doc Agreement to lease land (ddr-densho-25-92)
This agreement to lease land was signed by A. J. Charleston and Matahichi Iseri. In the early 1900s, many states, led by California, enacted alien land laws. These laws aimed at Issei farmers prevented ownership of land by "aliens ineligible for citizenship." As a result, many Issei leased land from white farmers. In 1920, California enacted …
img Family portrait (ddr-densho-25-3)
The Iseris were a prominent Japanese American family in the White River Valley. Front (left to right): George, Matahichi, Oscar (in front of Matahichi), Dan, and Kisa holding Carl. Back: Alice, Tom, Mitsuo (Mike), Mun, Masato, and Mae. Matahichi Iseri and his wife, Kisa, started farming in Thomas around 1914. They also ran a small grocery …
doc Change of Residence Notice (ddr-densho-25-27)
Considered a "dangerous enemy alien," Matahichi Iseri was separated from his family and sent to the Department of Justice internment camp at Fort Missoula, Montana. In June 1942, he received a Change of Residence Notice certificate, which indicated that his request to join his family at the Pinedale Assembly Center in California had been approved.
doc Letter regarding parole conditions (ddr-densho-25-55)
This letter informed Matahichi Iseri that under the conditions of his parole, he was barred from returning to the West Coast.
doc Seasonal work leave program letter (ddr-densho-25-33)
As part of the seasonal work leave program, Matahichi Iseri and his family worked as farm laborers in Weiser, Idaho, from 1943 until 1945. They later applied for extensions, and this letter from a relocation officer was sent to Matahichi Iseri along with the family's extensions of leave.
doc Parole Agreement (ddr-densho-25-57)
On December 7, 1941, numerous Japanese nationals were arrested by the FBI as "enemy aliens." An alien enemy hearing board was created, which determined whether the aliens were to be released, paroled, or interned. Matahichi Iseri signed a Parole Agreement in which he agreed to the terms of his parole.
doc Letter regarding parole agreement (ddr-densho-25-53)
Letter from the Department of Justice to Matahichi Iseri regarding his requirements as a parolee. On December 7, 1941, the FBI began to arrest Japanese nationals who were considered "enemy aliens." An alien enemy hearing board was created, which determined whether the individual was to be released, paroled, or interned. Matahichi Iseri was paroled in 1942 …
doc Letter written by an Issei man to his family (ddr-densho-25-26)
While he was at Fort Missoula, Montana, a Department of Justice internment camp for enemy aliens, Matahichi Iseri wrote to his wife and children, who were still awaiting a relocation assignment from the WRA.
img Issei-owned grocery store (ddr-densho-25-8)
Matahichi and Kisa Iseri immigrated from Kumamoto-ken, Japan, in the early 1900s. They became successful berry farmers in the White River Valley and also ran a small grocery store on their property. The World War II incarceration forced the Iseris to close both businesses. After the war, the Iseris settled in Ontario, Oregon, and worked as …