WRA resettlement image
ddr-densho-7-11 (Legacy UID: denshopd-p7-00011)
Original WRA caption: "One of the most imposing and beautiful buildings in the city of Milwaukee is the Milwaukee County Building which was built at a cost of $10,000,000. With its well-laid out street, its inviting parklanes, and orderly lawns, Milwaukee not only offers Nisei new homes and new jobs, but gives them the advantage of beauty and comfort." Beginning in summer 1942, the War Relocation Authority (WRA) began to release incarcerees and encouraged them to resettle in areas of the United States other than the West Coast. However, many Japanese Americans were reluctant to leave (incarcerees did not depart in large numbers until 1944). The Issei in particular, many of whom were sixty or older, had little with which to start a new life after losing their farms and small businesses. Incarcerees also feared for their safety; reports and rumors of hostile treatment by outsiders were common in camps. The WRA started a campaign to show how good life was outside the camps and away from the West Coast. The agency took photographs of the Kaneko and Isoda families for that purpose. Tei Kaneko and her family joined her sister, Sachiko Isoda, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where a church had helped them find a furnished home. Incarcerees from various camps informed Kaneko that they had seen the WRA photographs posted on camp blackboards.
Courtesy of the Kaneko Family Collection, photo by the War Relocation Authority