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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. Fukuoka
Private Margaret Fukuoka

T. Kobayashi
Tom Kobayashi

T. Miyatake Family
Toyo Miyatake Family

 M. Nakzawa
Masao Nakazawa - Chemistry Teacher

 Since the War

Forty percent of the survivors of the Issei, those Japanese who entered the United States prior to 1924 but were never permitted to apply for citizenship, and who were interned at Manzanar and other camps, now live in the greater Los Angeles area. One-fifth of them live below the poverty level. Most have problems with health care, housing, and access to government services. Yet before they were interned, almost all were members of cohesive, self-sufficient families.

It is ironic to mention generations of Indian treaties broken, or the loss of all possessions and years of imprisonment that the Nisei suffered.

One earlier effort was made to compensate the Nisei. The Japanese American Evacuation Claims Act of 1948 applied only to property losses, required elaborate documentation, and ultimately paid on $37 million against $148 million in claims. Also, it paid in 1942 dollars and without interest. It offered nothing to account for the strain of imprisonment itself, for lost income, or even for some major categories of property, such as crops left in the fields as the Nisei were taken away.

M. Ichide
May Ichide - Sunday School Teacher

Leaving Manzanar 
Packing up to leave Manzanar

Y. Sedohara
Yumiko Sedohara

R. Nojima
Ryohe Nojima

Y. Yamazaki
Yuri Yamazaki, High School Student

Joe Barrett Writes

My step-father, Fumio Morikawa, left our family a photograph of the basketball team he managed while he was interned in the Manzanar concentration camp during WWII. He entered the camp in March 1942 and was released in June 1944. I don't know anyone on the photograph and my father is not in the photograph. However, the photograph is signed by many of the team members. I don't have a date for the photograph.

Joe Barrett
December 2008

basketball team
Manzanar Basketball Team


Tar Paper and Boards
The barracks at Manzanar were constructed of quarter-inch boards over a wooden frame, the outsides of which were covered with tar paper nailed to the roof and walls with batten boards. Heat was provided by oil-burning furnaces. This was the cheapest, quickest way to provide living quarters slightly better than tents. At Manzanar, the cost of this construction was $3,507,018, or $376 per inmate.

According to army regulations, this type of housing was suitable only for combat-trained soldiers, and then only on a temporary basis. The army called this "theater of operations" housing. But at Manzanar and the other camps, these barracks were used as long-term housing for men, women, and children -- who stayed in them for up to three and a half years.

In many ways, Questions and answers for Evacuees glossed over, in soothing bureaucratic language, the ramifications of the Nisei's evacuation and the circumstances they would encounter in the camps. The booklet was fairly accurate, however, when it warned the Nisei to be prepared for temperatures varying from "freezing in winter to 115 degrees in...the summer." Manzanar provided both of those extremes, plus wind that whipped the snow across the desert in the winter, and dust in the spring, summer, and fall. Among all the camps, the extremes of temperatures endured by the Nisei ranged from 130 degrees in Poston, Arizona, to minus thirty degrees in Heart Mountain, Wyoming.


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