Concentration camps

The War Relocation Authority (WRA) oversaw construction of ten concentration camps in sparsely populated and isolated areas. Between June and October 1942, Japanese Americans were transferred from the "assembly centers" to the larger camps. Housing approximately 120,000 people, the camps were designed to be self-contained communities, complete with hospitals, post offices, schools, warehouses, and residential areas. The WRA attempted to establish normalcy by setting up newspapers, a degree of self-government, sports leagues, and social events. But confinement, monotony, and harsh conditions exacerbated tensions between pro- and anti-camp administration residents and between the disempowered Issei and their U.S.-born Nisei children. At several centers, conflicts erupted into violence and at the Manzanar concentration camp the unrest resulted in fatal shootings. The WRA gradually granted work and school leave to those they considered "loyal." The last camp closed in March 1946.

World War II (231)
Concentration camps (1465)

Related articles from the Densho Encyclopedia :
Concentration Camps, U.S.A. (book), Gila River, Heart Mountain, Jerome, Manzanar, Minidoka, Poston (Colorado River), Psychological effects of camp, Rohwer, Sites of incarceration, Topaz, Tule Lake


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1465 items
Photo of two children outside a barrack (ddr-densho-483-43)
img Photo of two children outside a barrack (ddr-densho-483-43)
Black and white photo of two children standing outside a barrack. Caption on reverse reads "Summer 1944" written in pencil.
Photo of barracks with a tree (ddr-densho-483-496)
img Photo of barracks with a tree (ddr-densho-483-496)
Black and white photo of barracks with a bare tree in the foreground
Nisei soldier with friends (ddr-densho-2-63)
img Nisei soldier with friends (ddr-densho-2-63)
Soldier Ben Matsumoto is surrounded by inmates at the Minidoka concentration camp. The following people can be identified: Kaz Tsujimoto (wearing the white V-neck sweater) and his brother, Stan, is to his left holding the cigarette. Hiro Nishimoto is in front and Ben Tsujimoto is on the far right.
doc "The Truth about Topaz" (ddr-densho-423-154)
Editorial reprinted from the Deseret News supporting an investigation at Topaz to show that the Japanese are not, in fact, getting a better deal than Americans.
doc "Gifts to Nisei Children arouse town's ire" (ddr-densho-423-153)
Article reprinted from Fellowship, the journal of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, relating story of group sending Christmas gifts to children at Poston which the local town suspected of being weapons sent by conscientious objectors. Signed in upper right corner: Martha Nozawa
doc "Manzanar. . .Relocation Center" (ddr-densho-423-155)
Article by Robert L. Brown, reprinted from Common Ground, describing how Manzanar was built and the infrastructure put into place, asking what the impact will be in the long run for Japanese Americans
Chiyo Sakane Fukuda wearing an apron (ddr-densho-482-7)
img Chiyo Sakane Fukuda wearing an apron (ddr-densho-482-7)
Chiyo Sakane Fukuda wearing an apron and holding a bucket at Heart Mountain.
Chiyo, Elaine, and Susie at Heart Mountain (ddr-densho-482-6)
img Chiyo, Elaine, and Susie at Heart Mountain (ddr-densho-482-6)
Written on back: L - Chiyo Sakane Fukuda, Middle - baby, Elaine Ikemoto, R - Susie Ikemoto, mother.
Fujiko at Heart Mountain (ddr-densho-482-5)
img Fujiko at Heart Mountain (ddr-densho-482-5)
Written on photograph: to big sis Chiyo, forever your sis Fujiko.