This page is an update of the original Densho Encyclopedia article authored by Glen Kitayama. See the shorter legacy version here .

US Gov Name Manzanar Relocation Center
Facility Type Concentration Camp
Administrative Agency War Relocation Authority
Location Manzanar, California (36.7333 lat, -118.0667 lng)
Date Opened June 1, 1942
Date Closed November 21, 1945
Population Description Over 90 percent of the people held here were from the Los Angeles, California, area; others were from Stockton, California, and Bainbridge Island, Washington.
General Description Located at 3,900 feet of elevation in the desert of the southern Owens Valley in east-central California, 220 miles north of Los Angeles, 250 miles south of Reno, between the towns Lone Pine and Independence. The 6,000 acres are framed by the Sierra Nevada mountains to the west and the White-Inyo range to the east. Summers are hot, winters cold; annual rainfall is under 6 inches, although the area has rivers fed from mountain runoff. Vegetation is mostly sagebrush.
Peak Population 10,046 (1942-09-22)
National Park Service Info
Other Info

Located in the Owens Valley about 225 north of Los Angeles, Manzanar began its life as the Owens Valley Reception Center , the first of the WCCA-administered camps to open. After about ten weeks under WCCA administration, it officially became a WRA camp on June 1, 1942. Thus, essentially all of Manzanar's 10,000 inmates went directly to Manzanar without passing through another "assembly center." Despite having a relatively homogeneous population—nearly 90% of its inmates came from the Los Angeles area—Manzanar was beset with unrest in its first year, culminating with what has been called both a "riot" and an "uprising" in December 1942 that saw military police firing into a crowd resulting in the deaths of two inmates. Manzanar also had one of the highest rates of segregation to Tule Lake and one of the lowest rates of volunteers for the military among WRA camps. Undoubtedly the best-known, most photographed, and most visited of the WRA camps, it has been the subject of numerous books, movies and exhibitions. It has been managed since 1992 by the National Park Service as the Manzanar National Historic Site , which runs a museum and many interpretive programs at the site. This article covers Manzanar under WRA administration; there is a separate article on the period under WCCA administration .

Pre-History and Geography

Manzanar opened on March 21, 1942 as the "Owens Valley Reception Center" under the administration of the Wartime Civil Control Administration (WCCA) and was the first such camp to open. After operating under the WCCA for about ten weeks, Manzanar came under the administration of the War Relocation Authority (WRA) as of June 1, 1942 becoming the second of what would become ten WRA camps. For more on the history and geography of the site see the separate article on the Owens Valley Reception Center .

Layout and Physical Characteristics

The inmate area of Manzanar included thirty-six residential blocks in an area about one mile square. This area was surrounded by a five-strand barbed wire fence and eight guard towers, the former likely present at the time of the WRA transfer, the latter built after the transfer. The administration area was east of the inmate area and the MP compound beyond that. The hospital complex was in the western corner of the camp, while the elementary school was in Block 16, more or less in the center of the inmate area, and the high school in Block 7. Manzanar had some unique features, including the remnants of the apple orchards that once covered the area that remained in a fire break in the middle of the camp, and a small creek that ran through the southern corner of the camp that later became a recreation area for the inmates. The Manzanar Children's Village , the only orphanage in any of the WRA camps, had its own area next to the apple orchards. Inmates built a cemetery with a stone monument southwest of the inmate area. [1]


By June 1, nearly all of the inmates destined for Manzanar had already arrived; the population as of that date stood at 9,666, just a few hundred below what would be the peak population of just over 10,000. The camp was nonetheless very much in the process of being finished despite inmates having been there for ten weeks. While nearly all of the buildings had been put up, many were incomplete and not ready for use. Since at least two of blocks were not yet ready for occupancy, overcrowding was rife. In a June 10 report, inmate chronicler Togo Tanaka reported that there were still cases of up to a dozen people housed in a single 20 x 25 unit, with total strangers being housed together in many cases. He wrote twelve days later that the last two blocks, numbers 35 and 36, had finally opened up, helping to ease the overcrowding. While all the mess hall buildings were up by June 1, only twenty mess halls were actually in operation, with the other sixteen missing plumbing and/or mess equipment. After visiting the camp, WRA Assistant Regional Director (and later an acting director of Manzanar) Harvey M. Coverley wrote in a June 17 memo that the operating mess halls were "grossly over-crowded" and that people began lining up a half-an-hour before meal times, with as many as 300 people in the lines. As late as August 19, there were still six mess halls that were not open due to lack of stoves. In the interim, inmates at the blocks without mess halls had to go to other blocks, resulting in long lines at those blocks. And even barracks buildings that were occupied were not actually finished, as inmate crews installed Mastipave flooring and plasterboard siding through the fall, finishing up by the end of November. Additional partitions were also added to some barracks, creating more smaller units and reducing the number of small families who had to share a unit with other families. [2]

Some of the camp's larger systems were also unfinished. A June 1 report by George H. Dean for the WRA reported that the sewage system was still under construction and that in the meantime, "[s]ewage from the project is siphoned under the aqueduct east of the camp and spread out over the open land." He also reported that the water supply system was not completed and that tests had shown a "rather high degree of pollution and a trace of E. coli" and that there had also "been a comparatively high incidence of dysentery within the project." Inmate Dr. Kazue Togasaki lamented the fact that despite this contamination, there was no chlorination available. There had also been little landscaping done to that point, which exacerbated the often severe dust problems. [3]

As at other camps, inmates did their best to improve their surroundings. In their barracks units, they did everything from nailing tin can lids over knotholes in the floorboards to keep dust from blowing in to digging out "cellars" under their units as a refuge from the summer heat. WRA Community Analysis Section Head John F. Embree wrote after a September 1942 visit that "many people have devoted their energies to making stone and sand walks, gardens and decorations in the ground around the barracks." Inmates realized that in addition to improving the appearance of the camp, planting lawns also helped to reduce the dust; hundreds had done so by the end of the summer of 1942. Manzanar was to become known for its many inmate-built gardens . In addition to the many individual gardens inmates planted in front of their units, there were also several notable community gardens including those at the Block 34 and Block 22 mess halls. Prewar nursery owner F. M. Uyematsu donated 1,000 cherry trees and other plants, resulting in the construction of a Japanese Cherry Park in front of the Children's Village. The most elaborate of the gardens was one that the inmates dubbed (whether sardonically or not) "Merritt Park" after Camp Director Ralph Merritt . A Japanese style garden whose construction was led by Kuichiro Nishi, it had a pond, bridges, and a teahouse. [4]


Each of Manzanar's thirty-six blocks had fourteen residential barracks that were 20 x 100 feet, with a 15th barrack that was designated as a recreation hall. Blocks also included a mess hall (40 x 100), men's and women's latrines (each 20 x 30), a laundry room (20 x 40), and an ironing room (20 x 28). The blocks were numbered consecutively from 1 to 36. Two of the blocks were later converted into schools: Block 7 became the site of the high school in the fall of 1942, and Block 16 became the elementary school, starting with the third school year in the fall of 1944. Each residential block housed around 250 to 300 inmates. [5]

Each barrack building was initially separated into four 20 x 25 rooms. As noted above, additional partitions were added later to allow for larger numbers of smaller units. According to the Engineering Section Final Report, "… an average of two partitions per building were added to make additional apartments." Units were initially furnished only with metal cots, an oil-burning heater, and a bare light bulb. Inmates initially slept on straw filled tick mattresses. Over time, these were replaced by cotton mattresses, many of them manufactured in the camp mattress factory located in Warehouse 25. [6]

The recreation hall in each block was located at the end of the block, opposite the mess hall. As was true in the other WRA camps, they were used for a wide variety of purposes aside from recreation, including as elementary schools for the first school year, as churches, a gift shop, and even a Visual Education Museum. [7]


The men's and women's latrines were located in the middle of each block and had similar set ups, that included flush toilets, showers, and sinks. The toilets—eight for the men and twelve for the women—were in two back-to-back rows and were initially unpartitioned. Eventually, partitions were added to the women's side. In a 2009 interview, Isao Kikuchi remembered that "… the pots were sittin' right next to each other, maybe two feet apart, so if you're going, you're sittin' there rubbin' elbows." The shower room was 12 x 12 and had seven nozzles. The showers remained unpartitioned for the duration. Four sets of hot and cold faucets were set above a metal trough sink. Enterprising inmates managed to build cement furo (Japanese style bath tubs) in the Block 6 latrines in August 1942. Other blocks soon followed suit and half of the blocks had such baths by the end of October. [8]

The laundry room had twelve wash basins and hot and cold water. Given the lack of space in the camp, both laundry and ironing rooms ended up being used for other purposes as well, including for various co-op ventures (e.g. a laundry service, photo studio, and fish market), a branch library, and for a shoyu factory in Block 1. [9]

Mess Halls

The mess halls were double the size of the residential barracks, at 40 x 100 feet. The kitchen area was about 26 x 40 and was equipped with three coal burning ranges that were subsequently refitted with oil burners. The dining area took up the rest of the mess hall and was furnished with picnic type tables topped with Masonite that could each seat eight. In many of the mess halls, inmates made or purchased curtains and decorated the walls with murals. Food was served cafeteria style, with a gong announcing meal times. Though lines eased once all the mess halls finally became operational at some point in the fall of 1942, they never fully abated. The Mess Section Final Report noted "inadequate facilities for sanitation" in the early months of the camp which resulted in "two very mild epidemics of diarrhea." Manzanar's mess halls fed the inmates at an average cost of 35¼¢ per inmate per day, well below the WRA limit of 45¢ per day, aided by the produce—and from 1943, by the chicken, pork, and eggs—from the camp farms. [10]

Inmate accounts of the mess hall food recall undercooked rice and eggs, due to inmate cooks not knowing how to cook at high altitude as well meats of dubious quality. Masako Nagano wrote in an April 1945 letter of getting served just "wieners, bologna, and that's all. Unless its heart or kidneys, or guts!" In his memoir, Mack Mayeda recalled "Manzanar Steak," which was canned wieners and sauerkraut. Inmates also recalled the improvement that resulted from camp grown produce and Japanese food products. In an August 1943 letter, Nagano wrote with relish about getting camp made tofu and shoyu. Geroge Matsumoto, a chef in Block 18, recalled making sukiyaki and tempura with the camp grown vegetables. [11]

In the fall of 1942, Harry Ueno , a cook in Mess Hall 22 began noticing shortages of sugar and other foodstuffs and organized the Manzanar Kitchen Workers Union to investigate such shortages as well as to negotiate on issues of wages and clothing allowances on behalf of the nearly one-third of the inmate work force who worked in the mess halls. The union was not officially recognized by the administration, though it remained a thorn in their side. Ueno's arrest for the beating of a pro-administration inmate in December and the widespread belief that he was being targeted for his union leadership was a key factor in the Manzanar riot/uprising . [12]

Population Characteristics

While nearly 90% of the Manzanar's population came from the greater Los Angeles area, there were a number of distinct geographical groupings among both the Los Angeles and non-Los Angeles populations. The minority non-Los Angeles group mostly came from three areas.

The most distinctive of the non-Los Angeles groups was probably the group from Bainbridge Island, Washington , a strawberry growing area just west of Seattle. Because of their supposed proximity to navy installations, islanders were subjected to the very first Civilian Exclusion Order issued on March 24, 1942 ordering their removal. Since Manzanar was the only camp ready for occupancy at that time, the 227 islanders were sent there and were among the first to arrive at Manzanar, most of them ending up in Block 3. They remained a distinct group at Manzanar; islander Sadayoshi Omoto recalled that there were "fish out of water because they didn't really mix with the California population." The islanders pushed to be allowed to transfer to Minidoka , where most of the other people from the Seattle area were held, and when they were granted that opportunity, most decided to move. On February 24, 1943, 181 islanders left by train for Minidoka. [13]

The other large non-Los Angeles groupings were from Florin and French Camp, farming communities outside of Sacramento and Stockton respectively. One of the communities split up by the incarceration, other Florin groups ended up at Tule Lake and Rowher. Many of the approximately 370 from Florin sent to Manzanar ended up in Block 30. About 178 from French Camp ended up in Block 27. [14]

The Los Angeles area population came from four general areas. The most distinctive were the group from Terminal Island , a fishing community in the Los Angeles Harbor area that, like Bainbridge Island, was targeted for early expulsion, having been forced out at the end of February 1942. After living with friends or relatives or in hostels for a month, they were given the opportunity to come to Manzanar at the beginning of April. Manzanar Community Analyst Morris Opler wrote of them that they "nursed their bitterness along, never forgetting, always remembering what they had and how much they lost…. The younger people went around in 'gangs' and generally stuck with their own crowd." Whether deserved or not, the Terminal Island group gained a reputation for violence—fighting, crashing parties, and other such action—and for having a strong group identity that remained throughout their time at Manzanar, with a large group of islanders even leaving together in the waning days of the camp. The bulk of the Terminal Island group was in Blocks 9, 10, and 11. [15]

The other three areas of Los Angeles were Santa Monica/West Los Angeles/Culver City, the San Fernando Valley extending east to North Hollywood, Glendale and Burbank; and Little Tokyo/Boyle Heights and the area just south of Little Tokyo around the wholesale produce markets. The general occupational profile of the areas was broadly similar—small business owners, landscape gardeners, and laborers, along with some professionals—with some truck farmers in the valley and West LA areas. [16]

Block 2 became known as the bachelor's block, with some moving into Block 3 after the Terminal Islanders left. Many of the hospital workers lived in Blocks 29 and 34, which were next to the hospital complex. [17]

One other unusual population were the orphans in the camp orphanage, known as the Manzanar Children's Village. See the separate Densho Encyclopedia article for more.

Relationship to Local Community

As was true with other WRA camps, relations between Manzanar and local towns—in particular Lone Pine, ten miles south, and Independence, five miles north of the camp—were mixed, with strong anti-Japanese attitudes tempered to a degree by local businesses benefitting from the camp. The transition from WCCA to WRA administration brought greater tension, as new Manzanar Director Roy Nash made some initial missteps that undid the goodwill that locally-connected WCCA-era Director Clayton Triggs had built. Nash broke ties with a local citizen's committee and was vocal in promoting the rights of Japanese Americans. Local papers highlighted Nash taking a group of inmates out on a picnic and on taking inmate Dr. James Goto and his wife to a dinner in Lone Pine. Nash also didn't rehire much of the WCCA staff, some of whom subsequently spread negative rumors about the WRA in the local towns. Due to both the rising anti-camp sentiments and to Western Defense Command dictates, inmate access to local towns was further restricted in the fall of 1942. Interim Director Harvey M. Coverley wrote in September that "every effort is being made… to furnish all necessary services within the Relocation Area," eliminating the need for inmates to have to leave the camp even for such things as banking or legal services. Under the directorship of local resident and booster Ralph Merritt, relations with local communities slowly improved, as some interaction between locals and inmates began to take place, though to a much lesser extent that with other WRA camps located outside the restricted area. Ronald C. Larson and Jessie A. Garrett wrote that, "with the passage of time, resentment and hostility gave way—if not to tolerance—to cautiousness and, ultimately, to indifference." [18]


Manzanar had two directors—and two interim directors—during its WRA period. The first was Roy Nash, who arrived on May 17, 1942. Nash seemed to have an ideal background for the job, having been a secretary-treasurer of the NAACP who had commanded an African American artillery unit during World War I. He subsequently worked in Brazil and published a book titled The Conquest of Brazil in 1926. In the 1930s, he worked for the Office of Indian Affairs, as superintendent of the Sacramento Indian Agency before joining the WRA. In his four-month tenure at Manzanar, he nonetheless managed to antagonize both the local community, as noted above, and the inmate population. Though described by WRA Community Analysis Section Head John Embree as "very sympathetic" to the inmates, his well-meaning promises—such as telling inmates they would be able to explore the nearby mountains on their own—went unfulfilled, which, combined with his perceived inaccessibility and the continued chaotic state of the camp, led to inmates turning against him. JACL leader Fred Tayama wrote that Nash "treated us like Indians," and that he "made many promises which he never kept." Inmate chronicler Togo Tanaka wrote that he "was personally inaccessible, both to his administrative colleagues and to evacuees…." JERS fieldworker Morton Grodzins wrote that "a substantial portion of the Manzanar community is now firmly convinced that ex-camp director Roy Nash is languishing somewhere in a federal penitentiary for misuse of funds and malfeasance in office." Seemingly by mutual agreement, Nash left Manzanar on September 19 for the Board of Economic Welfare to head its Brazil-Ecuador Division. [19]

Nash was succeeded by two interim directors. Harvey Coverley, who headed the community services division in the WRA's San Francisco office, was the first, arriving at Manzanar on September 22. After around six weeks at Manzanar, he returned to the regional office. He later was the second director at Tule Lake, holding that position for over seven months before joining the army. Solon T. Kimball succeeded Coverley, arriving at Manzanar on November 5. A Harvard educated anthropologist, Kimball remained at Manzanar for less than three weeks. He remained with the WRA throughout the war, later serving as the head of Community Organization and Activities in the Washington, D.C. office before resuming his academic career after the war. [20]

Ralph Merritt arrived on November 24, 1942 and ended the revolving door of directors, remaining that position for the life of camp, nearly three years. A local businessman who had been instrumental in the selection of Manzanar as a site, he inherited a volatile situation that exploded into mass unrest barely two weeks after his arrival. After authorizing the use of military police to put down the unrest as well as the removal of "troublemakers" from the camp, he presided over relative calm for the rest of his tenure. See the Densho Encyclopedia article on Merritt for more.

When the WRA took control of Manzanar, Nash fired—or least didn't retain—much of the WCCA staff. He brought in Louis Hicks as his top assistant; however, Hicks lasted less than a month and was replaced by Ned Campbell on June 18. Campbell became a notorious and much hated figure among various groups of inmates. Thomas Temple was the chief of community services. After the riot/uprising, Merritt replaced Campbell and Temple and installed three assistant directors: Robert L. Brown, in charge of operations (internal security, agriculture, fire protection, manufacturing, public works, and transportation); Edwin H. Hooper, in charge of administration (supply, finance, office services, personnel, and statistics); and Lucy W. Adams, in charge of community management (health, education, community enterprise, welfare, and community activities). Merritt directly supervised the legal division and employment and housing initially. Adams remained in her position until October 1944, when she left to take a position with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, one of several Manzanar staffers to end up there. Lyle Wentner replaced her. Brown left on July 18, 1944, also to UNRRA, but was not replaced. [21]

Other key staffers included:
Project Attorneys Robert B. Throckmorton, J. Benson Saks, and Alan Campbell
Supervisor of Community Activities Aksel Nielsen. Nielsen was one of the few administrative holdovers from the WCCA period. He left Manzanar in June 1945, also to join UNRRA.
Community Analyst Morris Opler (July 1, 1943 to November 16, 1944). John E. de Young briefly succeeded him for March and April of 1945.
Others are noted below in relevant sections. [22]

Manzanar was notable for having three high level female administrators. Besides Adams, a Los Angeles native with a background in education and with the Office of Indian Affiars, there was also Genevieve W. Carter, the superintendent of education, and Margaret D'Ille, the head of the Community Welfare Section, both of whom remained at Manzanar for nearly the run of the camp's life. Carter had an Ed.D. from the University of California and been working in the sociology department there prior to coming to Manzanar. D'Ille had had a long career with the YWCA prior to the war including a stint in Japan during which she learned to speak Japanese fluently. [23]

Several different military police units guarded the perimeter of the camp and manned the eight towers. The 747th Military Police Escort Guard Company began in the WCCA period and were in place when the WRA took over administration of the camp. Soon thereafter in June 1942, they were succeeded by the 322nd Military Police Escort Guard Company. The 322nd were in place during the December 1942 riot/uprising. At the end of May, 1943, the 319th Military Police Escort Guard Company took over guard duties. By the end of 1943, the MPs no longer patrolled the perimeter and only manned the guard towers at night. On April 20, 1944, the 319th became the Service Command Unit 1999 and went from three officers and 135 men to two officers and 64 men. In November 1944, there was a final name change to the Ninth Service Command Detachment, with numbers reduced to two officers and forty enlisted men. Though reduced over time, the MP presence at Manzanar was still significantly higher than that of other WRA camps (besides Tule Lake) located outside the restricted area. [24]

Institutions/Camp Life

Community Government

Manzanar was unique among WRA camps for not having a formal inmate "community government," at least of the sort sanctioned by the WRA. When the WRA assumed administration of Manzanar, it inherited a group of largely Issei block leaders from the WCCA who had been appointed by the administration. Serving more or less the same function as block managers in other camps, the block leaders also met as a group dubbed the "Town Hall," serving a similar function as Temporary Community Councils in other camps. Because the block leaders had been appointed, they were not seen as legitimate by many inmates and were also blamed for the many problems at Manzanar. The Town Hall was also racked by internal conflict that reflected larger conflicts among inmate groups. In an attempt to establish the legitimacy of the body, elections were held in August 1942 and a new group of thirty-six block leaders was elected. In the meantime, various attempts by appointed charter committees to draft a charter for self-government foundered. As of October 1, 1942, the block leaders officially became "block managers," as in other camps. [25]

After the December 1942 riot/uprising, Camp Director Ralph Merritt more or less rejected WRA dictates for an elected self-government body consisting of only American citizens. In a January 1 letter to Dillon Myer, he argued that self-government was more or less futile, noting inmate cynicism over both the Issei ban and "any plan of self-government prepared and limited by the authorities above, whose authority includes the maintenance of a barbed wire fence as visual evidence of the actual complete lack of the fundamentals of self-government. Their view boils down to the conclusion that it is silly for mature men to spend time playing with dolls." The Town Hall consisting of elected block managers continued for the duration in place of a community council. Kiyoharu Anzai, a moderate Issei leader who held degrees from Waseda Unversity and the University of California and a master's degree from USC, became the chairman of the block managers in March 1943 and more or less held the position for the duration. He was supported by a "Peace Committee" led by Richard Izuno, the Town Hall secretary who was also a judo instructor who led a group of some two hundred supporters that successfully organized to prevent further "inu" beatings. Anzai and Merritt apparently held each other in high regard, with the latter dubbing the former the "Mayor of Manzanar" and the former dubbing the latter "Father of Manaznar." [26]

Though this arrangement seemed to work well enough relative to the systems at other camps, the WRA seemed to view Manzanar's arrangement as a failure. In its final report on community government, it concluded that, despite similar problems and issues, "through more skillful handling and a better opportunity for opposing groups to resolve their differences, it was possible to achieve an acceptable plan of government" at all of the other camps. [27]


A series of conflicts between inmates and between inmates and the administration through the summer and fall of 1942 culminated in the Manzanar riot/uprising in December 1942. See the separate Densho Encyclopedia article that describes that event and events that led up to it.

The conflict in the camouflage net factory is discussed in the relevant section below.

Registration/Segregation/Military Service

Manzanar had one of the highest rates of segregation to Tule Lake and one of the lowest rates of volunteers for the military among WRA camps, though widespread resistance to registration or to the military draft did not occur. The initial process of registration went relatively smoothly. Assistant Director Robert Brown let the block managers know about the impending process on January 29, 1943, and the army team—Lieutenant Eugene D. Bogard, Sergeant Irving V. Tierman, Sergeant James A. Hemphill, and Sergeant Kenneth M. Un—arrived on February 8. After a few days of meetings with the blocks to explain the process, registration began on February 12. Schools were closed during registration, and teams of school teachers did most of the registering. Registration for Issei and for women was completed in just four days, by the 16th. Because Nisei men had to answer the "loyalty questions" in front of someone from the army team, their registration stretched a little longer, being completed by February 22. But while the process went smoothly, the results were alarming to the administration, as the majority of both Issei and Nisei—some 62% in total—answered "no" to Question 28. [28]

The administration set to work to try to remedy the situation. The Issei case proved to be relatively simple. Project Attorney Robert Throckmorton worked with inmate leaders to reformulate Question 28 for Issei so that they could answer "yes" without seeming to renounce their Japanese citizenship. Given similar requests from other camps, the WRA agreed to reword the question. Allowed to re-answer the new Question 28, nearly all Issei—nearly 98%—changed their answers to "yes." The Nisei case proved more difficult. The administration first held hearings for the 503 (out of 627 total) Kibei who had answered "no" to 28 starting on April 15. All met with a hearing board that included Throckmorton, Merritt and other staff. While some changed their answers to "yes," the majority (about 60%) still answered "no." The administration later held some 2,500 segregation hearings from August to November with individuals who gave "no" answers and family members; about 1,000 of the former changed the answers to "yes." In the end, just under 87% answered "yes" to 28, and 2,165 inmates from Manzanar were sent to Tule Lake. Manzanar sent the largest number of inmates to Tule Lake of any WRA camp, though Jerome sent a slightly higher percentage of its inmates. Community Analyst Morris Opler noted some geographic patterns, observing high rates of segregation for inmates from such areas as Florin and Venice, farming areas where inmates suffered particularly bad financial losses. While about three hundred of the segregees left for Tule Lake on October 9, 1943, most of the Manzanar group had to wait until late February 1944 to transfer, since barracks for them at Tule Lake were not ready in the fall. Manzanar did not receive any of the "loyal" inmates from Tule Lake—nor any of the Jerome inmates when that camp closed—so it saw a substantial drop in its population in 1944. [29]

Consistent with the high number of Nisei who answered "no" to the loyalty questions, Manzanar saw a relatively small number of Nisei who volunteered for the army. Prior to the questionnaire, a recruiting team from the Military Intelligence Service Language School arrived in November 1942 and interviewed fifty men. Of these, fourteen were selected for induction, and they left for Camp Savage on December 2. But even counting these, only forty-two from Mananzar had volunteered for the armed forces prior to the institution of the draft. After Nisei eligibility for the draft was announced at the end of February 1944, inmates organized with a series of block meetings, and representatives from each block adopted a set of resolutions that included calling for an end to discrimination in the armed forces and in the larger society. Though there was some sentiment for resisting the draft, the group did not end up calling for any. In the end, there were no draft resisters at Manzanar, making it one of two WRA camps not to have any. ( Gila River was the other.) [30]


As with other WRA camps, the original plan was to build a new school complex, but delays in getting materials made it clear that the school would not be completed before the start of the first school year. As a result, regular barracks were used, with the high school assigned Block 7—available since the hospital that had been temporarily located there was able to move to a newly built complex—and the elementary schools placed in a dozen recreation halls throughout the camp. This set-up was not ideal, especially given that furniture, books, and supplies were also scarce. "We had no chairs, no tables, no, nothing to write with," remembered Margaret Stanicci, a former teacher at Manzanar. "So… the first class we sat on the floor." Since there were four classes in a single barrack and no partitions initially, "you obviously could hear what was going on in the other classes. And it made a very difficult teaching and learning situation." In the fall of 1942, the unfinished nature of the classrooms led to classes being canceled some days due to sandstorms or cold, since stoves were not installed until after the cold weather had begun. [31]

School nonetheless began in the fall, with the elementary school (grades 1 to 6) opening on September 14, 1942 with an enrollment of 1,001 students, and the high school (grades 7 to 12) on October 15 with 1,376. There were thirty-six white and four inmate teachers for the high school and nineteen white and twelve inmate teachers for the elementary school. As with other aspects of the camp, conditions in the schools gradually improved. During the enforced "break" caused by the December riot/uprising, the classroom barracks were lined with plasterboard, stoves and linoleum floors were installed, and sufficient numbers of chairs for all students obtained. Used textbooks from California schools had begun to arrive in November. Classrooms were later made larger, and partitions were installed. After spending the first two school years scattered throughout the camp, the elementary school was finally able to move into Block 16 for 1944–45 school year, the space there opened up by the departure of segregees to Tule Lake. A new gymnasium/auditorium in the firebreak between Blocks 7 and 13, the one part of the planned school complex that did get built, opened in the summer of 1944 and was used for the 1944 and 1945 graduations as well as for a variety of entertainment programs and other events. [32]

The experience for students was of course varied. Mas Okui remembered the difficult early period, when "we had no books, so the teacher would say, 'You got to pretend,' this is this, this is that." Students often recalled that the academics were more difficult than the schools they had come from due to the diligence of their classmates. "School, man its terrific. Nothing but tests!," wrote Masako Nagano in a 1944 letter. "I can only think of L.A. schools & how easy they were. Nothing like it here." Many inmates recalled favorites such as music teacher Lou Frizzell, who started various bands and glee clubs and wrote and produced an original musical performed by his students, and English teacher Helen Ely Brill , who encouraged many students to go to college. There were also sporting contests and other exchanges with outside schools, but on a much more limited basis than at camps located outside the restricted area. An October 1944 football game between Manzanar High School and Big Pine High School (won by former 33–0) prompted Camp Director Ralph Merritt to write optimistically that the "displays
 of sportsmanship will go far to bring to the consciousness of evacuees that the world outside Is not against them." He didn't comment when Bishop High School canceled a scheduled basketball game with Manzanar the following January. The schools closed for the final time on May 29, 1945. About five hundred students graduated from Manzanar High School during its three-year run. Schools pointedly did not open in the fall of 1945 as part of the effort to "encourage" inmates to leave as the camp prepared to close. [33]

Genevieve W. Carter was hired as the superintendent of education on June 15, 1942 and stayed on until the end of the education program in June 1945. Carter had an Ed.D. from the University of California and had been working there as a staff member in the sociology department prior to coming to Manzanar. She had also worked as a social worker, teacher, and probation officer. Clyde L. Simpson came on board as elementary school principal early in the first school year. In January 1945, he was transferred to the Relocation Section and Eldredge Dykes succeeded him. Leon C. High was principal of the high school for the first year, Rollin C. Foxx for the last two years. As was the case with other camps, Manzanar administrators had a difficult time recruiting sufficient numbers of teachers given Manzanar's location and the unique demands of the job. Complicating matters was the fact that wages for teachers were higher in West Coast public schools than in WRA schools. As a result, most elementary school teachers were recruited from the South and Midwest where wages were lower. However, many of these teachers lasted only a short time, before moving on to California public schools. Nine teachers also resigned in December 1942, presumably as a result of the riot/uprising; teachers were actually sent out of camp to live in neighboring towns for a few days during the December events. As at other camps, inmate teachers filled out the teaching staff as "assistant teachers," with many having to take on classrooms on their own despite lacking training and experience. [34]

Nursery schools pre- and post-dated the regular schools. Inmates organized seven nursery schools/kindergartens in the summer of 1942 taught entirely by inmate teachers of average age twenty-three. The preschools continued in this vein throughout, with enrollment topping 1,000 in 1942–43. Many of the teachers were the mothers of children in the program. Nursery schools continued until August 1945. There were also summer programs that began in 1942, and stretched into 1945 when two four-week children's activity programs were offered even after the regular schools had shut down. Adult programs began in the fall of 1942 and continued into early 1945. The program peaked in early 1943 when some 1,500 adult students took English language, academic, and cultural classes. [35]

Though not exactly an educational program, the Manzanar Children's Village was an orphanage that was an institution unique to Manzanar. See the separate Densho Encyclopedia article for more.


Recreation was organized through the Community Activities Section, led by Aksel Nielsen, the supervisor, a holdover from the "assembly center" period. Nielsen organized the section into five departments in early 1943: arts and crafts, athletics, entertainment and social activities, music, and gardening. A sixth department, youth activities, was added in 1945. Inmate staffers led each of these departments, and a total of 102 inmates worked for the section by June 1943. Later that year, the WRA cut spending on recreation beyond salaries. Inmates organized the Community Activities Cooperative Association (CACA) on November 11, 1943 to both plan activities and to finance them through membership dues and fund-raising activities, including a Block 16 gift shop that sold arts and crafts items made by inmates and a flower nursery that sold flowers particularly for funerals and weddings. Carnivals were another source of revenue. One issue CACA had to face was administrative disapproval of "Japanese" programs. In April of 1945, they agreed to decrease such programs to one per month in the auditorium, with up to four others in mess halls, a decrease of 50%. High School Principal Rollin Fox succeeded Nielsen in the summer of 1945, and community activities largely ended in August of 1945. [36]

The athletic department was predominantly Nisei and organized activities aimed largely at the younger group. Softball was the most popular sport, and multiple leagues for various age groups of boys and men and for girls and women flourished. Important games drew upwards of 4,000 fans. Inmates dragged clay from the Owens River to build tennis courts and basketball and volleyball courts. “Nearly every block had its own court for basketball and volleyball constructed between the barracks," recalled Mack Mayeda. Other sports included touch football, boxing, wrestling, track and golf. The Venice Barbell Club was headquartered in Block 15 and included competitive weightlifters. Judo enthusiasts built a judo dojo in the firebreak between Blocks 10 and 16. [37]

Movies and various types of music and entertainment were popular at Manzanar despite the lack of facilities and equipment for much of the time. Until the new auditorium became usable in June of 1944, the co-op screened movies on an outdoor screen between Blocks 20 and 21; there was no admission fee. While Towru Nagano wrote that he enjoyed the outdoor theatre, which "sure reminds you of the drive-in theater back in W.L.A.," Bo Sakaguchi told a 2002 interviewer that he "didn't enjoy the movies sitting outdoors in the cold, so I didn't go to the movies." With proceeds from the canteen and general store, inmate workers built an outdoor stage in a natural amphitheater in the southern corner of the camp that could seat 2,000 people. But due to its remote location, it was only used twice; a smaller 20 x 30 foot stage in Block 16 became the preferred venue for musical and dramatic performances such as talent shows, musical recitals, and dramatic performances. Early in Manzanar's life, the Block 24 recreation hall became the "Conservatory of Music," led first by Shunzo Mitani, then by popular music teacher Lou Frizell, where inmate musicians gave lessons on various instruments and a glee club and various bands organized and practiced. After segregation, Japanese musical groups were granted their own barracks space. Led by trumpeter Bill Wakatsuki, the Jive Bombers became Manzanar's dance orchestra, a sixteen-piece combo that played the popular big band hits of the day. Though still under construction, the auditorium debuted on June 16, 1944 with a performance of "Loud and Clear," an original musical written by Frizzell and performed by his students. Its availability led to a wider range of programs. Movies also moved there in February 1945. [38]

Due to its location at the foot of the Sierra Nevadas and its relatively mild climate, Manzanar inmates engaged in many outdoor activities of both the legal and illegal variety. In the summer of 1942, the Bairs Creek area, in the southern corner of the camp, was opened as a picnic area, and inmates built barbeque pits and other amenities there. Some eight hundred a day were visiting the area by July. As noted above, both individual and community gardens flourished at Manzanar, and there were twenty-eight fish ponds by August. Inmates also discovered fertile fishing grounds in the foothills surrounding the camp. Inmates soon began sneaking out of the camp to fish or took advantage of official business that brought them outside the camp to take a fishing detour. In his final report, Internal Security Chief John W. Gilkey wrote that the "attraction of the mountains for hiking and climbing, the nearby creeks for fishing—not to mention the satisfaction gained from going outside of the Center for a while—were all great temptations to many of the residents," and that such escapes were "hardest to prevent" even "when the Military Police were stationed in towers guarding the Center with guns and searchlights." Merritt even threatened to send violators to jail for thirty days at a Town Hall meeting in the fall of 1944. Many inmates recounted stories of such brief escapades; Archie Miyatake's tale of predawn fishing—ending with the observation that "to think that we were able to catch these fish without getting caught was really quite a satisfaction"—was typical. A feature length documentary film titled The Manzanar Fishing Club was even made on this subject. Inmates described other types of illicit recreation as well, including making (and presumably consuming) shochu out of leftover rice. [39]

Among the more sedate activities, arts and crafts were perhaps the most popular and that department had the largest staff. Some 2,500 studied sewing, while flower making, woodworking, embroidery and such Japanese arts as ikebana and calligraphy were also popular. Inmates soon discovered local slate deposits that could be carved into various objects, with inkstones becoming a popular craft item. Some of the best of the craft objects were displayed at the Visual Education Museum, which was opened in the Block 8 recreation hall at the end of 1942 and was directed by Kiyotsugu Tsuchiya. In addition to craft displays, the museum exhibited various fine arts, ikebana, photography, and many other objects. Exhibits were changed twice a month and drew up to 4,000 people by mid-1943. Museum staff also kept a small zoo outside, featuring local fauna. The YWCA also had a strong presence at Manzanar, with nine Girl Reserve clubs and seven clubs for older girls in place by October of 1942. The office and club room was in the Block 19 recreation hall. [40]

Medical Facilities

When the WRA took over Manzanar on June 1, 1942, the hospital consisted of a temporary makeshift facility that took up much of Block 7. Hospital functions were squeezed into regular residential barracks that lacked running water and even basic equipment and supplies. A new 250-bed complex opened at the end of July (with a formal dedication on September 12) and was located west of Blocks 29 and 34. The general design of the hospital was similar to that found in other WRA camps, consisting of a series of barracks like buildings (nineteen in the case of Manzanar) connected by a covered hallway. Floors were of wood covered with linoleum. Toshiko Eto Nakamura, a nurse at Manzanar, recalled that the complex had two levels, with the upper level having women's, men's, children's, and communicable disease wards and the lower level having the doctors' offices, x-ray and operating rooms, outpatient and dental clinics, and the pharmacy. Later, a "community hostel" was added to house senior citizens and the infirm. [41]

When the new hospital complex opened all of the five doctors and four dentists were inmates. Arthur Miller was the chief of the Health Section and nominally in charge, but he had no medical training. James M. Goto was the initial chief of the medical staff, and the other inmate doctors were Yoshiye Togasaki, Teize Takahashi, Masako Kusayanagi, and Tom Watanabe. Kiyoichi Iwasa arrived from Tulare Assembly Center soon after the hospital opening to become the sixth doctor. Yoriyuki Kikuchi headed the dental clinic. The hospital staff at opening included a total of 290 workers. W. Morse Little eventually arrived in October of 1942 to fill the position of chief medical officer He was succeeded by Agnes V. Bartlett in August 1945, who oversaw the closing of the hospital. Over the life of the camp, there were 4,028 in-patients, an average of 118.5 per month, and 63,323 out-patients, an average of 1,862.4 per month. [42]

The hospital played a key role in the 1942 riot/uprising. On December 5, the night of the initial assault, Fred Tayama was brought to the hospital and questioned there. The next night, a crowd of 50 to 75 converged on the hospital intending to finish the attack on Tayama. They were initially prevented from entering by three women inmate employees. Later, five representatives from the group were allowed to search the hospital by Little, who thought Tayama had already been taken elsewhere. Hidden under a bed by other inmate employees, the group did not find him. The crowd later threw rocks at the hospital, breaking a window. Later that night, after the shootings, the victims were brought to the hospital for treatment, and one, Jim Kanagawa, died there four days later. [43]


The Manzanar Free Press began publication on April 11 during the "assembly center" period, and was the first newspaper in any of the "assembly centers" or WRA concentration camps. A number of changes took place early in the WRA period. A Japanese language section was added in June 1942, led by a three-person editorial board that required approval by two white officials who could read Japanese. On July 22, the first printed issue appeared. The printing was done by the Chalfant Press of Lone Pine, making the Free Press one of just three WRA camp papers that were printed. Due to stricter security provisions in the restricted area, inmate staffers were not allowed to visit the press to view and edit proofs as they were at Heart Mountain. Also in July, Chiye Mori became the editor, replacing the editorial committee that had put the paper out before then. For most of its life, the Free Press put out two issues per week. As at other camps, its staff reported to the reports officer, Robert Brown initially, then Arch W. Davis. Manzanar's co-op funded the printing of the paper, deriving revenue from selling ads to both local and national companies at a rate of 35¢ per inch. The paper was distributed to inmates at no charge. Its peak circulation was 3,700 copies. [44]

Mori remained as editor until the riot/uprising in December. She was among the inmates who left Manzanar after the incident. The Free Press did not publish for twenty days during this period, resuming publication with a Christmas issue on December 25 that did not mention the incident. Subsequent editors included Roy Hoshisaki (January to April, 1943), Sue Kunitomi (June to October 1943), Kishio Matoba (February to April 1944), Nob Sawamura (July 1944 to May 1945), and Yosh Kusayanagi (June 1945 to end).) There were various periods in between with no listed editor or that listed an editorial committee. A number of other experienced Nisei journalists also worked on the paper, including Harry Honda , Mary Kitano, and Togo Tanaka . In a later interview Sue Kunitomi Embrey noted the politically progressive bent of the early editorial staff, citing Mori, Joe Blarney, and James Oda as avowed leftists, with Embrey herself becoming a leader of the Nisei Progressives after the war. As with other WRA camp papers, staff turnover was great particularly in the last year. Camp Director Merritt noted that by the end, there was a fifteen-year-old working on the paper's staff. Starting in April 1945, a "Relocation Supplement" began publication, and the Japanese section saw increased page counts to include more information on leaving. The last issue of the Japanese section appeared on September 1, with the last issue of the Free Press appeared on October 19, 1945, a month before Manzanar closed. [45]


As was the case with most other WRA camps, a co-op was organized at Manzanar to run the retail stores and other business enterprises, with the proceeds being returned to the inmates in the form of patronage rebates. At the time of the transfer of the camp to the WRA, there were two retail outlets—a canteen that mostly sold food items in Block 8 and a general store that focused on clothing and household supplies in Block 21—run by Manzanar Community Enterprises, an inmate run organization, that essentially ran the stores while the co-op was being set up. Manzanar Community Enterprises continued under the WRA under the supervision of William Bruce and Lee Poole, the camp's superintendent of community enterprises and associate superintendent, respectively. Poole led a co-op educational campaign with study groups and informational material in the Free Press . Some Issei objected to what they saw as high prices relative to the outside and also lobbed accusations of financial impropriety at co-op leaders. Nonetheless, a cooperative congress was elected at the end of July and began meeting in August, with a fifteen-person board of directors—consisting of eight Nisei and seven Issei with six month terms—elected on August 22. The state granted Manzanar Cooperative Enterprises, Inc. a charter on September 5 and the co-op took over assets of Manzanar Community Enterprises as of October 1, 1942. [46]

The original plan for the co-op was for a dedicated shopping center area in which all of the various co-op businesses could be concentrated, but such a complex did not end up getting built. As a result, the various co-op run enterprises were located in seven recreation halls and six ironing rooms rented from the WRA. Notable ventures beyond the general store and canteen included barber and beauty shops; shoe repair, watch repair, and laundry services; a photo studio (opened in April 1943 and run by well-known photographer Toyo Miyatake ); and flower, sporting goods, and gift shops. In the early months of the camp, Bank of America had sent in a representative from Lone Pine to provide banking services, but when that ceased, the co-op had to start a check service. At its peak, the cashing of paychecks alone came to some $87,000 per month. Fish was originally sold in the canteen, but was later moved to an ironing room where a dedicated fish market operated twice a week, doing a brisk business. The mark-up for most goods was between fifteen and twenty-five percent, though some services, such as haircutting and shoe repair, were provided at a loss. Profits from the period prior to the co-op's establishment were used to cover the $5 per person membership fee for all inmates sixteen and older; later profits were returned to inmates via patronage rebates. Total rebates over the three-year life of the co-op were over $150,000. As noted above, the co-op also ran the movie screenings and funded the camp newspaper. In preparation for closing, the various enterprises held clearance sales to reduce stock in 1945, with remaining inventory sold to other retailers or wholesalers. [47]


Manzanar was one of three WRA camps to have a camouflage net factory. (The others were Poston and Gila River; there was also one at the Santa Anita Assembly Center .) "We would weave in and out with strips of burlap in a zig-zag pattern in different colors, green fading into yellow or darker green fading into green and brown," remembered Sue Kunitomi Embrey of the factory work. "They would be used to cover Jeeps and tanks." As at the other camps, the factory became a site of unrest for the inmates, due to working conditions, wages, and the political meaning of aiding the Allied war effort. The factory originated during the WCCA period, so that when the WRA took over, the buildings for the factory were near completion. The factory began operation on June 10, 1942. The factory was beset by problems from the outset. Inmates objected to the fact that Issei were not allowed to work at the factory and were thus shut out from the presumably higher wages that would be paid there. Working conditions were difficult, as the net making work generated much lint that caused skin irritation and breathing difficulties. "The dust and the lint from the burlap would fly around," recalled Embrey. "We had masks, but I don't know how much help they were." To encourage more workers, the administration set a quota of five nets per crew per day, after which workers would be allowed to leave. As workers became more proficient, they began leaving early. When other workers complained, the administration then tried to enforce an eight-hour work day for the net factory. As a result of this and the prohibition of the Japanese language at meetings, 670 net workers walked out on August 12, closing down the factory. The factory reopened five days later, with the compromise that the rest of the eight-hour day after the quota was reached would be filled by various training classes. Nonetheless, workers left the factory for other jobs, and particularly for outside farm work, which promised higher wages. As a result, net production fell from 15,354 nets in August to 7,512 in September. The factory closed after the riot/unrest in December. WRA Community Analysis Section Head John Embree called the net factory "a failure" and "a remarkable lesson in how not to conduct a works project." [48]

Manzanar also had an unusually wide variety of industrial enterprises that both filled inmate needs at the camp and provided some level of vocational training. A clothing factory opened in August 1942 that mostly produced work clothing—masks and arm protectors for the net factory, hospital uniforms, etc.—and children's clothes. Some was distributed directly to workers, others were sold by the co-op, and some was even shipped to other WRA camps. The factory opened in the Block 2 ironing room, but quickly outgrew that space and came to have an average of sixty-five workers working in two warehouse buildings. Factory workers learned industrial sewing skills that they could use on the outside on industrial sewing machines sourced from the WPA. The factory produced an average of 4,000 garments per month during its peak. It closed in September 1944. An alterations shop employed an average of seventeen and was primarily charged with reworking the surplus World War I clothing provided for the inmates into usable garments. A furniture factory produced pieces for use in the camp, while employing a crew of twenty-two. The shop also produced wooden toys for Christmas 1943 that were sold by the co-op. There was also a typewriter repair shop and a sign making shop. A mattress factory produced eight hundred mattresses a week starting in January 1944 to replace the straw tic mattresses the inmates used. Various Japanese food enterprises—shoyu, bean sprouts, tofu, miso, tsukemono (Japanese style pickled vegetables)—produced familiar foods for use in the mess halls. [49]


While Manzanar's agricultural program ultimately produced over 7.7 million pounds of fruits and vegetables, the third most at any WRA camp, it faced a number of difficulties over its three-year life. While some of the agricultural lands had been farmed, it had been many years in the past, and the lands thus required clearing. Other complicating environmental factors included Manzanar's altitude and relatively meager rainfall. The agricultural program also sparred with the City of Los Angeles over the use of fertilizers and the location of the hog farm due to fears of water contamination and also over the rate at which the camp would be charged for irrigation water. As at most other camps, securing enough inmate labor was a continual issue. Inmate workers also walked off the job soon after the program began in June of 1942 over not being allowed to go to the fields without white escorts whom they felt knew nothing about agriculture. The Western Defense Command eventually allowed the workers to go to the fields under the supervision of inmate foremen. [50]

Manzanar's agricultural fields were located both north and south of the inmate area, stretching as far as two miles in both directions. The peak total acreage was about 440. Crops that did well included root vegetables, along with cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, peppers, squash, string beans, and tomatoes. Various Japanese vegetables such as daikon, gobo, and kabocha also did well. The production for the 1943 and 1944 seasons—right around three million pounds of produced each year—accounted for about 80% of the vegetables consumed at the camp. The production for the shorter 1942 season was about half of that. Nearly 850,000 pounds of produce was also shipped to other WRA camps over the life of the program. Production of vegetables and feed crops ended after the 1944 season. A poultry farm produced 114,000 dozen eggs and nearly 50,000 pounds of chicken for camp consumption in 1944 and 1945, while a hog farm produced almost 400,000 pounds of pork in the same period. A beef cattle project produced about 140,000 pounds of beef in 1944, its only year of operation. Horace R. McConnell was farm superintendent for most of the life of the camp. Henry A. Hill succeeded him in April 1945. There were about 250 inmate workers during the harvest seasons of 1943 and 1944, of which 40 to 75 were women. [51]

Starting the fall of 1942, Manzanar inmates began to take short term leaves to do sugar beet work in Montana and Idaho. Relative to other camps, Manzanar inmates faced additional hurdles relative to inmates in other camps due to its location within the restricted area, such as having to be escorted out of the camp and to the border of the restricted area by a white person, resulting in lower numbers than in many other camps. Nonetheless, 1,148 went out in the first year, returning two to three months later. Inmates reported lower wages than expected and decidedly mixed reviews on the difficulty of the work and their treatment on the outside, with some of those who went to Montana noting lower than promised wages, substandard living conditions, threats of violence, and attempts to force them to work when they wanted to go back to Manzanar. About 1,500 in total took short term leave in subsequent years, most to work in sugar beet fields, with some working in canneries. [52]

While more of a research project than an agricultural operation, Manzanar also had a guayule project in which inmate scientists and agriculturists worked with outside scientists to develop a new source of rubber, given wartime shortages. See the separate article on the Manzanar guayule project .


The churches at Manzanar were under the Community Welfare Section throughout, with the priests on the payroll of that section as family counselors until January 1944. This was an unusual arrangement, as churches were under Community Activities Sections at other WRA camps. As at other camps, the WRA dictated that both the Buddhist and Christian Churches would be single churches that would encompass the various sects/denominations. Initial plans called for the construction of a dedicated church building, but as with the schools and the co-op, such a building never came to pass, and churches were housed in recreation halls for the duration. After the WRA stopped paying clergy in January 1944, they continued to be paid their same $19 per month wage by their congregations. Buddhist priests also refused the customary payments for performing memorial, funeral, or wedding services. [53]

The Buddhist and Christian churches at Manzanar evolved along similar lines. Rev. Shinjō Nagatomi arrived in August 1942 and headed the Buddhist Church until the very end. Rev. H. G. Bovenkirk arrived in June 1943 and remained until June 1945, heading the Manzanar Christian Church. Both churches offered Sunday morning services in English and Sunday evening services in Japanese, along with Sunday schools for children. The Buddhists also had a 150 member Buddhist Block Representatives Council, a 900 member Young Buddhists Association and a 900 member fujinkai (women's group). The spring hana matsuri and summer obon were popular camp-wide events. The Christian church also had weekday prayer meetings, Bible Study, club meetings, and choir practices. Manzanar also had a relatively large Catholic contingent, due in part to the Los Angeles Maryknoll Japanese Catholic Church having encouraged its flock to be among the early "volunteers" at Manzanar. Father Leo Steinback led a congregation of about 500, including some 230 who converted to Catholicism at Manzanar. There was also a small Seicho-no-Iye group of about 150. The main Buddhist Church was in the Block 13 recreation hall, while the main Christian Church was in Block 15; there were a number of additional sites for both in other parts of the camp. The Catholic Church was in Block 25. [54]

The Buddhists and Christians also seemingly cooperated to a greater extent than at other camps. A Buddhist/Christian "Religious Fourm" was first held in November 1942, and in 1943, Buddhists and Christians cooperated to build the iconic "Ireitō" monument. A Town Hall committee consulted with both sets of ministers to select a site to build memorial to honor those who had died in the camp. Ryozo Kado, a landscape architect and a Catholic, designed and supervised the building of monument and Rev. Nagatomi did the calligraphy of the characters on it. Both churches raised $1,000 to purchase concrete for monument. Block 9 inmates and sixty YBA members built it. It was dedicated on Aug. 14, 1943 in ceremony officiated by Nagatomi and Rev. Junro Kashitani of the Holiness Church. The monument remains standing today and is the iconic image of the camp. [55]


The main library at Manzanar was located in the Block 22 recreation hall, more or less in the middle of the camp. Prior to its being consolidated in the late fall of 1942, the collection was divided into branch libraries in Blocks 8, 12, and 33, along with 22. The main library in Block 22 took up the entire recreation barrack and was furnished with six mess hall tables that gave it a seating capacity of fifty. In addition to adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, the main library also had a Japanese language collection of nearly 1,000 books. As more books arrived, some of the fiction for both adults and children was removed to what became known as the "Hilltop Library" in the Block 12 ironing room. This small branch had around 1,500 books and was furnished with two mess hall tables and two smaller tables for children. There was also a high school library in Block 7 that had around 3,000 books, and an elementary school library with around 2,800 books opened in Block 16 in July 1944 when the elementary school moved there. In total, the library system had upwards of 26,000 books, about 23,000 of which were donations—mostly older, obsolete titles—from outside community and school libraries. [56]

The libraries were initially organized by an entirely inmate staff led initially by Takako Saito. Ayame Ichiyasu took over in June of 1942 and remained until January 1943. Ruth Budd arrived as the first white professional librarian in June 1943. She was succeeded by Doris Able in February 1945. The library office and processing room was originally in Block 1; when Budd arrived, she moved it to Block 7. The main library closed on August 29, 1945. [57]


Manzanar experienced particular difficulties in closing on time because such a high percentage of its population was from the Los Angeles area, the area where Japanese Americans had the most difficult time finding housing. Since Manzanar sent out a large number of segregants to Tule Lake and did not receive any "loyal" Tuleans in return, Manzanar's population dropped from 8,482 on January 1, 1944 to 6,484 on March 1, 1944. But a year later, barely a thousand had left, and the population still stood at 5,248 on April 1, 1945 and 2,578 on October 1, less than two months before the camp was to be closed. Camp Director Merritt and the administration did what they could to encourage inmates to leave, beginning to close mess halls in February 1945 and to "consolidate" blocks in August, starting with nos. 35 and 36. This caused considerable inconvenience for those who remained, since those in the closed blocks had to move to other blocks and those whose mess halls had been closed had to walk to other blocks for meals. Some of the barracks in the closed blocks were torn down, the lumber salvaged to use to crate inmate property. [58]

Despite the closures, many were unable or unwilling to leave. In in July 14, 1945 report, Merritt wrote that about 75% of the 4,000+ who remained wanted to return to Los Angeles. He wrote that members of many of these families were out on short-term leave to look for housing there. "Most return to the center frustrated in their desire to find housing in the Los Angeles Area," he concluded. As the camp's November closing date neared, Merritt began playing hardball. With over 2,000 still in the camp in October, he sent a letter to families telling them that departure dates and destinations would be set for anyone who hasn't made their own by plans by October 10. He wrote that one woman who didn't leave on her scheduled departure date "was placed in an auto against her wishes, though no force was applied." He also noted two families with women seven months pregnant who "had resisted all efforts to get them to plan for themselves" were "sent to hostels in Los Angeles." A group of Terminal Islanders who wanted to leave as a group for the South Bay area posed a particular problem. Finally, the WRA and Federal Public Housing Authority found temporary housing for them at the Lomita Airstrip and at a Long Beach trailer camp. As a result, 251 Terminal Islanders left on October 16 on five busses. There were still over a thousand on November 1. Merritt wrote that 180 families were scheduled to leave in the last three weeks of November; of those he estimated that between thirty and fifty percent did not have housing. But the closure had to go on. The last inmates—a mother and her four-year-old son—left Manzanar at 11 am on November 21, 1945. [59]


June 1, 1942
Manzanar is officially transferred to the administration of the War Relocation Authority.

June 9, 1942
First group of 125 inmates leave Manzanar en route to Rupert, Idaho, where they will thin sugar beets for the Amalgamated Sugar Company.

June 22, 1942
The first produce from the farm—forty-five crates of radishes—is served in the mess hall.

June 23, 1942
The first group of forty-one children arrive at the Children's Village, along with seven staff members from the Southern California Japanese Children's Home.

July 4, 1942
The 4th of July picnic has to be canceled when a dust storm drives all of the 7,000 attendees back to their barracks. Many of the sandwiches prepared for the event spoil, causing outbreaks of diarrhea, including over two hundred cases in a single block.

July 17, 1942
Three deaths take place within the prior forty-eight hours, as temperatures rise to 110°.

July 22, 1942
The first printed issue of the Manzanar Free Press appears.

September 14, 1942
Elementary school opens. The high school would open on October 15.

October 1, 1942
Manzanar Cooperative Enterprises, Inc. takes over the assets of Manzanar Community Enterprises.

November 15, 1942
Esther Naito, the first from Manzanar granted permission for permanent resettlement, leaves for Chicago to become a clerk-switchboard operator at Presbyterian College of Christian Education.

November 24, 1942
Ralph Merritt arrives to become the director of Manznar.

Nov. 26, 1942
Attempted arson of Block 21 Cooperative Enterprise store.

December 2, 1942
Fourteen Nisei men leave Manzanar for Camp Savage, Minnesota, to attend the Military Intelligence Service Language School.

December 5, 1942
Six masked intruders attack Fred Tayama, beginning the chain of events that would become known as the "Manzanar riot."

February 12, 1943
Registration begins.

April 14, 1943
A plane practicing stunts crashes just inside the fence about 200 feet from the Block 6 kitchen, killing the pilot. No inmates are injured.

August 14, 1943
Dedication of the Ireitō monument, co-officiated by Buddhist Rev. Shinjō Nagatomi and Holiness Church Rev. Junro Kashitani.

October 1943
Ansel Adams visits Manzanar in the last week of October to take pictures for a planned book. He returned at the end of January 1944 to take more photos and to display about 100 of the photos he had taken in October.

October 9, 1943
About 300 of Manzanar's segregees leaves for Tule Lake.

February 21, 1944
The first of the second group of segregees leaves for Tule Lake. Over 1,800 would leave for Tule Lake over the next two weeks.

June 16, 1944
A performance of "Loud and Clear," an original musical by Louis Frizzell performed by inmate high school students, is the first in the new community auditorium.

December 6, 1944
Pfc. Thomas Taro Higa arrives and gives talks about his experiences in the 100th Infantry Battalion over the next three days before a total of 2,780 people.

April 29, 1945
Memorial service held for Sgt. Robert Kiyoshi Nakasaki and Pfc. Sadao Munemori , both killed in action on April 5, in the Community Auditorium at 10:30 am before a capacity audience

October 19, 1945
The last issue of the Manzanar Free Press .

November 21, 1945
The last inmates—a mother and four-year-old son—leave Manzanar at 11 am.

December 27, 1969
The first official Manzanar Pilgrimage takes place, attended by about 150 people.

April 14, 1973
The dedication of a plaque at the Manzanar site that controversially noted its history as a "concentration camp."

Sept. 1, 1984
The first Manzanar Reunion , held in Los Angeles; over 800 attend.

Sept. 5, 1987
The second Manzanar Reunion, also in Los Angeles draws near 1,000 people.

Aug. 31, 1991
The third Manzanar Reunion, “The Lost Years Reclaimed,” is held in Los Angeles. Nearly 1,000 people attend and hear a keynote address by Congressman Robert Matsui .

March 3, 1992
The Manzanar National Historic Site is established when President George H. W. Bush signs Public Law 102–248 into law.

Aug. 21, 1993
The 4th Manzanar Reunion in Los Angeles features a keynote speech by Warren Furutani .


Manzanar was a devil's playground and the dust storms came through at 60-miles an hour to make our lives even more harsh and miserable.
Fukiko Elisabeth Komatsu, 1944 [60]

And there were two things that people in Manzanar always talked about. One, the wind, and two, the lack of privacy.
Mas Okui, 2012 [61]

It was pretty well known in Manzanar that a lot of relations were going on between the Nisei. The fellows had to have it and they found plenty of girls who gave in. In Manzanar, the girls gave in easier than before. I remember one night I almost gave in and I had to keep a strong hold on myself. You almost get tired of being asked and begged. That was all the Nisei boys could think about.
Yoshiko Patricia Hibino, 1943 [62]

All of a sudden there might be a new tree planted there, and little by little, in front of our eyes, a beautiful Japanese garden was taking shape…. Before the year was out, such gardens were popping up in every block, and it became rather competitive.
Iwao Takemoto, 2009 [63]

In appearance the camp is similar to the first days of its existence, the time we were one of its inhabitants. At that time Manzanar was being lifted out of the desert and made into a lush garden of the valley, while Manzanar now is being returned to the desert.
Mary Kitano, 1946 [64]


A few months after Manzanar closed, its assets were turned over to the General Land Office on March 10, 1946. The GLO attempted to sell the buildings and other movable assets from the site, but met with only limited success, selling around ninety buildings in the summer and fall of 1946, including all of Blocks 2, 7, 8, and 18, and various buildings from the garage area, hospital and Children's Village. Local farmers bought most of these, while Inyo County bought the auditorium for use as a VFW clubhouse. The Federal Public Housing Authority (FPHA) obtained thirty-six of the buildings in August 1946, of which twenty-five were used on site as a housing project. The other 742 buildings were torn down and hauled off later in 1946. Having become the War Assets Administration field representative in 1946, Ralph Merritt arranged for the disposal of the camp he once directed. Birmingham Veterans Hospital in the San Fernando Valley and the Veterans Hospital in West Los Angeles purchased plumbing supplies, medical supplies, and lumber. The FPHA ended up with almost half of the salvaged materials for use in various veterans' housing projects. Other materials went to the Arizona State Hospital and the Army Corps of Engineers. About 175 barracks were sold to local veterans for $333.13 each, including tax. By January 1947, 98% of the buildings had been demolished. [65]

The site reverted back to the Los Angeles Department of Water of Power on April 1, 1947. The LADWP leased most of the land to local ranchers for grazing. The Manzanar Housing Project run by the FPHA continued until 1952, housing both veterans and LADWP workers, after which the buildings were sold off. Inyo County continued to lease the auditorium to the VFW until 1951. It was later used as a garage until 1995. Six graves remained in the cemetery, which was fenced; the "Ireitō" monument also remained. Also remaining were the rock sentry buildings at the entrance that had been built by inmate stonemason Ryozo F. Kado from rocks in the area. But aside from these structures, all traces of the camp were gone by the early 1950s. [66]

Current Status of Site and Commemoration

No doubt due in part to its relative proximity to Los Angeles, the city that has had the largest Japanese American population in the continental U.S. since the early 1900s, Manzanar is likely the best known and most photographed of the WRA camps and the one most represented in mainstream accounts of the incarceration. Famed nature photographer Ansel Adams visited the site in 1943–44 and the resulting photographs were displayed at New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1944 and published in a companion book. Dorothea Lange also photographed Manzanar for the WRA, though her photos largely went unseen for decades. Inmate Toyo Miyatake also famously photographed the camp. In 1973, Farewell to Manzanar , a memoir by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston with her husband James D. Houston, was published and has since become perhaps the most widely read account of the incarceration. It was later made into a made-for-television movie that aired nationally in 1976. It has been depicted in many other fictional accounts and memoirs as well as in mainstream feature films such as Come See the Paradise and Snow Falling on Cedars .

It has also been the most commemorated of the sites, beginning with the first Manzanar Pilgrimage in December of 1969, the first pilgrimage to any of the WRA camps. Inspired by the 1963 March on Washington and the United Farm Workers march from Delano to Sacramento, Sansei activists Warren Furutani and Victor Shibata conceived of the pilgrimage, not realizing that Reverends Sentoku Mayeda and Shoichi Wakahiro had been making regular pilgrimages to the site for years to conduct services for the inmates buried there. About 150 people ranging in age from three to eighty-three left in a caravan from Los Angeles on December 27, 1969. Once there, the pilgrims cleared the area around the cemetery and cleaned the Ireitō monument before a dedication ceremony and speeches. In subsequent years, the Manzanar Committee , led by former inmate Sue Kunitomi Embrey, organized annual pilgrimages, which continue to the present. Inspired by the Manzanar example, pilgrimages to other WRA camps also began to take place. [67]

In November 1971, the Manzanar Committee and JACL submitted an application to the California Historical Landmarks Committee for Manzanar to be named a California State historical landmark. The California Historical Landmarks Advisory Committee (HLAC) approved the application two months later, designating a 4.33-acre area as California Registered Historic Landmark No. 850 and asked for a submission of proposed text for a historical marker. The submitted text called the site a "concentration camp" and cited "hysteria, racism and economic greed" as the reasons for its existence. The HLAC objected to this language, which began a two-year long dispute between various state agencies and the Japanese American community. The JACL appealed to William Penn Mott, director of the California Department of Parks and Recreation, to override the HLAC to retain the "concentration camps" language and a community campaign resulted in hundreds of letters being written to Mott. After a proposed compromise fell apart, the Manzanar Committee and JACL appealed to the state legislature. Eventually, with the assistance of Assemblymen Bob Moretti and State Senators Ralph Dills and Mervyn Dymally , Mott gave in over the objections of the HLAC. The historical landmark plaque was dedicated at the fourth Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 14, 1973. [68]

In the meantime, efforts to preserve the site began at both the state and federal levels. The California State Assembly passed a resolution in 1974 to do a feasibility study for acquiring the site as part of the state park system. Though the subsequent report recommended the acquisition and interpretation of the site, local opposition to such plans delayed any further action. At the federal level, Manzanar was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 30, 1976. Passed on August 18, 1978, Public Law 95–348 authorized the National Park Service to study Manzanar. The resulting Study of Alternatives for Manzanar War Relocation Center was completed in February 1989 and concluded that Manzanar was the best of the ten WRA sites for interpreting the wartime removal and incarceration. In the meantime, Manzanar had been designated a National Historic Landmark in February 1985. George H. W. Bush signed Public Law 102–248 on March 3, 1992 establishing Manzanar National Historic Site as the 367th unit of the National Park Service. In the intervening years, the NPS has managed and interpreted the site, building a museum in the old gymnasium building as well as replica barracks, a guard tower, a mess hall, and other buildings. It has also done archeological work to excavate and restore inmate built gardens and other features at the site. [69]

Authored by Brian Niiya , Densho

For More Information

Books, articles, and dissertations

Bahr, Diana Meyers. The Unquiet Nisei: An Oral History of the Life of Sue Kunitomi Embrey . New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

Burton, Jeffery F. Garden Management Plan: Gardens and Gardeners at Manzanar . Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, 2015.

Cates, Rita Takahashi. "Comparative Administration and Management of Five War Relocation Authority Camps: America's Incarceration of Persons of Japanese Descent during World War II." Diss., University of Pittsburgh, 1980.

Chiang, Connie Y. Nature Behind Barbed Wire: An Environmental History of the Japanese American Incarceration . New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Embrey, Sue Kunitomi. The Lost Years, 1942-1946 . Los Angeles: Moonlight Publications, 1972.

———. "From Manzanar to the Present: A Personal Journey." In Last Witnesses: Reflections on the Wartime Internment of Japanese Americans , ed. Erica Harth. New York: Palgrave, 2001. pp. 167–85.

———, Arthur A. Hansen, and Betty Kulberg Mitson. Manzanar Martyr: An Interview with Harry Y. Ueno . Fullerton: Oral History Program, California State University, Fullerton, 1986.

Garrett, Jesse A., and Ronald C. Larson, eds. Camp and Community: Manzanar and the Owens Valley . Fullerton: California State University, Fullerton, Japanese American Oral History Project, 1977.

Hayashi, Brian Masaru. Democratizing the Enemy: The Japanese American Internment . Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004.

Ng, Laura W., and Stacey Lynn Camp. "Consumption in World War II Japanese American Incarceration Camps." In Historical Archaelogies of Capitalism . Ed. M. P. Leone and J. E. Knauf. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2015. 149–80. [Includes a discussion of gardens and other objects unveiled through archeological work at Manzanar.]

Unrau, Harlan D. The Evacuation and Relocation of Persons of Japanese Ancestry During World War II: A Historical Study of the Manzanar War Relocation Center . Historic Resource Study/Special History Study, 2 Volumes. [Washington, DC]: United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 1996.


The Manzanar Committee:

Manzanar National Historic Site:

Literary works/memoirs

Brennert, Alan. Daughter of Moloka'i . New York: St. Martin's Press, 2019. [Novel centering on a mixed-race orphan from Honolulu, whose journey eventually takes her to Manzanar.]

Charyn, Jerome. American Scrapbook . New York: Viking, 1969. [Novel about a Nikkei family in Manzanar that is told from the point of view of various family members.]

Chuman, Frank F. Manzanar and Beyond: Memoirs of Frank F. Chuman, Nisei Attorney . San Mateo, Calif.: Asian American Curriculum Project, 2011. [Memoir of prominent Nisei attorney includes his time at Manzanar, where he worked at the camp hospital.]

Embrey, Sue Kunitomi. "Some Lines for a Younger Brother..." Gidra , May 1970, 8. Reprinted in Ayumi: A Japanese American Anthology . Edited by Janice Mirikitani, et al. San Francisco: Japanese American Anthology Committee, 1980. 103–05; Writing: A Guide for College and Beyond by Lester Faigley. London: Longman, 2007. 56–59. [Short story in which the protagonist remembers a younger brother in Manzanar who was later killed in the Korean War.]

Guevara, Rubén "Funkahuatl." "Masao and the Bronze Nightingale." Discover Nikkei , Sept. 14, 2015. [Short story about a Nisei musician from East Los Angeles and his life at Manzanar and back in Los Angeles after the war.]

———. "Yukiko & Carlos." Discover Nikkei , Oct. 20, 2014. [Short story about the romance of a young Chicano man and a Nisei woman that is interrupted by the latter's incarceration at Manzanar.]

Guterson, David. Snow Falling on Cedars . New York: Harcourt Brace, 1994. [Best-selling novel set in 1950s Washington state centered on the murder trial of a Nisei fisherman who had been incarcerated at Manzanar with his family during the war.]

Hohri, William Minoru. Manzanar Rites . Lomita, Calif.: the Epistolarian, 2002. [Coming-of-age novel centering on two teenage boys from West Los Angeles who are incarcerated at Manzanar with their families.]

Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki. The Legend of Fire Horse Woman . New York: Kensington Books, 2003. [Novel largely set in Manzanar whose main characters were three generations of women in a Nikkei family.]

———, and James D. Houston. Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experience during and after the World War II Internment . New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1973. [Popular and influential memoir recounting a young Nisei girl's experiences growing up at Manzanar and back in California after the war.]

Ito, Thomas K. By the Hands of a Working Man: A Japanese Background, a Mexican Childhood, an American Life . Self-published, 2002. [Memoir of a Nisei landscape architect who grew up largely in Mexico, but was later incarcerated at Manzanar.]

Lam, Andrew. Repentance . North Port, Fla.: Tiny Fox Press, 2019. [Novel that follows a Sansei surgeon in the 1990s who is plunged into his family's World War II past at Manzanar and on European battlefields by a family crisis.]

Lindley, Maureen. A Girl Like You . London: Bloomsbury, 2013. [Coming-of-age novel whose protagonist is mixed-race Sansei teenager who ends up at Manzanar.]

Littlefield, Sophie. Garden of Stones . Toronto: Harlequin, 2013. [Novel centering on three generations of women in a family whose lives were dramatically reshaped by incarceration at Manzanar.]

McAlpine, Gordon. Woman With a Blue Pencil . Buffalo, N.Y.: Seventh Street Books, 2015. [Novel about a pulp mystery novel written by a young Nisei as World War II breaks out, his interactions with a sometimes overzealous editor, and his protest in the form of an unpublished manuscript centering on the Nisei private detective he was forced to remove from the novel.]

McMorris, Kristina. Bridge of Scarlet Leaves. New York: Kensington Books, 2012. [Novel centering on an interracial romance between a white woman and Nisei man in Los Angeles, the latter of whom ends up incarcerated in Manzanar, later enlisting in the Military Intelligence Service.]

Mayeda, Mack. Manzanar Daze and Cold Nights . Xlibris, 2010. [Camp memoir by a Nisei man from Los Angeles who was twenty-two when he arrived at Manzanar.]

Miyake, Perry. 21st Century Manzanar . Los Angeles: Really Great Books, 2002. [Novel that imagines a mass roundup and incarceration of Japanese Americans in the early 21st century and how Sansei and Yonsei would react to it.]

Nakamura, Samuel. Nurse of Manzanar: A Japanese American's World War II Journey . Self-published, 2009. [Diary of a Nisei woman who worked as a nurse in Manzanar.]

Nomura, Carl. Sleeping on Potatoes: A Lumpy Adventure from Manzanar to the Corporate Tower . Bellingham, Wash.: Erasmus Books, 2003. [Memoir of a Nisei physicist that covers his incarceration at Manzanar.]

Perronne, Michael Holloway. Gardens of Hope . Las Vegas: Chances Press, 2016. [Novel about the romance between a young white man and a Nisei man before the war that sees both ending up at Manzanar.]

Rovoyr, Nina. Southland . New York: Akashic Books, 2003. [The death of Nisei man in 1994 reveals mysteries that sends his granddaughter on a journey into his past at Manzanar and in the multiracial Crenshaw neighborhood of Los Angeles after the war.]

Shimotakahara, Leslie After the Bloom . Toronto: Dundurn, 2017. [Novel set in Canada during the redress era that centers on the disappearance of a Nisei woman who had been incarcerated in a Manzanar-like camp during World War II.]

Skimin, Robert. Chikara!: A Sweeping Novel of Japan and American from 1907 to 1983 . New York: St. Martin's, 1984. [Multi-generational family saga about a Nikkei family from Lodi, California, some of whom end up at Manzanar.]

Takamoto, Iwao. My Life with a Thousand Characters . Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2009. [Memoir of a Nisei animator that includes his time at Manzanar.]

Tatlock, Ann. All the Way Home . Raleigh, N.C.: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, 2011. [Centers on the friendship between a white and a Nisei girl in Los Angeles that is interrupted by the latter's incarceration at Manzanar, but renews years later when they reconnect during the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi.]

Shibata, Grace Eto and Naomi Shibata (editor). Bend with the Wind: The Life, Family, and Writings of Grace Eto Shibata . Shibata Family Limited Partnership, 2014. [Memoir of a Nisei woman from San Luis Obispo, California, who is incarcerated at Manzanar.]

Umemoto, Hank. Manzanar to Mount Whitney: The Life and Times of a Nisei Hiker . Berkeley, Calif.: Heyday Books, 2013. [Memoir of Nisei man who juxtaposes his memories of Manzanar with his hiking adventures in later life.]

Yamasaki, Toyoko. Two Homelands . Translated by V. Dixon Morris. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2007. [Sprawling and controversial novel about a Kibei man who was incarcerated in Manzanar and who later serves in the Military Intelligence Service while one of his brothers serves in the Japanese army. Originally published in Japanese in 1983.]

Yoneda, Karl G. Ganbatte: Sixty-year Struggle of a Kibei Worker . Los Angeles: UCLA Asian American Studies Center, 1983. [Memoir of labor activist that includes his time at Manzanar, where he played a key role in camp politics.]

Film and video

The Brighter Side of Dark: Toyo Miyatake, 1895–1979 . Directed by Robert Nakamura, 1996. 28 minutes. [Documentary film on the Issei photographer known for his photographs of Manzanar.]

California's Gold with Huell Howser: Manzanar . Written and produced by Huell Howser, 2002. 29 minutes. [Episode of public television series features a visit to the Manzanar site and interviews with Sue Kunitomi Embrey and Archie Miyatake.]

California's Gold with Huell Howser: Songbird of Manzanar . Written and produced by Huell Howser, 2005. 29 minutes. [Episode of public television series filmed at 2004 Manzanar Pilgrimage that profiles Nisei artist Henry Fukuhara and singer Mary Nomura.]

Come See the Paradise . Directed by Alan Parker for Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, 1990. 138 minutes. [Hollywood feature film about a Japanese American family at Manzanar and an interracial romance.]

A Crossroad Called Manzanar . Directed by Cindy Fang, 2010. 13 minutes. [Short narrative film about two nine-year-old girls who are best friends on the last day of school before one of them is forcibly removed to Manzanar with her family.]

Emi . Directed by Frank Nesbitt and Michael Toshiyuki Uno, 1979. 29 minutes. [Documentary film about a Nisei woman returning to Manzanar and to her prewar community on Bainbridge Island, Washington, for the first time some thirty-five years after being forcibly removed.]

Encounter with the Past: American Japanese Internment in World War II . Produced and directed by Tak Shindo, 1980. 50 minutes. [Early documentary on Manzanar produced, directed, and narrated by Nisei musician and educator Tak Shindo, a former inmate.]

Farewell to Manzanar . Directed by John Korty, 1976. 107 minutes. [Landmark made-for-television movie based on the book by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston and that aired nationally in NBC television stations on March 11, 1976)

From a Different Shore: An American Identity . Produced and directed by Jeremy Cooper for The Open University, 1994. 50 minutes. [Profiles three Nikkei families in Los Angeles, beginning and ending with scenes at the Manzanar site and from a large Manzanar reunion.]

G-Men vs. The Black Dragon/Black Dragon of Manzanar . Directed by William Witney, 1943/1966. 243/100 minutes. [Republic Pictures serial about an international team of special agents in Los Angeles battling the Black Dragon Society that includes a brief subplot involving Manzanar.]

Half Kenneth . Directed by Ken Ochiai, 2008. 21 minutes. [Short narrative film about two mixed race brothers at Manzanar in 1945.]

Hell to Eternity . Directed by Phil Karlson for Allied Artists Pictures, 1960. 131 minutes. [Hollywood film based on the true story of Guy Gabaldon, a war hero who had been adopted by a Japanese American family and that includes scenes set in Manzanar.]

Manzanar . Directed by Bob Nakamura, 1971. 16 minutes. [Experimental documentary shot at the Manzanar site by a former inmate that one of the first films to explore the legacy of the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans.]

Manzanar Fishing Club . Directed by Cory Shiozaki, 2012. 74 minutes. [Feature length documentary on Manzanar inmates who temporarily escaped from the confines of the camp to fish in the nearby streams and mountains.]

Manzanar: Never Again . Directed by Roger Sherman, 2008. 14 minutes. [Short documentary on the Manzanar National Historic Site shot at a Manzanar Pilgrimage.]

The Music Man of Manzanar . Directed and narrated by Brian Tadashi Maeda, 2007. 33 minutes. [Documentary on Lou Frizzell, a popular young music teacher at Manzanar.]

Old Man River . Directed by Allan Holzman, 1998. 74 minutes. [Filmed version of Cynthia Gates Fujikawa's one woman play about her search for family secrets after the death of her father, actor and Manzanar inmate Jerry Fujikawa.]

One-Two-One-Seven . Directed by Brett Kodama, 2016. 13 minutes. [On the Manzanar experiences of the filmmaker's grandmother, who was orphaned after the murder/suicide of her parents.]

Only the Brave . Written and directed by Lane Nishikawa, 2006. 100 minutes. [Narrative film on the rescue of the "Lost Battalion" by the 442nd Regimental Combat Team includes scenes set in Manzanar, where the family of one of the main characters is incarcerated.]

Pilgrimage . Directed by Tadashi Nakamura, 2006. 22 minutes. [Documentary film on the first Manzanar Pilgrimage.]

Rabbit in the Moon . Written and directed by Emiko Omori, 1999. 85 minutes. [Documentary film that highlights resistance in the concentration camps, including a segment on the Manzanar riot/uprising.]

Remembering Manzanar . Produced by Signature Communications for the National Park Service, 2004. 22 minutes. [Overview of the forced removal and incarceration at Manzanar that is the introductory video at the Manzanar National Historic Site Visitor Center.]

Sanga moyu . Directed by Yūji Murakami, 1984. 51 episodes each running 45 minutes. [Japanese television series based on the novel Futatsu no sokoku (Two Homelands) by Toyoko Yamasaki that is set partially in Manzanar.]

Snow Falling on Cedars . Directed by Scott Hicks for Universal Pictures, 1999. 128 minutes. [Hollywood feature film based on David Guterson's novel of the same name that includes scenes set in Manzanar.]

Songbird of Manzanar . Directed by Cody Edison, 2016. 16 minutes. [Documentary profile of Mary Nomura, who became known as a singer at Manzanar.]

Stand Up for Justice: The Ralph Lazo Story . Directed by John Esaki for Visual Communications and Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, 2004. 33 minutes. [Short narrative film on Lazo, a Mexican/Irish American who voluntarily went to Manzanar in support of his Japanese American friends.]

Toyo Miyatake: Infinite Shades of Gray . Directed by Robert A. Nakamura for the Japanese American National Museum, 2001. 28 minutes. [Documentary on the photographer known for his photographs of Manzanar that is an expanded version of the director's earlier The Brighter Side of Dark: Toyo Miyatake, 1895–1979 .]

Toyo's Camera: Japanese American History During WWII . Directed by Junichiro Suzuki, 2009. 98 minutes. [Broad overview of the forced removal and incarceration of the Redress Movement that begins with a focus on Issei photographer Toyo Miyatake and his images of Manzanar.]

Tsuru . Directed by Chris K.T. Bright, 2014. 22 minutes. [Short narrative film about an elderly Issei couple whose attempt to avoid the mass roundup of Japanese Americans during World War II is aided by a white nurse.]

Words, Weavings and Songs . Produced and directed by John Esaki for the Japanese American National Museum, 2002. 34 minutes. [Documentary that profiles three Nisei women who drew on their experiences as teenagers in American concentration camps to pursue different types of creative expression both in camp and afterwards. Two of the women—weaver Momo Nagano and singer Mary Nomura—were incarcerated at Manzanar.]

Children's books

Bunting, Eve. So Far from the Sea . Illustrated by Chris K. Soentpiet. New York: Clarion Books, 1998. [Children's picture book by Eve Bunting about a Japanese American family's pilgrimage to Manzanar in 1972.]

Cooper, Michael. Remembering Manzanar: Life in a Japanese Relocation Camp . New York: Clarion Books, 2002. [Non-fiction book for middle school age children about Manzanar.]

Fein, Eric. Mystery at Manzanar: A WWII Internment Camp Story . Illustrated by Kurt Hartman. Mankato, Minn.: Stone Arch Books, 2009. [A fifteen-year-old boy in Manzanar tries to figure out who beat up his Issei neighbor and stole the neighbor's carving.]

Gordon, Amy. Painting the Rainbow . New York: Holiday House, 2014. [Coming-of-age novel about two thirteen-year old cousins at a New England family summer retreat in 1965 who grapple with both their changing relationship and with the discovery of family secrets stemming from the World War II period that tangentially involve Manzanar.]

Hanel, Rachel. The Japanese American Internment: An Interactive History Adventure North Mankato, Minn.: Capstone Press, 2008. [Children's book on the wartime incarceration by Rachael Hanel that allows the reader to choose one of three stories and to make a series of decisions in each story that determines its outcome. One of the storylines is set in Manzanar.]

Komatsu, Kimberley, and Kaleigh Komatsu. In America's Shadow . Foreword by Kevin Starr. Essay by Mitchell T. Maki. Los Angeles: Thomas George Books, 2002. [Children's picture book told from the perspective of a ten-year-old girl recounting her family's wartime incarceration in Manzanar.]

Lieurance, Suzanne. The Lucky Baseball: My Story in a Japanese-American Internment Camp . Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Enslow Publishers, 2010. [Story of a baseball playing twelve-year old boy set in Manzanar.]

Pyle, Kevin C. Take What You Can Carry . New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2012. [Graphic novel that juxtaposes the stories of two troubled teenagers, one in 1970s Chicago and one in 1940s Manzanar.]

Sepahban, Lois. Paper Wishes . New York: Margaret Ferguson Books, 2016. [Children's novel by Lois Sepahban centering on a young girl from Bainbridge Island, Washington, who turns mute when she and her family are uprooted and sent to Manzanar.]

Smith, Icy. Mei Ling in China City . Illustrated by Gayle Garner Roski. Manhattan Beach, Calif.: East West Discovery Press, 2008. [On a twelve-year-old Chinese American girl living in Los Angeles Chinatown whose best friend is sent to Manzanar.]

Stanley, Jerry. I Am an American: A True Story of Japanese Internment . New York: Crown, 1994. [Book aimed at middle school audiences that tells the larger story of the Japanese American World War II removal and incarceration through the experiences of a typical Nisei teenager, Shiro "Shi" Nomura, who was incarcerated at Manzanar.]

Archival Material Online

Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records, 1930–1974 . The Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley. [This collection includes records of the War Relocation Authority pertaining to Topaz. Topaz WRA records have call numbers that begin with the letter "O."


  1. A note on sources: this article relies heavily on two sets of sources. One is Harlan D. Unrau's The Evacuation and Relocation of Persons of Japanese Ancestry During World War II: A Historical Study of the Manzanar War Relocation Center , Historic Resource Study/Special History Study, 2 Volumes ([Washington, DC]: United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 1996). This study is online on the National Park Service website, with segments of each chapter given their own page. It will be cited here by chapter and the associated web link. The second set of sources are the War Relocation Authority documents that are part of the Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records collection at the Bancroft Library at the University of California at Berkeley. The first set of these records went online in August 2018 in a project funded by the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. They are cited below as "JAERR" along with the Bancroft call number and web link. Unrau, "Chapter Eight: Construction and Development of the Manzanar War Relocation Center—1942–1945," Mananzar Historic Resource Study, . More detail on the various aspects of the camp mentioned in this paragraph will be provided in subsequent sections of this article.
  2. The Evacuated People: A Quantitative Description (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior, [1946]), 17, 19; Togo Tanaka, Documentary Reports Number 2, June 10, 1942, p. 8 and Number 10, June 22, 1942, p. 56, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O10.06 (1/4), ; Unrau, "Chapter Eight," and ; Memo, Harvey M. Coverley to E. R. Fryer, June 17, 1942, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder C1.02 (2/4), ; Togo Tanaka, Documentary Report Number 53, August 19, 1942, p. 279,, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O10.06 (3/4), ; Unrau, "Chapter Ten: Operation of Manzanar War Relocation Center, March–December 1942," Mananzar Historic Resource Study, .
  3. Dean report cited in Unrau, "Chapter Eight," ; Memo, Coverley to Fryer, June 17, 1942; and Unrau, "Chapter Ten," .
  4. Sumiko Yamauchi Interview by Whitney Peterson, Segment 9, Chula Vista, California, July 23, 2013, Manzanar National Historic Site Collection, Densho Digital Archive denshovh-ysumiko_2-01, ; George Maeda Interview by Kristen Luetkemeier, Segment 11, Santa Ana, California, October 13, 2014, Manzanar National Historic Site Collection, Densho Digital Archive, ; Kazuko Miyoshi - Yasuko Miyoshi Iseri Interview by Kristen Luetkemeier, Segment 13, Manhattan Beach, California, June 26, 2013, Manzanar National Historic Site Collection, Densho Digital Archive, ; John Embree, Manzanar report, Sept. 1–13, 1942, p. 2, Community Analysis Reports and Community Analysis Trend Reports of the War Relocation Authority, 1942-1946, Reel 3, Washington, [D.C.]: National Archives, National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1984; Unrau, "Chapter Eight," ; Anna Tamura, "Gardens in camp," Densho Encyclopedia, ; Connie Y. Chiang, Nature Behind Barbed Wire: An Environmental History of the Japanese American Incarceration (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018), 126, 168–71. For more on the various gardens at Manzanar, see Jeffery F. Burton, Garden Management Plan: Gardens and Gardeners at Manzanar (Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, 2015).
  5. Unrau, "Chapter Eight," and ; Unrau, "Chapter Ten,"
  6. Arthur M. Sandridge and Oliver E. Sisler, Engineering Section Final Report, February 1946, pp. 49–50, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.05:5, ; Unrau, "Chapter Seven: Early Days at Manzanar—Commencement of Construction and Operations Under the Wartime Civil Control Administration, March–May 1942," Mananzar Historic Resource Study, ; Unrau, "Chapter Eight," .
  7. Unrau, "Chapter Ten," and ; Unrau, "Chapter Eight," ; Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," and .
  8. Unrau, "Chapter Eight," , and ; Unrau, "Chapter Seven," ; Mary Nomura Interview by John Allen, Segment 4, November 7, 2002, Manzanar National Historic Site Collection, Densho Digital Archive denshovh-nmary-01, ; Diana Meyers Bahr, The Unquiet Nisei: An Oral History of the Life of Sue Kunitomi Embrey (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 53; Isao Kikuchi Interview by Richard Potashin, Segment 24, Los Angeles, California, May 15, 2009, Manzanar National Historic Site Collection, Densho Digital Archive, .
  9. Unrau, "Chapter Eight," and ; Unrau, "Chapter Twelve: Operation of Manzanar War Relocation Center, January 1943–November 1945," Mananzar Historic Resource Study, .
  10. Joseph R. Winchester, Mess Operations Section Final Report, pp. 5–9, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.05:8, ; Connie Y. Chiang, Nature Behind Barbed Wire: An Environmental History of the Japanese American Incarceration (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018), 95.
  11. Harry Ueno Interview by Emiko Omori, Segment 10, San Mateo, California, February 18, 1994, Emiko and Chizuko Omori Collection, Densho Digital Archive, ; Letter, Masako Nagano to Joe Nagano, April 27, 1945, Courtesy of Joe Nagano, Manzanar National Historic Site Collection, Densho Digital Repositoryddr-densho-153-130-mezzanine-3a1e342997, ; Mack Mayeda, Manzanar Daze and Cold Nights (self-published, 2010), 21; Letter, Masako Nagano to Joe Nagano, August 7, 1943, Courtesy of Joe Nagano, Manzanar National Historic Site Collection, Densho Digital Repository ddr-densho-153-72-mezzanine-eb1a6a61ec, ; George Matsumoto Interview by Kirk Peterson, Segment 23, Orange, California, June 10, 2009, Manzanar National Historic Site Collection, Densho Digital Archive denshovh-mgeorge_3-01, .
  12. Harry Ueno interview, Segments 13, 16, and 17; Togo Tanaka, Report on the Manzanar Riot, pp. 20, 24, 51, The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive, Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley, BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O10.12 (2/2), ; Winchester, Mess Operations Section Final Report, 19–20.
  13. Unrau, "Chapter Nine: Histoical Background of the Evacuee Population at the Manzanar War Relocation Center," Mananzar Historic Resource Study, ; Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," ; Sadayoshi Omoto Interview by Frank Kitamoto, Segment 8, Bainbridge Island, Washington, June 15, 2008, Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community Collection, Densho Digital Archive, .
  14. Unrau, "Chapter Nine," ; George Uchida - Leo Uchida Interview by Richard Potashin, Segment 14, West Los Angeles, California, April 9, 2009, Manzanar National Historic Site Collection, Densho Digital Archive, ; Sumiye Takeno, Interview by Arthur A. Hansen, Segment 8, Nov. 9, 2001, Japanese American Oral History Project, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton, CSU Japanese American History Digitization Project, Densho Digital Repository, ; Pete Mitsui, "[Manzanar] Documentary Report No. 89," p. 3, August 16, 1943, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.76, .
  15. Lilian Takahashi Hoffecker, "Terminal Island, California," Densho Encyclopedia ,,_California/ ; Unrau, "Chapter Nine," ; Unrau, "Chapter Ten," ; Ned Campbell, "Project Report No. 72," November 17, 1942, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.76, ; [Ralph P. Merritt], Project Director's Weekly Reports For Weeks Ending October 6, 13, and 20, 1945, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:3, ; Mitsui, "Documentary Report No. 89," 1–2.
  16. Togo Tanaka, "Summary Report on Center Requested by Dr. Carter," July 24, 1942, pp. 200–01, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O10.06 (2/4), ; Unrau, "Chapter Nine," .
  17. Mitsui, "Documentary Report No. 89," 1, 3–4.
  18. Unrau, "Chapter Ten," ; Embree, Manzanar report, 1–2; Brian Masaru Hayashi, Democratizing the Enemy: The Japanese American Internment (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), 208; Harvey M. Coverley, Project Director's Bulletin No. 23, September 25, 1942, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.15, ; Rita Takahashi Cates, “Comparative Administration and Management of Five War Relocation Authority Camps: America's Incarceration of Persons of Japanese Descent during World War II” (Ph.D. diss., University of Pittsburgh, 1980), 231–33; Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," ; Jesse A. Garrett and Ronald C. Larson, eds., Camp and Community: Manzanar and the Owens Valley (Fullerton: California State University, Fullerton, Japanese American Oral History Project, 1977), 7.
  19. Manzanar Free Press , May 17, 1942, 1, Sept. 19, 1942, 1, and Sept. 24, 1942, 1; Hayashi, Democratizing the Enemy , 26, 208; Embree, Manzanar report, 7; Unrau, "Chapter Ten," ; Cates, “Comparative Administration," 230–32, 235–36; Tanaka, Report on the Manzanar Riot, 60; Morton Grodzins, "The Manzanar Shooting," Jan. 10, 1943, p. 11, The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive, Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O10.04, .
  20. Manzanar Free Press , Sept. 24 and Nov. 5, 1942. See Densho Encyclopedia articles on Coverley and Kimball for more on the two men.
  21. Unrau, "Chapter Ten," ; Cates, “Comparative Administration," 231, 238–39, 405, 407; Roy Nash, "Project Report No. 4," June 16, 1942, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.76, ; Togo Tanaka, Documentary Report Number 8, June 19, 1942, The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive, The Bancroft Library, University of California Berkeley, ; Embree, Manzanar report, 7; Ralph Smeltzer interview by Frank Miyamoto, April 21, 1944, p. 1, BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder T1.8403 ); Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," ; Manzanar Free Press, Oct. 28, 1944, 1; [Ralph P. Merritt], Project Director's Weekly Report for Week Ending January 6, 1945, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:3, .
  22. Manzanar Free Press , June 30, 1942, 3 and Jan. 6, 1943, 1; Unrau, "Chapter Fourteen: The Loyalty Crisis at Manzanar—Registration, Segregation, and Participation in the Armed Forces," Mananzar Historic Resource Study, ; [Ralph P. Merritt], Project Director's Weekly Report for Week Ending October 14, 1944, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:2, ; [Ralph P. Merritt], Project Director's Weekly Reports For Weeks Ending March 10, 1945, May 5, 1945 and June 10 to 16, 1945, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:3, ; Unrau, "Chapter Ten," ; Unrau, "Chapter Nine," .
  23. Lucy Adams, Interview by Arthur A. Hansen and Sue Embrey, Oct. 16, 1993, Santa Cruz, California, Japanese American Oral History Project, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton, CSU Japanese American History Digitization Project, Densho Digital Repository, ; Togo Tanaka, Documentary Report Number 20, July 8, 1942, pp. 114–15, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O10.06 (1/4), ; Unrau, "Chapter Ten," ; [Ralph P. Merritt], Project Director's Weekly Report For Week June 24 to 30, 1945, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:3, ; Shizue Siegel, In Good Conscience: Supporting Japanese Americans During the Internment (San Mateo, Calif.: AACP, Inc., 2006), 110–16.
  24. Unrau, "Chapter Thirteen: The Role of the Military Police in Providing External Security for the Manzanar War Relocation Center," Mananzar Historic Resource Study, ; Ralph P. Merritt, Project Director's Weekly Report for Period Ending April 22, 1944, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:2, .
  25. Community Government in War Relocation Centers (Washington, D.C.: War Relocation Authority, [1946]), 49; Unrau, "Chapter Ten," ; Togo Tanaka, Documentary Report Number 9, June 20, 1942, p. 47, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O10.06 (1/4), ; Togo Tanaka, Documentary Reports Number 51, August 18, 1942, pp. 273–74, and Number 55, August 26, 1942, pp. 283–85, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O10.06 (3/4), ; George Teiichi Akahoshi, Interview by Charles Kikuchi, Nov. 10, 1944 p. 25, The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive, Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder T1.987, ; Harvey M. Coverley, Project Director's Bulletin No. 26, Sept. 26, 1942, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14, .
  26. Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," ; Community Government in War Relocation Centers , 35; Hayashi, Democratizing the Enemy , 164–65; [Ralph P. Merritt], Project Director's Weekly Report For Week Ending August 18, 1945, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:3, .
  27. Community Government in War Relocation Centers , 32.
  28. The Evacuated People , 115–23, 128; Cherstin Lyon, Prisons and Patriots: Japanese American Wartime Citizenship, Civil Disobedience, and Historical Memory (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2011), 123; Manzanar Weekly Reports, Weeks Ending February 12 and 19, 1943, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:1, ; Unrau, "Chapter Fourteen," .
  29. Unrau, "Chapter Fourteen," , , and ; Hayashi, Democratizing the Enemy , 144, 146; The Evacuated People , 115–23, 165; [Ralph Merritt], Project Director's Weekly Report for Week Ending February 29, 1944, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:2, .
  30. Unrau, "Chapter Fourteen," ; The Evacuated People , 49, 50.
  31. Unrau, "Chapter Eight," ; Unrau, "Chapter Ten," ; Margaret Stanicci Interview by Richard Potashin, Segment 15, Independence, California, April 26, 2009, Manzanar National Historic Site Collection, Densho Digital Archive, .
  32. Unrau, "Chapter Ten," ; Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," ; Ralph P. Merritt, Project Director's Weekly Report for Period Ending April 15, 1944, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:2, ; Unrau, "Chapter Eight," .
  33. Mas Okui Interview by Martha Nakagawa, Segment 16, Los Angeles, California, April 25, 2012, Friends of Manzanar Collection, Densho Digital Archive, ; Letter, Masako Nagano to Joe Nagano and Towru Nagano, October 14, 1944, Courtesy of Joe Nagano, Manzanar National Historic Site Collection, Densho Digital Repository ddr-densho-153-121-mezzanine-4c535a6dfe, ; Kaz Yamamoto Interview by Richard Potashin, Segment 14, Santa Monica, California, January 20, 2011, Manzanar National Historic Site Collection, Densho Digital Archive, ; Bruce T. Kaji Interview I by Martha Nakagawa, Segment 13, Los Angeles, California, July 28, 2010, Densho Visual History Collection, Densho Digital Archive, ; The Music Man of Manzanar , documentary film by Brian Tadashi Maeda, J-Town Pictures, 2007, 33 minutes; Grace Shinoda Nakamura Interview by Sharon Yamato, Segment 16, Whittier, California, January 25, 2012, Densho Visual History Collection, Densho Digital Archive, ; Siegel, In Good Conscience , 93–108; [Ralph P. Merritt], Project Director's Weekly Report for Week Ending October 28, 1944, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:2, ; [Ralph P. Merritt], Project Director's Weekly Report for Week Ending January 20, 1945, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:3, ; Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," .
  34. Unrau, "Chapter Ten," and ; Tanaka, Documentary Report Number 20, 114–15; [Ralph P. Merritt], Project Director's Weekly Report For Week June 24 to 30, 1945, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:3, ; Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," .
  35. Togo Tanaka, Documentary Report Number 18, July 3, 1942, pp. 104–05, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O10.06 (1/4), ; Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," and ; [Ralph P. Merritt], Project Director's Weekly Reports For Weeks July 8–14 and July 15–21, 1945, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:3, ; Unrau, "Chapter Ten," .
  36. Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," ; [Ralph P. Merritt], Project Director's Weekly Reports For Week Ending Apr. 21, 1945 and July 29 to August 4, 1945, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:3, .
  37. Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," ; Unrau, "Chapter Ten," ; Mayeda, Manzanar Daze , 27; George Maeda Interview by Kristen Luetkemeier, Segment 11, Santa Ana, California, October 13, 2014, Manzanar National Historic Site Collection, Densho Digital Archive, ; Unrau, "Chapter Eight," .
  38. Lyle G. Wenter and Rollin C. Fox, Manzanar Cooperative Enterprises, Inc. Final Report, p. 55, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.05:4, ; Letter, Towru Nagano to Joe Nagano, June 18, 1943, Courtesy of Joe Nagano, Manzanar National Historic Site Collection, Densho Digital Repository ddr-densho-153-61-mezzanine-5f87e36c20, ; Bo T. Sakaguchi Interview by John Allen, Segment 8, November 6, 2002, Manzanar National Historic Site Collection, Densho Digital Archive, ; Unrau, "Chapter Ten," ; Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," ; George Yoshida, Reminiscing in Swingtime: Japanese Americans in American Popular Music: 1925-1960 (San Francisco: National Japanese American Historical Society, 1997), 163–67; [Ralph P. Merritt], Project Director's Weekly Report for Week Ending June 17, 1944, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:2, .
  39. Unrau, "Chapter Ten," ; Tanaka, Documentary Report Number 20, 112; Unrau, "Chapter Eight," ; Togo Tanaka, Documentary Report Number 55, August 26, 1942, p. 287, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O10.06 (3/4), ; Chiang, Nature Behind Barbed Wire , 151–53; Unrau, "Chapter Thirteen," and ; Archie Miyatake Interview by Martha Nakagawa, Segments 23 and 24, Los Angeles, California, August 31, 2010, Densho Visual History Collection, Densho Digital Archive, ; The Manzanar Fishing Club , produced and directed by Cory Shiozaki, 2012; Hank Shozo Umemoto Interview by Tom Ikeda, Segment 22, Los Angeles, California, July 30, 2010, Densho Visual History Collection, Densho Digital Archive, .
  40. Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," and ; Allen H. Eaton, Beauty Behind Barbed Wire: The Arts of the Japanese in Our War Relocation Camps (New York: Harper, 1952), 46, 164; Unrau, "Chapter Ten," .
  41. Unrau, "Chapter Eight," and ; Unrau, "Chapter Ten," ; Toshiko Eto Nakamura, Nurse of Manzanar: A Japanese-American’s World War II Journey (Bellingham, Wash.: Samuel Nakamura, 2009), 113–14; Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," .
  42. Tanaka, Documentary Report Number 9, 48–50; Unrau, "Chapter Ten," ; Togo Tanaka, Documentary Report Number 36, July 29, 1942, p. 235, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O10.06 (3/4), ; Togo Tanaka, Documentary Report Number 28, July 16, 1942, pp. 167–68, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O10.06 (2/4), ; W. Morse Little and Agnes V. Bartlett, Health Section Final Report, p. 7, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.05:4, ; Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," .
  43. Unrau, "Chapter Eleven: Violence at Manzanar on December 6, 1942: An Examination of the Event, Its Underlying Causes, and Historical Interpretation," Mananzar Historic Resource Study, .
  44. Unrau, "Chapter Ten," .
  45. Patricia Wakida, "Manzanar Free Press" (newspaper), Densho Encyclopedia , ; Bahr, The Unquiet Nisei , 66–67, 80; [Ralph P. Merritt], Project Director's Weekly Reports For Weeks Ending April 7, April 14, August 25 and October 6, 1945, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:3, .
  46. Unrau, "Chapter Ten," ; Togo Tanaka, Documentary Report Number 21, July 9, 1942, pp. 118–20, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O10.06 (2/4), ; Togo Tanaka, Documentary Report Number 39, August 1, 1942, pp. 246–47 and Number 48, August 13, 1942, p. 267, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O10.06 (3/4), ; Wenter and Fox, Manzanar Cooperative Enterprises, Inc. Final Report, 47.
  47. Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," ; Unrau, "Chapter Eight," ; Wenter and Fox, Manzanar Cooperative Enterprises, Inc. Final Report, 14, 22, 45–46, 48–50.
  48. Bahr, The Unquiet Nisei , 57–58; Unrau, "Chapter Ten," ; Togo Tanaka, Documentary Report Number 11, June 22, 1942, p. 60, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O10.06 (1/4), ; Togo Tanaka, Documentary Report Number 47, August 12, 1942, p. 256, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O10.06 (3/4), ; Embree, Manzanar report, 4–5.
  49. Unrau, "Chapter Ten," ; Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," ; Manzanar Weekly Report, Week Ending February 26, 1943, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:1, .
  50. Karl Lillquist, "Imprisoned in the Desert: The Geography of World War II-Era, Japanese American Relocation Centers in the Western United States" (Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, September 2007), 362; Unrau, "Chapter Ten," ; Chiang, Nature Behind Barbed Wire , 113–16; Ralph P. Merritt, Project Director's Weekly Report for Period Ending May 13, 1944, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:2, . Comparative figures based on various charts in Lillquist's "Imprisoned in the Desert," as well as various agricultural section documents from the two Arkansas camps (which Lillquist does not include in his study.)
  51. Karl Lillquist, "Imprisoned in the Desert," 358–63; Unrau, "Chapter Twelve,"
  52. Unrau, "Chapter Fifteen: The Relocation Program at Manzanar, September 1942–November 1945," Mananzar Historic Resource Study, ; Walter A. Heath, Relocation Division Final Report, January 1946, pp. 8–9, 46–47, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.05:2, ; Manzanar Free Press , Oct. 17, Nov. 2, and Nov. 12, 1942.
  53. Zelda Anderson, "Chapter 8, The Churches," in Margaret D'Ille, Community Welfare Section Final Report, Dec. 31, 1945, pp. 25–27, 29, 36, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.05:3, .
  54. Anderson, "Chapter 8, The Churches," 28–34, 39; Tanaka, "Summary Report on Center," 209; Duncan Ryūken Williams, American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2019), 78–79.
  55. Williams, American Sutra , 135, 139–41.
  56. Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," ; Manzanar Adult Education Quarterly Report, Summer Semester [1943], pp. 25–26, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O2.31, ; Manzanar Free Press , Oct. 17, 1942, 1.
  57. Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," ; Togo Tanaka, Documentary Report Number 13, June 25, 1942, pp. 74–75, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O10.06 (1/4), ; [Ralph P. Merritt], Project Director's Weekly Report for Week Ending February 24, 1945, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:3, .
  58. [Ralph P. Merritt], Project Director's Weekly Reports for Weeks Ending March 24, July 14, Aug. 4, and Aug. 18, 1945; JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:3, ; The Evacuated People , 19; Unrau, "Chapter Twelve," .
  59. [Ralph P. Merritt], Project Director's Weekly Reports For Weeks Ending July 14, Sept. 29, Oct. 6, 13, 20, and 27 1945, JAERR BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder O1.10:3, ; Unrau, "Chapter Fifteen," .
  60. Fukiko Elisabeth Komatsu, Interview by Charles Kikuchi, Nov. 21, 1944 p. 66, The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive, Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder T1.988, .
  61. Mas Okui interview, Segment 18.
  62. Yoshiko Patricia Hibino, Interview by Charles Kikuchi, Aug. 31, 1943 p. 83, The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement: A Digital Archive, Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley BANC MSS 67/14 c, folder T1.938, .
  63. Iwao Takemoto with Michael Mallory, Iwao Takemoto: My Life with a Thousand Characters (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2009), 30.
  64. Mary Kitano, "Manzanar Obituary," Rafu Shimpo , Aug. 7, 1946, 1
  65. Unrau, "Chapter Sixteen: The Manzanar War Relocation Center Site, November 21, 1945–Present," Mananzar Historic Resource Study , and .
  66. Unrau, "Chapter Sixteen," and ; Unrau, "Chapter Eight," .
  67. Alice Yang Murray, Historical Memories of the Japanese American Internment and the Struggle for Redress (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2008), 207–08, 212; Gidra , Jan. 1970, 2; Unrau, "Chapter Sixteen," .
  68. Murray, Historical Memories , 267–74; Unrau, "Chapter Sixteen, .
  69. Unrau, "Chapter Sixteen," and .

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