relocation camps

Monument in Cemetery, Mt. Williamson, 1943, photo by Ansel Adams

Thousands of Japanese Americans were taken from their homes, rounded up by the US government in 1942 and relocated to internment camps where they remained until the end of World War II in 1945. The photo above was taken at the Manzanar internment camp (the Manzanar War Relocation Center) at the foot of the Sierra Nevadas in California’s Owens Valley. Ansel Adams, already a well-known and successful photographer, went to the camps in 1943 to document what he felt was a great injustice.

Yo you see this dude? This is Ralph Lazo. He was a Mexican-Irish from Los Angeles. (Died in 1992, sadly.)

What’s special about this guy is that as far as I’m aware, Ralph Lazo is the only person of non-Japanese descent who went freely to live in a JA internment camp. He was sixteen at the time. At first his parents thought he’d gone to a summer camp.

He had no idea what Manzanar would be like or how long he’d stay there. When he left two and a half years later, it was to join the army, like many Nisei did. He left his family and went because this sixteen year old kid knew the camps were unconstitutional and fundamentally wrong, and it was important to him to stand beside his friends through the whole thing. After the war, too, he supported them and kept in touch and stayed politically aware so he knew who and what should be voted for, even from Mexico, where he was a college teacher and counselor.

Like shit, okay, look, you’re a JA, and most of the country fucking hates you and thinks you’re the enemy even though you didn’t do a thing. But since you’re the enemy, since everyone really fucking thinks that of you and your family and everyone like you, you’re forced to leave your home and all your possessions and go to this place where it’s hot and windy as hell and there’s sand blowing through the walls and floors and ceilings of the buildings all the time and you are never allowed to leave for any reason. At the borders all the guard towers point their guns inwards, because even if they don’t say it, that’s why they’re there. That’s who they’d aim for.

And then there’s this kid. And he could leave.

He could leave and go home and he doesn’t, he doesn’t even go visit his family or take a break from the place, he stays and he endures it with all of you because he really, honestly believes that none of you deserve this and he’s willing to stand by you even here.

There was only one Ralph Lazo.

why the fuck can't people just admit the Nissei suffered? why the hell do they have to compare it to what the Nazis did and say the camps here weren't as "bad"? the fuck? is that a joke?

you know sometimes whenever i bring up the “relocation” camps Japanese-Americans were FORCIBLY moved to and kept in (unless they conceeded to manual labor or joined the army later on) and talk about the injustice of it all–or someone else brings it up–there’s always someone (or more than one) who say that “it wasn’t as bad as the concentration camps Jews were put into, was it?”.

as if being stripped of your businesse and home, being treated like an enemy in your own country, and being kept in a guarded facility with armed guards and given so-called “decent” facilities to live in wasn’t “bad”

…people, here’s the thing: so they weren’t immediately killed in the camps like in the Nazi camps–that doesn’t make their SUFFERING or the VIOLATION of their dignity any less, and it doesn’t change the fact that, no matter how gilded the cage, a cage is still a fucking cage.

designated survivor:  season 1, episode 13, review

review:   the news of MacLeish’s murder sends the country into a tailspin.   Jason Atwood buries his son.   Congresswoman Hookstraten leaks the news of MacLeish issuing the “shoot to kill” order to silence Nestor Lozano, a.k.a. “Catalan”.   and President Kirkman orders his CoS, Aaron Shore, to take a week off from work.   meanwhile, Seth tries to discredit a reputable journalist.   Hannah Wells interrogates Alvin Joyner about Afghanistan.   and Alex Kirkman wants to relocate the kids to Camp David – and Tom reluctantly agrees.

plot-twist surprise, the FBI has Aaron Shore under surveillance.   and much to my surprise, Charles Langdon makes contact with the WH CoS.

as for moving the wife & kids out of DC, i’m not sure that’s the best idea for the series.   why?   IMO, the First Family iz the heart and soul of the show.   Yes, their scenes are boring and blah – but we need those moments of relief to process the magnitude of the conspiracy.   it’s also worth noting that the death of VP MacLeish takes the series into the next chapter.   IMO, the focus iz shifting away from identifying the conspirators to chasing and capturing known suspects.   of course, we still have the awesome task of rebuilding the government – and right now, most ppl wanna avoid public office.

bringing a former President to the WH has potential for new conflict and storylines.   sidenote, how about Seth Wright telling his friends that when the WH takes on water, you don’t jump ship – instead you grab a bucket.

that’s great for Seth – however, Aaron’s loyalty iz still in question?   but just between me and you, i think Aaron Shore iz a red herring.   as for Jason Atwood, i agree with the FBI’s decision to terminate his employment.   Atwood colluded with terrorists and lied to the President of the United States.   and, Yes, i understand why he did it – but such actions have consequences.   and what was the point?   Jason’s son iz still dead.   hey, i’m just stating facts.

now let’s get back to Aaron Shore.   will Aaron tell Kirkman that he’s been contacted by Charles Langdon?   i’m not sure.   and did you agree with Hookstraten leaking confidential information?   hmmm, i don’t blame Kimble for that.   instead, i blame Shore.   he never shoulda buckled to Hookstraten’s threat to call a Congressional hearing.


How easy it is to forget that Japanese Canadians were forced into relocation camps on the west coast, just like the Japanese Americans during WWII. Let us never forget and continue to fight for freedom for all. Girl’s Day (Hinamatsuri) celebration at the Toronto Japanese Canadian Community Centre, March 2017.

slurps too loudly, then not enough

I feel like cultural identity is something I’ve struggled with my whole life, and is something I’m still struggling with today. and in my head, I compare it with eating ramen. When I’m in Japan or with my Japanese friends, I feel self-conscious about not slurping the noodles enough. Japanese people slurp noodles with such vigor and intensity that I feel like I need to force myself to make more noise to fit in. But when I’m eating noodles with my American friends, I catch myself making too much noise. and this perfectly captures my constant internal battle of being too Japanese, not Japanese enough, being too American, not American enough. 

While I am 100% Japanese ethnically, my mother is Japanese (from Japan) and my father is third generation Japanese American (sansei). My maternal grandparents are residing in Hayama, Kanagawa-prefecture, Japan. My paternal grandmother was raised in LA and was later relocated Japanese internment camps. I am technically fourth generation (yonsei), my parents and I like to joke about being 2.5 generation (2.5sei). Truthfully, there are not many people like me. There are many second-generation Japanese American people (Nisei) where both of their parents are from Japan, can speak English and Japanese fluently but still are very culturally Japanese. And there are also many people where both of their parents are 3rd,4th,5th generation Japanese American, can’t speak Japanese and are very culturally American.

I have always been in between.

Even from a very young age, in Japanese language school, I noticed that I was different from all the other kids. Japanese wouldn’t come as easily to me as the second-generation kids (Nisei). Speaking was tough, grammar was even harder, and I was always behind, no matter how hard I worked.

And I wondered, why? I don’t have an excuse. Both of my parents were Japanese! Why is Japanese so hard for me? And then I realized that unlike all the other families who had multiple family members who spoke Japanese at home, I only had my mother, who would often speak in English to be able to communicate to my father and sister. I realized that I needed to work doubly as hard as everyone to keep up. And as I grew older and was juggling high school, APs and golf, I had to face the fact that fluency just wasn’t possible for me.

On the other hand, I was too “FOB-y”, too Asian, too Japanese to fit in at regular school when I was younger. I would bring the Japanese bento lunches my mother would pack with care everyday. And usually on top of the rice, there would be a purple furikake or rice seasoning. Or my mom would pack boiled sausages that she would cut to look like little octopuses. I used to be proud of my lunch and Japanese food but after a while, I started to notice the stares I received from classmates. And how no one would sit next to me anymore. One boy yelled at me, “Why is your rice purple?! Are you an alien?” Another taunted, “EWW she’s eating octopus!” At first, I was shocked and hurt that my classmates would make fun of the food my mother took so much time to prepare, and I asked my mom to only pack bologna sandwiches for the next couple of years.

After a while, I learned that people were just afraid of what they weren’t familiar with and my mother told me to share my food instead with my classmates. And that all of a sudden made me the most popular kid in class.

While it got easier throughout middle and high school, I felt like I started to neglect my Japanese side in attempts to fit in. I became very vocal about my grandmother and her parents’ time in the Japanese American internment camps, even winning a Japanese speech contest with a ticket to Japan. But despite all that, I still felt unbalanced, either feeling too Japanese, not Japanese enough, too American, or not American enough.

When I got to college, I feel like I’m finally able to fit in somewhere. I joined the Japanese Student Association and became an officer, where I was finally extremely immersed into conversational Japanese and Japanese pop culture, which were aspects I thought I was missing to become “more Japanese”. And now, in order to get more in touch with my Japanese American side again, I’m getting more involved with the Nikkei Student Union.  

For the longest time, I felt like my “double identity” was a constant push and pull, like I was stretching myself too thin. But I feel like I’m starting to finally feel a balance and am on the way of loving myself. and being less critical of myself and thinking less of what others think of me. Instead, I have double the support, and twice the cultures to be proud of. I mean, who else can say that my favorite bands are 嵐, aiko, Sam Smith and Walk the Moon, and that I’m watching How to Get Away with Murder and 5時から9時まで and other J-dramas at the same time! I am starting to finally feel comfortable with myself, and I hope this feeling continues.

Okay so I know when Steve pulls out that “I know guys with none of that worth ten of you” line on Tony, we know he’s talking about Bucky.

But it REALLY bugs me that fandom treats it like he’s ONLY talking about Bucky. Because Steve spend the war with some really bang up people who weren’t given shit. Gabe Jones was a radio guy with a college education, who spoke multiple languages in a time when most black men were not even allowed to attend school with white students. In a time when most white americans didn’t or couldn’t make it to college, Gabe Jones did. Jim Morita was a japanese american in a time when japanese americans were being rounded up like cattle, forced to leave everything, and relocated to prison camps. JIm Morita had to pull out his dog tags to prove to Dugan that he belonged there. Peggy Carter was a woman training and overseeing a group of hypermasculine men and forced to deal with the idea, every day, that she shouldn’t be there because she was a woman. Agent Carter showed us that Peggy’s ability to do her job, her competency, even her relationship with Steve, is constantly pushed into the dirt because she was a woman. Like BUcky Barnes is very important to me and how important he is to steve is very important to me. But he wasn’t the only important person in Steve’s life, he wasn’t the only person who did a lot more good than Tony with a whole lot less to go on. Gabe, Jim, and Peggy had a hell of a lot more stacked against them. 


W.R.A. Leave Pass, Teiji Okuda, No. 15771

Those incarcerated at the War Relocation Centers (Japanese Internment Camps) were denied many of their civil and personal liberties. The freedom to travel outside of the camps was severely restricted. However, internees could leave the camps if they were able to join the work-release program. 

(Smithsonian Institution)

Hey idiots who are anti-muslim

Here is a fun history lesson on segregating a whole group of people during a time of war and how bad it worked.

1692- you could just call someone a witch and they were put on trial and suspected of witch craft. How easy it was to gang up on a select group of people and everyone believed there were bad and harmful and witches? 24 dead.
1933- when Hitler forced jews to wear a badge to identify them as jewish, and not shortly after that started sending them to labor camps and death camps. All based on anti semitic propaganda he pumped into his people to turn them against a race. 6 million dead.
1942- when thousands of Japanese Americans living in the United States were forced into war relocation camps. How it created a panic against the people and just fueled racism with no real foundation for putting them in the camps. Reputations, business and lives lost. It wasnt until 1992 when america said “im sorry” with some cash.
1947- when all you had to do to get someone put on trial for being a Communist was say “I think they are a commie” Without anything to back it up their life was ruined. They business failed, they lost their job and reputation and was pegged as a traitor. Even put on trial. Based on nothing.
1975- Cambodia established concentration camps. 1.4 to 2.2 million died.
1976- during the dirty war in Argentina there were over 300 places throughout the country that served as secret detention centers- 30,000 killed or missing.
2015- some people want to require registering Muslims in a database or giving them a form of special identification that noted their religion. Because we all know history proves that this method of segregation works so well. Because in war times, the best thing you could do is to force victims of racism into public discrimination. Right? Whats next, muslim relocation camps?

Dont give me that “we need to protect ourself” bull crap. You just dont want to admit that you are an uneducated racist.

France, Grande-Synthe : Young migrants get warm around a brazier in the migrants camp of Grande-Synthe, near Dunkirk, on January 20, 2016, where almost some 2,500 migrants and refugees live, mostly Iraqi Kurds and Syryans.
Authorities in the northern French port of Calais were struggling to move hundreds of migrants into refitted shipping containers ahead of plans to bulldoze part of the notorious “Jungle” camp. There wre also attempts to relocate 2,500 migrants camped some 40 kilometres (25 miles) up the road from Calais in Grande-Synthe.
/ AFP / PHILIPPE HUGUEN                
46 photos of life at a Japanese internment camp, taken by Ansel Adams
In 1943, legendary photographer Ansel Adams visited Manzanar, a Japanese internment camp in California's Sierra Nevada mountains.
By Brian Jones

Even at the time, this policy was opposed by many Americans, including renowned photographer Ansel Adams, who in the summer of 1943 made his first visit to Manzanar War Relocation Camp in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Invited by the warden, Adams sought to document the living conditions of the camp’s inhabitants.

His photos were published in a book titled “Born Free and Equal: The Story of Loyal Japanese-Americans” in 1944, with an accompanying exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.

Today is Japanese American Internment Remembrance Day. 

On this day in 1942, FDR issued Executive Order 9066, which authorized the internment of all people of Japanese descent living in the “exclusion zone,” which constituted most of the United States’ Pacific Coast. Approximately 110,000 people of Japanese descent living on the American mainland were interned in “Wartime Relocation Camps”. 

Though the decision was at the time justified as a wartime measure against sabotage, no evidence exists to imply that sabotage originating with Japanese immigrants or their families ever occurred. Internment and exclusion were entirely the result of anti-Japanese racial bias. Racist sentiment against East Asians was common, and, at times, resulted in bans or quotas to prevent bar immigrants from China and Japan from receiving visas or entering the country.