relocation center

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relocation center,

in U.S. history, camp in which Japanese and Japanese-Americans were interned during World War II. Fearing a Japanese invasion, the military leaders, under authority of an executive order, defined (Mar., 1942) an area on the West Coast from which all persons of Japanese ancestry were to be excluded. That same month the War Relocation Authority (WRA) was created. After voluntary evacuation was prohibited, the army forcibly moved approximately 110,000 evacuees, most of whom were American citizens, to 10 relocation centers in Western states operated by the authority. Smaller numbers of Germans, Italians, and other nationalities were also interned or forcibly relocated. A number of internment camps for Japanese Americans and Japanese were also established in Hawaii.

Although food and shelter were provided and wages were paid to those who wished to work, living conditions were poor, and several riots occurred during the war. Separation of the loyal and disloyal began in July, 1943. Persons who could prove their loyalty and had employment waiting for them were released to live anywhere except in the proscribed area, while those deemed disloyal by the Federal Bureau of Investigation were segregated in the Tule Lake center. The majority of evacuees remained in the relocation centers until after Dec., 1944, when the mass exclusion orders were revoked. The last of the centers, at Tule Lake, was closed in Mar., 1946.

The WRA was terminated in 1946. The evacuees suffered property losses estimated at $400 million, and the government was severely criticized for depriving citizens of their civil liberties. In 1988, President Reagan signed a bill that granted the surviving Japanese-American internees a tax-free payment of $20,000 each and an apology from the U.S. government. The largest museum devoted to the history of relocation centers and an exploration of the realities of camp life is the Heart Mountain Interpretive Learning Center (2011), a site near Cody, Wyo., where some 10,000 were held.


See A. Girdner and A. Loftis, The Great Betrayal (1969); B. Hosokawa, Nisei (1969); R. Daniels, Concentration Camps U.S.A. (1971); G. Miller, Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (1992); G. Robinson, By Order of the President (2001); R. Reeves, Infamy (2015); J. J. Russell, The Train to Crystal City (2015).

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Relocation Center, Kadohata sets her novel in this very camp, which was
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(10) The 442d was primarily drawn from men of Japanese descent from Hawaii and relocation centers on the mainland.
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* "Desert Diamonds Behind Barbed Wire," February 19, 2007, Manzanar War Relocation Center, California
Preferential consideration shall be given to members of the Order of merit in connection with leaves for private employment, assignment to preferred types of employment within the relocation center, promotion to supervisory positions, and in such other matters as the Project Director may consider appropriate, in recognition of the superior initiative, efficiency, leadership and loyalty of evacuees who achieve in the Order of Merit.
United States (1944), the Supreme Court "ruled that no one of Japanese ancestry was compelled 'either in fact or by law' to enter a relocation center." The Court did not so rule.
In 1942 Yuriko, later a Martha Graham legend, taught dance classes and staged the Nutcracker Suite in Lot 60 at the Gila River Relocation Center, where she was interned with 13,000 other American citizens.
Wallace Tashima and his family were forced from their West Coast home in 1942 into a so-called "relocation center"--in the case of the Tashima family, the Poston Relocation Center in the scorching desert of southwestern Arizona.
She conveys the terror of her journey from a light, open seascape home to a dank, dark, forest relocation center where the government hand is heavy and disease rampant.
The Heart Mountain, Wyoming Relocation Center draft resisters were tried in the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming, in Cheyenne.