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 (232)
The journey (120)

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120 items
Japanese American family arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-156)
img Japanese American family arriving at Tanforan (ddr-densho-151-156)
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-151-209)
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 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 …
Letter to Rev. Robert Inglis from Shin Tanaka (ddr-densho-498-43)
doc Letter to Rev. Robert Inglis from Shin Tanaka (ddr-densho-498-43)
Letter to Robert Inglis from Shin Tanaka telling him about the journey from Tanforan Assembly Center to Topaz Relocation Center
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.
Letter from Emmy Sumida Ito to Chimata Sumida (ddr-densho-379-23)
doc Letter from Emmy Sumida Ito to Chimata Sumida (ddr-densho-379-23)
Letter written four weeks after she was sent to Santa Anita Assembly Center. She and her husband Ken Ito lived in a 20' x 8' room with 3 windows. The rest of the Sumida family arrived one week later, and she visits them almost every day.
Hideo Hoshide Interview I Segment 40 (ddr-densho-1000-184-40)
vh Hideo Hoshide Interview I Segment 40 (ddr-densho-1000-184-40)
Traveling to assembly center: confusion upon finding out final destination was in California
Toru Sakahara - Kiyo Sakahara Interview I Segment 35 (ddr-densho-1000-76-35)
vh Toru Sakahara - Kiyo Sakahara Interview I Segment 35 (ddr-densho-1000-76-35)
Trip to Puyallup Assembly Center: arranging own transportation

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

Isami Nakao - Kazuko Nakao Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-68-17)
vh Isami Nakao - Kazuko Nakao Segment 17 (ddr-densho-1000-68-17)
The train ride into the desert: traveling to Manzanar concentration camp
Marjorie Matsushita Sperling Interview Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1000-273-15)
vh Marjorie Matsushita Sperling Interview Segment 15 (ddr-densho-1000-273-15)
The journey to the Portland Livestock Center

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.

Mitsuko Hashiguchi Segment 36 (ddr-densho-1000-12-36)
vh Mitsuko Hashiguchi Segment 36 (ddr-densho-1000-12-36)
The trip to Pinedale Assembly Center, California: a quiet and depressing train ride
Ted Kitayama Interview Segment 12 (ddr-densho-1000-334-12)
vh Ted Kitayama Interview Segment 12 (ddr-densho-1000-334-12)
The train ride to camp

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.

Elsie Uyematsu Osajima Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1000-451-7)
vh Elsie Uyematsu Osajima Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1000-451-7)
Seeing a teacher on the day of mass removal: "For me it was very humiliating"
Akiko Kurose Interview II Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1000-42-7)
vh Akiko Kurose Interview II Segment 7 (ddr-densho-1000-42-7)
Traveling to Puyallup Assembly Center, first impressions

Mrs. Kurose was undergoing treatment for cancer and required frequent breaks and medication to help her with pain management.

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