Schools were quickly organized in the concentration camps, but they suffered from crude facilities and lack of teaching materials. Instruction was given for nursery through high school, and adult education was offered. Trained teachers were in short supply, however, and uncertified Japanese Americans with college degrees often filled in. The War Relocation Authority (WRA) deliberately emphasized Americanization in the education program. Some found it painfully ironic to watch incarcerated youth recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
World War II
Concentration camps (1372)
img [Junior High Class] (ddr-csujad-56-208)
A group portrait of Camp Amache Junior High Class. Page 17 of Kawase Family Photo Album, Book One. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-03-017
img [Graduation day] (ddr-csujad-56-177)
A photo of the high school graduation at the camp. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-02-044
img Kindergarten class (ddr-densho-64-4)
Mako Nakagawa is in the second row, third from left.
doc Autograph book (ddr-densho-64-6)
Mako Nakagawa collected signatures from classmates and teachers when preparing to leave Crystal City internment camp, Texas.
img Elementary school princesses (ddr-densho-20-3)
Elementary school princesses. Left to right: Unidentified, unidentified, Miyuki Hasegawa, Julie Hikida, Marianne Okawa, Haruko Nishimura, Kazuko Noji, Frank Sato, unidentified, Harumi Iwakiri.
img Japanese American school class photograph (ddr-densho-26-93)
Minidoka school class photograph. Written on back "Mrs. Yanagiharu 7 cents April 1945"
img Nursery school (ddr-densho-28-14)
Jiro Suguro, 4 years old (top middle).
doc Kindergarten school certificate (ddr-densho-34-132)
As the opportunity arose for families to leave camp, the WRA issued certificates for the most recently completed grade to send to students' future schools. This certificate belonging to Frank Kitamoto was issued by the Stafford School at Minidoka concentration camp
doc Report card (ddr-densho-34-140)
The project school at the Minidoka concentration camp issued this report card to Frank Kitamoto for the school year 1944-45. He was in kindergarten.
doc Annual summary report from nursery school (ddr-densho-34-135)
The nursery school at Minidoka concentration camp issued annual summary reports for its students. This report is for Y. (Frank) Kitamoto.
img Hunt High School students (ddr-densho-39-8)
Original museum description: Photograph, black and white glossy of students at Hunt High School in Minidoka internment camp. Eight students- -four boys and four girls--are standing outside the school gymnasium books in hand. One of the female students is Rose (Suzuki) Obata in front right; another is Reiko Miura in front left, Tosh Mano is on …
img Japanese American welding (ddr-densho-39-7)
Original museum description: Photograph, black and white glossy taken at Minidoka internment camp. Shows man welding in a shop. Information attached to the back says it is an adult education class in welding. (Info from original museum description)
img Embroidery class (ddr-densho-39-13)
Left to right: Mrs. Okita, Mrs. Torii, Mrs. Fukuda (teacher), Mrs. Matsuda, Mrs. Hamada, and Mrs. Iwashita.
img High school students (ddr-densho-39-32)
Original museum description: Photograph, black and white glossy, shows high school students at Minidoka internment camp at a table, four standing and three seated, probably at their high school from indications on the wall. (Info from original museum description)
img Schoolchildren (ddr-densho-39-38)
Original museum description: Photograph, black and white glossy of a scene in Minidoka, Idaho[,] internment camp showing school children marching or parading near the barracks. There are two women white teachers and another adult woman at the rear. Some of the children are carrying American flags, and the flagpole in the back is at half staff. …
img Flag ceremony (ddr-densho-113-14)
These children are watching a flag ceremony near the elementary school in Minidoka concentration camp.
img Fifth grade class (ddr-densho-118-8)
Joe Yasutake's class.