mural courtesy Rich McCutchan)
Manzanar photographs from the Ansel Adams Library of Congress
Archives unless otherwise noted.
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
by Richard Simon
relocation camps in the west.
Western Defense Command Relocation Order
reading on Manzanar
Free and Equal"
is once again available
Dog Press Inc.
2399 N. Sierra Highway
Bishop CA 93514
of the Camps
following people took part in the workshop featured in the Children
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
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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
School of Professional Psychology researching organizational
Currently she is retired from corporate life and balancing her
work with her art. Her drawings and paintings reflect the psychological
impact of her camp. She lives with her husband in Berkeley, California.
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
grape doctor in the Napa Valley. He also designs lamps and functional
pieces appear in the Sundance and the Smith and Hawkins catalog.
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)