Thursday, July 19, 2018

A Dangerous Element? The Incarceration of Japanese Latin Americans During World War II

A note on terminology: Many scholars and Japanese American activists use the term “incareration” rather than “internment” to describe the mass round up and imprisonment of people of Japanese descent, in the western United States by the War Relocation Authority (WRA), during World War II. This is because from a legal prospective, internment refers to the imprisonment of foreign nationals during wartime, who were suspected of espionage. The vast majority of people who were arrested by the WRA were U.S. citizens and all of them were arrested solely because of their race and geographical location. A smaller group of Japanese nationals were arrested by the FBI, and after hearings, were imprisoned in Justice Department camps. This type of imprisonment constitutes “internment.” The imprisonment of Japanese Latin Americans in the United States during WWII is complicated to categorize because they were not residing in the United States when they were arrested. But because they were foreign nationals being held in the same Justice Department camps I will refer to their imprisonment as “internment.

During World War II, the United States government developed three separate programs that deprived thousands of people of Japanese descent of their liberty. The most well-known program was operated by the US War Relocation Authority, which incarcerated 110,000 US citizens and residents of Japanese descent living in California, Oregon and Washington.[1] Another program was operated by the Justice Department and led to the internment of 17,000 Japanese nationals living throughout the United States. The third and least-known program involved the internment of Latin American citizens and residents of Japanese ancestry. From 1942 to 1945, the US Department of War took 2,260 Japanese Latin Americans from their home countries and interned them in the United States.[2] These Japanese Latin American prisoners lived in internment camps operated by the US Department of Justice for the duration of the war. The combination of xenophobia in countries like Peru and wartime hysteria in the United States led the US government to intern ethnic Japanese from Latin America. This program resulted in a significant deprivation of rights and considerable hardships for the Japanese Latin American prisoners.
 The US government treated these Japanese Latin American internees like prisoners of war, even though they were civilians living outside the conflict zone.[3] The US government was able to get the cooperation of Latin American governments because prejudice against Japanese people throughout the western hemisphere was at an all time high due to the Great Depression and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Though this scheme is different from the better known incarceration efforts of the War Relocation Authority, both programs were motivated by racism and violated the legal rights of these prisoners.

Development of the Japanese Latin American Incarceration Program
Immediately after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed Presidential Proclamations 2525, 2526 and 2527.[4] These proclamations authorized the United States government to detain dangerous enemy aliens of Japanese, German and Italian nationality. Foreign citizens arrested in the US under these laws received some limited due process in the form a hearing before a board organized by the US Department of Justice.[5] The Department of Justice also organized the camps to incarcerate these foreign citizens.  During the course of the war, the Department of Justice detained 31,275 “alien enemies,” over half of whom were Japanese.[6]
Though the Department of Justice initially created camps for citizens of the Axis powers residing within the United States, the focus of this internment effort would expand considerably. By 1942, the federal government began exercising this power beyond its borders against the Japanese, German, and Italian populations of Latin American nations willing to participate in the international internment program. Some of those people were citizens of the Latin American countries in which they lived, while others were legal residents.  Regardless of citizenship status, these prisoners all fared the same. They received no due process prior to being incarcerated in the United States.[7]
After interning these civilians from Latin America, the US government decided that Japanese Latin American internees would be treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. The Immigration and Naturalization Service sent a memo entitled “Instructions Concerning the Treatment of Alien Enemy Detainees dated April 28, 1942” to employees at the Crystal City, Texas incarceration camp. The memo stated:

The minimum standards of treatment which have been established and which must prevail throughout this Service are based upon the provision of the Convention between the United States of America and forty-six other Powers (including those with whom this nation is now at war) Relating to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (Treaty Series No. 846), known generally as the Geneva Convention of 1929. The Government of the United States has agreed with the belligerent powers to apply these provisions to civilian enemy internees wherever applicable. Copies of the Geneva Conventions have heretofore been supplied to various districts.[8]

Image #1
Letter from the Lemuel B. Schofield, Special Assistant to the Attorney General to the Immigration and Naturalization Service re: instructions concerning the treatment of alien enemy detainees, April 28, 1942
Correspondence from Lemuel B. Schofield to the Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding "instructions concerning the treatment of enemy alien detainees." Covers humane treatment, quarters, sanitation, exercise and fresh air, food, clothing, bedding, canteens, work, recreation, religious service, visitors, internal relations, censorship, money and valuables, discipline, medical care, civil processes, death and burial, and posting of the Geneva Convention. Included in the Mary F. Clark scrapbook, "Before I Forget," page 4. See also sac_jaac_1334 through sac_jaac_1529.
            The content of this memo is significant for a two reasons. First, the memo acknowledges that the Japanese Latin American internees are civilians and not actually prisoners of war. This is significant because the only legitimate categories of prisoners that the Geneva Conventions of 1929 acknowledge are prisoners of war and civilians following the military inside the conflict zone. There were no provisions governing the arrest of civilians outside the conflict zone because there was no legitimate reason for such a person to be imprisoned without due process. Second, this memo establishes the legal framework through which Japanese Latin American internees could attempt to exercise their rights and seek redress.[9] In some ways this put Japanese Latin American internees in a legally advantageous position because the Geneva Conventions clearly delineated their rights under international law and the Japanese government had the power to demand that these rights be recognized. However, unlike other kinds of internees, Japanese Latin Americans had no access to due process. Japanese nationals residing in the US who were incarcerated by the Justice Department received hearings before special boards and Japanese Americans who were incarcerated in War Relocation Authority camps could challenge their detention in federal court. 
The US government argued that Japanese incarceration was a necessary step to protect the region from the threat of Japanese espionage and invasion. Jerre Mangione, special assistant to the United States Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization during the war, confirmed in his memoirs that the interment program occurred because of the US government’s quest for hemispheric security. Magione argues, “The rationale for this international form of kidnapping was that by immobilizing influential German and Japanese nationals who might aid and abet the Axis war effort in the Latin American countries where they lived, the United States was preventing the spread of Nazism throughout the hemisphere and thereby strengthening its own security.”[10] US officials worried that these foreign operatives would destabilize friendly governments, spread anti-American propaganda, collect intelligence on American military installations or even facilitate an invasion in Latin America.[11]
Early in the war, published reports of a Japanese “fifth column” in Latin America helped fan the flames of fear that the ethnic Japanese within those countries were organizing on behalf of the Japanese government. In 1942, Uruguayan politician Hugo Fernandez Artucio published a book in the United States entitled The Nazi Underground in South America. In his book Artucio claimed, “In this part of America, the Japanese would be the natural instrument of penetration for Nazism; consequently, Peru’s obvious enemy is the Japanese. This is recognized by many of her leaders, who favor all the precautionary measures provided for in the law of national security.”[12] American reviewers of Artucio’s book took this premise seriously and chimed in with similar sentiments. In a review of Artucio’s book in the Saturday Review, Stephen Naft wrote, “in Peru 20,000 formed part of the Nazi storm troops, and most of these are Japanese officers in the Japanese army.”[13] Foreign Affairs writer Robert Gale Woolbert acknowledged that Artucio “fails to provide adequate documentation” of his claims about Axis subversion in Latin America, possibly because his book contains no footnotes or bibliography. Nevertheless, Woolbert informed his reader that Artucio’s “warning is certainly one that the Americas can ignore only at their peril.”[14]
 These fears the US government developed this international incarceration program that included agreements with fifteen Latin American countries to incarcerate a portion of their ethnic Japanese population. This agreement called for local law enforcement to round up members of their country’s ethnic Japanese population, who were then picked up by the US military and interned on American soil. While some countries, such as Mexico and Brazil refused, to allow the removal of ethnic Japanese to the U.S., fifteen other Latin American countries would ultimately cooperate with the United States in removing people of Japanese ancestry.[15] Of these cooperative nations, Peru was by far the most enthusiastic participant. From 1942 to 1945, Japanese-Peruvians constituted 84 percent of the Japanese Latin Americans incarcerated in the United States.[16]

The Japanese Peruvians
Peru was a major proponent of Japanese removal because of widespread prejudice against Japanese in Peru and pressure from the United States government. This push for removal took place in the context of a worldwide economic depression, which led to increased discrimination against the Japanese community in Peru and other Latin American countries. As a modestly prosperous and unassimilated minority during hard economic times, the Japanese in certain Latin American countries were the subject of economic envy and contempt.[17] The United States was particularly focused on Peru because 75 percent of the Japanese on the Pacific coast of South America lived within its borders and the country had the second largest Japanese population in Latin American.[18]
Anti-Japanese actions were already being taken by Latin American governments before the war, and accelerated once the war began. In 1936, the Peruvian government passed a law that prevented Japanese immigrants from becoming Peruvian citizens.[19] Similarly, Panamanians also modified their constitution in the 1930s to end immigration of the “yellow race.”[20] Panama ultimately sent its entire Japanese population to the US for internment.[21] In 1942, the Peruvian President made it clear that he wanted the entire ethnic Japanese population of Peru taken to the United States for internment and not repatriated at the war’s end.[22]
Rather than engage in the massive undertaking of rounding up Peru’s large Japanese population, the United State government chose to assemble a list of Japanese Peruvians for arrest. Virtually all of the government officials that created this list of dangerous Japanese Peruvians did not speak Japanese.[23] This language handicap interfered with those officials’ ability to determine if the targeted individuals were actually covert operatives of the government of Japan. Furthermore, the existence of this “blacklist” did not prevent Peruvian officials from arresting people of Japanese ancestry not on the list.[24] According to immigration official Jerre Mangione, “this mind-boggling extension of the Monroe Doctrine turned out to be something of a farce since, according to at least two camp commanders, a number of the aliens brought from Latin America were impoverished peasants who had been paid to act as substitutes for the aliens originally arrested.”[25] For years after the end of the war, Peru fought against the repatriation of ethnic Japanese internees, including those who were Peruvian citizens. As a result, the majority of these internees were sent to Japan at the end of the war.[26]

Image # 2
Scrapbook page containing a black and white photograph of the Hirayama family aboard the steam liner, Matsonian, as they are repatriated to Japan. From the Mary F. Clark scrapbook, "Before I Forget," page 135. See also sac_jaac_1334 through sac_jaac_1529.

American diplomat John K. Emmerson, was the only American or Peruvian official involved in this operation that could speak Japanese. In his memoir published in 1978 Emmerson refuted the idea that the Japanese in Peru were a threat to the US or Peruvian governments. Emmerson wrote, “During my period of service in the embassy, we found no reliable evidence of planned or contemplated acts of sabotage, subversion, or espionage. Stories that many adult male Japanese in Peru held commissions in the imperial army and navy were never verified.”[27] While it is true that Emmerson found no reliable evidence of espionage by the ethnic Japanese in Peru, what he fails to mention is that he was one of the main officials making accusations that fanned the flames of bigotry. 

Image # 3
Japanese in Peru

This study conducted by John K. Emmerson, Second Secretary of Embassy, includes the history of Japanese immigrants in Peru and how these immigrants play a role in World War II. This study intends to "report as accurately as possible, on the basis of sources available, the history, development, and actual status of the Japanese colony and evaluate its present danger, and to discuss the possible position of these Japanese in the post-war period."
Unfortunately, it was these unsubstantiated rumors that created substantial hardships for Japanese Peruvians. This meant Peruvian officials often arrested ethnic Japanese men for reasons that had nothing to do with espionage or illegal activity. Many men were arrested because they were prominent members of the Japanese-Peruvian community such as Art Shibayama’s father. According to Art Shibayama, his father went into hiding when he realized the police were after him and the police arrested Art’s mother instead. Art’s eleven year-old sister went with her mother to jail so that she wouldn’t have to be there alone. When Art’s father learned that his wife and young daughter were in jail he came out of hiding and Peruvian authorities put the whole family on a US army transport to New Orleans.[28]
Art Shibayama and his family were only one among the many families that experienced tremendous hardships because of the Latin American internment program. Nearly 65 years after the end of the war, another former internee, Libia Yamamoto, still vividly remembered her experience on an American military ship:

Boarding the ship was horrifying because there were U.S. soldiers on board
pointing their big guns at us as if we were criminals. When we got to New Orleans officials inspected our baggage and some families had precious belongings thrown into the water. The Peruvians on our ship were among the lucky ones, because I later learned from my friend that she and other women and children were let off their ship first and marched to a warehouse. They were ordered to strip and stand in line naked, and then were sprayed with insecticide. I can’t imagine the humiliation my friend felt having to strip her clothes off in front of boys who are our age.[29]

Art Shibayama’s eleven year-old sister was one of those unlucky girls. According to Art, she found the experience of being stripped in front of strange men and boys to be utterly humiliating. Former internee Eigo Kudo summed up the experience on the ship when she said, “we felt like cattle.”[30]
            Unlike Art Shibayama, who went to the US with his whole family, Libia Yamamoto had a very different experience. After Peruvian authorities arrested Yamamoto’s father, her family had no idea where he was for a month. What Yamamoto did not know at the time was that her father was part of a group of Japanese Latin Americans held in a US military camp in Panama before the Army brought them to the internment camp in Crystal City, Texas. Yamamoto would later recall, “We were so happy just to hear that he was alive and that he was OK. It was only later that we found out that he and the others were working digging ditches in a military camp; many of them were terrified at the idea that they were digging their own graves.”[31]

Crystal City Internment Camp

Image # 4
This is an illustrated map of the Crystal City Incarceration Camp. We don’t know who created this drawing, but it appears to be attempting to convey a pleasant image of the camp, complete with smiling sun.
The US government interned nearly all its Japanese Latin-American prisoners at an internment camp in Crystal City, Texas. According the camp’s public health nurse, Mary C. Clark, the Justice Department interned a total of 10,000 “enemy aliens” at the camp from 1942-1947, though there were no more than 3,800 prisoners there at any one time. In this context, Clark is using the term “enemy aliens” to refer to arrested Axis nationals from within the United States and Axis nationals and their descendants arrested in Latin America. According to Clark, “This is the only camp in the history of the world where the family lived as a single unit. Individuals in custody here preferred this arrangement to life in a Relocation Center, in spite of the closer security, censorship and numerous restrictions in effect.”[32]
Image # 5
Mary Frances Clark, Head Nurse at Crystal City Internment Camp

Sepia-toned photographic portrait of Mary Frances Clark, the head nurse at 
Crystal City Department of Justice internment camp. Photograph taken at Clark's nursing school graduation. 
See also Mary F. Clark scrapbooks, sac_jaac_1334 through sac_jaac_1379.
Though internees were glad to be able to live with their families, camp life presented other difficulties. At first, many men were interned without their families. According Libia Yamamoto, her father and other men in the Crystal City Internment Camp protested the efforts of the US government to send them to Japan because they feared they would never see their families again. This concern about the reunification of their families compounded the enormous stress caused by unexplained imprisonment in a foreign land. Immigration official Jerre Mangione wrote, 

The tall barbed-wire chain fence and guard towers surrounding it dominated the desolate landscape like a harbinger of doom. For some of the prisoners the fence became an intolerable symbol of frustration. In the gnawing anxiety of not knowing how long they would be imprisoned and what was happening to their wives and children, they succumbed to barbed-wire sickness.[33]

Image # 6
Letter from Yoshihiko Matsuura to Kiyoko Noda, April 30, 1949

A letter from Yoshihiko Matsuura, an internee in the Crystal City Internment Camp, Texas, to his grandmother, Kiyoko Noda, in Lima, Peru. He includes updates on day-to-day life in the Crystal City camp, including the event on the Emperor's birthday [April 29] and a play performed in the camp. He details the Boy Scouts of America's activities in which he participates on the Emperor's birthday, playing musical instruments in the musical band and marching in the camp.

Not only were Japanese Latin American men arrested without probable cause and held without charges, their arrest often caused their innocent wives and children to join them in the camps. The arrest of more than 1,000 men, many of whom were the sole providers for their families, left many women with children destitute and determined to join their husbands at all costs.[34] Families began filling up incarceration camps when women responded to the State Department summons they received to join their jailed husbands in the United States.[35] These wives and children eventually constituted more than half of the Japanese Latin Americans in US incarceration camps. This meant that the majority of Japanese Latin Americans incarcerated were not even under suspicion of allegiance to Japan.  It is debatable whether the presence of internees’ families made the whole operation more egregious or more humane. 

Image # 7
Some of our younger internees

Scrapbook page containing three black and white photographs of children at the Crystal City Department of Justice Internment Camp. From the Mary F. Clark scrapbook, "Before I Forget," page 43.
See also sac_jaac_1334 through sac_jaac_1529.
This sad and bewildering chapter of American history resulted from depression era ethnic tensions in Latin American countries like Peru, and the paranoia of US officials who conflated Japanese ethnicity with treachery and danger. According to former diplomat John Emmerson, “The fact that the Japanese are an Oriental people with language and customs almost unknown in the West, makes them an especially dangerous element.”[36] These were ideas held both by the American public and government officials. Emmerson would later write in his memoirs, “Americans, stunned and bewildered, found it easy to hate the Japanese enemy. An oriental face was immediately suspect . . .” Emmerson attributes similar sentiments to the US ambassador in Japan, “Even Ambassador Grew, when he was later repatriated, delivered some speeches better characterized as fire than reason.”[37] Suspicion of a whole race of people motivated the three separate programs that deprived people of Japanese ancestry of their liberty. 

Image # 8
Memo from John K. Emmerson, Auxiliary Section to The Ambassador, American Embassy, Lima, Peru, April 18, 1942
In this memo, the author writes to the American Ambassador in Peru that the Japanese people there have no loyalty to Peru and have not assimilated. He concludes that the Japanese population in Peru is "dangerous, well-organized, and intensely patriotic."

Despite the peculiarities of this endeavor, the internment of Japanese Latin Americans was part of a larger process in which the United States government imposed a national identity on people of Japanese descent, based on race rather than citizenship. This racialized national identity eclipsed citizenship to the point that it often did not matter to government officials if the person under suspicion was a citizen of the Untied States, Japan, Panama or Peru. This state-constructed identity so thoroughly conflated criminality with race that government officials were frequently indifferent to the fact that there was no evidence that a particular individual engaged in espionage. Once the United States went to war with Japan, everyone with ancestors from that country became “Japanese.” Race trumped citizenship and became the most important factor for determining disloyalty. 
It is this racist thinking that shaped American officials’ perceptions of what kinds of actions were necessary and appropriate during wartime. Many government officials felt that all Japanese people were loyal to the Emperor of Japan and would work to harm the US if given the chance. Latin American governments, glad to dispose of a despised minority, played into these fears and eagerly arrested people of Japanese ancestry. While there is no evidence that this alliance made the United States any safer it is abundantly clear that it resulted in a great injustice. Thousands of Japanese Latin Americans lost their freedom, their property and their way of life because of wartime hysteria and anti-Japanese bigotry.           

Image # 9
This is an English language newsletter published by the prisoners of Japanese descent in the Crystal City Incarceration Camp. This issue is about the first group of people to leave the camp

Want to hear more from the Japanese Peruvian’s who experienced incarceration during WWII?
The Japanese American Digitization Project will soon be getting the oral histories from CSU Fullerton’s Japanese Peruvian Diaspora Project

CSUJAD also contains a photo/album scrapbook depicting Japanese Peruvians from the 1930s-1950s. Please see the link to the album below:

For more information:

http://www/csujad.comThanks to the Gerth Archives and Special Collections at CSU Dominguez Hills and the Gerth Special Collections and Archives at CSU Sacramento.

Books and Articles

Barnhart, Edward N. “Japanese Internees from Peru.” Pacific Historical Review 31, no. 4 (May 1962): 169-178. Accessed May 9, 2014.
Brumer, Leah. “Stealing Home.” The Monthly, November, 1998.
Connell, Thomas. America’s Japanese Hostages: The World War II Plan for a Japanese Free Latin America. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 2002.
Emmerson, John K. The Japanese Thread: A Life in the U.S. Foreign Service. New York: 
            Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1978.
Gardener, C. Harvey. Pawns in a Triangle of Hate: The Peruvian Japanese and the 
            Unites States. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1983.
Higashide, Seiichi. Adios to Tears. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2009.
Kashina, Tetsudsen. Judgment Without Trial: Japanese American Imprisonment During 
            World War II. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003.
Kerber, Linda K. “The Meanings of Citizenship.” The Journal of American History 84,                   no. 3 (December 1997): 846-847. Accessed January 27, 2014.                                     
Lopez-Calvo, Ignacio. The Affinity of the Eye. Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, 2013.
Mangione, Jerre. An Ethnic At Large: A Memoir of America in the Thirties and                               Forties. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1978.
Masterson, Daniel M., and Sayaka Funada-Classen. The Japanese in Latin America.                       Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2004.
Ngai, Mae M. Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern                                  America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004.

Unpublished Works

Seng-hua Mak, Stephen. “‘America’s Other Internment’: World War II and the Making of Modern Human Rights.” PhD Diss., Northwestern University, 2009.


Hidden Internment: The Art Shibayama Story. Directed by Casey Peek. 2004; Berkeley: Progressive Films, 2004. VHS.

[1]C. Harvey Gardener, Pawns in a Triangle of Hate: The Peruvian Japanese and the Unites States (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1983), viii.
[2]Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law, Treatment of Latin Americans of Japanese Descent, European Americans, and Jewish Refugees During World War II, 111thCong., 1stSess., March 19, 2009, 7.
[3]Mary F. Clark scrapbook[1942-47], 4, Japanese American Archival Collection, Department of Special Collections and University archives, Library. California State University, Sacramento. 
[4]Franklin D. Roosevelt, Proclamation 2525 “Alien Enemies-Japanese,” Federal Register6, no. 239 (December 10, 1941): 6321.; Franklin D. Roosevelt, Proclamation 2526 “Alien Enemies-Germans,” Federal Register6, no. 239 (December 10, 1941): 6323.; Franklin D. Roosevelt, Proclamation 2527 “Alien Enemies-Italians,” Federal Register6, no. 239 (December 10, 1941): 6324.
[5]Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law, 28.
[6]Ibid. The breakdown of alien enemies detained was 16,849 Japanese, 10,905 Germans and 3,278 Italians. Though all these people were detained within the United States, this program was separate from the War Relocations Authority’s internment of 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry during World War II.
[7]Collins Papers, Reel 23, 108.
[8]Clark, 4.
[9]Seng-hua Mak, 3.
[10]Jerre Mangione, An Ethnic at Large: A Memoir of America in the Thirties and Forties(New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1978), 322.
[11]Daniel M. Masterson and Sayaka Funada-Classen, The Japanese in Latin America(Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2004), 114.
[12]Hugo Fernandez Artucio, The Nazi Underground in South America (New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1942), 189.
[13]Stephen Naft, “The Axis in South America,” Saturday Review, April 4, 1942, 16; accessed April 25, 2014.
[14]Robert Gale Woolbert, Review of The Nazi Underground in South America,Hugo Fernandez Artucio, Foreign Affairs, July 1942, 786.
[15]Tetsudsen Kashina, Judgment without Trial: Japanese American Imprisonment during World War II (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), 94-95.
[16]Seiichi Higashide, Adios to Tears (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2009), 177.
[17]Ibid., 120.
[18]Masterson and Funada-Classen, 113; Thomas Connell, America’s Japanese Hostages: The World War II Plan for a Japanese Free Latin America(Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 2002), x.
[19]Leah Brumer, “Stealing Home,” The Monthly, November, 1998. 
[20]Masterson and Funada-Classen,118.
[21]Kashina, 94.
[22]US Foreign Service, Lima, July 20, 1942, American Embassy,Densho Digital Archive. 
[23]Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law, 10.
[24]Higashide, 129.
[25]New York Times, May 19, 1978.
[26]Edward N. Barnhart, “Japanese Internees from Peru,” Pacific Historical Review 31, no. 4 (May 1962): 174-177, accessed May 9, 2014,
[27]John K. Emmerson, The Japanese Thread: A Life in the U.S. Foreign Service(New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1978), 148. 
[28]Hidden Internment, Casey Peek.
[29]Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law, 15.
[30]Hidden Internment, Casey Peek.
[31]Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law, 18.
[32]Mary F. Clark scrapbook[1942-47], 34.
[33]Ethnic, Mangione, 328.
[34]Mary F. Clark scrapbook[1942-47], 34. 
[35]Higashide, 177. According to Higashide 1,024 of the Japanese Latin Americans interned in the US were arrested by their home governments and 1,094 were family members of those arrested.
[36]US Foreign Service, Memorandum to the Peruvian ambassador,Densho Digital Archive.  
[37]Emmerson, 125-126. 


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Packing celery after the harvest at the Ishibashi’s Ranch.

On May 1, 2015, Rachel Mandell will complete the first rotation at CSU Dominguez Hills as the LA as Subject Resident Archivist.  Following the first three months at her home institution, The Autry National Center, Rachel has been working with Greg Williams and Tom Philo in the Archives and Special Collections since February. She will be moving on to the LA Police Museum in Highland Park for the next rotation of her residency.  

During her time at CSUDH, Rachel created digital records for the Ishibashi family collection. This collection contains photographs, documents, and artifacts that span nearly 100 years that the Ishibashis farmed and lived on the Rancho Palos Verdes peninsula. These materials document the everyday activities of the family including, life on the farm and farming practices, family trips, Sunday school and also information pertaining to their incarceration during World War II in Poston, Arizona.  Kumekichi Ishibashi moved to the Portuguese Bend in Palos Verdes from Wakayama, Japan in 1906 and began a vegetable farm.  In 1911 he married Take Hanaoka and the two had five children. Masaichi, the eldest son, eventually took over his father’s business and remained a farmer in Palos Verdes until his died in 2004.  The Ishibashi’s farm and renowned farm stand remained open until 2012.  

The Ishibashi family enjoying themselves at the Palos Verdes Beach.

An older Masaichi Ishibashi selling vegetables at the family stand located near the Torrance Airport.

This Ishibashi collection makes up about 1.5 linear feet of the 300 linear feet of material housed at CSUDH’s archives that relate to Japanese American life in the 20th century.  These collections, along with those  housed at five other CSU campuses will be the focus of a new collaboration called The Japanese American Digitization Planning project. This National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) funded project, written by Greg Williams, aims to create a shared digital archive that will bring together disparate collections and provide access through a single online portal.
 Towards this end, Rachel utilized the help of Matthew ___(last name)___, a student worker, to assist in the digitization of nearly 800 items from the Ishibashi collection using the Epson Expression scanner.  A record was then created for each individual photograph or document.  A record includes descriptive information about the item as well as a digital surrogate of the original material, such that researchers can theoretically use the digital records instead of the original material.  This is advantageous if it is inconvenient for a researcher to travel to the physical location where the archive is held and can also reduce the amount of demand on original, fragile archival material.

As a way of wrapping up her project at CSUDH , Rachel will be giving a presentation about the work she has done. The presentation will be held on Friday, May 1 at 10 am in the reading room of the CSUDH Archives and Special Collections.