Images from Manzanar

An excellent book about the tension against Japanese- Americans is Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson. It’s also a pretty good movie, although it takes out much of the discussion about how the war affected the main characters.

The famous landscape photographer Ansel Adams produced 209 photographs documenting life in Manzanar Relocation Camp, one of the camps where Japanese Americans had been forced to relocate under Executive Order 9066. The collection in the American Memory project can be found here:

1.Being loaded up for “relocation”

2. The entrance to Manzanar:

3. Dwellings– exterior

4. and interior of dwellings. Here’s how the Miyatake family lived:

5. While in camps, internees worked and went to school….

6. And even played sports and exercised

7. They also volunteered to serve the US in the military.

The 442nd Regimental Combat team served only in the European theatre, and was one of the most decorated in the war:

Here is a link to a map that shows where the relocation camps were in the US. Note the dates when they closed:

One response to this post.

  1. I’ve been asking my grandma about Manzanar for years now and have pieced together some stories. Its interesting to see such good photos by a famous photographer because for years all I saw were amateur photos. My grandma said that while cameras were banned for people living at the camp, Japanese American servicemen, who were on leave visiting their families, were able to bring cameras in and took photos for anyone who wanted some taken. The photos our family has from inside the camp were all taken by soldiers and later given to us by mail.

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