Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives
August 3, 2008 8:53 AM   Subscribe

JARDA: Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives is a collection of photographs, diaries, letters, camp newsletters, personal histories and a wealth of other material relating to the relocation and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The site is divided into four categories: People, the men, women, and children who were incarcerated. Places, prewar neighborhoods and wartime camps. Daily Life, eating, sleeping, working, playing, and going to school. Personal Experiences, letters, diaries, art and other writing by internees. Among the photographers hired by the War Relocation Authority was famed dust bowl photographer Dorothea Lange. 855 of her photos are on the site. Even though she was working as a propagandist many of her images captures a starker reality, for instance this picture of a glum little girl.
posted by Kattullus (10 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Ah, a prime example of the inverse relationship between the quality of a post and the number of comments on it. Lots of good stuff here, Kattullus. Thanks.
posted by Rangeboy at 11:35 AM on August 3, 2008

A great, great website. The National Archives has a database of Japanese-American internees. Here's the entry for artist Estelle Ishigo, for instance, which shows that she was born in California to US-born parents. Her only "crime" was marrying a man whose parents were born in Japan.
posted by Knappster at 12:12 PM on August 3, 2008

Nice post, Kattullus. Previous related post: War Relocation Authority Photographs of Japanese-American Evacuation and Resettlement, 1942-1945.
posted by cog_nate at 12:29 PM on August 3, 2008

(I should mention that Estelle Ishigo chose to accompany her husband to the internment camp.)
posted by Knappster at 12:42 PM on August 3, 2008

Thanks, cog_nate. I don't know how I missed yours. The photographs seem to be largely the same. It's a fascinating bit of history that I wish I knew more about (though JARDA has plugged a lot of gaps for me). I really need to add the Japanese-American internment to my mental list of history subjects to be on the lookout for in bookstores and libraries.

Thanks, Knappster for alerting me to Estelle Ishigo. Those are very interesting links. Her story merits an FPP of its own. I have a friend who'd probably love Days of Waiting and it would be fun to watch it with him.
posted by Kattullus at 12:52 PM on August 3, 2008

(I should mention that Estelle Ishigo chose to accompany her husband to the internment camp.)
Can we agree that if this ever happens again we all declare ourselves Muslim/Iraqi or such and go along with them?
posted by Citizen Premier at 4:34 PM on August 3, 2008

This is fascinating -- it will take me days to read through everything. I remember being amazed that the Japanese-American internment was almost completely glossed over in my high school history courses. When I asked about it, my teacher said she simply didn't have enough time to cover homefront stuff that wasn't as "vital" as what was happening overseas.

Thank you for this!
posted by chihiro at 6:53 PM on August 3, 2008

Another fantastic resource.
posted by tellurian at 8:26 PM on August 3, 2008

Knappster, thanks for the link to the National Archive internee database. I never knew it existed and I may have cause to use it occasionally.
posted by mogget at 9:40 PM on August 3, 2008

To iterate what those before me have said, fantastic post! This is one of those historical events where I can only pray we never forget.
posted by NikolaTesla at 11:33 AM on August 4, 2008

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