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 All Manzanar photographs from the Ansel Adams Library of Congress Archives unless otherwise noted.
Text excerpts from "Manzanar" by John Armor and Peter Wright"

 Portraits of Manzanar

 M. Sugawara
Michiko Sugawara

 Mr. Matsumoto
Mr. Matsumoto with the children

Desk of Roy M. Takeno

 Roy Takeno
Roy Takeno - Editor of the Manzanar "Free Press"

 The Nisei's Fate

The numbers alone tell an important part of the internment story. Only 1,875 Nisei from Hawaii, each individually identified as a possible threat to the security of the United States, were interned. The rest of the 120,000 prisoners were from the mainland. Manzanar was the first of ten camps to open. The following list identifies all the camps, their first and last days of operation, and the maximum number of prisoners held at any time in each - and offers a stark picture of the Nisei's fate:

Gila River, Arizona
Granada, Colorado
Heart Mountain, Wyoming
Jerome, Arkansas
Manzanar, California
Minidoka, California
Poston, Arizona
Rohwer, Arkansas
Topaz, Utah
Tule Lake, California

Aug. '42 - Nov. '45
Sept. '42 - Oct. '45
Sept. '42 - Nov. '45
Nov. '42 - June '44
June '41 - Nov. '45
Sept. '42 - Oct. '45
June '42 - Nov. '45
Oct. '42 - Nov. '45
Oct. '42 - Oct. '45
June'42 - Mar. '46





 T. Kobayashi
Tom Kobayashi

 school girls
School girls

B. Namura
Bert K. Namura

J. Shohara
Corporal Jimmie Shohara

K. Fukuda
Kay Fukuda U.S.


Henry Murakami was a fisherman living on Terminal Island in Los Angeles. Like many Nisei fisherman, he was arrested and jailed, not merely interned. He lost three purse-sein nets valued at $22,000. His pregnant wife and four children had only forty-eight hours to prepare to go to Manzanar. "She couldn't carry anything except clothing... We had a three-bedroom house with a kitchen. My wife had to abandon everything...the furniture and all of our other furnishings, including a 1940 one ever knew what happened to my property."

Yoshio Ekimoto was a Nisei, born in 1914. His family owned a forty-acre farming northern Los Angeles County. His parents had bought this farm in 1912, the year before California passed a law making it illegal for Japanese aliens to own land in the state.

Ekimoto was interned at Poston, Arizona, in May 1942. He was one of the few who was able to keep accurate records of his losses.

When he returned home in 1945, his farm had been completely mortgaged. He was forced to sell it to pay the mortgage. He had listed all the personal property he lost while he was interned, down to cameras, boxes of shotgun shells, and the attorney's fees he incurred (five dollars) in trying to avoid what inevitably happened to him and his family.

His total losses came to $23,824 in 1942 dollar, which represents nothing of the additional personal harm suffered by him and his family, including his wife's miscarriage as a result of the internment. He was paid a total of only $692 in compensation under the 1948 Evacuation Claims Act.


 Diane Tollefson from Westminster, CA. Writes
Hello I just visited your site and have a report for you.

The two barracks buildings from the Lone Pine airport are on the site at Manzanar. I am sure they represent only a dot of all the buildings that were once on that sloping land; however, they created a strong impact on me. I was born in 1942 and did not really know the FEAR of Japan as my elders did. I was influenced by the beautiful colors and designs of the Japanese artist and craftsmen, so much so that I continue to reproduce that idea in my own artwork on a regular basis.diane tollefson

On the first Sunday of May, I went with a group of artists to Manzanar. The group was originally formed by a man named Henry Fukahara who lives in Santa Monica and is now 95 years old. He was assigned to Manzanar as a young man and has gone back many times to paint the area. He is a watercolorist of great renown although he is now blinded by Macular Degeneration, such a sad thing. His friends and family want to continue this annual expedition as a tribute to Henry and all the people who once lived there.

I visited the Visitors Center and thought it was very well done. The Rangers on duty recognized the pin I wore on my shirt as an "original" Takahashi bird pin, which it is, and I bought it from the artist herself many years ago.

I looked up some names on the computer. Names of people that I know that were assigned to those barracks. It is an emotional thing to find their little names in the great big books.

When I finally settled down to paint.those two barracks, the buildings kept "talking' to me. I knew that they were not finished and the looked askew and out of place where they were. I tried and tried to paint other things, trees and hills and snow peaks and rocks, but I finally took a few moments and slapped some paint on a page. Now, two weeks later, I find that that small sketch is the one I really wanted to do. Imagine that, four families of about four each lived in one of those barracks. How did they manage. The humiliation of the latrines and those lines. The crowded laundry rooms, and those lines; the towers and shame. I think those
families endured as champions. I am a descendant of Norwegians and Germans and I wonder how THEY would have gotten along in the same situation? Probably not so well.

I am going to try to send you a copy of my sketch..and encourage you to write more about this place and the people who were there. They are dying out and should be remembered as 110% Americans.

Diane Tollefson - 2008

Diane Tollefson Watercolor
(copyright Diane Tollefson)

Takahashi Cactus Hummingbird
Carved by Y. Takahashi
Painted by Kiyoka Takahashi


Tom Jackson from San Diego, CA. Writes
When I was a young boy, in about 1944, I remember that one of my mother's sisters lived in a place called Lone Pine. I knew that my uncle was in the army, but had no idea of what he did. When I was older, I learned that, owing to insufficient qualifications for combat duty, he was assigned as a guard at Manzanar. Ironically, my mother's best school chum in Reedley, CA, was later interned there, along with her family.

I remember, from my elementary school days, the former Japanese truck farms in Tulare County - always meticulously tended and weeded - which were suddenly in the hands of whites. Somewhere in my mother's effects is a round camp badge, similar in size to an old political button, green and white, with Japanese characters scratched on the reverse side. If I can locate it, I would like for it to become part of a historic display or returned to the family of the internee whose serial number is on the front.

Tom Jackson
March 2008


Elizabeth Adamson from Bishop, CA. Writes
I came to the Bishop from Ireland with my Mother when I was 6 months old. My mother was a war bride. My granddad, David S Bromley worked in Manzanar. Some of my earliest memories were of going to Manzanar with my Granddad. There didn't seem to be a lot of people left, but I always remember visiting with those who were there. One of my most vivid memories (and 1st memories) is of a very kind Japanese lady giving me a sugar cube. I thought this was the greatest thing in the world and still hold that memory close to my heart. I don't get to Bishop very often, but would love to visit Manzanar. I remember, so vividly, my Granddad speaking so highly of the people in the camp. I always felt, that he felt it was wrong. I think his emotions came out in his poetry. It's quite a legacy that I've been left with and I would love to learn as much as possible about this time in my Granddad's life. I know it affected him forever.

Elizabeth Bromley Adamson
October 2007
Rock Creek, Mammoth, Tom's Place


Ghosts of the Past 3 - Bruce Morgan's '49ers  

20-Mule-Team History  

 More Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp History


 Manzanar High School Portraits & History


 More Manzanar History & Manzanar Free Press

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This page was last updated on 27 August 2017