Families of Japanese ancestry arrive at assembly center at Tanforan Race Track. Evacuees will be transferred later to War Relocation Authority centers where they will be housed for the duration.
Issei woman crying as she boards train (ddr-densho-151-293)
img Issei woman crying as she boards train (ddr-densho-151-293)
Original caption: Woodland, California. Women at railroad station on morning of departure of persons of Japanese ancestry from this agricultural community to the Merced Assembly center. The woman in the dark slack suit is one of the few exhibiting grief on leaving.
Government workers on train platform (ddr-densho-151-303)
img Government workers on train platform (ddr-densho-151-303)
Original caption: Woodland, California. This staff of Wartime Civil Control Administration workers have completed their job and stand on the platform awaiting the departure of the special train which has been loaded with evacuees of Japanese ancestry bound for the Merced Assembly center, 125 miles away.
Japanese Americans boarding train (ddr-densho-151-295)
img Japanese Americans boarding train (ddr-densho-151-295)
Original caption: Woodland, Yolo County, California. The train is about to depart which will take these evacuees of Japanese ancestry, from this rich agricultural district, to the Merced Assembly center about 125 miles away. Many leave close friends behind.
Japanese Americans saying goodbye from train (ddr-densho-151-297)
img Japanese Americans saying goodbye from train (ddr-densho-151-297)
Original caption: Woodland, California. Ten cars of evacuees of Japanese ancestry are now aboard and the doors are closed. Their Caucasian friends and the staff of the Wartime Civil Control Administration stations are watching the departure from the platform. Evacuees are leaving their homes and ranches, in a rich agricultural district, bound for Merced Assembly center, …
Young Japanese American during mass removal (ddr-densho-151-40)
img Young Japanese American during mass removal (ddr-densho-151-40)
Original WRA caption: Hayward, California. A young evacuee looks out the window of the evacuation bus before it starts for Tanforan Assembly Center. Evacuees will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration.
Unloading baggage from truck (ddr-densho-151-458)
img Unloading baggage from truck (ddr-densho-151-458)
Original caption: Stockton, California. The first day at an assembly center. A new unit of the barracks is being opened today for the eight busloads of arrivals. This photo shows the luggage and bed-rolls which have come in by truck, deposited here for inspection for contraband. Evacuees then take their possessions to the barracks to which …
Japanese Americans arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-155)
img Japanese Americans arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-155)
Original caption: San Bruno, California. Family of Japanese ancestry arrives at assembly center at Tanforan Race track. Evacuees will be transferred later to War Relocation Authority centers where they will be housed for the duration.
Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-208)
img Japanese Americans boarding bus (ddr-densho-151-208)
Original caption: Centerville, California. Members of farm family board evacuation buses. Evacuees of Japanese ancestry will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration.
Letter to Rev. Robert Inglis from Isao Tanaka (ddr-densho-498-46)
doc Letter to Rev. Robert Inglis from Isao Tanaka (ddr-densho-498-46)
Letter to Robert Inglis from Isao Tanaka detailing the journey from Tanforan Assembly Center to Topaz Relocation Center.
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