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Most of these stalls have been converted into family living quarters for evacuated Japanese. Noon on a hot day at the Stockton Assembly center, which is a converted fairgrounds. This photograph shows the old race track. This center has been opened a week and evacuees will arrive daily until the capacity of is reached. This scene shows one type of barracks for family use. These were formerly the stalls for race horses. Each family is assigned to two small rooms, the inner one, of which, has no outside door nor window.

The center has been in operation about six weeks and 8, persons of Japanese ancestry are now assembled here.

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Dust storm at this War Relocation Authority center where evacuees of Japanese ancestry are spending the duration. Supper time! Meal times are the big events of the day within an assembly center. This is a line-up of evacuees waiting for the "B" shift at pm. They carry with them their own dishes and cutlery in bags to protect them from the dust. They, themselves, individually wash their own dishes after each meal, since dish washing facilities in the mess halls proved inadequate. Most of the residents prefer this second shift because they sometimes get second helpings, but the groups are rotated each week.

There are eighteen mess halls in camp which, together, accomodate 8, persons three times a day. All food is prepared and served by evacuees. A chef of Japanese ancestry at this War Relocation Authority center. Evacuees find opportunities to follow their callings. Mealtime in one of the messhalls at this War Relocation Authority center for evacuees of Japanese ancestry.

Grandfather of Japanese ancestry teaching his little grandson to walk at this War Relocation Authority center for evacuees. Humor is the only thing that mellows life, shows life as the circus it is. After being uprooted, everything seemed ridiculous, insane, and stupid.

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There we were in an unfinished camp, with snow and cold. The evacuees helped sheetrock the walls for warmth and built the barbed wire fence to fence themselves in. I mean… what could you do? So many crazy things happened in the camp. So the joke and humor I saw in the camp was not in a joyful sense, but ridiculous and insane.


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It was dealing with people and situations. Grandfather and grandson of Japanese ancestry at this War Relocation Authority center. Little evacuee of Japanese ancestry gets a haircut. A view of surrounding country flanked by beautiful mountains at this War Relocation Authority center. More land is being cleared of sage brush at the southern end of the project to enlarge this War Relocation Authority center for evacuees of Japanese ancestry. William Katsuki, former professional landscape gardener for large estates in Southern California, demonstrates his skill and ingenuity in creating from materials close at hand, a desert garden alongside his home in the barracks at this War Relocation Authority center.

Making camouflage nets for the War Department. This is one of several War and Navy Department projects carried on by persons of Japanese ancestry in relocation centers. The army claimed that they were volunteers but they were in fact coerced by camp administrators, who were receiving requisitions for large numbers of nets from the army. One of the first strikes at the camps occurred when Santa Anita camouflage-net workers sat down and refused to continue, complaining of too little food. They won some concessions. At Manzanar other internees worked in a large agricultural project to grow and improve a plant, guayule, that could become a substitute for rubber.

With rudimentary and often homemade equipment, chemists and horticulturalists hybridized guayule shrubs to obtain a substance of tensile strength with low production costs. These undertakings were illegal under the Geneva Convention, which forbade using prisoners of war in forced labor, and as a result only American citizens were usually employed so that the army could claim that these were not POWs.

Photographs by Ansel Adams, Clem Albers, Dorothea Lange, and Tōyō Miyatake

Guayule beds in the lath house at the Manzanar Relocation Center. The government charged 63 members and seven leaders of The Fair Play Committee with draft evasion and conspiracy to violate the law.

The seven leaders were sentenced to four years in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. Tenant farmer of Japanese ancestry who has just completed settlement of their affairs and everything is packed ready for evacuation on the following morning to an assembly center. Linda Gordon and Gary Y. Cart 0. Sign In My Account. Shop Blog About Contact. Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother photograph from I just lived from day to day without any purpose. I felt empty. And that was the last time I saw him. I was given several tags bearing the family number, and was then dismissed…. Baggage was piled on the sidewalk the full length of the block.

Greyhound buses were lined alongside the curb. The workers wanted to quit tonight in order to have time to get cleaned up, wash their clothes, etc. There are indications that these are organized and ready for concerted action at a favorable opportunity. The very fact that no sabotage has taken place to date is a disturbing and confirming indication that such action will be taken.

DeWitt, head of the U.

Manzanar: The Wartime Photographs of Ansel Adams | Skirball Cultural Center

Stimson, summarizing instructions from President Franklin D. Roosevelt given February 11, I do not recall much conversation between the Japanese. I think the Japanese left in a very quiet mood, for we were powerless. We had to do what the government ordered.


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  6. There were many leaders of the Japanese community aboard our train. The door to the lavatory was kept open in order to prevent our escape or suicide. The exhibit features 50 little-known photographs by celebrated landscape photographer, Ansel Adams — that depict the treatment of Japanese Americans at the Manzanar incarceration camp in central California. Also on view are documents, publications, propaganda materials, artifacts, and artwork detailing life and conditions at the camp. Admission is free to Skirball Members and children under 2. Admission is free to all on Thursdays.

    Located about miles north of Los Angeles, the Manzanar War Relocation Center was the first of ten camps established to detain approximately , individuals of Japanese descent in the wake of the Dec. Pressured by the fear and paranoia sweeping the nation, President Franklin D. Highly regarded for his majestic landscapes, Ansel Adams was already an accomplished fine art and commercial photographer at the onset of the war.

    Many portraits show individuals in their professional attire - as military personnel, a nurse, an artist, farmers, an electrician, among many others. Other photographs depict individuals engaged in various activities, such as baseball, Sunday school, a science lecture, working the potato fields, and standing in line at the mess hall.

    Adams also took photographs of several editions of the camp newspaper, the Manzanar Free Press , which was published by the incarcerated Nikkei Japanese Americans. Eleven thousand people, a community the size of Tyngsborough, lived at Manzanar. The other camps were Gila River, Ariz. He visited four times in , at the invitation of the camp director, a friend, to take photographs. In , Adams donated a complete set of negatives and prints to the Library of Congress. The images are at once moving, as Adams intended, and disquieting, as he did not. Several of these photographs situate the camp topographically, and the sense of annihilating space is overwhelming.

    That was how the federal government wanted it. The dramatic lighting and the cruciform shape of the telephone pole that the birds rest on evoke Golgotha. The history of photography has known no more exacting maker of images than Ansel Adams.