Have something to contribute? Send it in.
(Messages will be better organized into subjects as more are received.)

Request: Students often ask me how to contact those who have lived through the camps.
If you are able to volunteer an email address, or other contact information, please do so.

Apology & Restitution, 1990 8/11/96
Book Suggestions 7/8/02
Born Free and Equal 12/7/01
Camp Historical Corrections 8/26/00
Dates of Proclamations 7/10/00
Documentary: Rabbit in the Moon 12/11/00
Donald Shishido 10/9/00
Draft Resisters: Free to Die for Their Country 11/21/00
German and Italian Americans 2/22/97
Heart Mountain 7/26/99
Heart Mountain Photographs 5/13/00
Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation 3/6/01
Islamic Americans 9/19/01
The Japanese American Student Relocation Council 12/5/96
Ken Sanji 11/23/98
Kooskia, Idaho 8/31/97
Last Witness: Reflections on the Wartime Internment of Japanese Americans 8/29/01
Lives Changed by the War 3/30/00
The Lordsburg Shootings 1/3/97
Lordsburg Visit 11/15/98
Mexican Camps 12/16/00
Minidoka from Alaska 3/21/01
Minidoka / Gila River Contact 9/7/99
Minidoka Homestead 5/13/01
Pearl Harbor the Movie 5/21/01
Publications 3/2/97
Russian Translation 5/20/01
Shoichi James Okamoto 3/20/01
The Spoilage: Pseudonyms 1/1/97
Terry Janzen: Relocation Camp Memories 4/2/03
Topaz Today 8/21/01
Velma Berryman Kessel 2/2/01
Without a Nation 2/26/03
Yukio Takeshita 3/9/01

Date: Wed, February 26, 2003 4:03 am
Subject: Without A Nation
From: curtis


Found your web site on japanese internment during WWII. Would like to share with you an old short school paper I wrote to honor my father and his generation for enduring this injustice. It chronicles his experience. I wrote it in his voice. After Rep Coble's comments the other week indicating these detainments were justifiable, I re-wrote the last section to better reflect the issues we face today.

I hope you enjoy it... thank you.


"A tribute to past generations. Thank you for enduring. May your sacrifice help pave the way to a higher level of consciousness and the betterment of the human condition."

In My Father’s Voice
By Curtis K. Nitake

Freedom, justice, and the right to life, liberty and property, are the most basic of human principles. They separate the United States of America from the rest of the nations of the world. They conjure up visions of individual freedom, unrestricted travel, the right to due process of law, fundamental human rights, dignity, overall personal happiness and equality. Every American citizen can take great pride in these critical human virtues. They are the cornerstone that makes America great.

Unfortunately however, this system of government and set of pure social values cannot be found everywhere, nor, is it a government system that has always existed. You see, I was born and raised in a time and place where these basic ideals, these fundamental rights, had no meaning. Freedom was something the government could give or take away. Justice was reserved for only the right kind of people; and the rights to life, liberty and property were something to read about in an American text book or sing in a song. It wasn't real. It wasn't possible and it sure wasn't for me!!!

Time and time again, history has demonstrated that freedom is not a God given right. You can't touch it; you can't hear it or see it. But, you sure can feel it. You live it and you know when it is or isn't there.

At the age of 21, I, my family and tens of thousands of others like us, were whisked away by government decree. We were collected in government assembly centers, placed on cross country trains like cattle and shipped hundreds of miles from our home. We committed no crime. We had no mal-intent. There were no formal charges brought against us. And yet, we found ourselves in the middle of nowhere, in make shift military run camps with barbed wire fence, guard towers and government soldiers watching our every move.

I recall the fateful trip to these camps; the horror, fear and confusion. I remember with keen clarity, the terror that welled up in me when we stopped in the middle of the desert and were instructed by the government soldiers with their rifles held high to exit the train. I thought for sure that this was it. We were going to meet our doom. Our executions were to occur right here in the middle of nowhere, with no one left as witness and no loved ones or friends to miss us.

You see, we were all there. Gone was the distant home I grew up in. Gone were the green grass and the warm evening sun spread out across the ocean horizon of the beautiful coast from where I originated. Gone was the freedom that I loved, cherished and believed in. Gone were the hopes and dreams that every child was taught to protect and cherish. And, gone was the country that I was born and raised in, for I no longer knew it. By some quirk of fate, I, along with my family were now enemies against the state. We were lost, without a home and without a nation.

None of us really understood what was happening. No one really knew where we were going. No one really knew when or if this nightmare would ever end. However, we were very aware, through government press releases, of the accusations against us. We were being accused of terrible acts of espionage, treason and sabotage. We read about it constantly in the national press or heard it displayed on the radio.

We were scared, betrayed and all we had left was to remain silent and obey.

So, we waited for our day in court, but there wasn't one. What happened to our right to a fair trial? What happened to legal due process of the law? What happened to the great protections of our Constitution and the check and balances that I had spent my prior life reading and learning about in school?

And more importantly, how could my government, my nation, and the only people I had ever known, believe that I, my beloved mother and father, along with 120,000 others including some 17,500 children, 2,000 seniors, and 1,000 handicapped or bedridden persons (AOJA 26), actually be real threats to the national security? Threats so severe that the leader of the country, President Roosevelt, on February 19, 1942, felt forced to sign Executive Order No. 9066 and set in motion the mass detentions and our effective removal from society at large; allowing us to be held for years without a hearing and without a trial. Yes, this wasn't Russia or Nazi Germany; this was the United States of America, a land I once knew!

I remember the first time I walked into my new residence; I remember the cold that no one was prepared for, the barrenness that confronted us and the destitution that was everywhere. I recall the first time I entered the laundry area of this unwelcome place, I saw a poem on the wall titled "THAT DAMN FENCE" by Min Yasui. It encapsulated many of the feelings I had internalized at the time. It went something like this (Nitake letter):


They sunk in posts 
        Deep into the ground
They strung out wires
        All the way around
With machine gun nests
        Just over there
Sentries and soldiers 

We're trapped like rats
        In a wired cage
To fret and fume
        With impotent rage.
Yonder whispers the
        Lure of the night
But that damned fence
        Assails our sight.

Loyalty we know,
        Patriotism we feel
To do our utmost
        Was the ideal
To fight for our country
        And die mayhap
Yet we're here because
        We happened to be a Jap.
                                Min Yasaui
But we continued. We went on. And we survived. Eventually, we were sent back to our homes. Unfortunately, the injustice upon us was not quite finished. Our humiliation was not quite done. The personal artifacts confiscated by the federal government for national security reasons and placed in their possession for safekeeping happened to come up missing. They were gone. There was no recourse. You see, as a Jap we couldn’t be trusted with a camera or a radio.

But we lived through this hurdle as we lived through the others. Now it was time to get back to making a living, to rebuild our businesses, and once again become contributing members of society. Unfortunately, the state felt differently. You see we had been gone for nearly two years and as such hadn’t paid our state property taxes. The state wanted its money or we could very well find ourselves in a state run detainment center, a facility called prison.

And so many Japanese American families found themselves forced to close down what businesses they had left, sell their property, at fire sale prices, and pay the taxes that were being demanded by the state.

We were a bit more fortunate than some of the others. Like many Japanese Americans during this period, we were farmers and owned one of the largest farm nurseries in California. As such, we were able to hold onto some of our belongings. But the pursuit of the American dream for my parents was effectively crushed. Their years of toil, sacrifice and hard work were wiped out. While living through this ordeal, I am still unable to imagine the loss, disappointment or defeat they must have felt.

Years later, I found it very interesting that the California Farmers Association was one of the biggest supporters for our detainment. I’m sure their support was purely based on patriotic reasons. It had nothing to do with the effective void created in the state’s largest industry of the time (agriculture) as we were taken away by federal decree.

But we continued. We went on. And we survived. We went to work and rebuilt our lives. We worked hard, remained silent and obeyed. Looking back on it all now I guess we were lucky—lucky, compared to what was happening to the Jews on the other side of the world. And yet to this day there is something empty in the pit of my stomach.

You see I was born and raised in this country. I remember telling my mother, when they come they can’t take me. I’m an American citizen! But she just shook her head and disagreed. And she was right. When they came, they took us all.

"The basic freedoms of religion, speech, the press, and assemblage, plus the right to vote were all denied to Japanese Americans imprisoned in detention camps" (AOJA 38) during this turbulent time, 80,000 of which were U.S. citizens.


But we continued. We went on. And we survived. In January 1943, the War Department announced the formation of a segregated Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Army recruiters visited Japanese American Relocation camps in order to seek volunteers. It was amazing to watch them standing on a small wooden box in the middle of the room and talk about defending our way of life, community and democracy while we were being denied the most basic of American freedoms. Didn't they know where they were?

Even so, over 33,000 Japanese Americans served in W.W.II and the 442nd eventually became the most decorated unit in US history. On July 15,1946, President Harry Truman , while presenting the Presidential Distinguished Unit Citation to the 442nd stated: "You fought not only the enemy, but you fought prejudice--and won." (AOJA 67).

Today our generation is faced with a great dilemma. Our leaders are faced with a very difficult decision. If we are not careful, if we don’t remember the past, we may be doomed to repeat our mistakes.

As we determine the proper response to the horrendous attacks of 9/11, we must remember what it is we are trying to protect. It is not just lives and property, we are protecting the ideals of freedom and the US Constitution. This is what separates this nation from the rest of the nations of the world.

To do less, to repeat the injustice of the past means our suffering was for naught. As a nation, we learned nothing. As a people, we believe in freedom and due process only when it is convenient. Freedom is indeed something the government can give or take away. Justice is indeed reserved for only the right kind of people; and the rights to life, liberty and property are indeed just something to read about in an American textbook or sing in a song. It isn't real. It isn't possible and it sure isn’t for ALL!!!

Dear God… I hope not!

Date: Mon, July 8, 2002 4:13 pm
Subject: Japanese-American internment books
From: erinxian@juno.com

Hi John,
If you are still updating your webpage, I thought I'd suggest these two excellent resource books to add to your lists as I didn't see them.

1. Okada, Victor, ed. Triumphs of Faith: Stories of Japanese-American Chrisitians During World War II. Los Angeles: Japanese-American Internment Project, 1998.

2. Rizzuto, Rahna Reiko. Why She Left Us. New York: HarperCollins, 1999. (This is a work of fiction that spans three generations of a Japanese-American family and gives a broad view of the long-term effects of the internment on future generations.)

Thank you so very much for all the work that you put into this web page. It is by far the most excellent source I've seen on the web.

erin gieschen

Date: Fri 12/7/2001 2:43 PM
Subject: BORN FREE AND EQUAL: The Story of Loyal Japanese Americans
From: Spotted Dog Press, Inc. wbenti@spotteddogpress.com


Please list our new book on your website:

BORN FREE AND EQUAL: The Story of Loyal Japanese Americans
Limited Edition Hard Cover $45/U.S.
128 pages with 75 duotone photographs, 8.5”x11” Portrait Size
Available Winter 2002
ISBN 1-893343-05-7
60th Anniversary Day of Rememberance Edition • February 19, 1942-2002

Contact: Wynne Benti or Andrew Zdon
Published by Spotted Dog Press, Inc.
2399 N. Sierra Hwy. Bishop CA 93514
TOLL FREE 800-417-2790 FAX 760-872-1319

Based on the book published by U.S. Camera in 1944 with the original text and photographs by Ansel Adams. Introduction by Archie Miyatake, former internee, son of official Manzanar camp photographer Toyo Miyatake. Essays by Sue Kunitomi Embrey, Chair Emeritus Manzanar National Historic Site Advisory Commission and William H. Michael, Director, Museum and Library Services, Inyo County. Edited by Wynne Benti. Additional photos by Toyo Miyatake, George Shiba, Archie Miyatake, and Eichi Uemura.

Archie Miyatake was born and raised in Los Angeles, California until his family’s relocation to Manzanar in May of 1942. Son of Los Angeles photographer, Toyo Miyatake, Mr. Miyatake studied with his father while interned. He continues the family tradition of photography at Studio Miyatake in Southern California. Mr. Miyatake and Sue Kunitomi Embrey met at Manzanar.

Sue Kunitomi Embrey was born and raised in Los Angeles, California until her family’s relocation to Manzanar on May 9, 1942. While interned there, she wove camouflage nets for the war effort and later, worked at the camp newspaper, The Manzanar Free Press. She graduated from California State University, with a B.A.in English, and received her Masters in Education from the University of Southern California. She cofounded the Manzanar Committee and serves as Chairperson Emeritus, Manzanar National Historic Site Advisory Commission. She is a board member on the Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation Advisory Board, the Japanese American Historical Society of Southern California, and the National Japanese American Historical Society, San Francisco. Ms. Embrey retired in 1994 from the Los Angeles Unified School District.

William H. Michael is Director of Library and Museum Services for Inyo County and has worked at the Eastern California Museum since 1985. He serves on the Manzanar National Historic Site Advisory Commission.

At the onset of World War II, Ansel Adams sought out ways to help with the war effort. Too old to enlist, he volunteered for a number of assignments in which his photographic skills were put to the country’s use. He both escorted and photographed Army troops at Yosemite training for mountain warfare in Europe; he taught photography to the Signal Corps at Fort Ord, and traveled to the Presidio in San Francisco to print classified photographs of Japanese military installations on the Aleutian Islands. Despite his volunteer efforts, he was frustrated that he could not do more.

That summer, friend Ralph Merritt asked Adams if he would be interested in photographing a little-known government facility in the Owens Valley, on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. “I cannot pay you a cent,” Merritt told Adams, “but I can put you up and feed you.” Merritt was then director of the Manzanar War Relocation Center, a collection of several hundred tar-papered barracks built atop a remote desert plain where more than 10,000 people were housed behind barbed wire and gun towers. All were of Japanese ancestry, but most were American citizens, forcibly removed from their homes by presidential order to ten relocation centers across the country. The resulting effort was the book Born Free and Equal: The Story of Loyal Japanese Americans published by U.S. Camera under the direction of the War Relocation Authority.

While at Manzanar, Adams met Toyo Miyatake, official camp photographer, interned with his wife and children. Long before the war, Miyatake had studied with the great photographer, Edward Weston, and had established his own respected photography studio in downtown Los Angeles. In the introduction to this book, Miyatake’s son, Archie, who was then sixteen years old, recalls the visit made so long ago.

In 1965, Adams donated his Manzanar photographs to the Library of Congress. He wrote in a letter to Dr. Edgar Brietenbach: “… I think this Manzanar Collection is an important historical document and I trust it can be put to good use…” With the goal of realizing that good use, Spotted Dog Press, Inc. proudly presents Born Free and Equal to new generations of Americans who may come to a better understanding of a distant incident in our recent history that should never be forgotten.

Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 02:02:42 -0700
Subject: tuesday's attack
From: Ameet Habib aih3f@virginia.edu

Mr. Yu,

I am a student at the University of Virginia. This attack was a devastating event for the entire country. What deeply scares me, though is a repeat of the persecution Japanese Americans faces after the attack on Pearl Harbor. I am Islamic, and I know how deviant these radicals are from the vast majority of Islamic people worldwide. And yet, already, there are reports of mosques being shot and vandalized. I am scared to death of this deteriorating even further to the point of actual violence against Islamic American people.

I write to you because I feel that the Japanese American people have already gone through the terror of false accusations, racial stereotyping, and persecution. Your website on the internment is the only one i have found with an email address. Therefore, I hope you know of any groups that exist of victims, descendants, or people otherwise affected by the Internment camps who may have some political or media clout. Maybe these groups could stand for or with Islamic Americans and remind America as a whole of the horrendous mistakes the U. S. made with persecution of an entire race, and also remind the country not to make this mistake again.

I write to you because I am scared for my people, my family, and myself. In the light of such horror, it could be very easy to resurrect the mistakes of the past, unless the past's victims remind us that two wrongs will never make a right.

Thank you for any help you can offer.

Ameet Habib

From: Roselotus@aol.com
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 23:55:17 EDT

Kamalla Rose Kaur On Behalf Of The Sikhs
Daily Columnist, Global Sikh Daily News Online

In the last 10 days I have experienced the 2 most horrific events of my life, the terrorist attack on the United States of America and the racial backlash and attack on USA Sikhs and Muslims. Sikhs, who wear turbans and have beards, are being attacked more than Muslims. A Sikh gas station attendant has been murdered in Arizona.

Sikhs are not Muslims. The great religion of Sikhi is a Universalist path from India. We believe all religions are wonderful and good IF they are practiced with love. Sikhi is an anti-caste movement; not racist and not sexist either.

Today, on behalf of Sikhs everywhere I wish to thank USA Jews for leaping in to help Sikhs who are being racially targeted and for educating ignorant Americans on just who the proud Sikhs are. I thank Unitarian Universalists for rushing to assist in every reported case of harassment or violence towards Sikhs. I honor our World War 2 Veterans for remembering and telling the stories of Sikh's contribution to fighting on behalf of the Hebrew people, a mere 60 years ago. How soon Americans seem to forget.

I applaud Canadians and the people of the United Kingdom for putting effort towards educating Americans about who Sikhs are and who we always have been.

Sikhs are peaceful warriors, we can only defend and we are under vow to never attack. Yet a Sikh is also under vow to defend all people from oppressors. 500 years ago Sikhs took up arms to fight the Muslim Inquisition for freedom of religion for the Hindus, the Jains and yes for ourselves too. And as much as the British admired Sikhs and spread Sikhs all around the British Empire, we Sikhs felt it morally right to practice nonviolent resistance to the British Raj when Gandhi was still in South Africa. Sikhs know deep in our hearts that Great Britain's decision to return India to self-rule was much impacted by the massacre of Sikhs by British troops, a scene that many Americans may remember from watching the movie "Gandhi".

During the time of Partition between India and Pakistan, Sikhs allowed the boundaries of these two countries to pass through our lands so that the Hindus and Muslims might sooner stop slaughtering each other.

And in 1984 the predominately high caste government of India sent troops to attack the most central of Sikh's Gurdwaras, the Golden Temple in Amritsar. On THAT horrible day of my life I watched from afar as many more people died than we have seen die this week.

Let us be clear that Sikhs everywhere are clear that Hindus are not our enemies. We have lived with Hindus and Muslims as our neighbors for hundreds of years.

Sikhs have also recently defended Christians against terrorist attacks in India. *

Bullies and tyrants come in all ages and pop up in all races and religions to test our humanity.

On behalf of Sikhs everywhere it is my honor to assure Americans citizens that Sikhs are proud to be the targets of your painful reactions and spontaneous racism. We will stand to defend the safety of American Muslims, our neighbors who have worked so hard, like Sikhs have, to NOT have to live in the countries from which we have fled. Had we not longed to be Americans we would not have suffered so much to become Americans.

I am an American convert to the Sikh religion. My own family arrived from Ireland 3 generations ago. We were starving to death. There were no jobs for the Irish. I ask Catholics everywhere to help Sikhs. I ask all USA citizens who have ever wondered what they would have done had they been living in Germany when the Jews first got targeted, to ask no more. Decide instead.

Sikhs are very happy that fellow Americans share our horror of terrorism and oppression and that Americans are ready now to fight attacks on innocent people everywhere in this world.

And Sikhs salute the British for giving up the need to rule the world. Thank you for letting your Empire go. Now we feel confident that the USA is ready to make the same commitment to our Earth. Sikhs honor fellow USA immigrants, past, present and future, for taking a stand against oppression everywhere, anytime, anywhere you see it. Terrorists beware, we are ALL sick and tired of dealing with bullies on the playground. We all must share this Earth. Sikhs join love-awakened people everywhere in the fight against terrorism, organized crime, corrupt governments, tyrants, and all the forces that are harming our Earth's beauty and ecological balance.

Fellow Americans we ask you to reach out to USA Muslims immediately. This is our heartfelt request, and be assured that Sikhs will be proudly deflecting racial hatred from Muslims onto ourselves to the best of our abilities. It is our goal that not one Muslim will die in the USA nor be put in a concentration camp. It is our prayer that no more Sikhs die either.

Yet remember please, when a Khalsa Sikh draws his or her sword, our sacred Kirpan, in defense of anyone suffering from oppression, THAT is the moment a Sikh dies. No mere human has any say in what happens after that. Sikhs are consecrated to the Beloved ONE. Sikhs find the infinity of the All-That-Is, the IK ONG KAR, vastly humbling. How ridiculous to be egotistical and selfish and self-serving and destructive and greedy given the vast reality of our cosmos? On our death days we must all review the truth and honor behind all our decisions in life.

This is the meaning of the Sikh's greeting.

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa!
Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh!

Sikhs belong to the Beloved ONE, the Creator/Creation, GOD. May the Beloved ONE's Divine Plan win over humanity's absurd egotism!

(Prem Kee Jeet!)
Sikh Battle Cry which means:

(A Hymn from the Guru Granth Sahib, The Sikh Scripture)

The world is going up in flames!
O God! Save it.
Shower it with Your Mercy.

By whatever method it takes. Save it! Deliver it!
The True Enlightener reveals the way to peace,
reflection on the True Word of the Divine

The world is going up in flames!
O God! Save it.
Shower it with Your Mercy.

Nanak can think of none other that you, O God! who can save it!

(The Daily Sikh Collective Prayer)
Nanak says!
Through the Divine Name, may our spirits rise, and
By your will, O God! may humankind prosper in peace.

Disclaimer: These are interpretations of Gurbaani that try to remain as literal as possible. Gurbaani, the Divine Word revealed to the Guru, can never be translated. All so-called translations are in fact interpretations.

Convent attacked in Panipat, one held


NEW DELHI, MARCH 12. Two days after an alleged attack on a church in Haryana's Samalkha town, armed dacoits looted a Christian convent in Panipat district in the wee hours of Saturday, a Christian organisation alleged here today.

An armed gang of 10 persons barged into the Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Graces convent in the wee hours of Saturday, broke the doors and looted petty cash kept in the rooms, United Christian Forum for Human Rights alleged.

No one was injured in the attack as five Sisters (nuns) who were shocked saved themselves by locking themselves inside another room, the forum's national convenor, Mr. John Dayal, told PTI.

Hearing the cries of the Sisters, a Sikh family staying in the neighbourhood came to their rescue and caught one of the attackers and later handed him over to the police, Mr. Dayal said.

Police had registered a case of dacoity and deployed security guards outside the convent in the aftermath of the incident, he said.

Unidentified intruders had allegedly looted the Isht Mata Catholic church in Samalkha in the wee hours of Thursday and made off with about Rs. 60,000.

No one was injured in the attack and Father Aseem Raj, the priest, saved his life by bolting himself in the bathroom of his bedroom.

``We are deeply concerned at the increasing number of threats that our church and schools have received in recent days from communal elements, who have remained anonymous,'' Mr. Dayal said.


From: chiang.fu@palgrave-usa.com
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 12:18:45 -0400
Subject: Greetings!


|Last Witness| Erica Harth, who is Professor of Humanities and Women's Studies at Brandeis University, and a year of her childhood at Manzanar, California (one of the relocation centers for Japanese Americans), where her mother was working for the War Relocation Authority, edited Last Witness: Reflections on the Wartime Internment of Japanese Americans which is a collection of stories told from the people who survived the wartime internment in the US.

"There were no tree-lined streets in our world as we suddenly found ourselves in prisons in the middle of deserts . . . We looked up at guard towers and felt a deep fear of armed soldiers . . . We were the children of the camps, prisoners in our own country."
—John Y. Tateishi

Surrounded by barbed wire and held in camps guarded by men with machine guns, over 110,000 Americans of Japanese descent were detained in government-sanctioned camps like the one John Tateishi remembers. Sixty years after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and the subsequent issuing of FDR's notorious Executive Order 9066 that made possible the incarceration of these citizens, one question remains unresolved: "Could it happen again?" Families were uprooted. Businesses were lost and lives were ruined by FDR's zeal to protect America from Japan. To the writers in this book--novelists, memoirists, poets, activists, scholars, students, professionals--the World War II internment of Japanese Americans in the detention camps is an unfinished chapter of American history that mars the nostalgic glow that often surrounds the World War II home front years. Former internees, like John Tateishi and Robert Maeda, and children of detainees and of camp officials join with others in challenging readers to construct a better future by confronting this dark episode from America's World War II scrapbook.

If you are interested in reviewing a copy of this book, please let me know. I've attached a jacket images for you to post and if you need any other materials, please let me know. Thank you for your time.


Chiang I. Fu.

PUBLICATION DATE: November 17, 2001
ISBN: 0-312-22199-1
PRICE: $24.95
CONTACT: Chiang I. Fu (212) 982-3900, ext 208

Palgrave- Global Publishing at St. Martin's Press

chiang ikumi fu
online marketing manager
175 fifth ave. new york, ny 10010
212.674.5151 (ext. 208)

Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2001 15:47:52 -0600
From: "shaunamoyes" shaunamoyes@mail.sisna.com
Subject: Your site

Dear John: I've been spending considerable time with your website the last couple of days. I had occassion last weekend to be in Delta, Utah. I went out to find Topaz Mountain and do some rock hunting, but I found much more than that.

While I was there, I realized that I was in the vicinity of Topaz Relocation Center. And I thought I'd go find it while I was there and had the afternoon to spend.

I have lived in Utah most of my life. I am Caucasian, and in the small farming community of Elberta, Utah we had to Japaneese families that also lived there and farmed. They were superb people and I have very good childhood memories of them. I can vaguely remember my mom and dad speaking of the prisoner of war camp and Topaz, but I never knew what it was or what it meant.

Growing up in Utah, it was never talked about in school. It was sort of like a "dirty secret" that no one wanted to ever talk about. Even when we studied Utah history, Topaz was never mentioned.

I recently attended the funeral of one of those neighbors from Elberta. His name was Roy Tachiki and his wife's name is Hannah. He was a great friend of our family and was sort of like a "grandpa" to me and my brother. He was a very good farmer, and my father held him in very high esteem. During Roy's service, it was again mentioned that he had spent time at Topaz, with his wife, and the other Japaneese family that was from Elberta. The other family was the Mitari family - Henry and Helen.

So this weekend, after leaving Topaz Mountain, I went to find the Topaz Internment Site. Not much remains now except for the cement pads that were the floors of the various buildings. There is a memorial built to Mr. Wakara that was shot there, and there are some scraps of building left. It was hard for me to tell what may have been original, and what may have been recently deposited by the "good people" of the surrounding communities. I drove around on the roads that outlined the blocks, and got out and walked around. I found piles of old, crushed bricks, and a rusted out heater that must have been in one of the barracks.

What an interesting place though. I stopped at the historical marker that is at the north west corner of the site. I had no idea that the place was so large. I could match up the mountain in the picture on the monument with the mountain in the distance, and get some idea of how large the camp really was.

I've been looking on the internet for information about Topaz specifically because I suddenly have an interest in learning about it and about the people that lived there. I'll tell you this... Topaz is probably the most god forsaken place I've been to in a very long time. Last Saturday it was 106. I know that in the winter time the temperature gets below 0 there as well. What those poor people must have had to endure. But what I find most apalling is that Topaz is still a dirty secret that no one wants to talk about.

Anyway, I plan to continue my search for information. I'm trying to locate site maps now so I can go back out to Topaz and have a better idea about how the camp was layed out and what was where.

I have found your site very interesting. If there is anything I can contribute to it, I'd be very willing to help. Next time I go out there I'll shoot a roll of film and send the pictures to you. You have a lot of other places but not many of Topaz. It's the least I can do for Roy.

Keep up the good work.

Shauna Moyes

From: "Mark Vallen" mjvallen@earthlink.net
Subject: Asian Americans Protest 'Pearl Harbor' Movie
Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 19:33:28 -0700

This afternoon (5-21-2001), I happened to hear on one of L.A.'s local AM Radio News stations... a report on a Press Conference organized by Asian Americans and held in L.A.'s Little Tokyo district. The Press Conference was held to express the concern many Japanese American's have here in L.A. of a possible upswing in violence aimed against them and their property due to the showing of the movie Pearl Harbor.

Earlier in the month, ART FOR A CHANGE posted a critique of the advertising campaign being waged by the makers of 'Pearl Harbor.' The critique presents one of the posters being plastered on the streets of Los Angeles... but the critique also presents a replica of one of the Official U.S. Government flyers calling for all people of "Japanese Ancestry" to turn themselves in to authorities for "internment." The page on AFC presenting this information can be accessed at;


With a little bit of digging I found a report on the Asian American Press Conference posted to the YAHOO Entertainment Web site, that report follows with some brief editing to keep it short.
Monday May 21, 2001
Japanese Americans Protest New 'Pearl Harbor' Film

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The epic film ``Pearl Harbor,'' opening on Friday across the United States, could stir anti-Asian sentiment, a Japanese American rights group warned on Monday.

The movie about the Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese attack on the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is a ``stark and vivid depiction of ... the worst that can happen in war,'' said Floyd Mori, president of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the country's largest Asian American civil rights organization. ``Most Americans have difficulties distinguishing between Asian Americans and Asian nationals'' and they widely stereotype Asians,'' Mori said at a rally about 50 Asian Americans in the Little Tokyo section of Los Angeles.

He added that the movie could fuel hatred of Americans of Asian descent and he said Japanese groups around the United States have heightened security measures out of fear of a backlash. Many at the rally complained that the film, set in Hawaii, a state mainly populated by Asians, featured few Asian faces. In addition, they said, all the Japanese characters are depicted as enemies while Japanese-American soldiers aren't featured at all.

``We are loyal, patriotic citizens of this great nation,'' Mori said. ``Thousands of Japanese Americans volunteered for military service,'' he added. ``No matter what we achieve ... how far we've come in this country when the topic of Pearl Harbor comes up we're always dragged back to that event,'' JACL executive director John Tateishi said.

JACL also takes issue with ``innuendo'' produced by a scene depicting a real-life Japanese American dentist who had conversations with Japanese officials prior to the bombing. The dentist is depicted in the film as disloyal and functioning as a spy for the Japanese government, Mori said, but was in fact cleared of any wrongdoing by the FBI (news - web sites). ``The movie infers that a Japanese American helps the enemy which is totally false. We want the inaccuracy deleted or for Disney (the company which made the film) to take full responsibility'' for any violence or anti-Asian sentiment resulting from it,'' Mori said. A Disney Co. spokeswoman declined comment.

The filmmakers have said that their goal was not historical record-keeping but to tell a love story that takes place before, during, and after the attack. ``It's not a history lesson. What I know you get from the movie is the essence of what it felt like to be here that morning. That's what the movie is trying to do,'' director Michael Bay told Reuters. ``This isn't a History Channel expose, and there are mediums available that are better suited to showing this in greater detail,'' said actor Ben Affleck, one the film's main stars.
The fact that Japanese Americans have held a major Press Conference here in Los Angeles to express their fears... speaks volumes about where we are as a society.

The Federal Government, which keeps tallies on Hate Crimes committed nationally, has released a report showing that violent acts against Asians in California has increased slightly, including murder... statistics that will be worth keeping an eye on after the release of the Pearl Harbor movie.

What's missing in the Web version of this story... but appeared in the Radio News broadcast, was the Japanese American Citizen's League reminding people that Japanese Americans ALSO suffered from the terrible days of WW2. The ENTIRE Japanese community of Los Angeles (over 100,000 people at the time) were rounded up, stripped of their Rights and property, and sent to Concentration Camps, where they were held for the duration of the War. Asian Americans in Los Angeles NEVER forgot being treated like 'enemy aliens'... and their fears are being rekindled with the streets of Los Angeles being plastered with Pearl Harbor advertisting posters reading, 'MAN THE GUNS, JOIN THE FIGHT.'

Also distressing about the Reuters Web report on YAHOO... while the names of the Stars, the Director, and the company producing Pearl Harbor (Disney) all had links to their respective Web sites... the Japanese American Citizen's League, which also has a Web site, received no such link.

Mark Vallen

From: ftb@id.ru
Subject: My little contribution
Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 23:18:52 +0400

Dear Sir,
I want to contribute for your site a link to site related with USSC materials of five japanese internment cases. I translated those decisions into russian because I think that the racism in law and court system is the most danger kind of this one.
I hope it would be very pleasant for You to know - there are lawyers in Russian, who are interesting of this problem. I think it isn't a problem of US only, but of all our small planet.

The link is: http://ftb.dir.bg/Japinter

Give my best regards - Mark Boldyrev, lawyer,
City of Novosibirsk, Russian Federation
(excuse me, please for my poor English)

Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001 11:31:23 EDT
Subject: Minidoka Project in Hunt Idaho
From: Gdbohlen@aol.com

Our family (folks and 5 kids) homesteaded on this project in 1950. I had many questions as a lad of 7. The government issued the barracks of the project and many other items to the homesteaders. I have a few pieces of quarter master China left.

I'm writing a paper on our experience and would be happy to share it with anyone who may have an interest.

I did not understand why the Japanese and & other had to go to these camps. Who were these kids that made the darts (made of match sticks and paper fins) I played with?

I would love to correspond with anyone there.


Gary Bohlen

Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 16:58:21 EDT
Subject: Re: Minidoka Project in Hunt Idaho
From: Gdbohlen@aol.com

The government distributed all the materials of the Minidoka prison camp to the homesteaders. We received many household articles such as mattresses, kitchen utensils, some furniture, pot bellied stoves (we got three-two sold at the farm sale) and quater master china which I have a few pieces. Daddy also drew a 2-unit farrowing pen and a 1939 Dodge truck. He later sold the truck to Joa our neighbor. Sometimes there were only a few items to be distributed, like the truck. In that case, all names would be put in a hat and drawn for the items.

In the distribution Daddy also got a gallon of faucet washers, way too many light fixtures, and gallons of things a guy in his life time would only use a dozen of. I remember cases of fly paper tubes that pulled out to some three feet long sticky paper roll to catch flies. Daddy says they pulled out to a foot or so. "I guess things look bigger when you're a kid," he said. Other furnishings were bought and some we took from Iowa, like the twin's baby beds, etc. Sherry Pauline rescued enough parts of the baby beds to make one that is now displayed in my home.

I found a lot of little darts in the barracks. They were made of wooden match sticks, paper fins, and needles or straight pins. They flew beautifully. I played with them until they would fall apart. I learned to make my own. I wondered about the Japanese kids who must have made the darts. What kind of a life did they have and why did they have to go to these camps? Where were they now? I learned more later and felt even worse. The atrocities were so many, you'll just have to read about it sometime. It's worth your time. I've talked to a daughter of one of the workers who ran the camp and she said she was happy there and enjoyed having so many kids to play with. She theorized that the Japanese kids may not have felt the same.

Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 14:44:33 EDT
Subject: Re: Minidoka Project
From: Gdbohlen@aol.com


Who steered you towards Idaho Daddy? Pop Thye's brother Carl, who worked in Washington DC for the government in charge of getting rid of government building that were no longer used for their original intended purpose.

Carl went to High School in Danville, IL. He graduated from college with a degree in Architecture. He built several churches in St. Louis, Missouri before he went to work for the government.. Aunt Dorothy called him, "A wonderful man."

The government buildings were on a site called the Minidoka Project. It was a prison camp for Japanese used by the Military after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. My Mother worked for Bell Telephone as a switch board operator. She was on duty at the switchboard when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. "The board lit up like a Christmas Tree!" Mother exclaims.

Minidoka was one of many such camps in the United States (Canada, & Mexico also had camps) where some 100,00 Japanese and an unknown number of others (Germans & Italians for example) were held. This is a depressing part of US History about a depressing subject, but one that needs to be told, neverthless, just in case we ever get too smug about other countries having institutions where political prisoners are interned.

Victims of war time hysteria, these people, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens, lived a bleak humiliating life in tar paper barracks behind barbed wire and under armed guard. The camps went by the euphemism of internment camps or relocation centers, but they were concentration camps. They were not like the Holocaust or death campsl Those were approprately called death camps.

The camp our buildings came from is referred to in history accounts as the Minidoka project which opened on August 10, 1942. This project was located in Hunt, Idaho where the post office was registered. The Hunt project reached a total of 9,397 prisoners making a total of 10,651 residence at its highest population. Although our family visited this camp, it had been closed since October 28, 1945. Daddy told me that the camp meats and produce were raised by incarcerated camp members. Their efficiency and knowledge in doing these chores significantly improved the land.

Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 05:48:23 EST
Subject: Re: Internment photos

Mr. Yu I was just looking through the web and serendipitously found your site. Yes, I was a boy when I was interned in Minidoka, Idaho. We came from Alaska. Lost home and business. Forced to sell at ridiculously low prices...either that or they would have taken them anyway. Business and home insurance could not be renewed, even tho US government took over business. Burned down while in their hands.
At internship, never saw so many people of Japanese ancestry in my life...before or since. Family in small one room barracks. Learned to play Japanese game called GOH. No paved streets...dirt and mud. Transportation: walking. We used to sneak out of the fenced area to go to the Snake River and fish. At first the soldiers were watchful, then they became lax. Worked for local farmers harvesting potatoes and sugar cane in the fall. Little pay. Slept in unheated tents (cold), food cooked by Japanese workers. They served rice 3x day. I never had eaten so much rice in my life. A culture shock. Even learned to speak some Japanese with a poor accent. Worked in hospital for a while. Schooling bad..old books, not enough to go around. Government forced Eskimos whose Grandfather was Japanese into the camp. They were ostracized. Felt sorry for them. They had no business being in the camps. They had less Japanese cultural background than I did.
Used to fight with Kibeis ( Japanese Americans who got education in Japan...They were loyal to Japan...eventually shipped back to Japan). Life was mundane and boring. Food in mess hall Army style. Residents were cooks. Got to camp in Sawtooth mountains as a Boy Scout. We were not restricted entirely to camp. Lots of prejudice outside. Had to get on back of bus...that type of thing. Got Natl Episcopal Church Scholarship to finish high school in MA. Parents got out and moved to Milwaukee, WI. Got in Marquette U. Did somework at U of Michigan, got PhD at Tulane. Taught at Yale, Arkansas and Florida in med schools. NB : Relocation changed my future. Before WW2, people of Japanese ancestry in Ketchikan went to U of Washington...got degrees...baccalaureaate, grad degrees in Chemistry, etc...could not get jobs. Came back home to work in parents business...grocery store, bakery. Relocation changed that. I was able to get a good career in academia. Hope this is helpful.

Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 16:09:48 EST
Subject: Re: Internment photos

John In answer to your question about how did internment have a positive effect on my getting academic positions... It helped all of the professions. The internment and later diaspora decreased the concentration of Japanese Americans from the West Coast. The West Coast people were very prejudiced against Japanese Americans...jealosies partially existed because they were successful fishermen, farmers, etc. Japanese military atrocities in the Far East enflamed the hate of anyone that looked oriental...Chinese, Japanese, Filipiono, etc. Such feelings were not felt in the Midwest and Eastern USA because there were so few Japanese Americans. The intense prejudices by Caucasians in the West Coast was never felt in the rest of the country...As a result we were given opportunities for jobs in industry , academia, health care, government as professionals for our abilities rergardless of racial ancestry. The intense prejudices subsided in the West Coast. In the South, the prejudices were focussed on the African Americans.

Consider this: For many years the Mormans in Salt Lake controlled Utah and Salt Lake City. Other religions and non Mormans were not always treated equally. Louisiana still has the French basis of law, and had a strong Roman Catholic base. With those places becoming cosmopolitan, the secularism was diluted.

Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 13:22:16 EST
Subject: Re: Internment photos

I went to the high school in Minidoka its beginning (1942) through part of 1944. At that time I was offered a National Episcopal Church scholarship to go to a private prep school in MA, where I graduated from High School. The Minidoka school was poor because they had books only for every other student, and they were discards from the other public schools. We did not have home work. The labs were didactic, except when someone caught a snake or other animal , and it was dissected. The biology lady teacher was so conservative that she called the testes and ovaries only by gonads. I did not experience chemistry or physics there, maybe because I was not in the upper classes. Math was lacking as I recall. Literature and writing nothing. It took me years to catch up, and I had to do those things on my own.

Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 00:46:47 EST
From: Jrokamoto@aol.com
Subject: SF Examiner article 5/5/44

I was reading some of the names on the geocities website, and I believe on of the men mentioned was my uncle. His name was Shoichi James Okamoto. Do you have any additional information regarding his family or the shooting incident? His father's name was Tokuichiro Okamoto.

Thank you,
Jan Okamoto

Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 14:22:17 EST
From: Jrokamoto@aol.com

Thank you for your information. I will look for those books. My father never spoke of this incident I actually found out about it through his sister (my aunt) at a Thanksgiving dinner about 12 years ago. Up until that time I never knew he had another brother. It is ashamed that some of the Nisei have such a hard time getting over events of the past. I do remember that one of my cousins said her mother had sent away for the court transcripts of the trial (or lack of) that followed.


Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 23:05:23 EST
From: Jrokamoto@aol.com

Yes, be my guest and feel free to post our email. I wonder if there are many other Sansei who have the same feelings as myself. I am very curious about the events and how they affected my father, but he has refused to speak much about it to us (his children). My mother doesn't even know anything about this brother, because my father never brought it up during their entire 43 years of marriage, and of course she never asked. I could tell that he was still deeply afftected by it, because when I did question first question him, he answered with shock that I had found out and wanted to know who told me. And then he shook his head as if to tell me that he didn't want to talk about it, and I could see that tears were welling up in his eyes. From that day on not another word was ever spoken of the incident. As a mother, I would like to pass on some of the legacy of my childrens great grandparents, but I know so little.

So I want to sincerely thank you for giving some information on where I can start to research some of my family's history.


Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2001 13:48:41 EST
From: Jrokamoto@aol.com

My never spoke to any of us about what happened in camp. So I don't know what he knows about the incident. His life after the camp was a struggle. He lived at home and supported his mother until he married my mother. But in retrospect, I believe he never has gotten over losing his father and his brother while they were interned in the camp. He believed that his father died as a result of the lack of adequate medical care. His father died of a brain hemorrhage soon after they were sent to the camp. My father believed this was caused by his father being locked up. So I think he has lived with the scars of the internment, and was not as lucky as the others who were able to move on.

I am forty-two years old, and have three children of my own. There is much about my father and his family that I do not know. Much of it is because he refuses to discuss the events. When I first questioned him about his brother I saw the tears begin to well up in his eyes as I seemed to have brought about a demon from the past. I could tell immediately that this topic was much too painful even after forty plus years. It was at that moment I knew that any information regarding my uncle I would have to dig up on my own. It has only been through bits and pieces of past conversations that I have come to this point. In fact, it was totally by chance that I found your article. My fiance was surfing the web when he came upon the article of the people who were shot while in the camps. He also remembered my mention of my uncle and asked me if this was him. A while back I had gotten a printout from the JANM on families interned during WWII. This had the information about all of my father's family - birth/death dates. But at the moment I can't locate it. I am planning to make a trip to the museum to get another printout as well as look for the books you had used in your research in order to confirm if this is in fact my uncle.

As a Sansei I know very little of my paternal ancestors and have even less information to pass on to my children. Their reluctance to speak of the past makes it almost impossible to gain any information about our ancestors.

I will keep you informed as I gather the information that I am seeking. Thank you for your help so far.


Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2001 20:19:05 -0500 (EST)
From: Di Funada funada@juno.com
Subject: June Workshop/Symposium

March 5, 2001

The Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation (HMWF) is co-sponsoring a workshop/symposium in June which will explore the events that occurred when a group of internees questioned the constitutionality of the draft while they were being interned during World War II. The workshop will include researchers, resisters and their families.

HMWF is a non-profit public benefit organization, governed by its own Board of Directors, established to memorialize and to educate the public about the significance of the historical events surrounding the internment of Japanese Americans who were interned at the Heart Mountain Camp, near Powell, Wyoming.

The Corporation is organized exclusively for charitable purposes which include: to promote and encourage the study and understanding of the historical events surrounding the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II within the broader context of American history; to collect, preserve, exhibit, publish and make available materials of an historical character and interest; to collaborate with other groups and individuals with similar aims; and to carry on other activities of an historical and educational nature as permitted by the law related to nonprofit corporations that are exempt from federal taxation as organizations described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or the corresponding section of any future tax code.

The workshop, "Protest & Resistance: An American Tradition", is part of HMWF's charter to promote and encourage the study of the historical events surrounding the Japanese American internment.

Attached you will find two pdf documents that can be opened up in any web browser with the PDF plug-in. resisann.pdf provides a description of the workshop/symposium and protest.pdf is a brochure that details the program and includes a registration form. Additional information on the Heart Mountain Relocation Center and the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation can be found on our web site: http://www.heartmountain.org. Information on the workshop is also stored on the site on the "Calendar of Events" if you cannot receive or open the attachments.

We would appreciate it if you would consider announcing this workshop in your hard copy or electronic publications. It should prove to be as valuable, informative, and moving as the first HMWF sponsored conference.

Thank you,

Diane Funada,
Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation
Board Member

Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2000 15:03:22 +0000
From: Chizu Omori chizuomori@earthlink.net
Organization: http://www.firetrail.com/~nwearth
Subject: Information


For those of you who are interested, I am Chizuko Omori. My sister, Emiko and I recently produced a documentary on the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. It is titled "Rabbit In The Moon". After winning a prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 1999 for best cinematography in documentaries, Rabbit went on to be broadcast on PBS in July of 1999.

This film has been shown in numerous film festivals and won awards such as the American Historical Association's best historical film of 1999, the American Anthropological Association's choice for best documentary of the year, and in Sept of this year (2000), Rabbit won an Emmy for outstand historical programming.

Rabbit is being used by many scholars and teachers in their classrooms as an educational program to teach about the camps. For those of you who wish to obtain a copy of "Rabbit In The Moon", you can contact:

Media Library
22-D Hollywood Ave.
Hohokus, New Jersey 07423
Phone: 800/343-5540
Fax: 201/652-1973
There is an institutional price and an individual price.

Chizu Omori

From: Dean Blobaum
Subject: Book on the Japanese American draft resisters of WW2
Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2000 09:22:35 -0600


We have an online excerpt from a book we will publish in about a year that ought to be of considerable interest to the readers of you internment camp webpages. Perhaps you'll include a link to this? Thanks for your consideration.

A forthcoming book from the University of Chicago Press will tell the yet untold story of the Japanese American draft resisters of World War II--their resistance, trial, and imprisonment.

Beginning in 1942 the US government forced more than 100,000 Japanese American into internment camps. In 1944 young male internees were sent draft notices. Some served in the Army; some resisted the draft. Though the resisters were willing to fight or even die for their country, they wanted their country to treat them as citizens--to restore their rights--before it demanded the duties of citizenship. Tried in federal court, most drew sentences of two-to-five years in prison. And subsequently--for more than fifty years--their resistance has been omitted from the histories of the internment camps and shunned by the Japanese American community.

We will publish Free to Die for Their Country: The Japanese American Draft Resisters of World War II by Eric Muller in Fall, 2001. We have an excerpt from our forthcoming book on our website: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/548228.html

Dean Blobaum
The University of Chicago Press
Catalogs, online ordering, and features from our publications at:
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From: WMHohri@aol.com
Subject: re: corrections to camps.html, wmhohri
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2000 12:31:52 EDT

John Yu,

You've done a great job with camps.html. But. I am involved in an effort to hold accountable the National Park Service's approval of a terribly botched list of the ten camps that is to be carved into stone, literally, for The Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II. The list has been reviewed, amended, and approved by our National Park Service, whose mandate it is to ensure historical accuracy on monuments erected on Federal land. So I am sensitive to these basic facts about the camps. What I will do is enclose a copy of my letter to Bruce Babbitt on this matter. The letter includes a chart of corrections. One source document I strongly recommend is "The Evacuated People: A Quantitative Description," that I refer to. It is comprehensive and thorough. You will find, for example, that there were more than 63 draft resisters at Heart Mountain. The 63 were the first wave. They were followed by 22 more, I believe.

The one area that is difficult to correct even while being fraught with error are the names of the places the Issei, Japanese nationals, were held as enemy aliens. My father was among these. I know of no comprehensive source for this information. But I do know that the camps you list for German American Civilians also included the Issei and Japanese Latin Americans. Instead of Missoula, MT and Bismark, ND, you should use the Ft. Missoula and Ft. Lincoln you use for German-Americans. Other camps I do know Issei were held include Tujunga, CA (my father was there while in transit to Lordsburg, I believe), Ft. Stanton, NM (which served as punishment for disobedient inmates at Santa Fe), Lordsburg, NM (I think), Seagoville, TX (Japanese Latins), Kenedy, TX (Japanese Latins), Camp Forrest, TN (a contingent from Hawaii in 142), Ellis Island, NY (for Issei in NY). These are just the camps I know about. The list is not complete. Lordsburg, I believe, was run by the U.S. Army.

Inasmuch as you use the 120,313 figure, I suggest that you use the population figures I provide in my enclosed letter to Babbitt rather than the peak population figures, which add up to 112,581.

Despite the corrections I've suggested to your website, I still think you have done a great job. Do you know whether the Japanese American National Museum link to it?

William Hohri


August 7, 2000

Bruce Babbitt
U.S. Department of the Interior
Washington, DC 20240

Dear Secretary Babbitt,

On Friday, August 4, 2000, I received a copy of the architect's drawings for the Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II from John Parsons, National Park Service. I went through the brief historical narrative and noted several historical errors. But I realize that these have been approved and not subject to debate. On Saturday, I examined the section containing the camp names, locations, and populations. I was stunned by what I saw.

Five of the ten camps had the correct names and locations. Three had the camp names switched with the post office names. When the names of the post office and camp are identical, the post office name is dropped. Two, however, did not have post office names even when they were not identical to the camp names. The authoritative source for these names and locations is "The Evacuated People: A Quantitative Description," U.S. Dept of the Interior, 1946, Table 5, page 17. I list the specific errors in an enclosure. They are clearly not acceptable, even by the most basic of standards. (There was one error detected in Table 5 and noted in the enclosed detailed comparisons.)

The population figures for each of the camps are taken from this same Table 5. While they are valid in their characterization as their peak populations, they do not add up to the 120,000 figure used in the historical narrative elsewhere in the inscriptions. This is subtle point. The camp populations experienced change with the release of inmates, the birth of infants, the transfer of inmates between camps, the parole of inmates from Dept. of Justice camps to the WRA camps, and other causes. A more accurate measure of the populations appears in this document's Table 1. This measure is described as the "total number of individuals coming under jurisdiction of WRA for first time." These populations add up to around 120,000.

As you can see, these are matters of historical accuracy of the most basic and objective sort, the authority for which resides within a U.S. Dept. of the Interior document. Moreover it is a document that is widely used by historians whose work covers the wartime history of Japanese-Americans. It is not arcane.

Normally, I would confine my communications to either Mr. Stanton or Mr. Parsons. But here I believe we face this question: is the U.S. Dept. of the Interior going to allow this monument to have inscriptions that are so egregiously inaccurate? I await your reply.

Sincerely yours,

William Hohri
25840 Viana Ave. #B
Lomita, California 90717
Telephone: (310)530-4917
E-mail: wmhohri@aol.com

Copies: John Parsons, National Park Service, and Davis Buckley, architect for the memorial

Enclosed: detailed description of errors.

Comparison of data from drawings, "The National Japanese American Memorial Inscriptions," July 17, 2000, Davis Buckley, with data in Tables 5 and 1, "The Evacuated People: A Quantitative Description." The sources are described as "Drawings" for the architect's drawings and "Evac. People" for "The Evacuated People." The corrections, when needed, are indicated in bold face in the following line. (A third line appears with a note for Rohwer, Arkansas. See note below.)

Source          Name of Camp        Post Office Name & State        Population

Drawings        Poston              Colorado River, Arizona         17,814
Evac. People    Colorado River      Poston, Arizona                 19,266

Drawings        Heart Mountain      Wyoming                         10,767
Evac. People                                                        11,815

Drawings        Topaz               Central, Utah                   8,130
Evac. People    Central Utah        Topaz, Utah                     9,143

Drawings        Jerome              Denson, Arkansas                8,497
Evac. People                                                        9,150

Drawings        Manzanar            California                      10,046
Evac. People                                                        10,943

Drawings        Rohwer              Arkansas                        8,475
Evac. People                        Relocation, Arkansas            8,949
(See note below.)                   McGehee, Arkansas

Drawings        Tule Lake           Newell, California              18,789
Evac. People                                                        17,143

Drawings        Minidoka            Hunt, Idaho                     9,397
Evac. People                                                        10,651

Drawings        Gila River          Arizona                         13,348
Evac. People                        Rivers, Arizona                 14,242

Drawings        Amache              Granada, Colorado               7,318
Evac. People    Granada             Amache, Colorado                8,254

Drawings                Total population:                           112,581
Evac. People                                                        119,556

Evac. People        Other than WRA custody, institutionalized           757

Evac. People                Total                                   120,313
Note: The "Relocation" as post office name for Rohwer is incorrect, even though it is so identified in Table 5. I learned last night that the correct post office name is "McGehee." This is from a chart produced by the War Relocation Authority and located in the National Archives, RG-65-FBI records, Entry 38-B, Box 81, Document # 62-69030-20.

William Hohri, 25840 Viana Ave. #B, Lomita, CA 90717
e-mail: wmhohri@aol.com

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