Manzanar Mural


(Manzanar photos courtesy of Rich McCutchan)

All Manzanar photographs from the Ansel Adams Library of Congress Archives unless otherwise noted.

See USE NOTICE on Home Page.


"Originally, Manzanar was only a dot on the map, a lonely crossroads in Inyo County, California, near the rugged eastern Sierra. But in the spring of 1942, in only six weeks, Manzanar became a full grown city of more than ten thousand people.

It was an unusual city. There were armed guards on towers with machine guns and searchlights, and barbed wire, and row upon row of barracks. But it was an American city, populated by American citizens, though only a handful of Manzanar's residents had come here voluntarily. Manzanar, which means 'apple orchard,' was named by the Spanish, who were the first to explore this valley, in the eighteenth century. At one time it was a fertile place, but in 1919 the farms of the area were bought up by the government. The water they depended upon was diverted into the massive Los Angeles Aqueduct to serve that growing city, and as a result, the Owens valley degenerated into a man-made desert.

On March 21, 1942, the first Japanese Americans arrived at Manzanar."

Excerpt from "Manzanar" by John Armor and Peter Wright, Photographs by Ansel Adams


  Portraits of Manzanar

 Fence Sign
Smithsonian Institution photo

 Manzanar Entrance

Michael Furukawa photo


   "Internment Sites Preservation"[pdf]
by Richard Simon


 Japanese relocation camps in the west.

Relocation Camps

Western Defense Command Relocation Order 

 At the Fence


Main Street 


Further reading on Manzanar
Born Free an Equal by Ansel Adams (1903) - about Ansel
Manzanar by John Armor and Peter Wright (1988)
Our World Manzanar High Yearbook 1943-1944, republished by
......Diane Honda (1998), available through Mockingbird Books, Aptos, Calif.
Rabbit in the Moon
Children of the Camps
Farewell to Manzanar
by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston & James Houston
..... (1973)
Confinement and Ethnicity by J. Burton, M. Farrell, F. Lord, and R. Lord, .....(1999)
Making "out of print" and "hard to find" books easier to find.

Book Cover

"Born Free and Equal"
is once again available through:

Spotted Dog Press Inc.
2399 N. Sierra Highway
Bishop CA 93514

born free


 Children of the Camps

The following people took part in the workshop featured in the Children of the
Camps documentary:

Marion Kanemoto was born in Seattle, WA. She was interned at Minidonka,
Idaho. She was transported by ship to be exchanged for prisoners of war in Japan
at the age of 14. She moved to Sacramento in 1970 where she worked as a
school nurse for the Elk Grove School District. Retired in 1988, she began her work
as a bilingual interviewer with the Florin Japanese American Citizen League's Oral
History Project. She received redress in 1996 after initially being denied due to her
status in the prisoner of war exchange program.

Toru Saito was born in San Francisco's Japantown. He was interned in Topaz,
Utah, at the age of 4. He is a retired mental health care worker. He currently
performs with his musical group called the Shanghai Bar Band, playing 30's and
40's music. He is married to Bessie Masuda and resides in Berkeley, California.

Bessie Masuda was born in Stockton,CA and raised in Lodi. She was interned
in Crystal City, Texas, at the age of 12. She is currently an artist working in San
Francisco, California, and is a mother and grandmother. She is married to Toru
Saito and lives in Berkeley, California.

Howard Ikemoto was born in Sacramento, CA. He was interned in the Tule
Lake camp in California at the age of 2. He has 2 daughters, Reiko and Amy, and
lives near Santa Cruz with his lifelong partner, Julie Connell.

Ruth Okimoto was born in Japan and arrived in southern California with her
family as Christian missionaries before the age of 1. She was interned in Poston,
Arizona, at the age of 6. She recently earned her doctorate from the California
School of Professional Psychology researching organizational psychology.
Currently she is retired from corporate life and balancing her independent contract
work with her art. Her drawings and paintings reflect the psychological and political
impact of her camp. She lives with her husband in Berkeley, California.

Richard Tatsuo Nagaoka was born in the camp at Rowher, Arkansas. After
the war he grew up on the family farm near Lodi. Today he is a self-employed
grape doctor in the Napa Valley. He also designs lamps and functional art. His
pieces appear in the Sundance and the Smith and Hawkins catalog. He has
appeared on occasional television commercials and industrial print and video. He
has renewed his connection with four generations as he is a father, a son and a
grandfather, as well as the partner of Angela Urata.

(Text from PBS website)

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