Ellen Kubokawa


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Pictured here are students at the Tule Lake internment camp in California. Notice the tarpaper walls on the building.

But voluntary evacuation became more of a problem than a solution. Only a few hundred people of Japanese ancestry volunteered to leave the west coast. This left several thousand people on the coast who were deemed a national security risk. In addition, inland communities feared their towns would be overrun with Japanese. In order to quicken the evacuation process and squelch hysteria, the American government decided to begin forcibly evacuating people of Japanese ancestry to assembly centers and internment camps.

By May 1942, all of western Washington’s Japanese inhabitants had been sent to relocation camps in California, Idaho, and as far east as Wyoming and Arkansas. They were instructed to bring only what they could carry and were forced to sell their remaining possessions for a fraction of their value.


Japanese internment, from coast and camp, world war two, WW2, WWII, oral history


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