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    "url_title": "Government photography of the WRA Camps and Resettlement",
    "title_sort": "governmentphotographyofthewracampsandresettlement",
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    "modified": "2020-07-08T19:36:55",
    "title": "Government photography of the WRA Camps and Resettlement",
    "body": "<div class=\"mw-parser-output\">\n <div class=\"floatright\">\n </div>\n <p>\n  During World War II, the federal government produced thousands of photographs of the forced removal, incarceration, and resettlement of Japanese Americans. A great many of these photographs were produced by the\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/War_Relocation_Authority/\" title=\"War Relocation Authority\">\n   War Relocation Authority's\n  </a>\n  Photographic Section (WRAPS) between 1943 and 1945. These images served largely political purposes, whether to illustrate the \"humane\" treatment of the excluded or to encourage their \"\n  <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Resettlement/\" title=\"Resettlement\">\n   resettlement\n  </a>\n  \" outside the West Coast. Whatever their original purpose, their wide availability online has led to their being reused frequently in various media for a variety of purposes.\n </p>\n <div class=\"toc\" id=\"toc\">\n  <div class=\"toctitle\" dir=\"ltr\" lang=\"en\">\n   <h2>\n    Contents\n   </h2>\n  </div>\n  <ul>\n   <li class=\"toclevel-1 tocsection-1\">\n    <a class=\"\" href=\"#Overview_of_WRA_Photography\">\n     <span class=\"tocnumber\">\n      1\n     </span>\n     <span class=\"toctext\">\n      Overview of WRA Photography\n     </span>\n    </a>\n   </li>\n   <li class=\"toclevel-1 tocsection-2\">\n    <a class=\"\" href=\"#The_War_Relocation_Authority.27s_.22Photographic_Section.22_.28WRAPS.29\">\n     <span class=\"tocnumber\">\n      2\n     </span>\n     <span class=\"toctext\">\n      The War Relocation Authority's \"Photographic Section\" (WRAPS)\n     </span>\n    </a>\n   </li>\n   <li class=\"toclevel-1 tocsection-3\">\n    <a class=\"\" href=\"#Other_Photography_of_the_Incarceration\">\n     <span class=\"tocnumber\">\n      3\n     </span>\n     <span class=\"toctext\">\n      Other Photography of the Incarceration\n     </span>\n    </a>\n   </li>\n   <li class=\"toclevel-1 tocsection-4\">\n    <a class=\"\" href=\"#For_More_Information\">\n     <span class=\"tocnumber\">\n      4\n     </span>\n     <span class=\"toctext\">\n      For More Information\n     </span>\n    </a>\n   </li>\n  </ul>\n </div>\n <div class=\"section\" id=\"Overview_of_WRA_Photography\">\n  <h2>\n   <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"Overview_of_WRA_Photography\">\n    Overview of WRA Photography\n   </span>\n  </h2>\n  <div class=\"section_content\">\n   <p>\n    The National Archives holds more than 17,000 negatives of photos taken under the sponsorship of the War Relocation Authority. Over 7,000 images from this corpus are online at JARDA, the University of California's Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive. It is unknown how many of these were taken by the WRAPS, but it is likely that the vast majority of the photos of resettlers taken between 1943 and 1945, while the war was still in progress, were taken by one of six WRAPS-related photographers:\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Thomas_W._Parker/\" title=\"Thomas W. Parker\">\n     Thomas W. Parker\n    </a>\n    ,\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Francis_L._Stewart/\" title=\"Francis L. Stewart\">\n     Francis L. Stewart\n    </a>\n    ,\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Charles_E._Mace/\" title=\"Charles E. Mace\">\n     Charles E. Mace\n    </a>\n    ,\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Hikaru_Iwasaki/\" title=\"Hikaru Iwasaki\">\n     Hikaru Iwasaki\n    </a>\n    ,\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Gretchen_Van_Tassel/\" title=\"Gretchen Van Tassel\">\n     Gretchen Van Tassel\n    </a>\n    , and\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Takashi_%22Bud%22_Aoyama/\" title='Takashi \"Bud\" Aoyama'>\n     Takashi \"Bud\" Aoyama\n    </a>\n    .\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    Although complex, the history of the images taken by War Relocation Authority photographers is made easier by a heuristic division into two phases. In Phase One, and as it was coming into existence (1942) the WRA contracted individuals one-by-one to shoot the removal, assembly, and concentration of Japanese Americans following\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Executive_Order_9066/\" title=\"Executive Order 9066\">\n     Executive Order 9066\n    </a>\n    . The orientation during Phase One was to document the round up and the incarceration, perhaps in an effort to demonstrate that although conditions were spartan to say the least, there were no outright human rights abuses such as torture or murder being carried out on the unfortunate prisoners.\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    Individuals given short-term contracts during this period included\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Russell_Lee/\" title=\"Russell Lee\">\n     Russell Lee\n    </a>\n    ,\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Dorothea_Lange/\" title=\"Dorothea Lange\">\n     Dorothea Lange\n    </a>\n    ,\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Clem_Albers/\" title=\"Clem Albers\">\n     Clement Albers\n    </a>\n    , and Francis Stewart, among others. By the end of 1943, only Stewart still remained on contract.\n   </p>\n  </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"section\" id=\"The_War_Relocation_Authority's_&quot;Photographic_Section&quot;_(WRAPS)\">\n  <h2>\n   <span id=\"The_War_Relocation_Authority's_&quot;Photographic_Section&quot;_(WRAPS)\">\n   </span>\n   <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"The_War_Relocation_Authority.27s_.22Photographic_Section.22_.28WRAPS.29\">\n    The War Relocation Authority's \"Photographic Section\" (WRAPS)\n   </span>\n  </h2>\n  <div class=\"section_content\">\n   <p>\n    By early 1943,\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Dillon_Myer/\" title=\"Dillon Myer\">\n     Dillon Myer\n    </a>\n    and the other bureaucrats who directed the WRA decided that their new mission was to wind down the WRA by the end of the war and: (1) segregate the potentially \"disloyal\" Japanese Americans into the\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Tule_Lake/\" title=\"Tule Lake\">\n     Tule Lake\n    </a>\n    camp; (2) enable eligible second generation men to volunteer for or get drafted in to the U.S. Army; and (3) facilitate the release of \"loyal\" Japanese Americans back into the larger society while the war was still in progress,\n    <i>\n     if\n    </i>\n    they could pass security evaluations,\n    <i>\n     if\n    </i>\n    they could find a job, and\n    <i>\n     if\n    </i>\n    they would sign an oath to comport themselves as good Americans and avoid contact with ethnic compatriots.\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    As part of this new orientation that can be called Phase Two, the WRA hired Thomas \"Tom\" W. Parker, a Colorado-based photographer and career government employee, to head up the newly established WRA Photography Section office, located on one floor in the Midland Savings Building in downtown Denver, Colorado. The original WRAPS team, then, included Parker (head photographer and director), Stewart (staff photographer and the only holdover from Phase One), and Charles Mace (staff photographer and darkroom specialist). Generally speaking, although it could develop its own shoots, WRAPS assignments were directed by John Baker and his staff in the WRA's Reports Division in Washington D.C. which coordinated all requests for photos, generated the final captions for individual shots, wrote and handled PR, as well as information and photos requested by the press, civic organizations, and authors of various sorts.\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    When, in less than a year, Stewart decided to resign for \"personal reasons,\" Mace became the second staff photographer. After interviewing candidates, Parker decided to hire 19-year-old Hikaru Iwasaki, who had a background in photography, and who had been taking X-rays in the\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Heart_Mountain/\" title=\"Heart Mountain\">\n     Heart Mountain\n    </a>\n    , Wyoming, camp hospital, to take over the darkroom work. Because of the high volume of work, however, Iwasaki was rapidly promoted to be the third full-time staff photographer, and Parker returned to Heart Mountain to hire Iwasaki's friend, Takashi \"Bud\" Aoyama as the new darkroom tech. From 1944 to the end of 1945, when WRAPS was shut down, these were the basic personnel of the Section.\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    Although WRAPS photographers continued to do shoots of the ten more permanent WRA camps, in 1943 they increasingly turned their attention to taking portraits and documenting the stories of \"loyal\" Japanese Americans who sought release from camp and resettled to points east of the\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Western_Defense_Command/\" title=\"Western Defense Command\">\n     Western Defense Command\n    </a>\n    's\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Military_Areas_1_and_2/\" title=\"Military Areas 1 and 2\">\n     restricted military zones\n    </a>\n    . Shoots were scheduled all over the USA, from the Rocky Mountain states, to the Midwest, to the South, to the eastern seaboard including New England. While the captions that accompanied the resettlement photos vary from being descriptive, to corny, to propagandistic the portraits themselves constitute a valuable record of \"The Salvage\": that is, the Japanese Americans who were considered loyal, and who were able to win release from the WRA camps while the war was still in progress.\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    Nonetheless, there are serious critiques of the WRAPS photographs that have been leveled by the Japanese American community. Among complaints are the fact that the WRAPS photos of resettlers seem artificial, posed (as in too many people smiling), reinforce stereotypic gender and familial roles, don't show poor living/employment conditions, or anti-Japanese violence visited upon resettlers, etc. There is validity to each of these points, although it seems most appropriate to determine if they apply to individual photos rather than to characterize the WRAPS corpus as a whole. Even so, with the passing of generations, and the reconfiguration of both the camp site areas as well as the points of resettlement, if and when re-captioned for other purposes, the WRA and WRAPS photos' value will only increase over the years. (As evidence of this point, one need only look at the utility of official WRA photographs in terms of illustrating a project such as this on-line encyclopedia of Japanese Americans during World War II. Just because the original captions are propagandistic, that is, there is no reason that the photos themselves can't be fitted with new narratives that are either more accurate, or that better serve historically-heuristic purposes.)\n   </p>\n  </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"section\" id=\"Other_Photography_of_the_Incarceration\">\n  <h2>\n   <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"Other_Photography_of_the_Incarceration\">\n    Other Photography of the Incarceration\n   </span>\n  </h2>\n  <div class=\"section_content\">\n   <p>\n    Perhaps it is useful to end this entry by pointing out that there were a plethora of World War II photos of the camps and resettlers that were not taken by Phase One or Phase Two WRA photographers. Although she was in charge of handling the WRAPS photos in the Reports Office in Washington D.C., for example, executive secretary Gretchen Van Tassel also went out on photo shoot assignments when it was more convenient for her to get to a site on the east coast or in the mid-West. Individual camp \"reports officers\" such as Pauline Bates Brown in\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Poston_(Colorado_River)/\" title=\"Poston (Colorado River)\">\n     Poston\n    </a>\n    , or Joe McClelland in\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Amache_(Granada)/\" title=\"Amache (Granada)\">\n     Amache\n    </a>\n    have official WRA photos on the record. Major newspapers, and on occasion magazines, sent their staff photographers to shoot images for stories and features. On occasion, photographers with the Army Signal Corps sometimes took photos of WRA operations and personnel. There were independent photographers like\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Ansel_Adams/\" title=\"Ansel Adams\">\n     Ansel Adams\n    </a>\n    who did an extensive photographic shoot at the Manzanar camp. There were also a number of Japanese American photographers who were hired or allowed by camp directors to shoot pictures but who were not on the official WRA payroll as WRA photographers or staff working under WRAPS supervision: e.g.,\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Toyo_Miyatake/\" title=\"Toyo Miyatake\">\n     Toyo Miyatake\n    </a>\n    , an\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Issei/\" title=\"Issei\">\n     Issei\n    </a>\n    , and Stone Ishimaru, a\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Nisei/\" title=\"Nisei\">\n     Nisei\n    </a>\n    . Finally, there were a few persons who gained access to a camera who shot many photos on their own: Nisei Bill Manbo, who was confined in the camp at\n    <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Heart_Mountain/\" title=\"Heart Mountain\">\n     Heart Mountain\n    </a>\n    , would be a good example of this category of photographer.\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    The point here is that, in each of the above cited cases, we need to know more about each of the above types as well as the specifics of each camera person. Clearly, their conditions of employment, their positionality, their aims, as well as the conditions and constraints they faced on a given shoot, have much to do with what images they produced, and the possible strengths and weaknesses (i.e., biases) that viewers or users should keep in mind as they cite or use their photographs.\n   </p>\n   <div id=\"authorByline\">\n    <b>\n     Authored by\n     <a class=\"encyc notrg\" href=\"/Lane_Ryo_Hirabayashi/\" title=\"Lane Ryo Hirabayashi\">\n      Lane Ryo Hirabayashi\n     </a>\n     , UCLA\n    </b>\n   </div>\n   <div id=\"citationAuthor\" style=\"display:none;\">\n    Hirabayashi, Lane\n   </div>\n  </div>\n </div>\n <div class=\"section\" id=\"For_More_Information\">\n  <h2>\n   <span class=\"mw-headline\" id=\"For_More_Information\">\n    For More Information\n   </span>\n  </h2>\n  <div class=\"section_content\">\n   <p>\n    Alinder, Jasmine.\n    <i>\n     Moving Images: Photography and the Japanese American Incarceration\n    </i>\n    . Chicago and Urbana: The University of Illinois Press, 2009.\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    Creef, Elena Tajima.\n    <a class=\"external text offsite\" href=\"\" rel=\"nofollow\">\n     <i>\n      Imaging Japanese America: The Visual Construction of Citizenship, Nation and the Body\n     </i>\n     .\n    </a>\n    New York: New York University Press, 2004.\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    Hirabayashi, Lane Ryo, with Kenichiro Shimada.\n    <a class=\"external text offsite\" href=\"\" rel=\"nofollow\">\n     <i>\n      Japanese American Resettlement Through the Lens: Hikaru Carl Iwasaki and the WRA's Photographic Section, 1943–1945\n     </i>\n     .\n    </a>\n    Photographs by Hikaru Carl Iwasaki. Foreword by Norman Y. Mineta. Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2009.\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives (JARDA).\n    <a class=\"external free offsite\" href=\"\" rel=\"nofollow\">\n\n    </a>\n    .\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    Manbo, Bill T., and Eric Muller L.\n    <a class=\"external text offsite\" href=\"\" rel=\"nofollow\">\n     <i>\n      Colors of Confinement: Rare Kodachrome Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in World War II\n     </i>\n    </a>\n    . Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012.\n   </p>\n   <p>\n    Matsumoto, Nancy. \"Reclaiming Photographs of WWII Japanese-American Resettlement.\" Discover Nikkei website.\n    <a class=\"external free offsite\" href=\"\" rel=\"nofollow\">\n\n    </a>\n    .\n   </p>\n   <!-- \nNewPP limit report\nCached time: 20201114001829\nCache expiry: 86400\nDynamic content: false\nCPU time usage: 0.037 seconds\nReal time usage: 0.048 seconds\nPreprocessor visited node count: 35/1000000\nPreprocessor generated node count: 107/1000000\nPost‐expand include size: 386/2097152 bytes\nTemplate argument size: 77/2097152 bytes\nHighest expansion depth: 3/40\nExpensive parser function count: 0/100\nUnstrip recursion depth: 0/20\nUnstrip post‐expand size: 0/5000000 bytes\nExtLoops count: 0/100\n-->\n   <!--\nTransclusion expansion time report (%,ms,calls,template)\n100.00%    4.932      1 -total\n 49.70%    2.451      1 Template:AuthorByline\n 43.59%    2.150      1 Template:Published\n-->\n  </div>\n </div>\n</div>\n<!-- Saved in parser cache with key encycmw:pcache:idhash:359-0!canonical and timestamp 20201114001829 and revision id 30508\n -->\n<div class=\"toplink\">\n <a href=\"#top\">\n  <i class=\"icon-chevron-up\">\n  </i>\n  Top\n </a>\n</div>",
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