Executive Order 9066: February 19th, 1942, President Roosevelt authorized the internment thousands of American citizens of Japanese ancestry and resident aliens from Japan. Roosevelt's order affected 117,000 people of Japanese descent, two-thirds were native-born citizens of the United States.
Ruth Asawa's father Umakichi, a 60 year-old farmer who had been living in the United States for forty years, was arrested by FBI agents and taken to a camp in New Mexico. The family did not see him for almost two years.
Ruth (seated second from the left) was sent along with her mother and five siblings to the Santa Anita race track in Arcadia, California, where they lived for five months in two horse stalls. They took only what they could carry. “The stench was horrible,” she recalled. “The smell of horse dung never left the place the entire time we were there.” Read more, here.
Source: Ruth Asawa
George Nakashima was forced, along with his wife and newborn daughter Mira, into a camp, in Idaho.
Yellow Landscape, 1943 by Isamu Noguchi
Noguchi, as a resident of New York, was exempt from internment. However, he decided to enter the Poston War Relocation Center, in Arizona. This incredible act is the subject of an exhibition at The Noguchi Museum: Self-Interned, 1942: Noguchi in Poston War Relocation Center.
Source: Noguchi Foundation via Archpaper
Excerpt of an incredible essay written by Noguchi.
Source: Noguchi Museum
John McLaughlin was a Japanese translator at California’s Manzanar internment camp
Photo: Ansel Adams
Alexandra Lange wrote a great piece on Curbed: The forgotten history of Japanese-American designers’ World War II internment, which includes Minoru Yamasaki and Ray Komai.