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From the collection of the 

z n 

o PreTinger 


v ibrary 

San Francisco, California 



The Spoilage 

By Dorothy Swaine Thomas 
and Richard S. Nishimoto 


Rosalie A. Hankey, James M. Sakoda 
Morton Grodzins, Frank Miyamoto 


Berkeley and Los Angeles 1946 










IARLY IN i 942, a group of social scientists in the 
University of California undertook a study of the evacuation, 
detention, and resettlement of the Japanese minority in the United 
States. The study was conceptualized on an interdisciplinary basis: 
(a) viewed as a sociological problem, it was to include analysis of 
the social demography of forced mass migration and voluntary 
resettlement, with special reference to the dislocation of habits and 
changes of attitudes produced by the experience; (b) viewed as a 
study in social anthropology, it would be oriented around the modi- 
fications and changes in the two cultures represented in the group, 
first under the impact of constant, enforced association, and later in 
the process of dispersal into the "outside world"; (c) viewed as a 
study in political science, it would emphasize policy formation and 
administrative procedures: the interaction of state and national 
political forces, the part played by local government units in deter- 
mining both state and national policy, the development of organ- 
ized pressures and their result; (d) viewed as a problem in social 
psychology, the primary focus would be on the nature of the collec- 
tive adjustments made by this population group, following the 
crisis of evacuation, to the way of life imposed by the government 
during detention and on the extent and kind of institutional reor- 
ganization and individual readjustment following resettlement; (e) 
viewed as an economic problem, it would be concerned with the 
economic conditions predisposing the formulation of policies, the 
economic consequences of the program upon the areas of evacua- 
tion and upon the evacuees themselves, and the governmental 
efforts to protect the interests both of the areas and of the classes of 
population involved. 

This ambitious conceptualization was never realized to the full, 
partly because data on certain aspects as outlined a priori (e.g., 
much of the economic segment) were unobtainable, partly be- 


cause of diversion of university personnel into other wartime activi- 
ties, 1 but mainly because the course of events which were to be 
investigated could not be anticipated. The staff of the Evacuation 
and Resettlement Study began their researches in February, 1942, 
when the program of evacuation and detention was initiated, and 
continued to make field observations through December, 1945, by 
which time the program of resettlement was about completed. 
Problems for research were defined and redefined during this 
period. Planning was on a point-by-point basis: old questions were 
discarded and new questions raised as the ramifications of a highly 
dynamic situation became apparent; ad hoc techniques had to 
be devised to meet the exigencies of data collection in an ever- 
changing, emotionally charged situation. 

One problem was to obtain an accurate record of governmental 
regulations, of the development of policies underlying these regu- 
lations and of the interpretations of these policies at various points, 
both by the administration and by the evacuees. Because policies 
were formed and applied at several levels in Washington, in re- 
gional offices, at relocation projects frequent field trips to these 
various points were made by a political scientist on our staff. Be- 
cause many governmental agencies participated in policy formation 
and policy direction, and because the policies so developed were 
often conflicting in purpose and application, multiple lines of 
contact had to be established and maintained. 

The main problem of the study was to record and analyze the 
changes in behavior and attitudes and the patterns of social adjust- 
ment and interaction of the people to whom these policies and 
regulations were applied. Since most of the people concerned were 
detained and confined in government-operated camps for periods 
up to three and a half years, the camps became, for our purposes, 
social laboratories. Having prior knowledge of the stratification of 
the population groups we were studying (e.g., urban-rural, state- 
wise, occupational, and generational distributions), we had hoped 

1 In addition to the senior author of this volume, Professors Robert H. Lowie 
of Anthropology, Charles Aikin of Political Science, Milton Chernin of Social 
Welfare, and Frank L. Kidner of Economics participated in the early stages of 
planning. Professor Lowie was drawn out of the Study by activities connected 
with the Army Specialized Training Program; Professors Aikin and Kidner 
obtained leave of absence from the University to work for the Office of Price 
Administration; Professor Chernin was inducted into the Army. 


to make a judicious selection of camps and, within camps, of classes 
of people as the subjects of our investigation. For various reasons 
we concentrated our main efforts on three camps and obtained 
spot observations in most of the other camps. 

Our three major "laboratories" were at the Tule Lake project in 
northern California, the Poston project in Arizona, and the Mini- 
doka project in Idaho. We were able, also, to make spot observa- 
tions in five of the other seven War Relocation Authority projects. 2 

From the very beginning of our observations in camp, we realized 
that we could not utilize attitude surveys or questionnaires to get 
valid (or any) information from people whose recent experiences 
had led to an intense preoccupation with the real and imagined 
dangers of verbal commitments and to growing suspicions of the 
intentions of persons who asked them to commit themselves on even 
the most innocuous questions. We did, however, collect and exploit 
to the full data from surveys that emerged as administrative by- 
products (e.g., censuses by the Army and by the War Relocation 
Authority, the military registration questionnaire, segregation lists, 
results of voting on a number of issues, signatures to petitions of 
various sorts, and applications for renunciation of citizenship). In 
addition, the written documents of the highly literate people being 
studied were an important source (e.g., minutes of meetings, 
memoranda, manifestoes, bills of complaint, petitions and personal 
letters). 3 

Instead of sampling and surveying, either on a time or popula- 
tion basis, we had to depend on a day-by-day record, as complete as 
possible, of the maneuvers and reactions of an insecure, increas- 
ingly resentful people to policies imposed by government agencies 
and to incidents developing from the application of these policies. 
It was also apparent that the main part of the record of what was 

2 We have, in addition, observational records from four of the temporary 
assembly centers to which evacuees were moved pending establishment of War 
Relocation Authority projects. 

3 Minutes of most meetings were taken in both Japanese and English. In gen- 
eral, we have used the minutes taken by the so-called "English secretaries," with- 
out revision or editing of the "English" except in obscure passages where we 
have entered our own translation or interpretation in brackets. Petitions to the 
administration were in English, and we have quoted from them verbatim. Mani- 
festoes, however, were usually in Japanese, and these we have translated our- 
selves, unless an English version was also circulating in camp. Wherever possible, 
we have obtained copies of both versions and have noted significant discrepancies 
between them. 


going on inside the camps could be obtained only by "insiders," 
that is, by trained observers who were themselves participating in 
and reacting to the events under observation. Most of the staff 
observers were evacuees; at one time as many as twelve Japanese 
Americans were employed as technical or research assistants in the 
camps. Two of these remained in the camps for over three years. 
Eleven out of twelve of these assistants were bilingual so far as 
the spoken language was concerned and the two who remained 
longest were also highly skilled in written Japanese, having been 
educated both in Japan and in America. 4 All these observers had 
had university training in one or more of the social sciences, but 
only three of them had had any prior experience in field investi- 

In addition to the Japanese American staff observers, three "Cau- 
casian" members of our staff resided for long periods in the camps 
we were studying. Two of these were graduate students in anthro- 
pology; one was a sociologist, with graduate training in political 

Each staff observer built up a circle of participant informants 5 
whose confidence he had obtained, and also made extensive records 
of acts and conversations of people who did not know they were 
under observation. As cleavages in the population became apparent 
and factions multiplied, efforts were made to extend the slate of 
observers and informants to cover all the divergent interest groups. 
Every staff observer kept a detailed journal, to which he appended 
all documents that he could obtain. These journals, which cover 
many thousands of pages, form the main body of material on which 
this volume is based. Excerpts from them are given footnote refer- 
ences as "Field Notes," with an indication of the date on which the 
observation was made. 

4 Including the junior author of and one of the contributors to Volume I. 

5 One of the Caucasian observers a contributor to this volume obtained con- 
fidential reports from a group of determined "disloyals" with whom no Japanese 
American staff member could possibly have established contact. 

In some notes the information obtained or the attitude expressed postdated 
the event described by a considerable period, but the information was usually 
obtained very soon after the event. Postdated material is, in general, open to 
greater suspicion of its validity than is current material, but this device was 
necessary partly to fill in gaps which became apparent only after a lapse of time, 
partly because, in certain periods of crisis, some of our observers were unable to 
establish or continue normal contacts with informants. 


Constant efforts had to be made to guard against betrayal of 
informants, and against divulging information even to friendly 
government agencies. In spite of the high regard accorded univer- 
sities in general, and the University of California in particular, by 
evacuees it soon became apparent that the Japanese Americans on 
our staff could not operate openly as employees of the University. 
To their fellow evacuees, "research" was synonymous with "inquisi- 
tion" and the distinction between "informant" and "informer" was 
not appreciated. Consequently every one of our evacuee staff mem- 
bers was stigmatized, or in danger of being stigmatized, as an inu 
(i.e., an "informer"; see Chapter X) by some of his fellow evacuees. 
The bases for the suspicions that led to this stigmatization were 
such acts as associating with the Caucasian personnel in the camps; 
taking notes in public meetings; using typewriters in their barracks; 
asking too-direct questions; receiving mail in envelopes marked 
"Evacuation and Resettlement Study"; and cashing university 
checks. Each of these acts raised suspicions that our staff members 
were operating as stool pigeons for the project administration or 
one of the governmental intelligence agencies, all of which, it was 
widely believed, employed operatives among the evacuees. Suspi- 
cion reached a maximum at the time of registration (see Chapter 
III), ebbed after segregation (see Chapter IV), recurred with every 
period of crisis in every camp (see, e.g., Chapter X), and was a factor 
that had to be considered from the inception until the closure of 
the camps. As a result, our evacuee staff members and collaborators 
had to exercise great ingenuity in establishing roles which would 
make it possible for them both to live as respected members of their 
own community and at the same time to carry on disinterested 
research for the study. Several of them were unable to resolve the 
conflict, and had to leave camp soon after the registration crisis. 

Although most of the officials in charge of the program of evacua- 
tion and detention gave unstinted cooperation, conflicts inevitably 
arose with those members of the administration camp, regional, 
and even national who conformed to Leighton's definition of the 
"stereotype-minded." 7 Administrators of this sort tended to dis- 

7 "To the stereotype-minded staff members the evacuees were Japanese first 
and people secondarily . . . This conception of the evacuees varied a little from 
one staff member to another, some leaning more to hostility and suspicion than 
others, but for each individual it remained pretty constant no matter what kind 


approve, on the one hand, of the "fraternization" through which 
Caucasian observers obtained their information and, on the other 
hand, of the refusal of all observers and of the director of the 
study, 8 to divulge current information they had obtained in the 
course of their research. Protection of the study's data in order that 
sources would not be dried up, was a constant problem facing every 
member of the staff. 

The management of observation raised a number of serious prob- 
lems. In the first place, the techniques of recording which we had to 
use meant that, in the beginning, each observer had to make an 
ad hoc selection of the events, words and acts that he considered 
worth recording. After these early observations were assembled and 
analyzed, the problems to be investigated became more sharply 
focused, and more purposeful selection was possible. 

In the second place, most of the observers were genuine partici- 
pants in the events they were recording. Evacuee observers were, 
like other evacuees, involuntarily detained in camps and their fate 
was closely bound up with the course of events they were observing, 
while Caucasian observers tended to develop an emotional identifi- 
cation with the group they were studying. The observers' subjective 
reactions, under these tense conditions, were considered important 
data in and of themselves, and were so recorded. One of our main 
methodological problems was that of separating subjective ad hoc 
interpretations from the more objective behaviorial records. 

In the third place, the situation under observation involved two 
cultures and two languages. This meant that we had to be on 
constant guard against linguistic and cultural distortion both in 
recording and in interpreting observations. 

It must be apparent that no techniques could be devised to assure 
complete success in overcoming all these methodological difficulties. 
One safeguard was, of course, the competence, intellectual honesty, 
self-control and self-correction of the observers themselves. Another 

of evacuee he was dealing with." Alexander H. Leighton, The Governing of 
Men, Princeton University Press. 1945. p. 84. 

Leighton, who, for a year, directed a sociological laboratory under the auspices 
of the Office of Indian Affairs, at the Poston Relocation Project, made a pene- 
trating analysis of conflict between the "people-minded" and "stereotype- 
minded" administrators in this camp. The subject is outside the scope of our 
investigation, but we were constantly, and often painfully, made aware of these 
intrastaff conflicts in all the camps we were studying. 

8 The senior author of this volume. 


safeguard was the interdisciplinary approach of the study (sociol- 
ogy, social psychology, anthropology, political science, economics) 
which resulted in a situation analogous to "differential diagno- 
sis." A third was the bicultural composition of the evacuee staff 
(Issei, Kibei, Nisei). A fourth was the utilization, wherever possible, 
of administrative and particularly quantitative materials collected 
independently of the study for checking or revising the generaliza- 
tions growing out of the materials of the study itself. 

Of the safeguards listed above, the first three were established 
and reinforced by frequent conferences of observers and other staff 
members with the director of the study and its advisors. Because 
California was a "prohibited area," to our Japanese American staff 
members, these conferences could never be held at the University 
of California. They were, therefore, arranged every few months in 
Denver, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, or Chicago, and extended over a 
period of a week or more, during which each observer and staff 
member presented his problems and findings for the detailed criti- 
cism and appraisal of his colleagues. Interspersed between these 
general conferences were visits of the director and advisors of the 
study to the several camp "laboratories" and of both evacuee and 
Caucasian observers from one camp to another, as well as constant 
interchange of field notes and reports. 

When the government program of resettling evacuees from the 
camps developed in early 1943, it became necessary to devise means 
of following up the experiences and adjustments of resettlers. Since 
the main area of resettlement was Chicago, part of the Japanese 
American staff was moved to that city where, through the courtesy 
of Dean Robert Redfield, an office was made available in the Uni- 
versity of Chicago. Here, again, participant observation was used, 
primarily to obtain records of the associational life of the resettling 
evacuees. Files of the several agencies concerned were utilized to 
provide as complete a record as possible of the ecological aspects of 
resettlement. Beginning in April, 1943, a series of case histories of 
resettlers was undertaken. Eventually, more than sixty-five resettlers 
cooperated in this phase of the study and submitted to repeated 
interviews. Extensive life histories of these informants were built 
up and a wealth of detail bearing on their experiential and atti- 
tudinal developments for a period up to two years after leaving 
camp was obtained. 


With the cessation of hostilities between Japan and America 
came the problem of organizing and analyzing the data collected 
over three and a half years and preparing volumes for publication. 9 
Eventually the preparation of a two-volume work on the main 
problems raised by evacuation and resettlement was decided upon. 10 
These problems were conceptualized in terms of the changing status 
of the Japanese minority in America, concomitant with evacuation, 
detention, dispersal, and return to the West Coast. 

This, the first volume, analyzes the experiences of that part of 
the minority group whose status in America was impaired: those 
of the immigrant generation who returned, after the war, to de- 
feated Japan; those of the second generation who relinquished 
American citizenship. It is, thus, concerned with the short-run 
"spoilage" resulting from evacuation and detention: the stigma- 
tization as "disloyal" to the United States of one out of every six 
evacuees; the concentration and confinement of this group in the 
Tule Lake Center; the repressive measures undertaken by govern- 
ment agencies, including martial law, incarceration and intern- 
ment; the successive protest movements of the group against these 
repressions, culminating in mass withdrawal from American citi- 
zenship. The scope of the volume is wide, and it is presented as 
what is believed to be a unique record and analysis of the con- 
tinuing process of interaction between government and governed, 
through the point-by-point reproduction of stages in the process of 
attitude formation. 

The second volume will include analysis of the short-run "sal- 
vage," i.e., the experiences of that part of the minority whose status 
in America was, at least temporarily, improved through dispersal 
and resettlement in the East and Middle West. This group includes 
one out of three 11 of the evacuees who left the camps to enter new 
areas as settlers, many participating directly in the war effort. 

9 We were bound, by various agreements, not to publish during the war. 

10 It is planned to publish at least two monographs concurrently with the two 
main volumes. One will deal with political and administrative aspects of evacua- 
tion and resettlement; the other with the ecology of "disloyalty." 

11 We limit the definition of "salvage" to those who resettled before the Army 
rescinded its exclusion orders in December, 1944. At that time, there were still 
more than 60,000 evacuees in War Relocation Authority camps, excluding Tule 
Lake. The bulk of them were young children (27 per cent) or middle aged and 
old adults (36 per cent). They resettled during 1945, following the War Reloca- 
tion Authority's forcible closure of camps. 


Not included in the present publication plans is analysis of the 
changing status of those evacuees who remained in camps until the 
relocation projects were liquidated and thereafter, for the most 
part, returned to the areas from which they had been evacuated. 
An analysis of this group should be made when it becomes possible 
to include an accounting of the residual, or long-run, effects of the 
forced mass migration of the Japanese minority. It is clear that 
these effects cannot be evaluated until after the passage of a con- 
siderable period of time. The "residue" of evacuation will include 
the net effects of short-run "spoilage" and "salvage" respectively; 
the extent to which those included in the former category who were 
able to remain in this country 12 become reabsorbed into the life 
of a more tolerant America; the extent to which the new foothold 
obtained by the latter is a permanent gain, or whether with increas- 
ing unemployment, members of this minority group will be among 
the "first to be fired" and again displaced. The residue of evacua- 
tion will also include other net effects: the extent to which parts of 
the "spoilage" and of the "salvage," as well as the many evacuees 
who left camps only when they were forced out by the closure policy 
of 1945, reestablish Japanese ghettos on the Pacific Coast and, cor- 
respondingly, the extent to which traditionally anti-Oriental pres- 
sure groups renew opposition to these minority concentrations. 

The two volumes in this series, and its technical monographs, as 
well as the great mass of unpublished material in our files, will, we 
hope, provide the essential groundwork for study of the residue and 
for various other analyses. In this connection, we point out that 
our complete collection of original data bearing on the Japanese 
minority will be made available to other research workers. The 
University of California Library at Berkeley will be the repository 
for all of our unpublished material as soon as restrictions on parts 
now classified as confidential can be relaxed. 13 

12 A large proportion (approximately one out of three) of the residents of Tule 
Lake either returned to Japan voluntarily during 1946 or are subject to involun- 
tary deportation. This group represents long-run "spoilage." 

13 Other important collections have been or will be deposited in this Library. 
Among these are (i) county and city maps on the preevacuation location of 
Japanese Americans in California, prepared under Governor Earl Warren's direc- 
tion when he was State Attorney General; (2) Lieutenant Commander Alexander 
Leighton's files on Poston, covering the social history of the first year of this 
relocation project; (3) official documents, census schedules, IBM cards, segrega- 
tion records, photographs, etc., prepared by the War Relocation Authority. 


The staff of the Evacuation and Resettlement Study are indebted 
to a large number of individuals and organizations. The most sig- 
nificant data of the study could not have been obtained without the 
wholehearted cooperation of a great number of evacuees, most of 
whom must remain anonymous. 14 

The study was initiated and carried on during a national emer- 
gency. It is difficult to see how it could have progressed beyond the 
blueprint stage without the encouragement and active support of 
five persons: Charles Aikin, Robert T. Crane, Richard M. Neu- 
stadt, Robert G. Sproul, and Donald R. Young. Generous financial 
support was obtained from the funds of the University of Cali- 
fornia, from its Social Science Institute, from the Giannini Founda- 
tion, and from the Columbia and Rockefeller Foundations. The 
Rockefeller Foundation is, in addition, contributing to the costs 
of publication. Thanks are due especially to Joseph H. Willits of 
the Rockefeller Foundation, Mrs. Marjorie Elkus of the Columbia 
Foundation, and Harry R. Wellman of the Giannini Foundation. 

The cooperation of agencies directly concerned with evacuation 
and resettlement is gratefully acknowledged. The study as a whole 
has benefited from unusually free access to unpublished 'documents 
and basic statistical data from the files of the War Relocation Au- 
thority. These were made available through the courtesy of Milton 
S. Eisenhower, Dillon S. Myer, Edward H. Spicer, Elmer L. Shirrell, 
Philip M. Glick, B. R. Stauber, Fern E. French, Evelyn M. Rose, 
Harvey M. Coverley, Robert B. Cozzens, and others. The War De- 
partment, through John J. McCloy and headquarters of the West- 
ern Defense Command and Fourth Army, have extended many 
courtesies. The latter, through Lieutenant Colonel David J. Mc- 
Fadden and Victor W. Nielsen of the Civil Affairs Division, has 
given access to various data, including the lists of pressure group 
members and of renunciants used in chapters XII and XIII. The 
Department of Justice has similarly made data available and thanks 
are due especially to Edward J. Ennis and John L. Burling. Ernest 
Besig of the American Civil Liberties Union has contributed im- 
portant documentary material 

14 George Kuratomi and J. Y. Kurihara gave permission for the use of their 
names. Most of the other evacuees referred to in this volume are designated by 
pseudonyms. The appendix contains brief biographical notes on the evacuees re- 
ferred to most frequently. 


The authors of this volume are incalculably indebted to W. I. 
Thomas who has read and criticized the whole manuscript and 
made many suggestions for revisions. Our greatest hope is that his 
influence will be apparent. Finally, thanks are due Mrs. Mary Wil- 
son for painstaking assistance in the preparation of the manuscript. 

D. s. T. 

R. S. N. 

Berkeley, California. 
April i, 1946. 





Expulsion of a Minority Group i 


Confinement behind Barbed Wire 24 


Administrative Determination of "Loyalty" and 
"Disloyalty" 53 


Separation of the "Loyal" and "Disloyal" ... 84 


Strikes, Threats, and Violence 113 


Martial Law 147 


Rise and Fall of the Coordinating Committee . 184 


Inception of Resegregationist Pressure . . . 221 


Period of Apathy 236 


Suspicion, Beatings, and Murder 261 


The Stockade Issue 283 




Pressure Tactics of the "Disloyal" 303 


Mass Relinquishment of American Citizenship . 333 


The Life History of a "Disloyal" 363 

Biographical Notes 370 

A Note on Terminology 379 

INDEX 381 



Evacuee residential barracks and utility buildings, Tuke Lake 27 

Evacuee residential barracks and firebreaks, Tule Lake . . 27 
Tule Lake Segregation Center 42 


I. Age pyramids of residents of Tule Lake and of residents 
of all other relocation projects (population 17 years of age or 
older as of December, 1942) 31 

II. Per cent of total population 17 years of age or older giv- 
ing nonaffirmative replies to question 28 or refusing to regis- 
ter, by relocation projects, February-March, 1943 .... 62 

III. Percentages of male-citizen and of male-alien popula- 
tion 17 years of age or older giving nonaffirmative replies to 
question 28 or refusing to register, by selected relocation proj- 
ects, February-March, 1943 63 

IV. Tule Lake: February-September, 1943. "Disloyal" as 

per cent of population 17 years of age or older 105 

V. Composition of adult population of Tule Lake Segrega- 
tion Center by project of origin 107 

VI. Age pyramids of old Tuleans and of transferees (popu- 
lation 17 years of age or older as of December, 1943) . . . 108 

VII. Distribution of blocks by per cent of voting population 
favoring status quo and per cent of transferees 182 



VIII. Tule Lake: Late 1944. Hoshi-dan and Hokoku mem- 
bers as per cent of population 171^ years of age or older . . 328 

IX. Frequency distribution per 1,000 of 4,390 families hav- 
ing citizen members eligible to renounce, by possible and 
actual renunciants 358 

X. Tule Lake: Early 1945. Renunciants as per cent of citi- 
zen population 171^ years of age or older 360 



Expulsion of a Minority Group 

\^Jw DECEMBER 7, 1941, there were in the conti- 
nental United States about 127,000 persons having common ances- 
try with the enemy that launched the Pearl Harbor attack. 1 Of 
these, 113,000 lived in the four states of California, Washington, 
Oregon, and Arizona, 94,000 being residents of California. A small 
minority, they represented less than one tenth of one per cent of 
the total American population, less than two per cent of the popu- 
lation in the state of their heaviest concentration (California). 
Sociologically as well as numerically, they held minority status, 
being biologically and culturally distinguishable from the white 
majority and, at the same time, competing with them sharply in 
economic activities. 2 

Some 47,000 of them had been born in Japan, and were known 
as Issei, or first-generation immigrants. Ninety-eight per cent of 
these had come to America prior to the Oriental Exclusion Act of 

1 Statistics cited in this chapter are, unless otherwise specified, from the Six- 
teenth Census of the United States. The correct date of reference is, therefore, 
April, 1940. No attempt has been made to adjust the statistics to December, 
1941, since the rounded figures, as quoted, are sufficiently accurate for present 

Most of the census data on the Japanese American minority have been sum- 
marized in a series of bulletins (Numbers 1-12) published by U. S. Army, Western 
Defense Command and Fourth Army, Wartime Civil Control Administration, 
Statistical Section, between March 17, 1942, and March 15, 1943. Other sum- 
maries are included in U.S. Bureau of the Census. i6th Census of the United 
States, 1940. Population. Characteristics of the Nonwhite Population by Race. 
Washington, Government Printing Office, 1943. 

2 See Donald Young, American Minority Peoples (New York. Harper and 
Brothers, 1932), for analysis of the social characteristics of American minority 



1924, almost half of the total having arrived before igio. 3 With 
numerically unimportant exceptions/ they were ineligible to Amer- 
ican citizenship. In the states where they had settled in largest num- 
bers, they were forbidden to own land. 

Some 80,000 of them were born in America, the children (known 
as Nisei 5 ) or the grandchildren (known as Sansei) of immigrant 
Japanese. By virtue of birth on American soil, they held American 
citizenship. Most of them had been educated in American schools 
and, along with their classmates of the majority group (known on 
the West Coast as "Caucasians") had been indoctrinated in demo- 
cratic principles. In only a few isolated communities had they been 
forced to attend segregated schools for nonwhites. Although, as 
citizens, they could own land, they, along with their parents, were 
subjected to many forms of discrimination in the western states. 
Residential choice was limited by covenants. Intermarriage with 
Caucasians was forbidden in most western states. Free access to 
certain places of public recreation (e.g., swimming pools and dance 
halls) was prohibited. Most severe in their effects were informal 
restrictions on entrance to occupations and professions for which 
their education had fitted them. 

3 Estimated from a 25 per cent sample of residents of three relocation projects 
(War Relocation Authority, manuscript tables). 

4 Aliens otherwise ineligible to citizenship were made eligible by an act of 
Congress (U.S. 49 Stat., 1935, 397-398) passed in June, 1935, if (a) they had served 
in the U.S. armed forces between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, and been 
honorably discharged, and (b) they were permanent residents of the United 
States. A small number of Issei obtained citizenship under this act before the 
deadline, which was set at January i, 1937. 

5 "Nisei" is used throughout these volumes as synonymous with "American- 
born" and, therefore, includes Sansei. 

6 The level of education attained by Nisei was extraordinarily high, and, for 
persons 25 years of age and older exceeded that of native whites of native parent- 
age in the four western states. (See U.S. Army, Western Defense Command and 
Fourth Army. Wartime Civil Control Administration. Statistical Division. Char- 
acteristics of the Japanese Population. Bulletin 12, March 15, 1943, p. 21.) But 
because of the greater concentration of Nisei at younger ages than is true of other 
population groups, comparisons of this kind are not wholly reliable. Limiting 
comparison to white groups aged 25-34 in California (the state of heaviest settle- 
ment and of highest educational level in the western area), the generalization 
still holds for males: 57 per cent of the Nisei had completed at least four years of 
high school, compared with 53 per cent for native whites of native parentage and 
48 per cent for native whites of foreign or mixed parentage. For Nisei females, 
the percentage was 53 per cent, compared with 59 per cent and 51 per cent for 
the two white population groups. 


Most of the Nisei were bicultural, though their habits and atti- 
tudes conformed to the American pattern to a far greater extent 
than to the Japanese. Japanese was the language used between 
parents and children in the home but very rarely between siblings 
outside the home. Japanese festivals were celebrated, some Japa- 
nese food was eaten, marriages were often arranged through inter- 
mediaries, Buddhism was their religious faith more frequently 
than Christianity. 7 Most Nisei, unwilling though they were, had 
been required by their parents to attend, in their spare time, pri- 
vately operated Japanese language schools. Some Nisei had been 
sent to Japan, and there they were cared for by their grandparents 
and other relatives, attended school, formed Japanese habits and 
were indoctrinated with Japanese ideologies. Returning to America 
these Nisei who were known as "Kibei" 8 most frequently found 
themselves handicapped linguistically and culturally and displaced 
among their America-oriented brothers and sisters. On the other 
hand, in the case of a certain number of individuals, usually eco- 
nomically and socially advantaged, the experience resulted in an 
often excellent integration of the two cultures. 

7 Results of a 25 per cent sample of evacuees in ten relocation projects in 1942 
indicate that, of the American-born aged 14 and over, 50 per cent claimed Bud- 
dhism; 38 per cent Christianity; 10 per cent "no religion." Two per cent did not 
answer the question. (War Relocation Authority, manuscript tables.) 

8 "The literal meaning of 'Kibei' is 'returned to America.' . . . Therefore, the 
term could be taken to include any individual who has gone to Japan from 
America, for however short a time, and then returned to this country. For the 
term to be useful in defining a type of person, however, it must be narrowed. . . . 
Japanese Americans use the term Kibei to apply to those educated in whole or 
in part in Japan. Usage, however, among the second generation Japanese in 
America . . . has given a special meaning to the word 'Kibei.' It is applied to 
individuals not merely because they have been to school in Japan. It is reserved 
for those whose behavior is not like that of American youths; young men and 
women in the Japanese-American communities who spoke Japanese among 
themselves preferably to English and who otherwise behaved in what the Nisei 
regarded as a 'Japanesy' manner." (War Relocation Authority, Community 
Analysis Section, Community Analysis Report No. 8, January 28, 1944, mim. 

In the report cited, analysis of a 25 per cent sample of American-born residents 
of ten relocation projects shows that 12.9 per cent of the total American-born had 
received some schooling in Japan. This analysis, however, takes no account of 
the age factor. Our own reworking of WRA statistics shows that only 2 per cent 
of Nisei under 15 years of age had resided in Japan for more than a year and 
that 93 per cent of them had never been in Japan. Of those over 15 years of age, 
however, 38 per cent had visited or resided in Japan, and approximately 20 per 
cent had attended schools there. Defined on this basis, then, one out of five Nisei 
15 years of age or older in 1943 was a Kibei. 


The Issei, like all immigrant groups in the American population 
in the 1940*5, were old. Half of them were 50 years of age or older; 
17 per cent had passed their sixtieth birthday; and only 8 per cent 
were under 35 years of age. In contrast, the Nisei were characterized 
by extreme youth, two thirds of them being under 20 years of age 
and less than 3 per cent having reached 35. 

Occupationally, the West Coast group was split 45-55 between 
agricultural and nonagricultural pursuits. The bulk of the farm- 
ers operated as tenants, or sharecroppers, but there were around 
1,600 Japanese-owned farms with title vested in Nisei. 

Truck farming predominated, and in this branch of activity 
Japanese American farmers had achieved importance far greater 
than the size of their group would suggest. In .California, for ex- 
ample, they produced 30-35 per cent of all truck crops, and in 
some crops, e.g., fresh snap beans, celery, and strawberries, had a 
virtual monopoly. 10 

Of those in nonagricultural pursuits, two out of five were en- 
gaged in trade, and almost as great a proportion in personal and 
commercial services. Few were laborers in mechanical and manu- 
facturing industries, and fewer still had attained status in the 
professions. As a whole the group belonged to the small entrepre- 
neurial and service classes and was closely dependent upon agricul- 
ture, irrespective of occupational classification. 

Demographically, they were indistinguishable from the majority 
group, with a high expectation of life and a low pattern of fertility. 11 
Socially, the group was cohesive, with a high degree of family soli- 
darity. Delinquency rates were low, and very few were found on 
relief rolls. 

These were the people who were subject to increasingly severe 
restrictions from the outbreak of war until their forced mass migra- 
tion, concentration, and detention in government-operated camps. 

Most of the very early restrictions imposed on the Japanese mi- 

9 Of 6,170 Japanese-operated farms, 70 per cent were tenant-operated. 

10 See report by Lloyd H. Fisher, in U.S. Congress. House. Select Committee 
Investigating National Defense Migration. National Defense Migration, Hear- 
ings, 77th Congress, 2d Session. Pt. 31, Washington, Government Printing Office, 
1942, pp. 11,815-11,832. 

11 See George Sabagh and Dorothy S. Thomas, "Changing Patterns of Fertility 
and Survival among the Japanese Americans on the Pacific Coast." American 
Sociological Review, October, 1945. 


nority after the outbreak of the war applied only to the "enemy 
aliens" within the group. The only sense in which these restrictions 
were discriminatory was that almost all immigrants of Japanese 
origin were, because of their ineligibility to citizenship, automati- 
cally classified as "enemy aliens," a situation in sharp contrast with 
that facing immigrants from the two other enemy nations, Italy and 
Germany, a large proportion of whom had become naturalized 
American citizens and were thus exempt from the enemy-alien 

Presidential proclamations on December 7 and 8 made enemy 
aliens subject to apprehension and internment, restricted them in 
traveling, prohibited them from possessing a large number of con- 
traband items, and designated them for possible exclusion from 
military zones. The Attorney General of the United States was 
charged with the execution of the terms of the proclamations. 

The first official acts taken against enemy aliens occurred within 
a few hours after the Pearl Harbor attack, when agents of the Fed- 
eral Bureau of Investigation began to round up those suspected of 
subversive activities. These arrests were based on lists previously 
compiled by various intelligence agencies. By nighttime hundreds 
of Japanese nationals had been taken into custody. In succeeding 
days arrests multiplied, and by February 16, 1942, 2,192 Japanese 
aliens had been placed under arrest in the United States, 1,266 of 
them from the Pacific Coast. 12 Because of the manner in which the 
attack had been launched by the enemy at Pearl Harbor, and be- 
cause of wild stories (later proved to be entirely unfounded) 13 con- 
cerning a Japanese fifth column in Hawaii, Japanese nationals in 
the United States were apprehended and held on slighter evidence 
than were aliens of other enemy nationalities. 14 

"Department of Justice, Press Releases, December 8 and December 13, 1941; 
February 16, 1942. 

13 There was, for example, no act of sabotage committed by resident Japanese 
either in Hawaii or on the mainland, but even this fact was distorted to the dis- 
advantage of the minority. The Commanding General of the Western Defense 
Command stated, "The very fact that no sabotage has taken place to date is a 
disturbing and confirming indication that such action will be taken." (U.S. Army, 
Western Defense Command and Fourth Army. Final Report, Japanese Evacua- 
tion from the West Coast, 1942. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1943, 

P- 34-) 

14 Extensive "spot" raids on Japanese Americans were later undertaken at the 
request of the Western Defense Command by agents of the FBI, accompanied by 


Following quickly upon the initial arrests and incarcerations of 
aliens of enemy nationality, instructions were issued to all transpor- 
tation companies prohibiting travel of "Japanese individuals" by 
train, plane, bus or vessel. The Treasury Department froze assets 
and credits, and business enterprises operated by enemy aliens were 
ordered closed. 15 

It soon became apparent that both official and popular classifi- 
cations of members of the Japanese minority failed to make any 
differentiation on the basis of citizenship. As early as December 8, 
the status of Nisei 16 as American citizens was disregarded in favor 
of their status as descendants of the Japanese enemy. Thus the re- 
striction on travel referred to "Japanese individuals" and was inter- 
preted as applying both to aliens and citizens. 17 This confusion of 
citizens with aliens became especially marked on the West Coast 
where about 90 per cent of all persons of Japanese ancestry resided. 
In this area strategic points on highways were watched, and Japa- 
nese Americans, aliens and citizens alike, were stopped and ques- 
tioned; many were held for days by local law-enforcement officers, 
no charges being filed against them. Many Japanese Americans 
were dismissed from private employment; others were evicted from 
their residences. Grocery stores and other business firms refused to 
sell them goods, and extensive economic and social boycotts de- 
veloped against them. By the first week in February, confusion of 
alien ancestry with alien status had reached a point where the Cali- 
fornia State Personnel Board voted unanimously to bar from future 
civil service positions all "descendants of nationals with whom the 

local and state law-enforcement officers. The most important positions involved 
were the large Japanese settlement on Terminal Island in the Los Angeles Har- 
bor area; the Japanese area on Bainbridge Island, near the Bremerton Navy 
Yard (Washington); the town of Vallejo, California, near the Mare Island Navy 
Yard; the Palos Verdes area in Los Angeles County, and the California coastal 
counties of Monterey and Santa Cruz. Searches of Japanese-occupied homes and 
apprehension of Japanese nationals recurred at frequent intervals. For example, 
it was reported that the FBI arrested 119 Japanese aliens in northern Califor- 
nia on February 21 (San Francisco Examiner, February 22, 1942); 93 in the same 
area on March 6 (Oakland Tribune, March 7, 1942); about 200 in southern 
California on March 13 (Nichi Bei, March 15, 1942); about 100 in central Cali- 
fornia on March 26 (Nichi Bei, March 28, 1942). 

15 Some of these restrictions were relaxed or rescinded within a short period. 

18 Sixty-four per cent of the total Japanese group in the western states were 
Nisei; of those 21 years of age or older, 36 per cent were Nisei. 

17 This restriction was modified within a few days to exempt Nisei. 


United States is at war." 18 Though technically covering "descend- 
ants" of Germans, Italians, and Japanese alike, the order was 
applied only against Nisei. 

Meanwhile, John L. DeWitt, Commanding General of the West- 
ern Defense Command, was urging a program of tightened control, 
asking specifically for the delineation of "zones" to be prohibited 
to aliens of enemy nationality and "areas" within which their 
activities could be more radically restricted. 

In line with these recommendations, Attorney General Biddle 
announced, on January 29, two prohibited zones, one on the San 
Francisco waterfront and one around the Municipal Airport of Los 
Angeles. German, Italian, and Japanese aliens were instructed to 
evacuate these areas before February 24- 19 Between January 31 and 
February y, the Attorney General delimited 133 additional pro- 
hibited zones in the vicinity of airports, hydroelectric dams and 
power plants, gas and electric plants, airfields, pumping stations, 
harbor areas, and military installations. The majority of zones were 
small, usually circles of i ,000 feet radii or rectangles of several city 
blocks. 20 On February 4, twelve "restricted areas" were defined, 
eleven being small zones surrounding hydroelectric plants in Cali- 
fornia, but the twelfth encompassing the entire coastal strip from 
the Oregon border south to a point approximately 50 miles north 
of Los Angeles and extending inland for distances varying from 30 
to 150 miles. Regulations for these areas required that enemy aliens 
remain within their places of residence between the hours of 9 P.M. 
and 6 A.M.; (2) that at all other times during the day they be found 
only at their place of residence or employment or traveling between 
those two places, or within a distance of not more than five miles 
from their place of residence; (3) that if found disobeying the regu- 
lations they be subject to immediate apprehension and intern- 
ment. 21 

The problem of the removal and resettlement of aliens of enemy 
nationalities and their families from prohibited zones was placed 
on a voluntary basis. A deadline had to be met, but the evacuees 

18 Minutes of the Meeting of the California State Personnel Board, January 27 
and 28, 1942. 

19 Department of Justice, Press Release, January 29, 1942. 

20 Ibid., January 31, February 2, February 4 and February 7, 1942. 

21 Ibid., February 4, 1942. 


were free to choose any residence outside the prohibited zones. At 
the same time a social assistance program was developed to imple- 
ment their resettlement, and the principal responsibility for de- 
veloping this program was vested in the Federal Security Agency. 
Simultaneously, Tom C. Clark, a representative of the Department 
of Justice, was made coordinator of the control program with the 
Western Defense Command. 

Many of the dispossessed found refuge in the homes of relatives 
and neighbors just outside the prohibited zones. The hostility of 
public opinion, which will be described later, made further exten- 
sive movements most difficult. Housing and employment were al- 
most impossible to find, and the government had, up to this time, 
made no arrangement for custodianship of the property of eva- 
cuees, who could, according to one of the high-ranking officials in 
charge of the program, do no more than "either turn over their 
business to their creditors at great loss or abandon it entirely" while 
"the commercial buzzards" were "taking great advantage of this 
hardship, making offers way below even inventory cost, and very 
much below real value." 22 

Approximately 10,000 aliens of enemy nationality resided in pro- 
hibited zones that were to be evacuated by February 24. Before the 
movement could be completed, DeWitt recommended that piece- 
meal voluntary evacuation of enemy aliens from small zones under 
the auspices of the Department of Justice be superseded by forced 
mass evacuation from large areas, under War Department auspices, 
of not only enemy aliens but also of "all Japanese" and any other 
classes or persons who might be specified. Alien enemies would be 
evacuated and interned under guard, while Japanese American 
citizens would be offered an opportunity to accept voluntary in- 
ternment and those who declined would "be excluded from mili- 
tary areas, and left to their own resources, or, in the alternative, 
be encouraged to accept resettlement outside of such military areas 
with such assistance as the state governments concerned or the 
Federal Security Agency may be by that time prepared to offer." 23 

22 Field Notes (based on a manuscript by this official), February 18, 1942. 

23 DeWitt to Secretary of War, "Final Recommendations of the Commanding 
General, Western Defense Command and Fourth Army, February 14, 1942." 
U.S. Army. Western Defense Command and Fourth Army. Final Report, Japa- 
nese Evacuation from the West Coast, 1942. Washington, Government Printing 
Office, 1943, p. 37. 


DeWitt's recommendations were quickly acted upon, but with- 
out specification of the groups to be evacuated or the Military 
Commander who should order evacuation. On February 19 Presi- 
dent Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, authorizing 

the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from 
time to time designate ... to prescribe military areas . . . from which any 
or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any 
person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restriction 
the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose 
in his discretion. 

And the Secretary of War, on February 20, delegated to General 
DeWitt the authority 

to carry out the duties and responsibilities imposed by said Executive 
Order for that portion of the United States embraced in the Western De- 
fense Command, including such changes in the prohibited and restricted 
areas heretofore designated by the Attorney General as you deem proper 
to prescribe. 24 

General DeWitt promptly prescribed "military areas" and de- 
fined classes of persons who should be excluded from these areas. 
On March 2 he issued "Public Proclamation Number One," desig- 
nating the. western third of Washington and Oregon, the western 
half of California and the southern quarter of Arizona as Military 
Area No. i an area from which, he announced, all persons of Japa- 
nese ancestry as well as German and Italian aliens would be ex- 
cluded. The remainder of the four states was called Military Area 
No. 2, within which there were a number of small "prohibited 
zones," but which was otherwise unrestricted. Although Proclama- 
tion Number One had referred to aliens of all enemy nationalities 
as well as to all persons of Japanese ancestry, no mass action was 
ever taken with regard to Germans and Italians. A press release 
accompanying the proclamation stated that orders would be issued 
"requiring all Japanese, including those who are American born, 
to vacate all of Military Area No. i." Such persons "will be required 
by future orders to leave certain critical points within the military 
areas first. These areas will be defined and announced shortly." 
Following this, "a gradual program of exclusion from the remain- 
der of Military Area No. i will be developed." 25 

24 Secretary of War to DeWitt, February 20, 1942, ibid., p. 25. 

25 Western Defense Command and Fourth Army, Press Release, March 3, 1942. 


Simultaneously, restrictions previously imposed on enemy aliens 
were extended to American citizens of Japanese ancestry. Proclama- 
tion No. i required Nisei to execute "change of address" notices. 
And Proclamation No. 3, on March 24, established a curfew, pro- 
hibited traveling "more than five miles from their place of resi- 
dence," and imposed contraband regulations. 

Up to this point, plans of the Western Defense Command called 
for exclusion but not detention. The Command was interested in 
removing, as a matter of "military necessity," 28 " the whole Japanese 
minority (which it regarded as "potential enemies" 266 ) 'from strate- 
gic areas on the West Coast. It had no interest in the process of 
resettlement, provided this resettlement was outside the areas 
marked for exclusion. As will be described in Chapter II, the War 
Relocation Authority, a nonmilitary organization, was created to 
implement resettlement, although its program was later diverted 
to one of detention. Meantime, in order to facilitate evacuation, 
DeWitt, on March 14, 27 formed the Wartime Civil Control Admin- 
istration, which in turn established 48 offices in centers of Japanese 
population. Because it was realized that some evacuees might not, 
for physical or economic reasons, be able to find homes and jobs in 
other areas and thus meet evacuation deadlines, construction of 
two "reception centers," one at Manzanar, California, and the 
other near Parker, Arizona, was rushed to accommodate them tem- 

Evacuation by individual initiative, however, met many ob- 
stacles due primarily to public hostility in the receiving areas. 28 The 
protest against the influx of Japanese Americans was especially 
vehement in the interior counties of California. Persons of Japa- 
nese lineage "considered too dangerous to remain on the West 

260 DeWitt to Chief of Staff, U.S. Army. Letter of transmittal June 5, 1943. U.S. 
Army. Western Defense Command and Fourth Army. Final Report, Japanese 
Evacuation from the West Coast, 1942. Washington, Government Printing Office, 
1943, p. vii. Also DeWitt to Secretary of War, "Final Recommendations of the 
Commanding General, Western Defense Command and Fourth Army, February 
14, 1942." Ibid., pp. 33-34. 

266 Ibid., p. 34 

27 Wartime Civil Control Administration, Press Release, March 14, 1942. In 
the U.S. Army Fnal Report (op. tit.} it is stated on p. 41 and p. 66 that WCCA 
was established on March 11; on p. 106 and elsewhere the date is given as 
March 12. 

28 See pp. 24-25. 


Coast [were] similarly regarded by state and local authorities, and 
by the population of the interior."* 

There was general agreement that voluntary migration of eva- 
cuees should cease, 30 and on March 27 General DeWitt issued 
Public Proclamation Number Four, "freezing" all persons of Japa- 
nese ancestry in Military Area No. i as of midnight, March 29. 
From that date, voluntary movement ceased, and plans were de- 
veloped both for controlled mass evacuation and for detention of 
the evacuees until the War Relocation Authority could assume 
control. It became apparent that the plan for two "reception cen- 
ters" was inadequate. Sites for a number of detention camps had 
to be found quickly within the exclusion area. In all, fifteen such 
camps called "Assembly Centers" were established, for the most 
part at large fairgrounds and race tracks. The acquisition of the 
first of this type of center, the Santa Anita race track near Los An- 
geles, was announced on March ig, 31 and the Manzanar Reception 
Center was also used for this purpose. 32 

Evacuation was accomplished by a series of Civilian Exclusion 
Orders, each of which covered a defined area within the total Pro- 
hibited Zone. Civilian Exclusion Order No. i was issued on March 
24, and led to the mass evacuation five days later of 258 persons of 
Japanese ancestry from Bainbridge Island, Washington, to Man- 
zanar. 33 The second forced migration from the coastal area in Los 
Angeles County to Santa Anita involving some 2,500 Japanese 
Americans, took place on April 5. Civilian Exclusion Order No. 99, 
defining a small area near Sacramento, cleared the last of the eva- 
cuees from Military Area No. i (June 6, 1942). In all, 100,313 per- 
sons of Japanese ancestry were evacuated, by virtue of Civilian 
Exclusion Orders Nos. 199, from Military Area No. i, 90,307 of 

20 U.S. Army. Western Defense Command and Fourth Army, Final Report, 
Japanese Evacuation from the West Coast, 1942. Washington, Government Print- 
ing Office, 1943, p. 43. 

30 Ibid., p. 106. See p. 25 for recommendations by Director of the War Reloca- 
tion Authority. 

31 Wartime Civil Control Administration, Press Release, March 19, 1942. 

32 Parker was never used as an assembly center. It became a relocation project 
operated by the Indian Service under WRA control and was renamed Poston. 
See pp. 27-28. 

88 There was a voluntary mass movement of some 2,100 persons from Los An- 
geles to the Manzanar Reception Center, which was then still in the process of 
construction, beginning on March 21, 1942. 


them moving to assembly centers, the remainder directly to reloca- 
tion projects. 34 (See Chapter II.) 

In announcing the first evacuations, the Western Defense Com- 
mand had designated roughly the eastern two thirds of Washington 
and Oregon, the eastern half of California, and the northern three 
quarters of Arizona as "Military Area No. 2." Although this area 
contained a number of small prohibited zones, it soon became 
known as the "Free Zone" or "White Zone," the natural destina- 
tion of voluntary migrants who sought to establish homes and busi- 
nesses as near as possible to the area from which they were being 
evacuated. In this, they were encouraged explicitly by various gov- 
ernment agencies. Proclamation Number One by General DeWitt 
had assured them that "the designation of Military Area No. 2 as 
such does not contemplate any prohibition or regulation or re- 
striction except with respect to the [prohibited] zones established 
therein." Tom C. Clark further urged voluntary evacuees to "save 
themselves unnecessary trouble, hardship and expense by moving 
at least beyond the confines of Military Area No. i and also outside 
the smaller 'prohibited' zones in Military Area No. 2." 35 At no time 
was official warning given evacuees against settling in the unre- 
stricted territory of Military Area No. 2. Before the freezing orders 
were enforced, more than 4,000 evacuees, almost one half of the 
total group of voluntary migrants, 38 moved to the California por- 
tion of Military Area No. 2, with travel permits and in some cases 
traveling funds provided by the military authorities. Suddenly, on 
June 2, 1942, the Commanding General of the Western Defense 
Command and Fourth Army issued Public Proclamation Number 
Six, prohibiting all persons of Japanese ancestry from leaving the 
California 37 portion of Military Area No. 2, establishing a curfew 
for them and announcing that they would be excluded "from said 

34 U.S. Army, op. cit., pp. 357 and 375. 

35 Western Defense Command and Fourth Army, Press Release, March 7, 1942. 
Italics theirs. 

38 "Approximately 9,000 persons of Japanese ancestry voluntarily [migrated] 
from Military Area No. i to interior points." U.S. Army. Western Defense Com- 
mand and Fourth Army. Final Report, Japanese Evacuation from the West 
Coast, 1942. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1943, p. 43. 

37 It is significant, in consideration of the public and political pressures, that 
only the California portion of Military Area No. 2 was covered by these later 
evacuation orders. Corresponding portions of Washington, Oregon, and Arizona 
were not designated in the orders and were never evacuated. 


California portion of Military Area No. 2 by future orders or 
proclamations." The first Civilian Exclusion Order for this area 
was issued on June 27, and by August 8 all persons of Japanese 
ancestry, aliens and citizens alike, had been removed from the 
eastern part of California. In all, 9,337 evacuees were encompassed 
in Civilian Exclusion Orders ioo-io8, 38 almost half of whom were 
experiencing a second uprooting in less than six months. When 
this movement was completed, the total number of persons forcibly 
removed from the Western States was iog,65o. 39 

The mechanics of forced evacuation operated with extraordinary 
speed and precision. The Wartime Civil Control Administration 
had set forth six principles to guide the movement: 

First, it was determined that the areas to be evacuated would be handled 
so far as possible in the order of their relative military importance. . . . 

Second, it was determined that the evacuation would not split family 
units or communities where this could be avoided. . . . The basic principle 
of maintaining communities was adopted to maintain a natural commu- 
nity and economic balance and to preserve desirable institutions by mov- 
ing each family with its relatives and friends. 

Third, it was determined that the program should entail a minimum of 
financial loss to the evacuees; that all possible advice and assistance be 
available to (but not forced upon) evacuees. . . . 

Fourth, it was desired that a minimum of active military units and other 
military personnel be used in the program; that, instead, the evacuation 
should be accomplished as far as practicable by civilian personnel, making 
full use of Federal and State civilian agency facilities. . . . 

Fifth, it was desired that the evacuated population not only be removed 
to areas outside of the critical military area as rapidly as practicable, but 
also to locations where the evacuees could be relatively self-supporting for 
the duration. . . . 

Sixth, it was concluded that evacuation and relocation [resettlement] 
could not be accomplished simultaneously. This was the heart of the plan. 
It entailed provision for a transitory phase. It called for the establishment 
of Assembly Centers at or near each center of evacuee population. These 
Centers were to be designed to provide shelter and messing facilities and 
the minimum essentials for the maintenance of health and morale. 40 

In each area covered by a Civilian Exclusion Order, a civil con- 
trol station, staffed with representatives of the Federal Reserve 
Bank, the Farm Security Administration, and the associated agen- 

38 U.S. Army. Western Defense Command and Fourth Army. Final Report, 
Japanese Evacuation from the West Coast, 1942. Washington, Government Print- 
ing Office, 1943, p. 357. 

39 Ibid. 40 Ibid., pp. 77-78. 


cies of the Federal Security Agency, was set up. The head of each 
evacuee family was required to report at the station, at a specified 
time, for instructions and registration. 

The control station was so set up that evacuees could be "proc- 
essed" with a minimum of time and confusion. During the proc- 
essing, the evacuee was told of services offered by the Farm Security 
Administration and the Federal Reserve Bank for property pro- 
tection. His needs with respect to food, shelter, and clothing in the 
interim before the date of moving were ascertained, and disbursal 
vouchers were issued where necessary/ 1 

Evacuees were instructed to carry with them on departure bed- 
ding and linen, toilet articles, extra clothes, tableware, and "essen- 
tial personal effects." The size and amount of goods to be taken 
was "limited to that which can be carried by the individual or the 
family group.""- No provision was made for shipping of household 
goods to the assembly centers. 

Failure to protect the property of aliens leaving the first "pro- 
hibited zones" designated by the Department of Justice had re- 
sulted in widespread distress. The mass evacuation of citizens as 
well as aliens, under the Army program, made provision for prop- 
erty protection even more urgent, and the War Department had 
finally requested the assistance of the Treasury Department. 

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco had been designated 
by the Secretary of the Treasury as the authority to undertake the 
property conservation program. 43 A special delegation of power had 
been made by the Secretary of the Treasury to the Secretary of 
Agriculture who, in turn, had designated the Farm Security Ad- 
ministration as the agency to administer the farm property pro- 
gram. Though there were some borderline cases, the division of 
responsibility between the Federal Reserve Bank and the Farm 
Security Administration was clear; the former agency handled per- 
sonal property and household goods, motor vehicles, and non- 
agricultural businesses; the latter was charged with responsibility 
over farms and farm equipment. 

41 Only a small number of evacuees asked for or received such aid. 

4 - Actually, no great restrictions were placed in practice on the amount of hand 
luggage taken to Assembly Centers. Packages which the family was unable to 
carry were usually transported by baggage cars or trucks. 

43 See Joint Statement of Alien Property Custodian and Secretary of the Treas- 
ury, Treasury Department, Press Release, March 12, 1942. 


To protect the evacuees from forced sales, both the Federal Re- 
serve Bank and the Farm Security Administration were given 
authority to "freeze" transactions involving the property of eva- 
cuees. Evacuees were also informed that 

no Japanese need sacrifice any personal property of value. If he cannot 
dispose of it at a fair price, he will have opportunity to store it prior to the 
time he is forced to evacuate by Exclusion Order. Persons who attempt to 
take advantage of Japanese evacuees by trying to obtain property at sacri- 
fice prices are un-American, unfair, and are deserving only of the severest 

The important safeguard of "freezing" was never used by the 
Federal Reserve Bank and in only a single instance by the Farm 
Security Administration. The opportunity for voluntarily storing 
personal property was qualified by the fact that evacuees had to 
agree that property delivered to the Federal Reserve Bank would 
be "at the sole risk" of the owner and, consequently, very few eva- 
cuees took advantage of the facilities offered. The property form 
which evacuees were required to sign stated: 

It is agreed that no liability or responsibility shall be assumed by the 
Federal Reserve Bank . . . for any act or omission in connection with its 
[the property's] disposition. It is understood that no insurance will be 
provided on this property/ 5 

The Bank undertook a definite policy of encouraging liquida- 
tion and by far the greatest number of evacuees sold their property 
at distress prices, gave it away, or stored it at their own expense and 

As a whole, Japanese American merchants and businessmen were 
faced with problems that made equitable settlement impossible. 
In the space of a few weeks they were required to sell or liquidate 
their business interests and their business properties. The compul- 
sory nature of the movement placed them under every conceivable 
commercial disadvantage. Buyers as a rule were unwilling to pay 
reasonable prices when fully aware of the fact that a sale would 
have to be made, whatever the price, if the owner were to salvage 
anything from his enterprise. The shortness of time and the fact 
that there were many evacuees in the same predicament gave every 

u Wartime Civil Control Administration, Press Release, March 29, 1942. 
45 Personal Property Form, Wartime Civil Control Administration, Form 


advantage to even the honest buyer. For the dishonest, the con- 
fusion and fears of the evacuees made fraud and cheating easy. 
Many cases of forced sales were put on the record. 

This resulted in something close to disaster for virtually every 
Japanese American businessman. Precise data on losses are difficult 
to obtain, but it may safely be concluded that every evacuee in- 
curred some loss, that many of them suffered severe and irreparable 
losses, both tangible and intangible, and that the burden fell more 
heavily upon the small owner than the large. 

The Farm Security Administration arranged for transfer of farm 
properties to Caucasian tenants and corporations and, in many 
cases, provided loans for the latter. It had two functions: (i) insur- 
ing the continuation of full farm production, and (2) protecting 
the evacuated farmer from unfair and inequitable transfers. In 
practice, these ends were frequently incompatible. However clear 
the twofold emphasis was in the abstract, the practical policy of the 
Wartime Civil Control Administration and the Farm Security Ad- 
ministration was geared principally to insuring farm production 
and only secondarily to minimizing evacuee losses. 

Evacuee farmers were in the worst bargaining position possible. 
The evacuation came during late spring and summer months, after 
planting and fertilizing but before harvesting. The authorities 
urged Japanese Americans to continue their farming activities and 
warned them that destruction of crops was sabotage and would be 
punished as such. The Tolan Committee, which investigated the 
problems of evacuation, stated that "while supporting the exhorta- 
tion of the Wartime Civil Control Administration to the evacuees 
to continue farming operations up to the time of evacuation as a 
demonstration of loyalty," it felt "nevertheless constrained to point 
out that this policy has frequently worked to the economic dis- 
advantage of the evacuees or has proved beyond their economic 
means to carry out." 48 The continuation of farming operations re- 
quired, for example, the utilization of farm implements to the very 
last moment, thus making it more difficult to find acceptable offers 
for the equipment when the evacuation order finally came. Again, 

46 U.S. Congress. House. Select Committee Investigating National Defense 
Migration. National Defense Migration, Fourth Interim Report. 77th Congress, 
ad Session. Findings and Recommendations on Evacuation of Enemy Aliens and 
Others from Prohibited Military Zones. Washington, Government Printing Of- 
fice, 1942, p. 15. 


continued farming operations required payment for sprays, fer- 
tilizers, labor, and other farm necessities which were a drain upon 
the farmer's resources. A farmer who obeyed the dictates of the 
Wartime Civil Control Administration found himself in the posi- 
tion of having a substantial portion of his total resources involved 
in growing field crops. Since evacuation made it impossible for him 
to harvest this crop, it was necessary for him to accept the best offer 

Instances were soon encountered where the interests of landlords, credi- 
tors and potential purchasers of crops and farm assets came into conflict, 
not only with the interests of Japanese farmers, but also with those of 
each other. Landlords, because of the presence of non-assignability clauses 
in leases, sought to deprive Japanese farm operators of their crops and 
leasehold interests. Conditional contract sellers were ready to exercise for- 
feitures based upon breaches which would be necessitated by the enforced 
evacuation. Landlords, creditors, and prospective purchasers were ready to 
take advantage in other ways of the adverse bargaining position of Japa- 
nese evacuees, even at the cost of serious loss of agricultural production. 47 

Before and during the period when evacuees were desperately 
trying to safeguard their economic interests, attitudes were being 
built up which transformed many members of a traditionally law- 
abiding, cooperative minority group into factions collectively pro- 
testing and rebelling against both the Caucasian majority which 
was pressing to dispossess, evacuate and incarcerate them and per- 
sons of their own racial group who collaborated with government 

The conviction was growing that they were an unwanted people, 
rejected by a hostile and prejudiced American public. Their defi- 
nition of public hostility was formed, in the main, by radio and 
press. For example, John B. Hughes, a Los Angeles news commen- 
tator for the Mutual Broadcasting Company, initiated a one-man 
campaign against the resident Japanese Americans on January 5 
and for almost a month thereafter devoted some or all of his broad- 
casting time to arousing public opinion in favor of "drastic action." 
The local press, in spite of some editorial pleas for tolerance, 48 

47 U.S. Army. Western Defense Command and Fourth Army. Final Report, 
Japanese Evacuation from the West Coast, 1942. Washington, Government Print- 
ing Office, 1943, p. 138. 

4 " E.g., the San Francisco Chronicle of December 9, 1941: 

The roundup of Japanese citizens in various parts of the country ... is not a 


printed, day after day, news stories slanted in such a way as to cast 
suspicion upon the minority group and to arouse fear among its 
members. In December, for example, the following, among other, 
items were reported: Chinese were said to be preparing to wear 
"anti-Jap" badges; 49 a barber shop was offering "free shaves for 
Japs" but was "not responsible for accidents"; 50 a funeral parlor was 
advertising "I'd rather do business with a Jap than with an Amer- 
ican"; 51 armed Japanese in Lower California were said to be ready 
to cross the border; 52 a naval sentry had seen flashing lights (pre- 
sumably signals) in a Los Angeles Japanese waterfront colony; 59 in 
connection with the suicide of a Japanese- American doctor, a "spy 
ring" in the Los Angeles district was said to have been revealed; 51 
"the Fifth Column character" of Japanese language schools was 
"exposed"; 55 several arrested Japanese Americans were said to have 
been discovered with revolvers, signal flares, rifle bullets, a tele- 
scope sight and a short-wave radio set; 50 riots were feared in Stock- 
ton, California, where Filipinos had already killed one Japanese 
American. 57 Slanted news items of this sort occurred with increasing 
frequency during the months that followed. 

Nationally known writers "uncovered" dangers and presented 
"solutions" in their syndicated columns. Henry McLemore in the 
San Francisco Examiner and other papers of January 29, 1942, 
argued for the removal of every Japanese American on the West 
Coast "to a point deep in the interior." He didn't mean, he pointed 
out, a "nice part of the interior either": 

Herd 'em up, pack 'em off and give 'em the inside room in the badlands. 
Let 'em be pinched, hurt, hungry and dead up against it. ... let us have 

call for volunteer spy hunters to go into action. Neither is it a reason to lift an 
eyebrow at a Japanese, whether American-born or not 

There is no excuse to wound the sensibilities of any persons in America by 
showing suspicion or prejudice. That, if anything, is a help to fifth column 
spirit. An American-born Nazi would like nothing better than to set the dogs 
of prejudice on a first-class American Japanese. 

40 Los Angeles Examiner, December 16, 1941. 

50 Los Angeles Times, December 19, 1941. 

51 Ibid. 

52 Los Angeles Examiner., December 1 1, 1941. 

53 Sacramento Bee, December 17, 1941; Los Angeles Times, December 18, 1941. 

54 Los Angeles Times, December 19, 1941. 

55 Los Angeles Examiner, December 20, 1941. 

5(3 Ibid., January 4, 1942; see also Sacramento Bee, December 11, 1941. 
57 San Francisco Examiner, December 27, 1941. 


no patience with the enemy or with anyone whose veins carry his blood . . . 
Personally, I hate the Japanese. And that goes for all of them, 

while Westbrook Pegler urged that "the Japanese in California 
should be under armed guard to the last man and woman right 
now and to hell with habeas corpus until the danger is over." 58 

Through the newspapers also, Japanese Americans were made 
aware of demands by West Coast politicians for their evacuation 
and internment and of resolutions to the same end passed by a 
multitude of local political, economic, and social organizations. 
Among political leaders thus quoted were Attorney General Warren 
of California; many of the West Coast congressmen, particularly 
Leland Ford and A. J. Elliott of California; mayors of many large 
and small cities, particularly Mayor Bowron of Los Angeles and 
Mayor Riley of Portland. Resolutions were passed by local Amer- 
ican Legion and other veterans' groups; by county boards of super- 
visors; by civilian defense councils; by Townsend Clubs; by farm 
groups, labor unions, business men's associations, and even by 
mothers' clubs. At the same time, such traditionally anti-Oriental 
organizations as the California Joint Immigration Committee and 
the Native Sons and Daughters of the Golden West released an 
almost constant stream of propaganda against the resident Japa- 
nese Americans. 

Lost in the ever-increasing cries of approval of the Army's action 
and demands for even more stringent means of control, were the 
voices of organizations and individuals who urged tolerance and 
fair play and raised questions about the justice of some aspects of 
the procedures that were being undertaken. 59 

To many of the Japanese Americans, the apparent general public 
hostility and the widely reported activities of anti-Japanese pres- 
sure groups were taken as convincing evidence that the evacuation 
orders were motivated more by racial prejudice than by the Army's 
stated regard for military necessity. Much later this belief was con- 
firmed in the minds of the evacuees when General DeWitt was 
reported in the public press as saying 

58 "Fair Enough," February 16, 1942. In Los Angeles Times and other papers. 

5!) For example, the Pacific Coast Committee on National Security and Fair 
Play, the American Civil Liberties Union, the International Institute, various 
church, educational and social welfare groups, and such prominent individuals 
as the President and the Provost of the University of California, the President of 
Stanford University, the political commentator of the San Francisco Chronicle. 


A Jap's a Jap. ... It makes no difference whether he is an American citi- 
zen or not I don't want any of them . . . They are a dangerous ele- 
ment . . . There is no way to determine their loyalty. 60 

In the months that followed, this statement was quoted by many 
Japanese Americans as incontrovertible evidence of the prejudice 
that had motived the evacuation. (See chapters IV and XIII.) 

While attitudes were thus being formed about the prejudice and 
hostility of the American people and their government (by defini- 
tion, the Army), resentment was being built up against Japanese 
Americans who collaborated with the prejudiced and hostile ma- 
jority. Members of one organization the Japanese American Citi- 
zens League fell under especial suspicion. This, an all-Nisei 
organization, had taken over the community leadership lost by the 
interned Issei 61 in the days immediately following Pearl Harbor. At 
the outbreak of the war it already had a chapter in every urban and 
rural center of Japanese settlement, and national headquarters, as 
well as many of the local chapters, immediately sent President 
Roosevelt pledges of allegiance to the United States. They offered 
wholehearted cooperation with government agencies, and were 
soon recognized as the official liaison group. They endeavored to 
maintain good public relations. They cooperated with the FBI in 
the apprehension of suspected subversives and in the investigation 
of alleged acts and utterances of disloyalty by members of the Japa- 

00 Los Angeles Times, April 14, 1943, and various other West Coast newspapers. 
The official transcript of the hearings, thus quoted in the newspaper, records the 
General as saying, less colloquially: 

1 don't want any of them here. They are a dangerous element. There is no way 

to determine their loyalty It makes no difference whether he is an American 

citizen, he is still a Japanese. American citizenship does not necessarily deter- 
mine loyalty. (U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Naval Affairs. Investigation 
of Congested Areas. Hearings before a Subcommittee. 78th Congress, ist Session, 
Washington, Government Printing Office, 1943, pp. 739-740.) 

There are many similar statements by General DeWitt on record, e.g., "The 
Japanese race is an enemy race and while many second and third generation 
Japanese born on United States soil, possessed of United States citizenship, have 
become 'Americanized,' the racial strains are undiluted." (U.S. Army, Western 
Defense Command and Fourth Army, Final Report, Japanese Evacuation from 
the West Coast, 1942. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1943, p. 34.) 

61 Many of those taken into custody in the FBI roundups were Issei commu- 
nity leaders, including officers of Japanese American organizations, vernacular 
newspaper publishers, language school teachers, Shinto and Buddhist priests. 
The fear resulting from these arrests made other Issei, many of whom had occu- 
pied positions in social, political, and economic activities subordinate to the 
internees, hesitant to assume leadership. 


nese communities. These activities soon earned for the Nisei leaders 
the reputation of being inu (informers; literally "dogs"), and of 
betraying the parent generation. They became the target of social 
censure in Japanese American communities, for the accepted code 
of the Japanese immigrants had been that no detrimental infor- 
mation would be divulged outside the racial group. 62 

The JACL leaders had also made strenuous efforts to have Nisei 
exempted from evacuation orders. Upon the promulgation of the 
mass evacuation policy, however, they continued to offer whole- 
hearted cooperation to the Army and all other branches of the 
federal government. The national president of the JACL was 
reported as saying: 

Never in the thousands of years of human history has a group of citizens 
been branded on so wholesale a scale as being treacherous to the land in 
which they live. 

We question the motives and patriotism of men and leaders who inten- 
tionally fan racial animosity and hatred . . . 

[But] we are going into exile as our duty to our country because the 
President and the military commander of this area have deemed it a neces- 
sity. We are gladly cooperating because this is one way of showing that our 
protestations of loyalty are sincere. 63 

And another JACL leader wrote, "We can turn the tragedy of evac- 
uation into a display of loyalty." 64 

The readiness of the JACL to identify itself as an adherent and 
supporter of the Army policy widened the normal generational and 
cultural cleavages in the Japanese American group. The older 
Nisei, in particular, were blamed for their attempt to save them- 
selves from evacuation at the expense of Issei. 

The collaborationist activities of the JACL continued after the 
evacuees had entered assembly centers. Since the use of the Japa- 
nese language was forbidden, both in public meetings and in the 
center newspapers, leadership remained largely within the Nisei 
group in general, and the JACL organization in particular. The 
status of JACL as a liaison group was thereby strengthened and its 

6 - Inu branding dated back to the late 1920*5 and early 1930'$ when extensive 
searches by immigration officials for Japanese nationals who had entered the 
United States illegally led to the belief that some Japanese had turned in others 
for personal revenge or from mercenary motives. 

03 Oakland Tribune, March 9, 1942. 

04 President of the Pasadena Chapter to the national secretary, February 28, 
1942. From official JACL files. 


members appropriated many of the positions of prestige in the 
centers. At the same time, their inu status within their own racial 
group was confirmed in the minds of many of their fellow evacuees, 
and they were even blamed for the evacuation itself. 05 There were, 
however, no outbreaks against them in the assembly centers, al- 
though accumulated resentments later led to acts of violence in 
relocation projects. (See chapters II and III.) 

Assembly centers had been planned for use for very short periods. 
Their sole purpose was to serve as points of concentration and con- 
finement until the War Relocation Authority could take over. (See 
Chapter II.) But owing to wartime difficulties in construction and 
transportation, the period of assembly-center operation extended 
through 224 days. The largest center, at the Santa Anita race track 
"had the longest period of occupancy: 215 days, with an average 
population of 12,919 for this entire period. During most of the 
period, the population of Santa Anita was more than iSjOoo." 60 
Here, as in other assembly centers, life in converted horse stalls and 
hastily constructed barracks presented many difficulties. As the 
Army report states: "For extended occupancy by men, women' and 
children whose movements were necessarily restricted, the use of 
facilities of this character is not highly desirable." 67 

Up to this point, while the evacuees had been subjected to an 
extraordinarily tortuous experience they had manifested no overt 
mass resistance to authority. In many centers a nebulous protest 
movement developed but in only one (Santa Anita) was there a 
disturbance of serious proportions. This and the latent protests are 
significant as setting the pattern later to be repeated with variations 
in one relocation project after another. 

65 As the suspicion of the JACL leaders' inu status grew, many evacuees forgot 
the nonpolitical activities of this organization. There is abundant evidence that 
its members had worked unceasingly to alleviate the distress of Japanese Amer- 
icans "on the verge of being evicted because they could not pay their rent . . . 
travelers caught short; bachelors with no place to stay or eat; families whose 
heads had been interned" and to channel information about the ever-changing 
regulations to which they were subjected to "the first generation group which 
could not read the daily [American] newspapers." (Final Report of the National 
Secretary to the National Board of the JACL, manuscript, April 22, 1944. From 
official JACL files.) 

00 U.S. Army. Western Defense Command and Fourth Army. Final Report, 
Japanese Evacuation from the West Coast, 1942. Washington, Government Print- 
ing Office, 1943, p. 227. 

61 Ibid., p. 152. 


The Santa Anita incident is described in the Army report as 

At Santa Anita on August 4, 1942, a routine search for various articles 
of contraband was started immediately after the morning meal. A few of 
the interior security police became over-zealous in their search and some- 
what overbearing in their manner of approach to evacuees in two of the 
Center's seven districts. Added to this was an order from the Center Man- 
ager 68 to pick up, without advance notice, electric hot plates which had 
previously been allowed on written individual authorization of the Center 
Management staff to families who needed them for the preparation of 
infant formulas and food for the sick. . . . 

Poor liaison, or rather the complete lack of liaison in this incident, 
between the Center Management and the heads of the interior security 
police resulted in the failure of reports of complaints to reach the chief of 
interior security police until mid-afternoon. Those complaints, based to a 
certain extent on solid ground grew in the intervening four or five hours 
to rumors of all kinds of violations on the part of the police. When finally 
the complaints reached the chief of interior police, the search was 
promptly postponed just as the crowds were beginning to gather. 

Two mobs and one crowd of women evacuees formed. One evacuee who 
had long been suspected by the disorderly elements among the population 
of giving information to the police was set upon and severely beaten 
though not seriously injured. The interior security police were harassed 
but none were injured. 

This is the single instance ... in which the military police were called 
into [an assembly center]. . . . No further disturbance occurred after the 
military police entered. The crowds dispersed, and no further threats of 
violence were circulated and no actual attempts at violence occurred. This 
disturbance was spontaneous and not the result of subversive planning. . . . 

Center Management and Interior Security staff officials responsible for 
the lack of liaison which had allowed the all too evident signs of brewing 
trouble to reach the boiling point without action were removed from the 
Center. 00 

08 "The Assembly Centers were largely staffed by personnel 'borrowed' from 
the Work Projects Administration." Ibid., p. 222. 

60 Ibid., pp. 218-219. Accounts by participant observers do not deviate greatly 
from this revealing official report. They emphasize cumulative resentments over 
repressive measures during the month preceding the "incident," e.g., curtail- 
ment on reading and possessing Japanese language literature on July 9; and a 
ban on Japanese phonograph records on July 28. They indicate that suspicion of 
alleged inu was widespread among the population and was not limited to the 
"disorderly elements." (Field Notes, August, 1942.) 


Chapter II 


Confinement Behind Barbed Wire 

by executive order in March, 1942, and Milton S. Eisenhower of 
the Department of Agriculture was appointed as director. Its func- 
tions were denned as supervision of, provision of employment for, 
and resettlement of the displaced evacuees. In performing these 
functions, it was given broad discretionary powers, subject only to 
two limitations: (i) it could not initiate further evacuation; and 
(2) it had no power to return evacuees to the areas from which 
military authorities had excluded them. 

Policies formulated in Washington early in March had been 
intended merely to implement the War Department's plan of 
encouraging voluntary migration of evacuees to inland areas. WRA 
never had an opportunity to put these policies into effect, for, as 
described in Chapter I, appreciable numbers of the 9,000 evacuees 
who had moved, with Army encouragement, to inland areas were 
met with general hostility and physical violence. Governors in the 
intermountain states had, with one notable exception, 1 unani- 
mously opposed further influx. They had refused to cooperate in 
a program which they interpreted as an attempt on the part of 
California to dump upon them its "undesirable enemy aliens" and 
"potential saboteurs." They had expressed willingness to accept the 
migrants only if they were placed in "concentration camps," and 
if a labor program were worked out with local labor on a non- 
competitive basis and with the work force under armed guards. 
The press and various local organizations had joined vigorously 
in the opposition. Many Japanese American leaders, both on the 

1 Governor Ralph Carr of Colorado. 


West Coast and in inland areas, and many officials concerned with 
the evacuation, discouraged by the reception the voluntary eva- 
cuees were meeting, advised that the movement stop. On March 24, 
Mr. Eisenhower formally recommended cessation of voluntary 
evacuation. Three days later, military orders confirmed this recom- 
mendation and, as described in Chapter I, "froze" evacuees in 
Military Area No. i, and led to the detention of the bulk of them 
in assembly centers. 

Planning on a new level was immediately required, for, whereas 
it had previously been hoped that most of the evacuees would re- 
settle on their own initiative, it was now clear that almost the entire 
group would have to be cared for by WRA. Projects capable of 
housing and providing work opportunities for more than 100,000 
people had to be found and developed, and procedures for moving 
the evacuees rapidly from assembly centers or direct from their 
homes into these projects had to be devised. The War Relocation 

. . . had in mind what might be thought of as a five point program. We 
planned for relocation centers in such places that there would always be 
public works to do, such as conservation, subjugation of land, and so on. 

Second, there would be opportunities for producing agricultural crops. 

Third, we would establish some small industries 

Fourth, if there developed definite labor shortages in the Western 
States ... we have hoped from the first that conditions could be worked 
out so that it would be possible for the evacuees to engage in private em- 
ployment during portions of the year particularly in agricultural work. 

And, fifth ... we hoped it would be possible for many of the evacuees to 
establish their own communities and to be entirely self supporting. 2 

This program was noteworthy for its dual aspect: it called for 
extensive public works, agriculture, and manufacturing, within 
the centers, and it also provided for employment outside the cen- 
ters. This latter aspect of planning reflected the continued hope 
of WRA officials that the reintroduction of Japanese Americans into 
normal American life was still possible, despite the public hostility 
that had halted voluntary evacuation. 

These plans, too, were defeated shortly after their formation by 
the pressure of public officials and of representatives of political 
organizations in the inland states, in spite of the desire of certain 
of the farm interests to facilitate the importation of evacuee labor. 

2 WRA, First Quarterly Report, March 18 to June 30, 1942. 


This second failure meant further drastic revision in WRA plans, 
which were accordingly contracted to exclude both individual reset- 
tlement and the setting up of independent, self-sufficient Japanese 
American communities. What remained was a program of public 
works, agriculture, and industry within large centers, each a mili- 
tary zone, and each guarded by Army troops. The economic and 
community life of Japanese Americans was to be confined to these 

Public and political pressure thus determined the form of the 
entire program. The original evacuation had not been intended 
to limit the free movement of evacuees in any way once they were 
outside the narrow coastal strip of the Prohibited Zone. The reac- 
tion of the inland areas, however, resulted in evacuation becoming 
detention; and in the plan of domicile at temporary refuges be- 
coming a plan for confinement in centers designed to last for the 
duration of the war. 

Selection of sites for what were now known euphemistically as 
"relocation centers" or "relocation projects" was the first step in 
the newly revised program. It was required that these sites be on 
public land, where improvements would become public assets; that 
they be large enough to accommodate minimum populations of 
5,000 each; that they be suitable for work projects throughout the 
year; that they be located "at a safe distance from strategic points"; 
and that transportation, power, water supply, etc., be satisfactory. 3 

While sites for relocation centers were being sought, the rela- 
tionships between the War Department and the War Relocation 
Authority were defined. In a memorandum of April 17 it was agreed 
that the War Department would procure and supply the initial 
equipment, including kitchen, barrack, and hospital supplies and 
an initial store of nonperishable food. After the center was opened, 
supply became the responsibility of WRA, which could, however, 
"effect its procurement through the War Department Agencies." 4 
The agreement also provided that relocation centers would be des- 
ignated as prohibited zones and military areas. This meant that 

3 WRA, Press Release, April 13, 1942. 

4 This provision was necessary because only the Army Quartermaster Corps 
controlled food supplies in quantities sufficient for WRA's purposes. Through- 
out the history of WRA, virtually all food, except that grown on the projects, 
was procured through Army channels. See WRA Administrative Instruction No. 
21, August 12, 1942, and subsequent revisions. 

U.S. Army Si 

t/.i'. /fr/Hy Signal Corps 


evacuees could be prevented from leaving the projects in accord- 
ance with the criminal sanctions of Public Law 503:" 

Military Police units were to be assigned to each relocation proj- 
ect. Their principal duties included: (i) controlling traffic into the 
relocation project; (2) preventing visitors from entering or leaving 
the area without authority from the project director; (3) preventing, 
by force if necessary, evacuees from leaving the project without 
permission; (4) maintaining (in Western Defense Command Proj- 
ects) an inspection of parcels coming to evacuees, for the purpose of 
confiscating contraband as defined by orders of the Western Defense 
Command. At all times, except when called upon by the project 
director to enter the community itself, the functions of the Military 
Police were to be concerned solely with external guarding. They 
were to have no interior police functions and to interfere in no way 
with the internal management of the center. The project directors 
were to have full charge of the communities and to be solely respon- 
sible as well for issuing passes to persons entering and leaving the 
areas. When called into the community to meet an emergency, 
however, the Commanding Officer of the Military Police unit was 
to assume full charge of the center, until the emergency ended." 

By the second week in June, eleven centers, with a combined 
capacity of some 130,000 people, had been selected and received 
Army approval. The following ten were utilized: 

Name Location Capacity 

Manzanar California 10,000 

Tule Lake California 16,000 

Poston 7 Arizona 20,000 

Gila River Arizona 15,000 

Minidoka Idaho 10,000 

Heart Mountain Wyoming 10,000 

Granada Colorado 8,000 

Topaz 8 Utah 10,000 

Rohwer Arkansas 10,000 

Jerome Arkansas 10,000 

Total 119,000 

3 This law provided maximum penalties of $5,000 fine or imprisonment for 
one year or both for persons entering, remaining in, or leaving prescribed mili- 
tary areas contrary to the restrictions applicable to such areas. 

The basic agreement was contained in Memorandum of Understanding as to 

[For footnotes 7 and 8, .<ee />. 2ft] 


The relocation sites varied in size from 6,000 acres at Manzanar 
to 72,000 acres at Poston. All were situated on essentially undevel- 
oped land, with the exception of certain limited acres at Tule Lake, 
Gila and Granada which were ready for planting. Tule Lake and 
Gila were the most favorably situated for agricultural pursuits, the 
former area lying on a fertile lake bottom in a rich potato-growing 
section of northern California, the latter being situated in a district 
famous for winter vegetable production. Soil or water conditions 
were deterring factors for agricultural production at other centers. 
For example, Manzanar was handicapped by a porous soil and rela- 
tively expensive water charges; Poston land was completely unde- 
veloped and covered with brush; Minidoka's "68,000 acres [were] 
covered with lava outcroppings in such a way that only about 25 
per cent of this land [was] suitable for cultivation." 9 

Each of the ten sites was relatively isolated. The six western 
projects were wind and dust swept. Tule Lake, Minidoka, and 
Heart Mountain were subject to severe winters. Poston and Gila, 
both in the Arizona desert, had temperatures well above 100 degrees 
for lengthy periods, and Rohwer and Jerome experienced the exces- 
sive humidity and mosquito infestations of swampy delta land. 

The physical layout of relocation projects can be exemplified 
by a description of Tule Lake. 10 Although the Tule Lake project 
covered 32,000 acres of land, its residents were, for the most part, 
confined to an area of about one-and-a-quarter square miles, en- 
circled by a barbed-wire fence and guarded by military police in 
watchtowers placed at intervals near the fence. No one could pass 
through the gate to the farm, which lay across the highway, without 
a work permit. 

Within the narrow confines of the barbed wire was a further re- 
stricted area, a fenced-off corner where the military police had their 

Functions of Military Police at the Relocation Centers and Areas Administered 
by the War Relocation Authority, July 3 and July 8, 1942. 

7 Also known as the Colorado River Project; formerly designated "Parker." 

8 Also known as the Central Utah Project. 

n See WRA, First Quarterly Report, pp. 8-12. 

10 The general layout of the projects did not vary greatly from one to the 
other. In some, e.g., Gila, the outward appearance was improved by light-colored 
barracks with red-tile roofs in contrast to the black tar-paper covering used in 
most projects. In Arkansas it was possible to develop attractive gardens, which 
deficiently irrigated or alkali soil in most other projects made impossible. In the 
more easterly projects the military paraphernalia was kept at a minimum. 


living quarters and recreation field. The rest of the project was 
roughly divided into four areas: the administrative section, the 
warehouse and factory section, the hospital section, and the resi- 
dence 'area. Immediately inside the gateway was the Provost Mar- 
shal's office where all incoming and outgoing traffic had to register. 
Just beyond this office were the administration buildings and the 
living quarters of the administrative personnel. The industrial sec- 
tion, factories and warehouses, and the hospital were placed close 
to the administration section. Separated from all these by a wide 
firebreak and occupying one large unit of space were the sixty-four 
blocks of evacuee living quarters, the section which was commonly 
called the "colony" by the administration. 

The block, composed of fourteen barracks, was the basic unit of 
the evacuee community. Nine blocks were usually grouped together 
to form a ward, and each of the wards was separated from the others 
by firebreaks of two hundred feet width. 

Food and general merchandise canteens were established in three 
of the wards, as well as near the administrative personnel quarters. 
There was also a centrally located dry goods canteen, a shoe repair 
shop, a barber shop, a beauty parlor, a newspaper stand, and a 
bank. Schoolrooms were set up in barracks throughout the project, 
and, after some months, a high school was built in the firebreak. 

Each block was designed to house 250 evacuees. Barracks were 
divided into individual apartments, intended primarily for sleep- 
ing quarters; no kitchen, water faucet, shower, or toilet was attached 
to an apartment. For most needs, communal facilities were pro- 
vided. Each block had a mess hall, a recreation hall, public toilets 
and shower rooms for men and for women, a laundry room, and an 
ironing room. 

The type of construction used for the evacuee living quarters was 
a modification of the Army "theater of operations" construction. 
The barracks were 20 by 100 feet and they were divided into apart- 
ments of either 20 by 25 or 16 by 20 feet to provide for different- 
sized families. The exterior walls and roofs of the barracks were 
shiplap covered with tar paper. No inside walls or ceilings were 
originally planned, but it was later decided that protection against 
the severe winter in the district was inadequate and evacuee con- 
struction crews put in firboard ceilings and sheetrock walls. Crude 
floors of shiplap were used, and the green lumber soon dried and 


buckled, leaving wide gaps in the floor. A single family was assigned 
to one apartment, but the unpartitioned apartment offered little 
privacy, especially for the large families. No furnishings were pro- 
vided by WRA except a stove, which was set in the center of every 
apartment, and cots, mattresses, and blankets for each resident. 
Each apartment had not less than three windows which gave ade- 
quate sunlight and ventilation. 

In each block, one apartment was converted into an office for the 
block manager. As a focal point of block activity, this office was 
generally provided with tables and benches to permit lounging and 
gathering. Another barrack in each block was assigned for use as 
a recreation hall for the block people, but because of the lack of 
office space, many of these were appropriated for administrative 
offices. Since most of those not so used were unequipped for recrea- 
tional purposes, social activities tended to center in the block mess 
halls, the block manager's offices, the laundry rooms, the ironing 
rooms, or the washrooms. Both the mess halls and recreation halls 
were at the extreme end of each block, but the latrine facilities 
were in buildings at the center. 

The project was practically devoid of vegetation to hold down 
the soil, except for stubble of desert grass, and a breeze of any 
strength would raise clouds of dust and sand that would seep into 
the apartments through the slightest cracks. While the surrounding 
countryside was not unattractive, there was little beauty in the cen- 
ter itself to set off the background scenery. The monotonously 
uniform rows of black tar-papered barracks made the country seem 
colorless and somber. 

The peopling of the projects, the movement of almost 110,000 
persons from assembly centers, from institutions and from home 
communities began on March 21 and was not completed until 
October 27." The first major movements were direct to Manzanar 
and Poston from home communities; then came the extensive trans- 
fers from assembly centers, the first being to Tule Lake and Poston; 
the last to the Arkansas projects. Chart I shows the age-sex com- 
position of the projects when the movements had been completed. 

11 Home communities had been cleared by August 8. All subsequent move- 
ments were from assembly centers or institutions. See U.S. Army, Western 
Defense Command and Fourth Army. Final Report, Japanese Evacuation from 
the West Coast, 1942. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1943. 


Preceding the systematic intake of evacuees, a crew of evacuee 
volunteers from assembly center or home community arrived on 
the project. "This advance detachment consisted of the key evacuee 
personnel necessary to receive, feed, house and provide medical 
service for the evacuees of the main body as they arrived." 12 The 
intake process at Poston is described vividly by Leighton: 




75 81 over 


10 86420246 

Percent of Population 17 Years and Over 
Tule Lake 

Other Projects 

Chart I 

In May the physical shell of Poston began to fill with its human occu- 
pants. First came the volunteers and then a swelling stream of evacuees 
until the city of barracks had become alive. . . . 

[The] first volunteers were soon followed by others until a total of 251 
turned to in the growing heat and cleaned up the barracks for the 7,450 
evacuees who arrived during the succeeding three weeks. The volunteers 
worked at the receiving stations interviewing, registering, housing and 
explaining to the travel-weary newcomers what they must do and where 
they must go. ... 

The new arrivals, coming in a steady stream, were poured into empty 
blocks one after another, as into a series of bottles. The reception proce- 
dure became known as "intake" and it left a lasting impression on all who 
witnessed or took part in it. 

Picture the brightness of morning and a sun that heats the earth and 

Ibid., p. 287. 


beats down on rubbish piles and row after row of even, black tar-papered 
barracks. There is the sound of hammers and the hum of motors in trucks, 
cars, bulldozers, tractors, pumps and graders. In the single wooden build- 
ing that houses the administrative offices, desks are jammed together and 
the members of the departments of law, housing, supply and transporta- 
tion, bump into each other as they go about their business and try to shout 
above each other's noise. . . . 

Clerks, stenographers, interviewers, guides and baggage carriers collect 
at the mess hall that will serve as the scene of "intake" and a crowd gathers 
to watch. 

It is almost 6 when someone shouts that the first bus is coming, and it 
can be seen plowing through the dust. . . . 

When the bus stops, its forty occupants quietly peer out to see what 
Poston is like. A friend is recognized and hands wave. The bus is large and 
comfortable, but the people look tired and wilted, with perspiration run- 
ning off their noses. They have been on the train for twenty-four hours 
and have been hot since they crossed the Sierras, with long waits at desert 
stations. Nevertheless, there are remnants of daintiness among the women, 
and all are smiling. . . . 

They begin to file out of the bus, clutching tightly to children and 
bundles. Military Police escorts anxiously help and guides direct them in 
English and Japanese. 

They are sent into the mess halls where girls hand them ice water, salt 
tablets and wet towels. In the back are cots where those who faint can be 
stretched out, and the cots are usually occupied. At long tables sit inter- 
viewers suggesting enlistment in the War Relocation Work Corps. . . . 

Men and women, still sweating, holding on to children and bundles try 
to think. 

A whirlwind comes and throws clouds of dust into the mess hall, into 
the water and into the faces of the people while papers fly in all direc- 
tions. . . . 

Interviewers ask some questions about former occupations so that cooks 
and other types of workers much needed in the camp can be quickly 
secured. Finally, fingerprints are made and the evacuees troop out across 
an open space and into another hall for housing allotment, registration 
and a cursory physical examination. . . . 

In the end, the evacuees are loaded on to trucks along with their hand 
baggage and driven to their new quarters; there each group who will live 
together is left to survey a room 20 by 25 feet with bare boards, knotholes 
through the floor and into the next apartment, heaps of dust, and for each 
person an army cot, a blanket and a sack which can be filled with straw to 
make a mattress. There is nothing else. No shelves, closets, chairs, tables or 
screens. In this space 5 to 7 people, and in a few cases 8, men, women and 
their children, are to live indefinitely. 

"Intake" was a focus of interest and solicitude on the part of the admin- 
istrative staff. The Project Director said it was one of the things he would 


remember longest out of the whole experience at Poston. He thought the 
people looked lost, not knowing what to do or what to think. He once 
found a woman standing, holding her 4-day-old baby and sent her to rest 
in his room. The Associate Project Director said that one of the pictures 
which would always stay in his mind was one he saw in an "apartment" 
where people had just arrived. An elderly mother who had been in a hos- 
pital some years sat propped on her baggage gasping and being fanned by 
two daughters, while her son went around trying to get a bed set up for 
her. The old lady later died. 13 

Committed to a policy of detention, even before the projects were 
established, WRA began making plans to assure evacuees "for the 
duration of the war and as nearly as wartime exigencies permit, an 
equitable substitute for the life, work, and homes given up, and 
to facilitate participation in the productive life of America both 
during and after the war." 14 The agency's responsibility was defined 
as providing the minimum essentials of living shelter, medical 
care, and mess and sanitary facilities and opportunities for self- 
support. Every able-bodied evacuee was to be given an opportunity 
for productive work and for participation in well-rounded commu- 
nity life. Projects were to be made self-supporting. Evacuees would, 
in the course of time, organize and administer local self-government; 
meantime, temporary advisory councils would be formed. 

One of the first problems faced by WRA was the determination 
of a wage scale. In March, 1942, an unauthorized statement by a 
project official to the effect that wages would follow Work Projects 
Administration procedures, brought a storm of public protest. 
Again, WRA yielded to political pressure and decided that "purely 
from a public-relations standpoint, it seemed unwise to pay evac- 
uees ... a higher wage than the minimum wage of the American 
soldier." 15 It was decided to advance workers a small cash allowance, 
to maintain a set of project records of all expenditures and all 
income, and to distribute profits to the workers at stated intervals. 
"Miserably low cash advances of $ 1 2, $ 1 6, and $ i g" 16 monthly, were 
set, unskilled workers receiving $12, professional and highly skilled 
workers qualifying for the $19 stipend, others receiving $16. 

Recognizing the severity of this wage policy, WRA sought to 

13 Alexander H. Leighton, The Governing of Men, Princeton University Press, 
1945, pp. 61-66. 
"WRA, "Tentative Policy Statement" (mimeographed), May 29, 1942. 

15 WRA, First Quarterly Report, p. 17. 

16 Eisenhower to Budget Director Smith, May 11, 1942. 


develop a plan whereby surpluses might be accumulated for the 
evacuee workers. A corps was to be organized to "undertake all 
essential work on the projects, including development of natural 
resources, production of food, manufacture of needed articles, and 
operation of community services." 17 All employable evacuees over 
16 years of age, irrespective of sex or citizenship, were eligible for 
enlistment in the Work Corps. Obligations incurred through enlist- 
ment included: service until fourteen days after the end of the war; 
performance of any and all tasks assigned and acceptance in full 
payment for services of such cash or other allowances as WRA might 
determine; agreement to transfer from one Relocation Project to 
another at the will of WRA; agreement to make no claims against 
the United States government for injuries incurred while a member 
of the corps; willingness to swear loyalty to the United States "in 
thought, word, and deed." 

At the same time, a definite promise of financial profit to enlistees 
was held forth. Each relocation center would function "as a type 
of cooperative." Careful accounts would be kept of all costs; profits 
would accrue and be distributed, perhaps "in the form of increased 
monthly 'cash advances.' . . . Food raised on the project will reduce 
project costs, which in turn will enhance the opportunity for 
profit." 38 

In June, 1942, Eisenhower resigned and Dillon S. Myer, also of 
the Department of Agriculture, replaced him as Director. Even 
before Myer's assumption of responsibility, the Work Corps plan 
had proved unfeasible. When, in the latter part of May, enlistment 
in the corps was made prerequisite to furlough work in the Oregon 
beet fields, evacuees refused to enlist because of the "blank checks" 
in the Work Corps agreement. They were unwilling to enlist when 
WRA could not specify the work they were to do or the precise 
income they would receive. They objected to enlisting for the 
duration "and 14 days thereafter" without some provision for with- 
drawing; they objected to the blanket agreement about transfer 
from one project to another, fearing they might be separated from 
their families; they objected to a vague statement about "trial and 
suitable punishment" for infraction of unspecified "rules and regu- 

17 WRA, Press Release, May 15, 1942. 

18 WRA, Regional Office, Questions and Answers for Evacuees, undated pam 
phlet distributed to evacuees in assembly centers. 


lations." Significantly, however, objections were not raised at this 
time to the loyalty pledge. 19 By June, the Work Corps requirements 
had been dropped as prerequisites for furlough work and when, on 
September i, 1942, a general instruction on Emloyment and Com- 
pensation was issued, it simply provided that each evacuee "upon 
first being assigned to a job" at a relocation center would "become 
thereby enlisted in the War Relocation Work Corps." 

Producers' cooperatives, too, were an early casualty, abandoned 
without trial when it was discovered that certain relocation projects 
were potentially more profitable than others, that over-all profit was 
improbable on a short-term basis, and that no agreement could be 
reached as to what expenses should be charged off against income. 
Until the middle of September, however, promises of the develop- 
ment of this plan were still held out to the evacuees. 

By September monthly payments were generally called "wages," 
rather than "cash advances." The $12 rate was restricted to appren- 
tices, and later dropped; the $16 rate was made general; and the 
$19 rate was expanded to include not only professional people 
(doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc.) and managerial personnel, but 
also those making "an exceptional contribution to project opera- 
tion, entailing extremely hard work essential to the welfare and 
morale of large numbers of people, or which involve exceptional 
skill." 20 A full 48-hour week was expected of workers. The involun- 
tarily unemployed were entitled to unemployment compensation 
at rates of $4.25 to $4.75 monthly. 21 Supplementary clothing allow- 
ances, to be paid in cash and varying with the age of the recipient 
and the climate of the center, were to be granted to workers and 
involuntarily unemployed workers and their families. In the coldest 
centers, maximum payments were $3.75 monthly for adults and 
$2.25 monthly for children under eight years of age. 

Ambitious plans for extensive agricultural and industrial devel- 
opments within the projects were formulated with three objectives: 
(i) reduction of project operating expenses by producing for proj- 
ect needs; (2) production for war needs, and (3) establishing a source 
of income for evacuees. It soon became apparent that agricultural 

10 See Chapter III for resistances that developed later to a pledge of loyalty. 

-" WRA, Administrative Instruction No. 27, September i, 1942, p. 3. 

21 Dependent children of the unemployed received $1.50 to $2.50. The rate for 
unemployed adults was later raised to 60 per cent of the monthly wage, i.e., $7.20 
to $11 40. 


enterprises could fulfill only the first of these objectives, but efforts 
were made for many months to develop industries in accordance 
with all three objectives. Industrial enterprises were authorized for 
operation by the War Relocation Authority itself, by evacuee coop- 
eratives, or by Caucasian individuals or firms. The second arid third 
of these categories could use evacuees only if prevailing wages were 
paid and other special conditions of employment deemed necessary 
by WRA and Federal and State regulations were met. Wages re- 
ceived were not, however, to be retained by individual workers 
unless the community government so recommended. Otherwise, 
the difference between actual wages and the sum of cash compensa- 
tion and clothing allowances they would have received if employed 
by WRA would be placed in a "community trust fund," to be held 
for distribution among all employed persons in the community. 
Other methods of distribution would be considered, if recom- 
mended by the community government. 

The industrial program was never fully developed. The only 
industry in actual operation on June 30 was a camouflage-net fac- 
tory at Manzanar where nearly 500 evacuees were employed at 
WRA wage rates. Later, similar camouflage-net projects were estab- 
lished by contract, with prevailing wages paid, at Poston and Gila. 
Other industrial developments were on a minor scale. 

WRA policy specifically provided that "private enterprises for 
the sale of goods and services directly to residents of centers may not 
be located in the relocation area." 210 Under the guidance of trained 
leaders at each center and a national director of cooperatives in 
Washington, consumer cooperative organizations were developed 
to operate retail establishments of all kinds grocery stores, shoes, 
radio repair shops, barber and beauty shops, and various specialty 
and refreshment stores. An Administrative Instruction provided 
that the cooperatives might operate center newspapers under con- 
ditions of "maximum freedom of expression short of libel, personal 
attack, and other utterances contrary to the general welfare." 22 

Instructions for the establishment of local self-government were 
issued on June 5, 1942. These provided for the election of tempo- 
rary community councils, whose functions would be advisory. The 
block was designated as the unit of representation; all persons over 

210 WRA, "Tentative Policy Statement" (mimeographed), May 29, 1942. 
22 WRA, Administrative Instruction No. 8, Supplement 4, October 15, 1942. 


16 years of age, irrespective of citizenship, were eligible to vote, but 
aliens were declared ineligible for office holding. 

The ban on aliens was retained in an instruction of August 24 
providing for the selection of a commission to prepare a permanent 
plan of government, to become effective when approved by a major- 
ity of qualified voters, and the age for qualification was raised to 
18 years. The functions of the permanent council were defined as 
prescription of regulations and provision of penalties on all matters 
(except felonies) affecting the internal peace and order of the proj- 
ect and the welfare of the residents "insofar as such regulations are 
not in conflict with any federal law, military proclamation, law of 
the state in which the project is located, or any order issued by an 
appropriate officer of the War Relocation Authority." 23 These func- 
tions were, however, specified as being in addition to and not 
substitute for the functions and responsibilities of the Project 
Director, who would review and could veto all actions of the coun- 
cil. It was also stipulated that the plan of government should pro- 
vide for a Judicial Commission and an Arbitration Commission. 

Schools were planned to follow the precepts of progressive edu- 
cation. 24 It was hoped they would become "in a measure often 
dreamed of by educators but seldom realized, an effective instru- 
ment of community building . . . [through participation] in every 
phase of community life." 240 Every effort was to be made to make 
this community-building an Americanizing factor. 

The center schools were designed to meet state elementary and 
high school requirements and provide courses necessary for admis- 
sion to state colleges and universities. The language of instruction 
in all schools was to be English. It was specifically provided that 
"Japanese language schools shall not be permitted to operate in any 
center." Vocational training classes were to be organized for high 
school graduates and a full night school Adult Education Program 

23 WRA, Administrative Instruction No. 34, August 24, 1942, pp. 2-3. 

24 The blueprint for community schools was worked out by WRA in coopera- 
tion with Stanford University. See Proposed Curriculum Procedures for Japa- 
nese Relocation Centers, prepared by summer session students of Curriculum 
Development, Stanford University, 1942. 

240 Lester K. Ade, "The Educational Program for Evacuees at Ten War Reloca- 
tion Centers" (manuscript, undated). Dr. Ade was Education Consultant, later 
Chief of School Systems, for W T RA. 


The evacuees had, in the main, entered the relocation projects 
with attitudes either of optimism or of dogged determination to 
make the best possible adjustment in building up communities in 
which they would have to live for the duration of the war. Director 
Eisenhower testified before the House Subcommittee on Finance, 
on May 15, 1942: "I just cannot say things too favorable about the 
way they have cooperated under the most adverse circumstances." 
His successor, Myer, wrote to the Secretary of War on June 8 of the 
"high degree of cooperation and helpfulness on the part of the 

These initial reactions are in part to be attributed to the hope 
and belief prevalent among WRA personnel that a "good life" 
could be built up in these wartime communities; in part to the relief 
of the evacuees in achieving duration security after the uprooting 
of evacuation and the instability of life in temporary assembly cen- 
ters. The course of this initial adjustment can best be traced by 
exemplification, and again Tule Lake is used for this purpose. 

The first evacuees to reach Tule Lake on May 26, 1942, were 
volunteers from the Portland and Puyallup Assembly Centers. 
Although they were disappointed by the dull barrenness of the 
countryside, the nonexistence of the much-talkecl-of lake, and the 
presence of barbed-wire fence and armed guards, this initial dis- 
appointment was soon followed by enthusiasm over their reception 
by the Caucasian personnel, under the leadership of Acting Project 
Director Elmer Shirrell, 25 a man of great energy and good will. 

Between June 2 and 6, about i ,500 people arrived by direct evac- 
uation from their homes in Washington and Oregon and a few 
from the Free Zone in California. They devoted themselves for 
several weeks to making livable homes and finding suitable employ- 
ment. WRA had provided no lumber for furnishings, but huge 
piles of scrap lumber dumped by the contractors were available. 
The minimum requirement of each family was a table, benches, 
and poles for clothes lines, and these were readily and quickly con- 
structed. To give added comfort, many of the men built closets, 

25 Shirrell was replaced as Project Director by Harvey Coverley in December, 
1942. Coverley functioned during the registration crisis, described in Chapter 
III, and was, in turn, replaced by Raymond Best just before the initiation of 
the segregation program described in Chapter IV. Best remained as Project 
Director throughout the whole history of the Tule Lake Segregation Center, 
described in Chapter V and subsequent chapters. 


lined their walls, set up partitions in the apartments and con- 
structed porches outside the barracks, while the women made cur- 
tains and rugs. Jobs, too, were not only plentiful but in many cases 
interesting. Many Nisei trained as stenographers, clerks, architects, 
and engineers found for the first time in their lives an opportunity 
to practice their professions. Issei, however, had greater difficulties 
in job placement, partly because of linguistic handicap, partly be- 
cause their preevacuation experience had been in the main of the 
small entrepreneurial sort. Many of them were forced by circum- 
stances to take the more disagreeable jobs: construction work, labor 
on the farm, cooking or dishwashing in the mess halls, and jani- 
torial operations. Others became dependent on their children. 

To the younger Nisei, the chance for unlimited social activi- 
ties was attractive; baseball and dances especially flourished. Issei 
women found pleasure in the new leisure, freedom from the bur- 
dens of cooking and the worries of providing for a family, and they 
spent much time at knitting, sewing, handicraft, and English classes, 
while Issei men indulged in typical Japanese forms of recreation: 
goh, shogi, hana, etc. The Christian churches organized multifari- 
ous activities for young and old alike. Owing to temporary over- 
supply in the warehouses, food was abundant and meals sometimes 
approached lavishness. 

In all projects, in spite of physical hardships," the initial adjust- 

28 The physical conditions in Tule Lake, at the time of intake, were distinctly 
superior to those in certain other projects. In Manzanar, for example, equipment 
for sixteen of thirty-six mess halls was still lacking three months after the project 
was opened, and the ones operating were grossly overcrowded. The Assistant 
Regional Director of WRA reported, on June 17 (letter to Fryer, Regional 
Director of WRA) that "at one time, while meals were being served and the line 
was moving, I counted 300 people standing in line outside the mess hall." And 
Congressman Leland Ford said of the barracks that "on dusty days, one might 
just as well be outside as inside." ("Report on Visit to Japanese Evacuation 
Camps," undated.) 

At Gila, evacuees were moved in at the rate of 500 daily at a time when there 
were no hospital facilities, gas connections were incomplete, and only a skeleton 
project staff was available. By August 20 there were 7,700 people crowded into 
space designed for 5,000. They were housed in mess halls, recreation halls, and 
even latrines. As many as 25 persons lived in a space intended for 4. Heat in the 
desert ranged above 100 degrees. There were maggots in the food, epidemic 
dysentery, heat rash, and sunstroke. The sewage disposal system broke down, 
and sewage was dumped into open pits as close as 200 feet to the barracks. 
Stench from the pits invaded the whole camp, and flies had ready access to the 
unscreened mess halls. 


ment to "pioneer life" was favorable. As the projects became filled, 
however, intergroup antagonisms flared up and faith in the good 
intentions of the administration declined. Evacuees soon realized 
that the developing WRA practices were not correspondent with 
the early promises made to them. Wage payments were weeks 
behind schedule. Promised clothing allowances were not forth- 
coming. Work clothes were not, as had been agreed, given to those 
workers who had to perform dirty and arduous tasks, and their own 
clothes were rapidly wearing out. Agricultural and industrial plan- 
ning was drastically revised downward. WRA had promised that 
one of its first jobs would be to build schools and to furnish school 
equipment, but priorities were often given instead to the improve- 
ment of housing for the Caucasian personnel. The education system 
fell far below the publicized plans for community schools. Evacuees 
had been promised that "as soon as you move to your war-duration 
home . . . the War Relocation Authority will have [household] 
goods brought to you." 27 But war transportation complications were 
added to technical administrative difficulties of filtering the desired 
proportion of the given person's furniture to the right project and 
months after the last evacuees arrived at the relocation projects no 
household goods had been received. 

In Tule Lake, the interlude of optimism and enthusiasm came to 
an abrupt end with the transfer of 4,000 additional evacuees from 
the Walerga Assembly Center (Sacramento) between June 16 and 
26. These people almost immediately felt themselves at a disadvan- 
tage as compared with the earlier arrivals. Scrap lumber had become 
scarce, and desirable jobs were less plentiful. Sectional conflicts 
broke out among the Nisei elements from California and from the 
Northwest, largely on the basis of competition for jobs. 

Censorship of mail, suddenly instituted by the military police on 
June 29, caused a flare-up of resentment against the administration, 
for it was not generally known that the WRA personnel had strenu- 
ously opposed the measure. 

The quantity and quality of food began to deteriorate, and a 
local mess-hall strike took place on July 6. After the arrival of 
another large contingent of evacuees from the Pinedale Assembly 
Center in late July, shortages of kitchen equipment developed and 

27 WRA, Regional Office, "Questions and Answers for Evacuees," undated 
pamphlet distributed to evacuees in assembly centers. 


a rumor spread that WRA food warehouses were rapidly being 
depleted. A rush on the canteens ensued, and people began to hoard 
rice and canned goods. The rumor was later elaborated that WRA 
personnel were diverting food intended for the mess halls to the 
canteens, and profiting from the evacuees' purchases. 

Procurement difficulties led to deficiencies in hospital supplies, 
and tension developed between evacuee doctors and the Caucasian 
Chief Medical Officer. 

The administration attempted to introduce an efficient timekeep- 
ing system, and evacuees resisted the effort to make them work a 
full day for $16 a month compensation. In August they began 
a campaign for higher wages, free haircuts and free shoe repairs. 
Resistance developed against the opening of new canteens, for the 
Issei in particular were beginning to worry about the extent to 
which savings were being spent for things they felt WRA should 
have provided for them. 

Conflicts between Issei and Nisei broke out in the recreation 
department because of the different forms of recreation desired by 
the two generations. On August 5, some Issei held a special enter- 
tainment during the absence of Caucasian personnel, in which, 
it was reported, Japanese nationalistic expressions had been heard. 
When news of this event reached the administration, popular sus- 
picion of inu arose. 

In early August the growing discontent of the residents was 
manifested by strikes in two of the largest work units: the farm 
workers and the construction crews. Each of these crews had griev- 
ances because of the seasonal nature of the work, the administrative 
pressure applied for production, and the manual character of its 
work which required more than the usual amount of food, clothing, 
and shoe repair. 

The grievances culminating in the farm strike on August 1 5 had 
been accumulating since the opening of the project. Planting had 
to be speeded up to ensure harvesting before the frosts, which come 
early in this area. The first evacuee contingents were slow in accept- 
ing farm work and on July 19 an appeal to save the valuable potato 
seed was made through the Tulean Dispatch, with a statement, 
attributed to the Project Director, that "the failure of the crop 
will be placed on the shoulders of the unwilling or uncooperative 
colonists." Some people accepted the responsibility willingly and 


a shortage was averted. Many others, however, resented being held 
responsible for the success of a farm which was not their own and 
being pressed by the Caucasians to speed up their work for a wage 
of $16 a month. Experienced Issei farmers on the crew developed 
antagonisms toward less experienced Caucasians in charge of the 
program. June and July wages had not been paid by the first of 
August, nor had promised work clothes been issued. Meals, par- 
ticularly the light breakfast served on the project, were considered 
an inadequate basis for the hard work required. 

On the morning of August 15, the farm crew gathered as usual 
at the dispatching station to be transported by truck to the farm. 
As the men gathered, a group from Block 6 refused to board the 
trucks because of the meager breakfast (said to have been little more 
than tea and toast) served that morning. Others took up the cry 
of inadequate food, and self-appointed leaders circulated among 
the men urging a strike over the food question. Trucks that were 
loaded and ready to leave were restrained from starting. A commit- 
tee was formed and representatives notified the farm supervisor of 
the workers' decision to strike. Small groups gathered to discuss the 
situation, and the cry arose that this was a community problem and 
should be presented at a mass meeting of all the residents. At 2 P.M. 
a meeting was called of the construction and farm foremen, cooks, 
and other selected delegates to formulate grievances. The food 
problem was emphasized, and the Caucasian assistant mess super- 
visor was blamed for curtailing distribution. At a meeting with 
representatives of the administration assurance was obtained that 
the food situation would be improved and the crew was advised to 
call off the strike on Monday (August 17). On the evening of the 
i6th, however, a spontaneous mass meeting, dominated by Issei, 
gathered around an outdoor platform in the firebreak. In spite of 
the tense atmosphere, the meeting proved a debacle for those who 
had hoped that a general strike would be called and that the com- 
munity as a whole would back the farm workers. The chief difficulty 
in carrying out this program was fear on the part of many evacuees 
of speaking publicly in favor of a continuation of the strike, since 
rumors were prevalent that inn were present and would repeat 
their utterances to the FBI. 

On Monday morning a heavy breakfast was served in all mess 
halls, and the crews returned to work without further concrete 

U.S. Army Signal Corps 



evidence of administrative provision for their basic needs. Some 
improvements were immediately initiated, but complaints con- 
tinued to be heard among the thoroughly disaffected workers. 

Shortly after the strike, several instances of violence occurred, 
including the beating of an alleged inu. 

By the end of August, the improvement in food, which was the 
only concession gained by the farm strike, failed to quiet the under- 
lying discontent of the residents. Their demands for clothing allow- 
ance and payment of back wages had not been met. Talk of strikes 
was heard among various crews and several minor work stoppages 
developed, but these were quickly settled. On September 3 a major 
strike was called by the construction workers, the immediate causes 
being (i) a layoff of sixty workers for ten days without pay, and 
(2) a rumor of a planned reduction of the evacuee crew by 50 per 
cent while continuing employment of all Caucasian carpenters at 
"prevailing wages." In addition, the matters of delayed wage pay- 
ments and lack of clothing were raised. While negotiations re- 
garding resumption of work were proceeding, work clothes were 
received and distributed and an announcement was made of the 
initiation of a new system of wage payments, which would avoid 
delays. Although the other grievances were not solved, the crew 
was persuaded to return to work on September 5. 

In October, dissatisfaction about food distribution and mess-hall 
conditions led to the circulation of a petition demanding the re- 
moval of the unpopular Caucasian assistant mess supervisor and 
improvement of food served in the mess halls. The petition carried 
9,000 signatures and its circulation was followed, on October 12, 
by a general "slow down" strike in the mess halls, where meals were 
served at irregular and unannounced intervals. The result was 
equivalent to a general strike, for few people were willing to risk 
missing meals by going to their jobs. The administration yielded on 
the following day by terminating the employment of the assistant 

During this period of unrest the temporary Community Council 
had attempted to act as a "sounding board" of the community for 
the administration and as a liaison body between administration 
and evacuees. This council had been established within a few weeks 
after the arrival of the first evacuees, and consisted of one repre- 
sentative from each block. At the elections in the first populated 


ward, the ban on aliens had not been announced and a few Issei 
were elected. By the time other wards held elections, it was under- 
stood that only citizens were eligible and the temporary council 
was not only overwhelmingly Nisei in composition but several of 
its leaders were from the proadministration JACL element. 

From its first meeting, the practice was established of having each 
councilman review council activities before the residents of his own 
block. This practice soon led to a conflict for control between the 
older and younger generations, for while the council was domi- 
nated by Nisei, block meetings were controlled by Issei. Deprived 
of direct political expression through the ban on holding office on 
the council, Issei soon adapted block meetings to this purpose. One 
important issue after another was approved by the councilmen, 
only to be reversed in a referendum forced by dissent from the 
block meetings. Late in September, for example, the council spon- 
sored a proposal by OWI to have the residents participate in short- 
wave broadcasts to Japan. It was proposed that evacuees describe 
"actual conditions" in camp as a means of combating the Japanese 
government's claims that mistreatment of Americans interned in 
the Orient was a justified reprisal for the mistreatment of persons 
of Japanese ancestry in the United States. Following precedent, the 
council referred the plan to an Issei-dominated assembly of block 
representatives at which the plan was overwhelmingly rejected, to 
the dismay of many council members, who insisted that the matter 
be reconsidered. At a second assembly, the plan was again defeated, 
and the council was forced to accept this decision. A few days later, 
another important decision of the council was reversed. The admin- 
istration had purchased lumber to build a community theater from 
canteen profits. The plan was destined to meet popular opposition, 
since WRA had earlier promised that these profits would not be 
used without consulting the residents. The administration justified 
its act on grounds that lumber was about to be "frozen" by govern- 
ment order and that speed was essential. The plan was also opposed 
because of Issei fear that the proposed admission charges would 
be a further drain on evacuee savings. In spite of the council's 
approval of the plan, it was overwhelmingly defeated in a popular 
referendum. This defeat was followed by wholesale resignations of 
council members, but a skeleton organization was maintained for 
the next month until a plan for a permanent community govern- 


ment could be ratified. By this time there was so little enthusiasm 
for the sanctioned forms of "self-government" that the charter was 
ratified, on November 16, by a margin of only 441 votes out of a 
total of 6,619. When elections for new councilmen were held, the 
outstanding J ACL leader was not reflected. 

Meantime, two Issei-dominated organizations had sprung up 
which tended to diminish Nisei influence in the community even 
further. One was a Planning Board, consisting of an Issei repre- 
sentative from each of the seven wards. In many ways it acted as 
a second council. The other was the Cooperative Enterprises, which, 
through its control of so many important aspects of the economic 
life of the project, exercised an important influence on the trend 
of community affairs. 

The pattern of adjustment to detention described for Tule Lake 
was followed, with minor variations, in all the relocation projects 
from the period of intake to the crisis period described in the next 
chapter. The pattern shows an initial cooperative and surprisingly 
unprotesting acceptance of a new situation by the evacuees followed 
by unrest and distrust directed toward both the administration and 
fellow evacuees, with periods of protest and manifestations of revolt 
against the administration and cleavages among the residents. 

In two projects, Poston and Manzanar, the revolt aspect assumed 
major proportions. In the former, the revolt was handled by nego- 
tiation and wasTollowed by a superior adjustment between evac- 
uees and administration. In the latter, the revolt was met with 
repressive tactics, including the calling in of soldiers, the removal 
of alleged agitators and troublemakers to an isolation camp and 
the hasty withdrawal and resettlement of a number of J ACL leaders 
and other collaborators with the administration. The repercussions 
of both incidents had lasting effects, not only upon the evacuees but 
also upon the agencies administering the detention program. 

In Poston, suspicion that fellow-evacuees were acting as informers to the 
FBI led to two severe beatings on October 17 and November 14, 1942. On 
November 15 two Kibei, Nobuo Yamada 28 and Frank Numata were sud- 
denly arrested in Camp I 2 ^ and placed in the project jail for alleged com- 
plicity in the beatings. Delegations, predominantly Issei, called on the 

28 Yamada's role in postsegregation Tule Lake is described in later chapters in 
this volume. 

29 Poston was divided into three separate residential areas, known as Camps I 
II, and III. 


administrators 30 and requested the release of the young men, claiming they 
were innocent. They were informed that the disposition of the case was in 
the hands of the FBI. 

A rumor had spread that the FBI was coming on Wednesday morning, 
November 18, and someone sent a message to the subjugation (land 
reclamation) and warehouse crews to quit work and picket the police sta- 
tion. Meanwhile three to four hundred residents from interested blocks 
gathered in front of the police station to prevent the FBI from taking the 
prisoners. About 10:30 A.M. the chairman of the Issei Advisory Board pro- 
posed the framing of a resolution to the Project Director requesting the 
immediate release of the two boys. One of the leaders in the crowd also 
instructed the driver of the block managers' supply truck to go to each 
block manager's office and order him to close his office and send the block 
residents to the police station. By noon a crowd of some 2,500 had assem- 
bled and the following resolution in Japanese was read to them: 

"We, residents who number 5,000 have assembled here to request the 
immediate and unconditional release of two coresidents." 

The crowd increased after lunch. People gathered in small groups and 
talked in whispers. They were Issei and Kibei with a sprinkling of Nisei. 

At two o'clock the acting project director appeared to address the group 
over a public address system set up at the entrance of the police station. 
The gist of his speech was as follows: 

"The administration guarantees that justice will be carried out. If these 
persons are guilty I know that you want them punished. If they are inno- 
cent the authorities will release them without delay. The administration 
pledges that justice will be meted out, so please have faith in us. This is 
not the conduct of people in a civilized world. Let's go back to the course 
of normal life where we can be of greater service. This is not the thing to 
do, go back." 

When an interpreter began to translate the speech into Japanese, some- 
one pulled the plug out of the public address system so that the last part 
of the speech was lost. 

Later someone suggested that half of them stage a demonstration near 
the hospital, where the council was now meeting with the administration. 
The council had drafted a resolution, in accordance with the wishes the 
residents had expressed, asking for release of the young men. When this 
was refused, they immediately resigned, as did the Issei Advisory Board. 
In the evening a mass meeting was held and emergency delegates were 
selected from each block. These delegates immediately decided on a 
general strike the next morning, exempting, however, those employed 
in the mess halls, garages, maintenance department, hospital, schools, can- 
teen warehouse, garbage department, fire department, and the personnel 
kitchen. (The personnel kitchen was placed in the list of exemptions 
because a large number of teachers ate there, but none of the evacuee staff 

30 The Project Director, W. Wade Head, left on Wednesday morning to attend 
a WRA meeting in Salt Lake City. An acting project director was the chief ad- 
ministrative negotiator during most of the strike period. 


appeared next morning and the Caucasians were compelled to prepare 
their own breakfast.) Meanwhile, all the block managers resigned. 

The first clearcut demarcation of picketing by blocks occurred on the 
morning of November 19. Each block built a separate camp fire and con- 
structed a cardboard sign bearing the block's number in black crayon. 
Picketing by shifts also began on this day. The regulation of shifts was not 
uniform throughout the picket line since each block had been instructed 
to determine its own shifts. Some blocks had three shifts of eight hours 
each; some had four-hour shifts for older men and a six-hour shift for 
younger men; some had special hours designated for certain people, e.g., 
the period from 6 P.M. to i A.M. was restricted to young married men, i 
to 6 A.M. to older men, and 6 A.M. to 6 P.M. to all others. Still others had 
four-hour shifts divided between the eastern and western sections of the 
block. The subjugation crew, aided by enthusiastic volunteers, supplied 
the wood for the camp fires. 

Toward afternoon the people became worried about subsistence. Ru- 
mors began to fly that the administration was planning to cut off the food 
supply for the duration of the strike. A few Issei Advisory Board members 
therefore contacted the Chief Steward and received assurance from him 
that as long as he had the crew to transport provisions, the food supply 
would remain as usual. 

On the same afternoon, the FBI withdrew from the case and the admin- 
istration decided to release Numata and to turn Yamada over to the 
Yuma County authorities on the charge of assault with a deadly weapon. 
Numata, however, refused to leave the jail until Yamada's unconditional 

By afternoon the cardboard signs designating blocks were replaced by 
more substantial banners. At first these were usually white strips of cloth 
with a red circle around the block number. As the evening progressed the 
banners became larger and began more and more to resemble the Japanese 
flag. More Nisei began to appear on the scene, giving the superficial im- 
pression that the Issei and Nisei were united for once. But it soon became 
evident that most of them were there simply out of curiosity or because of 
intimidation or pressure from the Issei. In a number of blocks it had been 
announced at breakfast that anyone who refused to picket the police 
station w T ould be branded as inu and treated as such. In other blocks the 
intimidation was more subtle. 

That same morning the council and block managers of Camp II had 
met in an emergency session with the council and advisors from Camp III 
to hear three representatives from Camp I state their grievances. The 
spokesman for the strikers informed them that since the council and block 
managers in Camp I had resigned the day before they had no organized 
or recognized body to carry on negotiations with the administration and 
therefore were calling upon them for help. The assembled group then 
selected a committee of twelve consisting of two block managers, two 
councilmen, and two advisors from the two units (Camps II and III) . 
They immediately began negotiating with the administration. 


At sunrise on November 20 the pickets who had been huddled before 
the camp fires stood up and facing east shouted in unison, "Dai Nippon 
Teikoku Banzai!" (Banzai to the great Japanese Empire!) 

Warnings to inu (in this case possible informers to FBI) became con- 
spicuous. Having reference to the fact that the word inu means literally 
"dog" a dog-faced man appeared on the post, which bore the block 22 
flag; a cartoon of a dog, and a real dog-bone bearing the message, "This is 
for dogs" on the police station wall; a dog with a wienie suspended in 
front of it on the block 19 post, and a Japanese boy chasing a dog on the 
block 35 banner. The anxious voice of parents admonishing their teen-age 
sons not to become inu could be heard near the camp fires. At all hours 
of the day and night the pickets were entertained with Japanese music 
from records played by a Kibei about fifteen years of age. An American 
record had been played sometime Thursday afternoon but was hooted 
down. American music did not reappear on the program until late Satur- 
day afternoon (November 21) . 

About this time some Issei began to question whether the demonstra- 
tions were not going too far. Some said, "Something must be done about 
those flags and banzais," and others, "This kind of thing is okay for 
bachelors and childless people but not for us with families." This was the 
beginning of the sentiment that the strike must be settled quickly. 

The Emergency Council had in its meeting on November 19 selected an 
Executive Committee of nine members. This committee was, on Novem- 
ber 20, called upon to consider a compromise plan to settle the strike, 
introduced by the intermediaries from Camps II and III, and approved 
by the administration. This plan proposed that Yamada be released imme- 
diately and tried by an evacuee jury at Poston upon charges instituted by 
the Chief of Internal Security. However, neither this committee nor the 
larger Emergency Council was willing to decide the matter, and it was 
referred to the blocks. 

On the evening of November 20 each block of Camp I held a meeting 
to decide on one of two proposals: (i) to continue the demonstration until 
Yamada was unconditionally released or (2) to accept the Camp II plan. 

The plebiscite resulted in an almost equal division of the camp half of 
the blocks favoring the continuation of the demonstration, the other half 
demanding a trial. 

Since the results of the plebiscite were so close, the Emergency Council 
was afraid to take any decisive steps toward the adoption of the compro- 
mise plan, although many of them seemed to favor it. The Executive 
Committee thereupon resumed direct negotiations. 

On the morning of November 22, when the Executive Committee 
approached the Project Director (who had returned from Salt Lake City) 
for an audience, the request was refused on the ground that he was busy 
and could see them at the earliest on Monday (November 23) . 

When the Executive Committee arrived for their conference with the 
Project Director, he agreed to the release of Yamada pending trial by an 
evacuee jury in Poston, but at the same time demanded a guarantee of a 


better community in the future. The delegates returned home to work 
upon plans toward this end to be presented to the Project Director on 
November 24. 

At this meeting they presented the following three proposals to the 
Project Director: 

1. To establish a public relations committee to mediate with and settle 
all problems affecting personal reputations and damages out of court. 

2. To give Poston residents the right to select and appoint all evacuee 
personnel in the administration and important positions. 

3. To establish a City Planning Board based upon the present Emer- 
gency Council, within the framework of the WRA, which should create 
the necessary administrative, legislative, and economic organizations. 

The Executive Committee then met the delegation from the administra- 
tion and details of procedure were worked out. In the evening the Project 
Director spoke before the assembled residents. He began informally: 
"Hello, folks. I see that you are in a better mood tonight." He then pro- 
ceeded to explain that the community was not to blame for the unfor- 
tunate incident and that he wished to see Poston become the best 
community in the entire United States. 

After warmly applauding the Project Director the crowd dispersed at 
about 11:00 P.M. and the strike was over. :u 

The Manzanar riot had a more bitter, violent and moblike char- 
acter and resulted in numerous injuries and two deaths. 

On the evening of Saturday, December 5, 1942, Frank Masuda, a Nisei, 
formerly a Los Angeles restaurant owner and chairman of the Southern 
District JACL was beaten up by a gang and severely injured. 

Early on the morning of December 6 several persons suspected by 
Masuda of being involved in his beating were ordered arrested. Among 
these was Dick Miwa, a Kibei junior cook, who for some time had been 
trying to organize the mess-hall workers and had publicly accused the 
Assistant Project Director and the Caucasian Chief Steward of theft of 
sugar and meat from evacuee warehouses. Reports of these charges were 
widely circulated and generally believed by the residents. 

It is not plain that Masuda recognized positively any of his assailants 
but the bitter and contemptuous opposition of Miwa to the administra 
tion and its alliance with the hated JACL made him a natural suspect. 
Furthermore he could not account for his movements on the previous 
night. He was therefore taken to the county jail at Independence, Cali- 
fornia, while the other suspects were lodged in the project jail. 

Popular resentment and reaction were immediate. By i P.M. a crowd 
had gathered near Miwa's former residence. A public address system had 
been set up, and J. Y. Kurihara,' 2 among others, made demands (i) for the 
unconditional release of Miwa, (2) for an investigation by the Spanish 

31 Based on a report prepared for this study by Tamie Tsuchiyama. 
3 - See Appendix for his life history. 


Consul 33 of conditions at Manzanar, (3) for further action against Masuda 
and other inu in camp. 

In the course of the meeting, "death lists" and "black lists" of alleged 
inu, most of whom were JACL collaborators with the administration, were 
read off. In addition to Masuda, individuals so listed included Tokutaro 
Slocum, a World War I veteran who had attained American citizenship 
(under the act of 1935 34 ), and who had openly boasted of his connections 
with the FBI and other intelligence agencies, and Togo Tanaka and Joe 
Masaoka, former JACL leaders who, serving as "documentary historians" 
for the WRA Reports Office, were under suspicion of informing on fellow 

An Issei informant reported, concerning this afternoon meeting, that 
"the majority sentiment is that they want Mr. Miwa released from jail; 
they are convinced he was framed and wrongly accused by Mr. Masuda, 
whose accusation [that Miwa beat him up] is believed to be only another 
of a list of bad things he has done against the Japanese. Some speakers 
even said they would 'do a lot of killing tonight unless Miwa was re- 
leased.' " Another Issei reported: "The meeting served to fire up the men 
with great zeal. Many speakers said that Miwa was being made a scapegoat 
by the administration because he had exposed the sugar fraud and had 
sacrificed himself for the people. They said that Masuda was in on the 
plot. It was decided that unless the administration released Miwa that 
night, the mess-hall workers would all go on strike the next day." 

According to official reports Project Director Ralph Merritt met with 
evacuee representatives shortly after the noon assembly. Meantime he had 
requested military police to be in readiness to intervene, and they had 
lined up at the police station inside the project area. Merritt agreed to 
bring Miwa back to the project, but insisted that he be confined in the 
Manzanar jail. 

Dissatisfied with this compromise, evacuees assembled again at 6 p.m. 
The second Issei quoted above reported: "The evening meeting was much 
worse. They're going out to get about ten or eleven inu, I can't remember 
all the men whose names were read off several times over the microphone. 
I don't know the man's name who made the speech and began calling off 
the names, but he was terribly excited. The first name called off to be 
killed was Mr. Masuda. They said that the hospital should be invaded and 
Mr. Masuda killed because the administration had refused to release Mr. 
Miwa, and that the Negotiating Committee had gotten no place at all 
with Mr. Merritt. The speakers were also excited about the soldiers who 
had been drawn up by the police station and said that as true Japanese 
'we should not be afraid to die in this cause as our brothers are dying for 
justice and permanent peace and the new order in Asia.' Most of the talk 
though was about the inu activities of the men on the 'death list.' " 

The assembled crowd split into two parts, one heading for the hospital 

33 The Spanish Government represented Japanese nationals in the United 
States during most of the war period. 
31 See footnote 4, p. 2. 


to "get" Masuda, the other moving toward the project jail where Miwa 
was, by this time, confined. When Masuda could not be found (he had 
been hidden under a movable hospital bed), the part of the crowd that 
had headed for the hospital moved toward the barracks of half-a-dozen 
other alleged inu on the death list but, failing to locate the intended 
victims, joined up with the larger crowd and pushed toward the police 

The Project Director called on the commanding officer of the military 
police, and authorized him to declare martial law. A detachment of sol- 
diers shortly appeared, and forced the crowd away from the police station. 
The Assistant Project Director at this point called the FBI in Los Angeles 
requesting agents to come into the center and "get at the bottom of this 
thing." Evacuee spokesmen demanded audience with the Project Director 
and pressed the commanding officer for release of Miwa. They were 
refused. The soldiers, who had managed to push the crowd completely 
away from the police station, now lined up, armed with submachine guns, 
shotguns, and rifles. Evacuees jeered and made insulting gestures. The 
soldiers thereupon donned gas masks and threw a number of tear gas 
bombs into the crowd. The evacuees fled blindly in every direction and 
some were piled up against a telephone pole, covering it with blood. The 
crowd re-formed and the soldiers fired, without orders. Within two minutes 
after the gas bombs had been thrown, no evacuee was in sight except the 
wounded lying in the street. A short time later a small crowd re-formed 
and started a parked automobile, aiming the car at a machine gun em- 
placement. The car curved away from the machine gun, crashing through 
the northwest corner of the police station and finally stopped against one 
of the army trucks parked west of the police station. Several bursts were 
fired by the machine gunner at the car as it swung across the road. The 
empty car was hit several times, one of the bullets ricocheting and wound- 
ing a corporal of the military police. 

In all, ten evacuees were treated for gunshot wounds and it was believed 
that several others were hurt but did not ask for treatment, from fear of 
implication in the affair. One evacuee died almost immediately. He was a 
young Nisei, one of whose brothers was then serving in the United States 
Army. A second evacuee, nineteen years old, died on December 1 1 from 
complications resulting from his wounds. Throughout the night military 
police, augmented by State Guardsmen, patroled the interior of the camp. 
Among the evacuees, shifts were arranged at each mess hall, and the bells 
tolled loudly and continuously throughout the entire night and late into 
the morning. Small crowds assembled outside the barracks occupied by the 
Slocums, the Tanakas and the Masudas. The families were intimidated, 
but the men who were being sought escaped. Within twenty-four hours 
all the family members of the alleged inu were taken to military police 
barracks for safety. 

On the next day block managers distributed black arm bands, instruct- 
ing residents to wear them until the funeral of the first youth killed. It 
was estimated that between two-thirds and three-quarters of the residents 


wore some symbol of mourning for several days. Many Nisei voluntarily 
wore their mourning stripes; others were openly coerced, mothers being 
told that their children would be treated as inu unless they conformed. 

On Sunday morning (December 13), Masuda, Slocum, Masaoka, Tanaka 
and some twenty others on the death lists and black lists were, with their 
families, removed from Manzanar and taken to an abandoned CCC camp 
in Death Valley, from which two months later they were permanently 
resettled. Miwa, Kurihara, and others suspected of implication in the 
"riot" had been sent to the County Jail, and later moved to a Department 
of Justice Internment Camp (if aliens) or to a WRA Isolation camp at 
Moab, Utah (if citizens). Following the riot there were no work activities 
for a period, but relatively normal conditions prevailed in about a month. 

Opposition to JACL leadership was undoubtedly the underlying factor 
in the Manzanar incident, aggravated by the encouragement the govern- 
ment agencies (particularly WCCA) gave the JACL organization. When 
Washington directives announced that the temporary government, com- 
prised largely of Issei, would be supplanted by an all-citizen council, JACL 
was blamed. When Masuda and other JACL leaders formed a patriotic 
"Manzanar Citizens Federation," the attempt met intense opposition. 
When Tanaka (another JACL leader) assumed chairmanship of a com- 
mission on Self-Government, an anonymous "Blood Brothers' Organiza- 
tion" sent threatening letters to all the commissioners and posted signs 
accusing them of being inu. When Masuda attended the JACL convention 
in Salt Lake City in mid-November and was reported to have given sup- 
port to a resolution pledging Nisei to volunteer for the armed forces, inu 
accusations became more frequent and intense, and when, shortly there- 
after, volunteers were sought by the Army for one of its language schools, 
acts of violence against the first volunteer (who had been associated with 
Masuda's activities in Manzanar) were reported. 

Furthermore, the resentment against Masuda and the JACL reached 
back into a period antedating the war. The residents of Manzanar were, 
in the main, from Los Angeles, and it was known to them or believed by 
them that at the time Masuda was Chairman of the Southern District of 
the JACL in Los Angeles he and the JACL had been in active collabora- 
tion with American intelligence agencies, in anticipation of war. Specifi- 
cally, several months before the outbreak of war, the Southern District 
JACL had organized a Coordinating Committee for Defense. Among other 
duties, this body was charged with gathering information to be turned 
over directly to Naval Intelligence. As a result, frequent inu accusations 
were already being applied to some JACL leaders in "Little Tokio," Los 
Angeles, as early as August and September, 1941. 35 

35 Based on a report prepared for this study by Togo Tanaka. 

Chapter III 


Administrative Determination of 
"Loyalty" and "Disloyalty" 


established in March, 1942. Not until November of that year were 
all involuntary evacuees settled in relocation projects under its 
jurisdiction. By this time officials of the Authority had embarked 
on a program for facilitating resettlement in the "outside world" 
by the evacuees under their control, with a view toward the even- 
tual liquidation of the relocation projects. The implementation of 
this program resulted in an unanticipated, almost fortuitous, ad- 
ministrative determination of evacuee "loyalty" and "disloyalty" 
and the segregation of the "disloyal" into a center from which 
access to the outside world was strictly prohibited. 

Detention of evacuees for the duration of the war in ideally 
planned communities had been the program formulated by Eisen- 
hower in April, 1942. "A genuinely satisfactory relocation of the 
evacuees into American life" would have to wait until the end of 
the war "when the prevailing [popular] attitudes of increasing bit- 
terness have been replaced by tolerance and understanding." 1 

Exceptions to the nonresettlement policy were few in the early 
days and were limited to (i) mixed bloods and the female spouse 
in mixed marriages, most of whom had been released by the Army; 
(2) those who had made previous arrangements to evacuate volun- 
tarily but were unavoidably prevented from meeting the Army 
deadline; (3) tubercular cases; and (4) college students who wanted 
to continue their studies outside the prohibited areas. Only the last 

1 Eisenhower to President Roosevelt, June 18, 1942. 


of these four classes became numerically important. A plan for 
federal subsidies for such students, proposed by President Sproul 
of the University of California, did not materialize; but it led, with 
the approval of the War Department, to the formation of the pri- 
vately organized National Student Relocation Council under the 
auspices of the American Friends Service Committee, which, in the 
course of time, placed several thousand evacuee students in eastern 
colleges and communities. 

Seasonal furloughs for agricultural work were encouraged from 
the early spring of 1942, but evacuee workers on furlough were still 
considered to be "in the constructive military custody of the West- 
ern Defense Command," and violation of furlough regulations 
made them subject to the penalties of Public Law ^o^. 2 Under these 
regulations, more than 1,500 evacuees worked in the fields of east- 
ern Oregon and the intermountain states during the spring and 
summer of 1942. 

Members of the WRA employment division soon felt that a 
seasonal employment program was not enough and that efforts 
should be reinstituted for a more vigorous plan of resettlement. 
By the time Myer assumed office as Director, they had developed 
proposals for his consideration. By the end of July a cautious policy 
had been worked out limiting nonseasonal leaves from relocation 
projects to American citizens who had never at any time resided 
in Japan. An applicant for such leave was required to give proof 
that he had had a valid job offer, and that he had made adequate 
arrangements for the care of his dependents. A detailed report on 
his behavior in the relocation project and a formal investigation 
of his "loyalty" was required from the Project Director. A check 
with FBI records was organized under the auspices of the Regional 
Director, while the National Director, charged with final approval 
of the application, might require additional investigation and im- 
pose other conditions, such as evidence of sponsorship in the com- 
munity of destination. Failure to observe any conditions set up by 
the National Director made the individual concerned also subject 
to the penalties of Public Law 503, and the leave permit was revo- 
cable at the will of the National Director. 

Not even a moderate number of evacuees was resettled under this 
program, and new restrictions were hampering the already clumsy 

3 See p. 27. 


procedure. The FBI check on the individual was augmented by 
checks by other intelligence agencies. For a period, each pros- 
pective employer, as well as the applicant for leave clearance, was 
checked. But this requirement was dropped after a short trial 
period in August. 

Meantime, student relocation was showing some progress in spite 
of restrictions by the Army and Navy on entry of evacuees to most 
of the leading colleges and universities of the country, 3 and seasonal 
work had become so popular that, at the peak of the harvest season, 
some 9,000 evacuees were working in temporary jobs in agriculture 
in eight western states. 

Determined to liberalize the policy, Myer, in late September, 
obtained the approval of the Justice and War departments to ex- 
tend the leave program to all evacuees rather than a limited seg- 
ment of the citizen group, and to drop the "constructive military 
custody" feature. New instructions were issued early in November, 4 
providing for limited short-term and work-group leaves in addition 
to indefinite leaves for permanent resettlement. Liberalization did 
not, however, extend to the matter of investigation of applicants. 
Investigation of the individual's character and "loyalty" became, 
in fact, even more elaborate. 

Having decided to go all out for resettlement, Myer instructed 
project directors, at a meeting in Salt Lake City late in November, 
to make this their major point of emphasis, and an extensive propa- 
ganda program was thereupon initiated. It was, however, still 
taking about three months to clear an individual record through 
the FBI. Even under the most favorable circumstances, in cases 
given special handling, a period of weeks was necessary to complete 
the filing of forms and recommendations, the final investigation, 
and the transmission of papers from the projects to Washington 
and back to the projects again. Jobs promised the evacuees were 
frequently lost as a result of these delays. WRA, therefore, decided 
to attempt a blanket determination of persons eligible for indefi- 
nite leave, irrespective of whether or not these persons had yet 
indicated a desire to resettle. 

The chance to build up a file of persons eligible for leave clear- 

3 In general, any college or university carrying on a "classified" program spon- 
sored by the Army or the Navy could not accept Nisei students from camps. 
* WRA, Administrative Instruction No. 22 (Revised), November 6, 1942. 


ance was suddenly offered WRA as a by-product of a decision of the 
War Department to have all male citizens of Japanese ancestry, of 
appropriate ages, execute "loyalty" questionnaires as a prelimi- 
nary to the formation of a combat team of Japanese American vol- 
unteers. This action of the War Department was in part the result 
of some prodding by WRA officials, who felt that their public 
relations program for resettlement was greatly hampered by non- 
participation of the Japanese minority in the armed forces and who 
had also been led to believe 5 that the observed decline in evacuee 
morale was directly attributable to relegation of Nisei to the status 
of "second class citizens," ineligible for military service, and they, 
therefore, urged reinstitution of selective service procedures for this 
group on the same basis as for other American citizens. 

This recommendation was not acceptable to the War Depart- 
ment at this time, but an alternative plan for voluntary induction 
in a separate combat unit was approved and announced by Secre- 
tary Stimson on January 28, 1943, with the statement that "it is the 
inherent right of every faithful citizen, regardless of ancestry, to 
bear arms in the Nation's battle." President Roosevelt reiterated 
this standpoint in a message to Stimson, which was released to the 
press on February 3, saying that "no loyal citizen of the United 
States should be denied the democratic right to exercise the respon- 
sibilities of his citizenship, regardless of his ancestry," and Dillon 
Myer found "deep satisfaction in the announcement . . . [which 
makes] January 28, 1943, the most significant date of the last ten 
months for persons of Japanese ancestry." 7 

The Army program of "processing" citizens prior to enlistment 
immediately became tied in with a hastily devised WRA program 
of "processing" the whole adult population prior to resettlement, 
and a joint agreement for the registration of all persons 17 years of 
age or older was reached. WRA planned thereby to capitalize for 
publicity purposes on what it believed would be a successful pro- 

3 By JACL leaders and other highly articulate Americanized Nisei. 

Many Nisei, inducted before Pearl Harbor, had been given honorable dis- 
charges, after the war began, with no specification of cause of dismissal. In 
March, 1942, potential Nisei inductees were arbitrarily assigned to IV-F, the 
category previously reserved for persons ineligible for service because of physical 
defects: and on September i, 1942, this classification had been changed to IV-C, 
the category ordinarily used for enemy aliens. 

7 WRA, Press Release, January 28, 1943. 


gram of Army enlistment and to break the existing bottleneck in its 
leave-clearance program. Together, the two agencies worked out a 
plan for the implementation of the entire program, to begin only 
ten days after the announcement of January 28. 

The War Department organized ten teams, each consisting of 
a commissioned officer, two sergeants, and one Japanese American 
technician or sergeant to conduct the Army registration and accept 
volunteers. The personnel of these teams was assembled in Wash- 
ington and given a short training course before proceeding to the 
projects. At the same time representatives of each of the relocation 
centers came to Washington for conferences on registration. Other 
project officials were told of the program by the national director at 
meetings scheduled for general policy discussion, in Denver and 
elsewhere. The conclusion reached at the Washington meetings 
was to leave detailed planning and execution of registration as the 
joint responsibility of each project director and the captain of the 
Army team. 

Two registration forms were prepared in Washington, one for 
male citizens of Japanese ancestry (17 years of age and over) with 
the seal "Selective Service System" at the top, and headed "State- 
ment of United States Citizens of Japanese Ancestry," the other for 
female citizens and for Issei males and females. The latter form 
was headed "War Relocation Authority Application for Leave 
Clearance." The questionnaires were complicated and lengthy, in- 
cluding some thirty questions. Most of the questions covered the 
individual's sociodemographic history and status, with, however, 
additional questions of a somewhat unusual nature whether close 
relatives resided in Japan; details regarding foreign travel and for- 
eign investments; membership in and contributions to societies, 
organizations, and clubs; magazines and newspapers customarily 
read; possession of dual citizenship, etc. The crucial questions were 
numbers 27 and 28. On the form for male citizens these read: 

Question 27: Are you willing to serve in the armed forces of the United 
States on combat duty, wherever ordered? 

Question 28: Will you swear unqualified allegiance to the United States 
of America and faithfully defend the United States from any or all attack 
by foreign or domestic forces, and forswear any form of allegiance or 
obedience to the Japanese emperor, or any other foreign government, 
power, or organization? 


On the form for female citizens and aliens of both sexes, 8 the ques- 
tions were formulated as follows: 

Question 27: If the opportunity presents itself and you are found quali- 
fied, would you be willing to volunteer for the Army Nurse Corps or the 

Question 28: Will you swear unqualified allegiance to the United States 
of America and forswear any form of allegiance or obedience to the Japa- 
nese emperor, or any other foreign government, power, or organization? 

Formal WRA instructions provided simply for the registration 
of male citizens over 17 years of age, who were to fill in not only the 
"Statement of United States Citizens of Japanese Ancestry," but 
also an abbreviated version of the regular WRA leave-clearance 
form. The two forms were to be processed as an application for 
leave clearance. Questions on the selective service questionnaire 
were, in general, to be answered before WRA interviewers, but 
questions 27 and 28 had to be answered in the presence of an Army 
representative. 9 

In a letter accompanying these instructions, the Acting National 
Director (Rowalt) pointed out that the War Department accept- 
ance of Nisei was "readily the most important development since 
the evacuation and relocation program was ordered almost a year 
ago." Registration would become the "No. i priority" on the proj- 
ects. In this letter, the registration of adults other than male citi- 
zens was covered merely by a statement that the instructions were 
to be used also in "registering all other persons, male and female, 
regardless of citizenship, who have also attained age 17." The regis- 
tration was to be compulsory "except in the case of those who have 
requested repatriation." 10 The letter contained also a sentence of 
warning, as follows. 

8 See p. 61. 

9 WRA, Administrative Instruction No. 22 (Revised), Supplement 3, January 
30, 1943. The Selective Service Form was DSS Form 3O4a; the abbreviated form 
for leave clearance, WRA Form 1263. 

10 Repatriation procedures had been initiated by the State Department on 
June i, 1942, when the first list of "eligibles" designated by the Japanese govern- 
ment was submitted to the Wartime Civil Control Administration. By the middle 
of July, evacuee-initiated applications for repatriation (of aliens) and expatria- 
tion (of American citizens) were made possible, though no assurance of the 
acceptance of such applications could be given. By October 21, 1942, some 2,800 
evacuees (including their minor children) had applied for repatriation or 
expatriation, but less than 6 per cent of these were on the Japanese government's 


Please make it clear that we are not going to force people to relocate 
when they do not want to be relocated. 11 

War Department officials were aware of the fact that their pro- 
gram of recruiting volunteers might not be received with enthu- 
siasm by the camp residents. They had, therefore, prepared a 
skillfully worded document, which was to be read by a member of 
the Army team to evacuee groups at each project. 12 The document 
started with an assurance that the program 

... is not an experiment but marks the radical extension and broadening 
of a policy which has always intended that ways should be found to return 
you to a normal way of life ... its fundamental purpose is to put your 
situation on a plane which is consistent with the dignity of American 

It anticipated objections that life in camp "is not freedom": 

The circumstances were not of your own choosing, though it is true 
that the majority of you and of your families accepted the restrictions 
placed upon your life with little complaint and without deviating from 
loyalty to the United States. 

It pointed out that there are "millions of Americans who agree 
with your point of view." The hardships of evacuation were ad- 
mitted, but were justified as a temporary sacrifice of the "best 
interests of the few . . . for what seems the good of the many." The 
obligation to "protect this nation from the acts of those who are 
not loyal" meant the temporary sacrifice of "the loyal citizen who 
wishes only to serve this country." 

It was hoped "that ways shall be found to restore you as quickly 
as may be to your normal and rightful share in the present life and 

list. Applications increased during the registration program, the total number 
of requests reaching 6,400 by July i, 1943; and pyramided in the postsegregation 
period (see chapters IV ff.), the total exceeding 8,000 by December i, 1943; 10,000 
by April i, 1944; 15,000 by July i, 1944; and 19,000 by October 15, 1944. (See 
U.S. Army. Western Defense Command and Fourth Army. Final Report, Japa- 
nese Evacuation from the West Coast, 1942. Washington, Government Printing 
Office, 1943, Chap. XXIV; and War Relocation Authority, Community Analysis 
Section, "An Analysis of Requests for Repatriation and Expatriation," manu- 
script, November 18, 1944.) 

11 E. M. Rowalt to Project Directors, January 30, 1943. 

12 An official Japanese translation of the speech reached most projects too late to 
be useful. In at least two projects it was not used on the ground that it failed 
to convey the meaning of the English version. Thus, many Issei were not exposed 
to the propagandic effects of the speech. 


work of the people of the United States" a life that would not be 
without hardships, but that would involve "the same hardships 
which are now being experienced by other American families." 

The "willing . . . and loyal" of military age were asked to volun- 
teer. The loyal not qualified for service "will be given the oppor- 
tunity to support the war effort by work upon the home front." 
Individuals "whose ties with the Japanese Empire are such as to 
disqualify them for positions of trust in this country" were not 
wanted. They would, however, "be treated humanely." The ques- 
tionnaire was to be the means of differentiating between this group 
and the loyal. 

Those failing to volunteer "will probably be taken into the mili- 
tary service in due time" via selective service. The combat team 
would be composed exclusively of "Americans of Japanese blood." 
This was justified on a public relations basis, for the record made 
by this team "would be a living reproach to those who have been 
prejudiced against you because of your Japanese blood." 

WRA officials had prepared no such propagandic approach to 
their program of registration for leave clearance. They had evi- 
dently assumed that registration would be taken as a matter of 
course by the evacuees and that affirmative answers to questions 27 
and 28 would likewise be given as a matter of course. This assump- 
tion was apparently so strong that they had not even attempted to 
adapt the wording of the Army questionnaire for citizens of mili- 
tary age to the far different outlook and problems of the alien 
group. Thus no explanation was made of the obvious absurdity 
of asking elderly aliens, especially males, whether they would be 
willing to enlist in the Army Nurse Corps or the Women's Army 
Auxiliary Corps (question 27 for aliens; see p. 58)." The infer- 
ence of forced resettlement that might be drawn from the head- 
ing, "Application for Leave Clearance," used on forms for aliens, 
although anticipated, was not elaborated upon. Finally, the im- 
plications of asking aliens ineligible for American citizenship to 
"forswear any form of allegiance or obedience to the Japanese 
emperor" were not recognized. This last point was appreciated 
belatedly, and a few days after registration began, a substitute ques- 
tion was formulated, which would avoid the technical assumption 
of status as "stateless persons" by aliens who could not become 

13 In some relocation projects aliens were not required to answer this question. 


citizens of the country to which they had been asked to swear alle- 
giance. This substitute question 28 read: 

Will you swear to abide by the laws of the United States and to take no 
action which would in any way interfere with the war effort of the United 


How far results were from anticipations, both of the War Depart- 
ment and of WRA, is shown by a brief summary of the registration 

(1) It had been hoped to recruit at least 3,500 volunteers. The 
number recruited was approximately 1,200. 

(2) It had been expected that registration would be taken as a 
matter of course. There was an immediate and widespread resist- 
ance to registering in several projects, and in one Tule Lake the 
opposition was never overcome. When the registration period 
ended, 30 per cent of the eligible adults still remained unregistered 
at that project. 

(3) It had been expected that affirmative answers, particularly 
to question 28, would be made as a matter of course. Instead, a 
marked tendency to negative replies developed, especially among 
American citizen males, some 28 per cent of whom refused to "swear 
unqualified allegiance to the United States" or to "forswear any 
form of allegiance or obedience to the Japanese emperor." The 
comparable proportion for female citizens was 18 per cent. Aliens, 
most of whom were permitted to answer the substitute question 28, 
gave negative answers or refused to register in 10 per cent of the 
cases of males, 7 per cent of females. 

There were the widest variations in responses among residents 
of different relocation projects. In Tule Lake 42 per cent of all 
eligible persons either refused to register or answered question 28 
in the negative; and in Manzanar and Jerome, while all registered, 
26 per cent replied in the negative. At the other extreme was Gra- 
nada, with only about 2 per cent giving a technically "disloyal" 

Chart II shows the "loyalty" pattern, as determined by registra- 
tion results, for the ten relocation projects and indicates, strikingly, 
the contrast between Tule Lake and all other projects. And Chart 
III shows the peculiarities of the alien-citizen contrasts among 
males, for selected projects. The reasons for these peculiarities will 


become clear in the accounts which follow on pages 64 to 82 of 
the course of registration at several of the projects. 

The strong alien-citizen contrast, and the extreme variation 
among relocation projects soon made it apparent that negative 
answers to questions devised to test "loyalty" were motivated by 
many other factors in addition to political allegiance. The ques- 

Per cents of Total Population 17 Years of Age or Older Giving 
Nonaffirmative Replies to Question 28 or Refusing to Register, 
by Relocation Projects, February- March 1943 








26 26 

o o y 

H H H 

cc < 

LJ ^ 

> O 

o: Q 

3 I 


Chart II 

tions, and their method of presentation, aroused a strong protest 
reaction among Nisei, who, having had almost all their rights as 
citizens abrogated through evacuation and forcible confinement, 
questioned the justice of the restoration of just the one "right" of 
serving in the armed forces. They aroused fear and resistance 
among Issei who, stripped of all other possessions, used every means 
at their disposal to hold their families intact and to avoid what they 
conceived to be the certainty of the loss of their sons in combat, 14 
and who, having acceded to a forced evacuation from their homes 

14 Among the Japanese, it is assumed that if a boy enters the Army he will be 
killed in combat. This fatalistic view of Army service is found almost universally 
among the Issei and, to a surprising extent, is shared by many Nisei. 


to camps, were now determined to avoid a threatened second evac- 
uation from camps to an "outside world" that they had every reason 
to believe would regard them with hostility. These protest and 
fear reactions were fortified by administrative procedures which 
inadvertently attached penalties to affirmative answers and rewards 

Per cent of Male Citizen and of Male Alien Population 
17 Years of Age or Older Giving Nonaffirmative Replies 

to Question 28 or Refusing to Register, 
by Selected Relocation Projects, February -March 1943 

Chart III 

to negative answers, and by sudden and incompletely understood 
changes in policies. In several relocation projects, the mechanics of 
registration were handled skillfully and, as a consequence, no overt 
resistance developed. This was especially true in Minidoka. In 
Poston also the mechanics of the program proceeded smoothly, but 
the overt responses of the residents were far different from those in 
Minidoka. The progress of registration at Gila, Manzanar, and 
Jerome followed a more turbulent course. The following partial 
accounts of the course of registration in these projects illustrate the 
varying reactions. 

6 4 



The nature of the Nisei protest can best be exemplified by a petition, 
drawn up at Topaz and sent to the War Department, asking full restora- 
tion of civil rights and assurance of protection for their families as a pre- 
requisite to proceeding with the registration. This resolution was printed 
in the Topaz Times of February 15 and was widely used as propaganda 
against registration or for negative answers by Nisei and Kibei groups at 
other projects. 

The preliminaries to the resolution pointed out the acceptance and full 
cooperation by the Nisei "of the extraordinary orders of the United States 
Army," including the evacuation orders; their temporary surrender of 
"many of the rights and privileges of citizenship"; the failure of the gov- 
ernment, operating through the Federal Reserve Bank, to give its prom- 
ised "full protection from unscrupulous people at the time of evacuation"; 
the "losses of homes, properties, work, freedom of movement, separation 
from friends" which had been "suffered . . . without protest." They stated 
further their earnest desire "to prevent in the future the mass evacuation 
or confining of citizens without trial," their belief "that there is only one 
class of citizenship in the United States" and that "some of the things 
mentioned above constitute a violation of our civil rights." 

The resolution read: 

"i. That we ask Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson that after a thor- 
ough investigation by the Military Intelligence and the Federal Bureau 
of Investigation and other Federal authorities, that persons that are 
cleared should have absolute freedom of movement and a choice of return- 
ing to their homes. 

"2. That we request President Roosevelt to give us assurance that he 
will use his good Office in an endeavor to secure all constitutional and civil 
rights as American citizens. 

"3. That the security for the Issei be assured. 

"4. That we ask President Roosevelt to use his good Office to bring favor- 
able impression to the public regarding the loyal citizens. 

"5. That we ask that those Issei considered by the Government as being 
not disloyal to this Government be classified as friendly aliens. 

"6. That we have the Government note the advantages of the good 
publicity to be gained by disbursing [dispersing] Nisei soldiers into the 
Army at large, rather than by forming a separate Combat Team; and that 
the Government further note that the education of Caucasian soldiers can 
be made through deep comradeship that grows between soldiers facing a 
common task, and thereby educate the American public. 

"7. That the Government, recognizing that w r e are fighting for the Four 
Freedoms as embodied in the Atlantic Charter, should apply these demo- 
cratic principles to us here at home. 

"8. That we believe that if satisfactory answers can be given by a Gov- 
ernment spokesman, preferably the President of the United States, to 


these questions, we can go and fight for this our country without fear or 
qualms concerning the security of our future rights. 

"And be it further resolved that we respectfully ask for immediate 
answers to the questions in this resolution." 15 

The overt Nisei protest at Topaz centered around the problems of 
restoration of what they conceived to be their abrogated civil rights, fail- 
ure of government agencies to assure protection of their Issei parents, 
and the segregated, discriminatory basis on which they were being asked 
to serve in the armed forces. Underlying this protest was also a general 
reluctance to be inducted into the Army from behind barbed wire. Dillon 
Myer answered the resolution on February 16 by pointing out that the 
War Department announcement and President Roosevelt's statement had 
been made "in good faith," that the response would be a "crucial test" for 
the evacuees, and that it was not the time "to quibble or bargain." 1 ' 5 Three 
days later, an official War Department message reiterated these points, 
emphasizing that "it is only by mutual confidence and cooperation that 
the loyal Japanese Americans can be restored to their civil rights." 17 

The Topaz committee which had drawn up the resolution immediately 
issued a statement accepting "this registration as an indication of the 
government's good faith." The strength and persistence of the underlying 
doubts and resentments are, however, indicated by the fact that 32 per 
cent of the male citizens answered question 28 in the negative. 


The registration program placed emphasis upon volunteering for the 
Army as a patriotic duty and a wise course. Little attention was paid to 
other aspects of the program. Evacuee leaders, particularly Issei, were 
involved in planning and procedures at all stages. Five days of intensive 
discussion preceded the arrival of the Army team on February 6. Propa- 
ganda was developed by the administration to convince the residents that 
upon the success of the volunteering program depended, in large part, the 
future of the Japanese minority in America. Evacuee leaders emphasized 
the same points and, in addition, made much of the moral obligation of 
citizens and of aliens who intended to stay in this country to participate 
actively in the war effort. Reaction of the residents was mixed. There were 
frequent references to the injustice of the sacrifice demanded of Issei in 
giving up their sons, but the protest was an individual matter and was 
driven underground during this period. At the initial meeting with Army 
representatives, doubts revolved around the following points: 

1 . How will we be treated in the Army? Will we be treated fairly? 

2. How much discrimination are we going to meet after the war even 
though we volunteer? 

3. What is going to become of my family? Will they be secure? 

4. What benefits will we get by volunteering? 

5. What will be the consequences of not volunteering? 

15 Topaz Times, February 15, 1943. 17 Ibid., February 19, 1943. 

v> Ibid., February 16, 1943. 


Efforts were made by the administration to reward the "loyal." A War 
Department plan to man and equip the hitherto unused watchtowers was 
forestalled. The Washington office was asked to take steps to improve the 
status and facilitate the release of Department of Justice internees whose 
sons volunteered for induction. Finally, it was officially stated that 

"Army volunteers and others who leave dependents in the center may 
rest assured that they will be cared for as long as they wish to remain in 
this center." 18 

Registration proceeded in an orderly manner from block to block. After 
male citizens completed the WRA form, they were taken immediately in 
trucks to the administrative area and, if their answers to question 28 had 
been in the affirmative, they were asked to volunteer for the combat team. 
Reinstatement of selective service procedures for Nisei was presented as 
a necessary basis for restoration of other citizenship rights and was further 
described as dependent upon the success of the program of voluntary 
induction. The approach made by the Army team made it difficult not to 
volunteer. The young men were first asked how they would answer ques- 
tion 27, and the answers were often "yes." Next they were asked how they 
would answer question 28, and the answers were again "yes." They were 
then asked to sign the voluntary induction form. If they did not sign it, 
they were told that they could not answer "yes" to both questions 27 and 
28. As a result many of the boys answered "no" to question 27 rather than 
to sign for voluntary induction. A qualified answer to question 27, such 
as "yes, if drafted" evidently was not allowed during the early days of 
registration. Some of the young men felt that they could not refuse to 
volunteer even though they had not intended to. 

An editorial in the project newspaper emphasized the official standpoint: 

"There can be no more holding back with 'Yes, but' rationalizations. 

"And if it should be charged that we are being forced to volunteer, let 
it be remembered first that compulsion arises only from our own dilemma. 
. . . The hard, unrelenting fact is that the fix we are in and the extent and 
importance of all that is at stake does not permit petty quibbling and 
squirting of hypersensitive criticism at the one great chance we have. For 
the burden we bear is that we are to decide in no small measure, whether 
the generations to follow us will walk the main streets of America as equal 
citizens, or seek the side-streets as despised pariahs. . . ." u 

By February 25 the registration was complete. Only 9 per cent negative 
answers were recorded for citizen males. During registration and in suc- 
ceeding weeks, over 300 young men (21 per cent of the total eligible) 
volunteered for induction. With less than 7 per cent of the total male 
citizen population in relocation projects, Minidoka accounted for 25 per 
cent of all Army volunteers. 

18 Minidoka Irrigator, March 13, 1943. This administrative promise was abro- 
gated when all relocation projects were closed in the fall of 1945. 

19 Minidoka Irrigator, February 13, 1943. 



In general, registrants appeared for their interviews at the appointed 
hour and there were no refusals to register. In this project registration of 
all male citizens was completed before similar proceedings were initiated 
for female citizens and for aliens. Discussions of procedures were held in 
frequent meetings before registration began, and no organized attempts 
to intimidate or influence decisions were reported. 21 An appreciable pro- 
portion (18 per cent) of the male citizens, however, answered question 28 
in the negative. It was reported at the time that "those who answered 'no' 
are secretive. They meant what they said and are willing to take the con- 
sequences." The extent of the underlying tensions is suggested by the 
following description of a mass meeting on February 17 in Camp I. 

The crowd kept respectfully quiet while Lieutenant Bolton read the 
prepared army message. When the questioning began it soon became 
obvious that the people were out to heckle the army team. The type of 
inquiries they made mirrored their resentment and distrust of the U. S. 
government. They wanted definite commitments in return for volunteer- 
ing. If any enthusiasm toward joining the army was present it was cau- 
tiously camouflaged. When Lieutenant Bolton in the course of his speech 
announced that he had just received authority from Washington to accept 
loyal Issei who wished to serve in the U. S. Army, the crowd broke into a 
wild derisive laughter and hooted: "Try and get one!" People were also 
commenting that if the army team had brought along two or three Nisei 
captains instead of a single Nisei sergeant, it could probably whip up 
greater enthusiasm to serve its purpose. The lone Nisei sergeant was to 
them a symbol of racial discrimination in the U. S. Army. 

An idea of the type of heckling indulged in by the audience is shown 
by the following selection of the more extreme questions asked of the 
army team: 

i.Why are the loyal Japanese Americans not allowed to go back to 

2. My two brothers in Camp Savage and Camp Hare have been denied 
permission to visit our sick father in the Los Angeles County Hospital. 
Why can't they, who are in the uniform of the U. S. Army, visit their dying 
father when Caucausians in army uniforms may do so? 

3. What is the reason for giving some of us IV-C classification? We are 
without a country now. 

4. Why were Nisei draftees kicked out of the army after December 7? 

5. Why can't Nisei soldiers visit this camp? Are you afraid that they will 
see how bad conditions are in camp? 

6. Why were Nisei changed from combat duty to menial tasks after Pearl 

20 Based on report prepared for this study by Tamie Tsuchiyama. 

21 In a preregistration flare-up in Camp II, the JACL National President was 
beaten up by eight Kibei for his alleged sponsorship of reinstitution of selective 
service procedures. The matter was turned over to the FBI, who picked up a 


7. Why are Nisei not accepted in the Navy? 

8. Why the Jim Crow decision? 

9. Why were the Nisei stripped of their ranks after Pearl Harbor? 

10. Why were veterans of the last war put in camps when they proved 
their loyalty then? 

11. If we volunteer, will our interned parents be returned to our 

12. My brother is a pre-med student. Will he be given an opportunity to 
finish his medical training if he volunteers? I feel that since he is Japanese 
he will not be given the same consideration as a Caucasian soldier. 

13. May a Nisei apply for appointment at West Point? 

14. Why were Italian aliens in internment camps released while we 

were not released? 

GIL A 22 

The Army registration team arrived on February 8. Prior to its arrival, the 
project newspaper and other sources of communication had been devoted 
to extensive propaganda favoring enlistment, and, at the first meeting of 
the team with evacuee leaders (councilmen, block managers, etc.) the 
whole emphasis was put on this aspect of the program. Captain Thomp- 
son, who was in charge, read the prepared Army statement, and added 
that a quota of some 300 to 350 volunteers was expected from Gila. This 
statement aroused intense resentment among the evacuee leaders, who 
pointed out that the Japanese Americans had already shown their patriot- 
ism by cooperating in the government plan for evacuation, that their 
present situation represented a denial of all their rights, and that enlist- 
ment in the Army, under these conditions, was not a privilege but an 
unbearable sacrifice. 

When Captain Thompson stated that those families who had a son in 
the service would be given preference in the matter of relocation, a hiss 
of protest went up throughout the audience. It was pointed out to him that 
he apparently did not realize that the average modal age of Issei was 56, 
of Nisei 21. The Nisei was the breadwinner of the family, and if he were 
drafted the family hope of resettlement would be gone. 

The questions raised most persistently were those concerned with demo- 
cratic principles and those which expressed a fear of the disuniting of 
families. Answers to the effect that family disunification had occurred 
throughout the world and was happening to many Caucasian American 
families were not considered satisfactory by the evacuees. 

At this first meeting, the subject of loyalty to the United States did not 
arise. Loyalty became an issue later and was brought up, not by the 
evacuees, but by the administration. 

number of antiadministralion "agitators" and interned them at Santa Fe. Among 
them was Yamashita, who was later to play an important role in developments 
at the Tule Lake Segregation Center. (See chapters VII, XI, and XII.) 
22 Based on a report prepared for this study by Robert F. Spencer. 


Pressures against enlistment were followed by pressures against regis- 
tration. These pressures seemed to center in the Issei group and in the 
Kibei organizations of both camps. 23 

On Tuesday, February 9, a meeting, sponsored by the JACL was held 
in Butte Camp for a Nisei audience. On the next evening meetings were 
held simultaneously in Canal and Butte, both directed primarily toward 
the Issei, in an attempt to convince them of the necessity of allowing their 
sons to enter the armed forces. Captain Thompson presided at the Canal 
meeting and met with little enthusiasm. The Nisei sergeant who pre- 
sided in Butte was greeted with howls of derision and was not allowed 
to present his prepared speech. 

On Thursday night, February 11, a meeting with the well-organized 
Kibei Club in Butte was arranged. Its leader, George Wakida, who had 
been outspoken in opposition to the registration program, had been called 
into the Project Director's office earlier in the day and told that if his 
group failed to cooperate with Captain Thompson he would be held per- 
sonally responsible and might be indicted under the Espionage Act. The 
meeting of the Army officers with the Kibei proceeded quietly. There was 
no demonstration and few controversial questions were raised. After the 
open meeting, however, the Kibei Club held a closed meeting for its own 
members and was said to have advocated pressure tactics to bring about 
negative answers to the loyalty question. 

During the first two days of registration (February 11 and 12), more 
than half of those registering were reported to be giving negative answers. 
The administrators thereupon called in evacuee leaders and read the 
Espionage Act to them. This put an end to organized pressure against 
registration, but did not prevent outspoken expressions, particularly from 
Kibei leaders, and it soon became obvious from the continuing large 
number of negative answers that opposition to the questions was still 

The administration decided to take more drastic steps against the ele- 
ments of opposition. A list of alleged subversive leaders was, therefore, 
turned over to the FBI, who moved into the project in six cars with protec- 
tion from jeep patrols on the afternoon of February 16 and apprehended 
some twenty-eight Issei and Kibei suspects, who w r ere later removed to 
the Lordsburg internment camp for enemy aliens and the WRA Isolation 
Camp at Moab, Utah, respectively. Following the roundup all demon- 
stration died down, the leaders were gone, and pressures against registra- 
tion became an individual family affair. The net result of the registration 
at Gila was negative answers for some 37 per cent of the male citizens, but 
almost 100 per cent affirmative response among aliens. 

-" The Gila project consisted of two camps, Butte and Canal. 



It was in this charged atmosphere [that which followed the December 
"riot"] and while these many wounds [connected with evacuation] still 
smarted that registration began in February. Issei, who were painfully 
and doubtfully considering how they might pick up the threads of their 
lives in America after the war, were appalled to see that the questionnaire 
submitted to them was for the purpose of leave clearance. They envisaged 
themselves forced out of the center at a time when they were poor and 
discouraged and in the face of hostile public opinion. Those who had 
depended upon a Japanese community economically and socially, were 
dismayed at the program for thin dispersal in unfamiliar regions. 

But their most decided reaction was to question 28, the "loyalty" ques- 
tion submitted to them. It called upon them, in effect, to renounce their 
Japanese citizenship, something that enemy aliens, ineligible to American 
citizenship could hardly be expected to accept without protest. The major- 
ity of them determined to say "no." They assumed that this "no" would 
mean further restrictions upon their liberty and ultimate deportaion to 
Japan. Many of them resolved to anticipate their "liquidation in America" 
and to cast the die without further delay. A movement to sign repatria- 
tion forms began that almost grew to stampede proportions. The authori- 
ties, realizing that a wave of hysteria on the subject had set in, closed the 
door to repatriation requests until after registration was completed. 

In the meantime, government officials had recognized the doubtful 
legality of the original alien question 28. Those who were in charge at 
Manzanar understood that they were authorized to offer a substitute ques- 
tion. However, in their desire to stay reasonably close to the Washington 
version and because of a misunderstanding that arose in translating a 
word from English into Japanese (where the nearest Japanese equivalent 
has a much stronger and more military connotation) the Manzanar revi- 
sion was still not acceptable to many Issei. [The English version was: "Are 
you sympathetic to the United States and do you agree faithfully to defend 
the United States from any and all attack by foreign or domestic forces?"] 
Besides, by this time a negative attitude had swept the camp which would 
have made a receptive state of mind toward any question impossible at 
that time. 

It was at this time that the aliens turned to counsel and instruct their 
children. Those who had decided that there was no longer a place for 
them in America were determined that this country would not "rob" them 
of their children as it had taken their possessions. There began a campaign 
to prevail upon the children 17 years of age and over to say "no" to their 
loyalty question. The friction that was generated in homes over this issue 
is almost unbelievable. . . . Many children, knowing what the parents had 
lost and suffered, were unwilling to cause them further grief and anxiety 
and agreed to comply with their wishes. 

24 The description of the situation at Manzanar is quoted from a manuscript 
("Studies of Segregants at Manzanar") prepared by Morris Opler for the Com- 
munity Analysis Section of WRA. 


Moreover, the Nisei had many complaints of their own. They were any- 
thing but pleased with the question 28 submitted to citizens. This was 
especially true of those who did not possess dual citizenship, for the ques- 
tion called upon them to forswear allegiance to the Japanese emperor. It 
read more like a naturalization oath than something prepared for Ameri- 
can citizens. Question 27, the answers to which were to be used as the basis 
for organizing a volunteer Nisei army combat team, was viewed with great 
suspicion, too. 

Out of the turmoil and confusion came family decisions. Though there 
were some families that split on the issue, in the main the problem was 
threshed out in the family circle and parents and children answered in 
much the same vein. In view of the rumors and fears, the suspicion and 
irritation, the setting and the intimidation, it is remarkable that so many 
did hold to a "yes" answer. [52 per cent of the male citizens answered ques- 
tion 28 negatively, the largest proportion in any project. About half of 
these, however, later changed their answers to the affirmative.] 

In April still another substitute question 28 was submitted to the aliens. 
It was a mild and innocuous question which simply called upon the person 
to obey the laws of this country as long as he resided here and to do noth- 
ing to impede America's war effort. Approximately 98 per cent of the 
aliens found no difficulty in answering this in the affirmative [59 per cent 
had answered nonaffirmatively to the Manzanar revision]. It did not jeop- 
ardize their Japanese citizenship, it did not commit them to plans for the 
future (they had declared that Japan would never receive them if they 
agreed to the original question) and they had no hesitation in affirming 
that they would be law-abiding residents. The justification for putting this 
revised question before the aliens was that it had become the official Wash- 
ington version (too late, however, to be submitted at Manzanar in Febru- 
ary) which had been asked at every other center. The favorable response to 
this question put most of the aliens of Manzanar in the "yes" ("loyal") col- 
umn. It left their citizen children, who had in most instances answered in 
the negative to conform to parental wishes and practice, uncomfortably 
isolated in the "no" ("disloyal") column. 


The Jerome project in Arkansas 25 showed deviation from the general pat- 
tern in one important respect: although registration had begun, as sched- 
uled, on February 9, it was allowed to proceed in a desultory way, with no 
mention of compulsion, until March 6, when an announcement from 
Dillon Myer was submitted to the residents informing them that failure 
to register was a violation of WRA regulations and offenders were subject 
to 90 days' imprisonment. On that day some 500 men, mostly Nisei and 
Kibei, had assembled at the Administration Building and selected repre- 
sentatives to consult with the Project Director. Among these representa- 
tives were Abe, Kuratomi, Aramaki and Kodama, who were later to play 

'^ Details regarding registration in Jerome were furnished by George Kuratomi. 


important roles in the Tule Lake Segregation Center. When informed that 
registration was compulsory, they indicated their desire to apply for 
expatriation and presented a petition to that effect to the Project Director. 
The Project Director in a signed statement assured the petitioners that 
they would not be "arrested for refusal to register unless I am specifically 
directed by the Washington office of the War Relocation Authority. In 
case Washington directs the arrest of such persons, I will notify each indi- 
vidual at least 24 hours before any arrests are made." The registration 
deadline was extended and all those eligible to register complied with the 
requirement, although many of the original petitioners merely marked 
questions 27 and 28 as "Repatriate" or "Expatriate" instead of giving an 
unequivocal "no" answer. Including these, 33 per cent of the male citizens 
were recorded as giving nonaffirmative answers; and because of this pecu- 
liar administrative policy, 22 per cent of the alien males likewise appeared 
in the records as nonaffirmatives a result quite out of line with the average 
of other relocation projects. (See Chart III.) 

Doubt and fear accompanied registration in all relocation 
projects. Only in Tule Lake, however, were the unfavorable pre- 
dispositions of the residents channeled into a persistent collective 
movement of noncooperation and resistance a movement that 
eventually stigmatized its residents as "disloyal" in the eyes of the 
American public and within a few months led to the designation 
of this relocation project as a segregation center for evacuees whose 
loyalties were thought to lie with Japan. Resistance at Tule Lake 
was fostered by defective coordination between evacuee and ad- 
ministrative organizations; by the breakdown in communications 
between national and local representatives of the several branches 
of government responsible for registration; by the consequent in- 
ability of project officials to clarify issues, procedures, and penalties 
for the evacuees; by the speeding up of the program to meet a pre- 
determined deadline in spite of this lack of clarification; by errors 
in the administrative definition of penalties for noncooperation; 
and by use of force in the application of these penalties. Because 
of the far-reaching consequences of the Tule Lake program, its 
course will be described in detail. 

News of the proposed registration reached Tule Lake residents 
through the War Department release to the public press on Janu- 
ary 29, 1943. Not until February 4 was the fact that registration for 
recruitment would be correlated with general registration "for 
leave clearance" made known through the Tulean Dispatch. At the 


same time it was stated that registration would not be necessary for 
persons who had applied for repatriation to Japan. 

Repeated efforts by the Community Council and Planning Board 
representatives to obtain authentic information in the interim met 
with no success. The Project Director, Coverley, put off all ques- 
tions with promises of clarification by Hayes, the Assistant Project 
Director, who had gone to Washington for detailed instructions. 
When Hayes returned on February 2, however, he stated that he 
could add no details to the press releases, and was quoted in the 
Tulean Dispatch of February 4 as saying that "further clarification 
of recruitment will be announced by the Army team arriving on 
the project, February 6." The Army team did not arrive on Feb- 
ruary 6, as promised, but came on February 9, and registration had, 
meantime, been scheduled to begin on the morning of February 10. 

Left in a state of uncertainty about what they were to register for, 
why they had to register, and how registration was to proceed, from 
January 29 to February 9, evacuees made their own definitions of 
issues and procedures. Formal and informal discussions centered 
on the injustice of instituting military service, on the discrimina- 
tory aspects of the proposed segregated combat unit, on the prob- 
ability of forced resettlement as inherent in the program and on the 
dubious prospects of favorable employment opportunities on the 
outside. With official definitions still unclarified, when the JACL 
held a meeting on February 3, and its leaders advocated voluntary 
enlistment, reinstitution of selective service, and resettlement to 
work in war industries, rumors immediately arose to the effect that 
JACL and its Tule Lake leaders were responsible for the registra- 
tion policies. 20 

Members of the Army team and WRA officials finally met with 
various evacuee groups during the day and evening of February 9. 
At these meetings the prepared War Department statement was 
read. In very few meetings were questions accepted from the floor, 
and even accepted questions were left unanswered unless they con- 
formed to a standardized series of anticipated questions to which 
equally standardized answers had been prepared. The people ap- 
proached the first day of registration in an uneasy frame of mind 

26 Resentment against the JACL had been widespread in Tule Lake since its 
inception, owing partly to the control JACL leaders had exercised in the Walerga 
and Puyallup Assembly Centers, from which Tuleans were recruited, and partly 
to the prominence they achieved in politics in the Tule Lake Center itself. 


and with profound doubts of the meaning of the whole procedure. 
It had been determined that registration would proceed simulta- 
neously in all blocks for all classes of the population. Two teachers, 
one Nisei and one Caucasian, appeared at each block manager's 
office shortly after breakfast to serve as registrars, while Army offi- 
cers opened special offices to enlist male citizens for military service. 
Block managers had instructed all people over 17 years of age in the 
first barrack of each block to register that morning, but the instruc- 
tions had often lacked definiteness and conviction. Very few an- 
swered the summons. Reports began to circulate that many Nisei 
and Kibei were tearing up their birth certificates a symbolic repu- 
diation of their citizenship when they learned that they were being 
asked to serve in the Army after having been subjected to the in- 
dignity of evacuation, confinement behind barbed wire, and the 
insults of the American press. 

On the evening of the loth, meetings were held in every block 
and hundreds of questions were gathered, classified, assembled and 
submitted to the Project Director. One series of questions related 
to the fact that Issei became stateless persons if they answered ques- 
tion 28 affirmatively. 27 A more difficult set of questions related to 
the interpretations which could be given to question 28 for citizens, 
particularly the relation of "yes" and "no" answers, respectively, to 
the eventual application of selective service procedures; the effect 
on remaining citizenship rights and other possible penalties of a 
negative answer; whether there would be immediate rewards for 
answering "yes," e.g., return to the West Coast, the removal of dis- 
criminatory practices against minorities in the armed forces, free 
access of inductees to relocation projects where their families re- 
sided, assurance of support of dependents of inductees and, by 
inference, assurance that such dependents would not be forcibly 
resettled. Other questions attempted to clarify the definition of 
"loyalty," and to assess the relevance of questions 27 and 28 to such 
a definition. Still others were of a rhetorical sort and had little to 
do with immediate issues, but reflected protests against past in- 

By the third day of registration, only an insignificant number 
had complied with the requirements. In some blocks general agree- 
ments, binding residents not to register, were being made. Individ- 

27 The substitute question for aliens (see p. 61) had not yet reached the project. 


uals and families in other blocks failed to appear at the registrar's 
office at the appointed time. Some persons who had registered in 
the first two days were now asking to have their papers withdrawn. 
A stalemate existed. The desire to avoid commitment of any kind 
had become crystallized. 

Scapegoats were sought, and resentment against registration was 
turned against the vociferous, pro- America, JACL leaders, who had 
long been objectionable to most evacuees because of their con- 
sistently collaborationist policy in relations with the Army, WCCA, 
and WRA. Three of the leaders received anonymous, threatening 
notes, and one of them was hurriedly removed from the project on 
February 1 1 . 

On February 14 the first of a number of petitions against compli- 
ance with registration orders began to be circulated. On February 
15 officials met evacuee representatives (Council, Planning Board, 
and block managers) to answer the voluminous questions submitted 
on February 10. Prepared answers to some sixty questions were 
read, but the replies were considered vague and indefinite by most 
of the evacuees. At this meeting officials stated that interference 
with registration was punishable under the Espionage Act by maxi- 
mum penalties of $10,000 fine or 20 years imprisonment or both. 

The questions and prepared answers of February 15 were pre- 
sented to the residents in mimeographed form at block meetings 
on February 16 and 17. Meantime, little progress had been made in 
the mechanics of registration. The majority was still opposed to 
compliance, and even those who favored registration waited for a 
change in community sentiment and a more propitious atmosphere 
before submitting themselves to registration. On February 17 the 
administration announced a new set of registration rules trans- 
ferring registration from the blocks to the administrative area, with 
separate locales for the registration of male citizens, female citizens 
and aliens. On the same day, an administrative notice appeared in 
the Tulean Dispatch, reiterating the compulsory aspect of registra- 
tion and emphasizing the penalties for "seditious" opposition. 
Blocks from which compulsory registrations would be made on the 
following day were listed, including block 42 for male citizens. (See 
Chart IV, p. 105, for location of blocks and proportions "disloyal.") 
Tension mounted in these blocks during the day, and in block 42 
an overwhelming vote to refuse to register was reported from male 


citizens, who thereupon, in small groups, intruded themselves in 
other block meetings, demanded expressions of opinion, and urged 
that representatives meet together to draw up a plan in opposition 
to registration. On the next morning, registration proceeded at a 
slow pace, less than a hundred of the required 250 male citizens 
complying with the order to report. Simultaneously, Nisei and 
Kibei, and later many Issei, began lining up outside the Internal 
Security office to apply for repatriation. This rush represented a 
belated comprehension of the possibilities of the administrative 
statement that "registration is compulsory except for those who 
had requested repatriation." 

On the evening of the eighteenth, the Tulean Dispatch carried an 
announcement from an Army representative to the effect that it was 
a "mistaken idea" to suppose "that if male citizens obtain repatria- 
tion blanks, they do not have to register." This was a direct con- 
tradiction of previous assurances, and a crowd of about fifty angry 
youths pushed into the administration building demanding appli- 
cation blanks, but were refused. 

On the same day a Planning Board representative from Block 45 
was arrested on suspicion of encouraging opposition to registra- 
tion. By this time, project officials were convinced that the resist- 
ance to registration was traceable to "pro-Japanese agitators" and 
they embarked on a policy of identifying, arresting, and removing 
the disruptive elements. 

Meanwhile, the Planning Board, making an attempt to stem the 
antiregistration tide, had prepared a statement urging "careful 
thought" of the registration situation, particularly by those "who 
wish to remain in the United States of America." The Project 
Director, however, withheld approval of distribution of the state- 
ment because of his objection to the following sentence: "We feel 
that the parents should act as consultants to their children." The 
view of the administration was that parents would have a detri- 
mental influence on the Nisei. Thereupon the Planning Board 
prepared another statement, instructing its representatives not to 
participate in any action favoring group decisions against registra- 
tion and emphasizing the standpoint that "registration is a matter 
of individual judgment and the final decision should be left up to 
each person." This, too, was rejected by the Project Director on 
the ground that "registration is not a matter of individual judg- 


ment." Thus what might have been important evacuee efforts to 
forestall group resistance were completely frustrated. 

Block 42 residents continued their resistance. Only about a third 
of those scheduled appeared at the registrar's offices during the 
whole day of February 18, and this in spite of the fact that Army 
and Internal Security officers had appeared at the mess hall at lunch 
time, read off the names of those required to register and stated the 
sedition penalties for failure to register. The same performance was 
repeated during the noon meal of February 1 9, and an announce- 
ment was made that trucks would appear to convey the unregis- 
tered to the registrar's offices at i o'clock. When the trucks arrived, 
no one boarded them, and they returned empty. The block resi- 
dents met to discuss further steps, and at about 2:30 that afternoon 
a delegation of thirty-four youths, followed by a large crowd, ap- 
proached the administration building to demand the right of 
expatriation in lieu of registration. The project officials refused to 
accept their applications and made further efforts to persuade the 
young men to register. Failing in these efforts, the Project Director 
called in the military police on February 21, and at about 5 P.M. a 
caravan of cars bearing WRA officials followed by jeeps and trucks 
carrying M.P.'s armed with machine guns and bayonets, moved 
into the block, picked up the boys (who were waiting with packed 
suitcases), and took them off to the county jails. An angry crowd 
had gathered and threats were shouted at the departing soldiers. 

The Block 42 incident had immediate repercussions. Signs of 
panic among previous opponents of registration appeared, and 
numbers of them reached a decision to register. For others, how- 
ever, there was a strengthening of the determination not to register. 
Block meetings were held throughout Ward V and agreement was 
reached in most blocks in this ward that there would be no coop- 
eration with the administration until the young men who had been 
arrested were released. In Block 44, where there were close friends 
and relatives of the arrested boys, it was agreed that (i) no one 
should register; (2) a petition signifying this stand should be circu- 
lated throughout the community; and (3) a general strike of block 
residents would be declared and a similar stand urged on the com- 
munity at large. 

At an emergency meeting of the Planning Board and Council, 
held that evening, the proposal for a general strike was tabled on 


the ground that it would disrupt the whole community. A delega- 
tion was appointed, however, to approach the administration and 
ask for immediate release of the boys and to propose a new plan of 
registration. Early on the morning of February 22, some evacuees 
set off the fire siren, a prearranged signal for the emergency closing 
of high schools, and mess-hall gongs began to ring to call the resi- 
dents to early block meetings. Petitions for refusal to register were 
widely circulated, under conditions of maximum social pressure, 
e.g., at meal time when all residents were assembled and nonsigners 
could be readily identified. Meantime, the delegates conferring 
with the Project Director were meeting with little success. They 
asked the unconditional return of the arrested boys and were forth- 
with refused. They asked guarantees that no further arrests would 
be made and were likewise refused. Proposals to submit registration 
questionnaires by mail, to suspend registration until tension had 
diminished, to instruct Caucasian and Nisei teachers to cease exert- 
ing pressure on registrants to change "no" answers to "yes" were 
all turned down. Faced with the unwillingness of the administra- 
tion to make any concession whatsoever, Planning Board and 
Council members resigned en masse. 

The same evening, a group of Kibei held a mass meeting in 
Block 4 and drew up a petition demanding (i) that they be treated 
as Japanese nationals; (2) that they be taken from the project "at 
bayonet point" as the Block 42 boys had been taken; and reaffirm- 
ing their "absolute refusal" to register. Members of this group 
entered various block meetings and demanded that signatures be 
affixed to the petition before the meetings broke up. At the same 
time they threatened to beat up inu who, by this time were defined 
as people willing to collaborate with the administration by regis- 
tering. On the assumption that the petition would meet with a 
favorable response from the community, the group developed plans 
for a mass meeting on the following morning, after which the par- 
ticipants would march on the administration building and present 
the petitions to the Project Director and the Army representative. 

Residents who indicated willingness to take an overt stand in 
favor of registration by refusing to sign the petition, immediately 
met intense hostility, ostracism and threats of physical violence. In 
Ward V they were isolated in the mess halls at special inn tables, 
other block residents would not speak to them, they received anon- 


ymous written threats, and children making barking noises fol- 
lowed them along the streets. That evening two of the alleged inu, 
a Christian Issei minister and the Kibei translator for the Tulean 
Dispatch, were severely beaten. Attempts to beat another Christian 
minister, a prominent JACL leader, and the former chairman of 
the Community Council, were frustrated in the first case by the 
skill of the minister in talking to the boys; in the second case by 
barring the door; in the third, by the temporary absence of the 
councilman from his apartment. The JACL leader was imme- 
diately removed from the project for safety. 

The next day rumors of the number of beatings reached fantastic 
proportions. Many people felt that the beatings and the alleged 
beatings were just acts of retribution; but others, particularly mem- 
bers of the churches of the beaten and threatened ministers, were 
deeply shocked at the outbreak of violence. 

The demonstration and march on the administration building, 
which had been planned for the morning of February 23, failed to 
materialize. The response to the petition had not been as great as 
expected, except in wards V and I, for, although few people had 
been willing to take a stand of overt opposition, techniques of 
avoidance of committing themselves had developed among many. 
Furthermore, in spite of the defiant attitudes manifested in the 
petition, not many members of the Kibei group were willing to risk 
criminal charges. Few parents desired to see their sons arrested at 
"bayonet point" and family pressure was exerted to withdraw 
them from the more extreme standpoint. 

Individuals continued to press the administration for release of 
the arrested boys, without result, for WRA had by this time turned 
the matter over to the FBI. The reorganized Planning Board was 
stalemated because of widening schisms within the organization. 
There were, however, increasing signs among large sections of the 
community of a desire to find some compromise that would break 
the deadlock. 

On February 23, Major Marshall, the Army representative, 
posted in all mess halls a mimeographed statement regarding the 
meaning of "no" and "yes" answers, respectively. This significant 
document read, in part: 

Nisei and Kibei who answer "No" to questions No. 27 and 28, and who 
persist in that answer, cannot anticipate that the Army of the United States 


will ever ask for their services or that they will be inducted into the armed 
forces by Selective Service. 

A "No" answer on question 27, accompanied by a "Yes" answer on 
question 28, is not regarded by the War Department as a proof of dis- 
loyalty in the individual, or as bearing on that question . . . [but] these 
men have the minimum chance of being called into the military service. 

The "Yes" answer to both questions speaks for itself. ... In case it is so 
filled, then they are liable to induction for general service elsewhere 
throughout the Army of the United States, in the same manner as any 
other inductee within the country. 28 

This official statement suddenly and completely provided a 
means of breaking the deadlock, for it gave an official assurance of 
exemption from military service to persons answering questions 
27 and 28 in the negative. Protest could now be expressed by No-No 
answers rather than refusal to answer questions 27 and 28 and 
would bring reward rather than punishment. At the same time, 
fence-sitting or failure to commit oneself irrevocably was encour- 
aged by the statement that No- Yes answers would probably lead to 
exemption from military service without the stigma of disloyalty 
to America. For many of the citizens behind barbed wire and their 
dispossessed alien parents, the attraction of a No-No or a No-Y'es 
answer over that of a Yes- Yes answer for males of military age was 

One by one, blocks in the resisting wards released their residents 
from agreements not to register, although in many cases this re- 
lease was accompanied by a directive to answer questions 27 and 28 
in the negative. Minorities were, however, still active in opposing 
registration throughout the last week of February. One of these 
was the remnants of the Kibei organization, members of which 
posted a mimeographed statement in all latrines on February 25, 
informing residents "Why You Should Not Register." This bulle- 
tin warned of the dangers of any commitment in writing and 
pointed out that "written statements of your 'Yes's' and 'No's' will 
be used against you." Dangers of negative answers were that Con- 
gress and the Army "could define all of us disloyal, they could 
cancel our citizenships, making us enemy aliens . . . [and thus] con- 
fiscate legally our properties." Such laws could not be enacted 
without the written evidence which would accrue with registration; 

28 Statement by Major S. A. L. Marshall, War Department, to Tule Lake 
evacuees, February 23, 1943. Italics ours. 


therefore "beware of your written statements." Another minority 
still opposing registration was comprised of friends and neighbors 
of the arrested boys from Block 42. These people felt and urged 
that resistance should not be discontinued until the boys were 

Meantime, the administration found itself in an embarrassing 
situation in connection with the Block-42 boys who had been 
arrested without specific charges. While preparing charges of fail- 
ure to comply with selective service regulations, maximum penal- 
ties for which were 20 years in jail, or $10,000 fine or both, the 
Project Attorney was informed by FBI agents that mere refusal 
to fill in the questionnaire was not a violation of the Selective 
Service Act. 

When the Project Director queried Dillon Myer, the National 
Director, about this matter, he in turn queried the War Depart- 
ment on February 26 and discovered that the filling in of ques- 
tionnaires by male citizens of military age had not been made 
compulsory by the latter agency. The threats of 20 years' imprison- 
ment to which the evacuees had been subjected were, therefore, 
totally invalid. No announcement of this fact, however, was made 
to the evacuees, who were allowed to continue in the belief that 
they were violating the Espionage Act by failing to register. In- 
stead, WRA embarked upon a policy of further arrests and sought 
legal refuge in the fact that nonregistrants were disobeying WRA 
administrative instructions, and could therefore be punished by a 
maximum of 90 days' confinement in jail or suspension of certain 
compensation privileges or both. 

Registration of citizens had been scheduled to end on March 2. 
In spite of the rising tide of registration after Major Marshall's 
announcement, only one third of the male citizens and one half of 
the female citizens had appeared at the registrar's office by that 
date. To break the remaining resistance, the Project Director de- 
cided to extend the deadline for citizen registrants until March 10. 
At the same time, he began issuing peremptory orders to all non- 
registered Kibei bachelors to appear for registration. When they 
disobeyed these orders, they were promptly isolated in a near-by 
abandoned CCC camp. To the Nisei, in general, the Project Direc- 
tor issued a bulletin stating that those who did not meet the March 
10 deadline "will be considered as having violated the orders of the 


War Department and the War Relocation Authority and subject 
to such penalties as may be imposed." 20 

By the close of the registration, approximately 100 Kibei had 
been removed to the CCC camp. In addition to these, some 500 
Nisei and Kibei male citizens had failed to register; and the unreg- 
istered female citizens totaled over 500. 

Alien registration, which, under the new policies, had been post- 
poned to March 3, continued in a desultory manner until March 
25. Although the National Office of WRA had decided on February 
27 that registration of aliens of both sexes and of female citizens 
was not compulsory, no announcement to this effect was ever made 
to the evacuees on the project. In spite of the fact that aliens were 
led to believe they might be subject to penalties for nonregistra- 
tion, their profound distrust of the intentions of the government, 
in respect particularly to forced resettlement, resulted in 41 per 
cent of the males and 30 per cent of the females remaining un- 

The CCC isolation camp was operated for several weeks by 
WRA, with Army cooperation. Severe discipline was maintained 
and on March 9 the WRA Internal Security division instituted 
complete censorship of all incoming and outgoing mail. In the 
course of time, public hearings were held for all those who had been 
confined. Some of them, including Suzukawa, an evacuee warden 
on the police force, registered and were returned to the project. 
They immediately came under suspicion of having informed on 
their fellow prisoners as a price of their freedom. 30 Others who per- 
sisted in their stand of noncooperation were removed to the isola- 
tion center at Moab, Utah, which had been established after the 
December (1942) trouble at Manzanar, and later to its successor at 
Leupp, Arizona. A number of them were returned to Tule Lake in 
December, 1943, after it had become a segregation center. 

It is clear that the strong contrasts among relocation projects 
reflected, in large measure, administrative variations in the han- 
dling of the program and conflicting evacuee-administrative defi- 
nitions of the issues involved. Within a given relocation project 

29 Tulean Dispatch, March 2, 1943 The project administration had, of course, 
known since February 26 that the War Department would impose no penalties 
for failure to register and that the authority of WRA to punish was limited. 

30 Many inu suspicions persisted after segregation. See p. 276 for a discussion 
of Suzukawa's fate as inu. 


there was also a systematic relationship between "disloyalty" and 
various factors in the background of the groups of evacuees con- 
cerned. And, within these groups, the train of individual experi- 
ence played an important role in motivating negative answers to 
questions 27 and 28. These aspects of the problem will be discussed 
in the following chapter. 



Separation of the "Loyal" and 


tion in each of the ten relocation projects into two groups: (i) A 
majority of the adults in each camp an overwhelming majority 
in most, a bare majority in several who had committed themselves, 
if citizens, as holding no allegiance to any country other than the 
United States and willing to serve in its armed forces, or, if aliens, 
as willing to abide by its laws and to do nothing to hamper its war 
effort. Having answered the registration questions affirmatively, 
persons in this group became known as Yes- Yeses. (2) A minority 
in each camp a small minority in most but a very large minority 
in several who had either refused to answer the registration ques- 
tions or had answered them in the negative. They became known 
as No-Noes. 

The latter group became stigmatized as politically disloyal to 
the United States and potentially dangerous to its war effort, and 
pressures developed in Congress, in the War Department, and 
through the press and radio, to segregate and intern the disloyal 
for the duration of the war. These pressures culminated in a Senate 
resolution requesting WRA "to take such steps as may be necessary 
for the purpose of segregating persons of Japanese ancestry in 
relocation centers whose loyalty to the United States is question- 
able or who are known to be disloyal . . . for the purpose of estab- 
lishing additional safeguard against sabotage by such persons." 1 

In conformity with this action, WRA issued an Administrative 

1 y8th Congress, ist Session, S. Res. 166, introduced July 2, approved July 6, 




Instruction on July 15, 1Q43, 2 whereby the Tule Lake Relocation 
Center was selected for the segregation of "those persons of Japa- 
nese ancestry residing in relocation centers who by their acts have 
indicated that their loyalties lie with Japan during the present 
hostilities." The plan involved the transfer of "loyal" Tuleans to 
other projects, and of the "disloyal" from the other nine relocation 
projects to Tule Lake. Or in the case of the "loyal" it was possible 
to obtain leave clearance from the administration and resettle (take 
up residence) at will in any unprohibited locality in lieu of transfer 
to another project. 

Preliminary to segregation, the population of each project was 
to be classified into four categories. The following three were sub- 
ject to segregation: 

I. All persons who had formally asked for repatriation or expatriation 
before July i, 1943, and did not retract their applications before that date. 

II. All persons who, during the February and March registration (a) 
answered question 28 in the negative, or (b) failed or refused to answer it, 
or (c) failed or refused to register at all and (d) had not changed their 
answers or registered affirmatively prior to July 15, 1943, and (e) were, 
in the opinion of the Project Director, loyal to Japan, and not loyal to 
the United States. 

III. All persons who were denied leave clearance after appropriate hear- 
ings. This category included (a) persons about whom there was an adverse 
report by a Federal intelligence agency; (b) persons who had answered 
28 negatively and who changed their answers prior to July 15; (c) persons 
who answered question 28 with a qualification; (d) persons who had re- 
quested repatriation or expatriation and who had retracted such requests 
prior to July i, 1943, and persons who had requested repatriation or 
expatriation subsequent to July i; (e) persons for whom the Japanese 
American Joint Board established in the Provost Marshal General's office 
did not affirmatively recommend leave clearance; (f) persons about whom 
there was other information indicating loyalty to Japan. 3 

As thus formulated, the segregation program was far more com- 
prehensive than the registration program. Included as potential 
segregants was not only the No-No group, 4 as denned by registra- 
tion (Class II), but also a very large number of persons who had, 

2 WRA, Administrative Instruction No. 100, July 15, 1943. 

3 Ibid., paraphrased. 

4 Official instructions called for classification on the basis of question 28 (alle- 
giance) only. Negative answers to this question were, however, universally 
accompanied by negative answers on question 27 (willingness to serve in the 
armed forces). The group is therefore called "No-Noes." 


since evacuation, indicated a desire to return to Japan by applying 
for repatriation or expatriation (Class I). In this class were both 
No-Noes and Yes- Yeses, among the latter many aliens who, even 
though desiring to return to Japan, had found no difficulty in 
answering registration questions affirmatively. Class III included 
No-Noes who had asked to have their negative answers changed to 
affirmative after registration, repatriates who had asked to have 
their applications withdrawn, and a miscellaneous group of per- 
sons, technically "loyal" by registration criteria but against whom 
various intelligence agencies or WRA project officials had filed 
"adverse" reports. 

Persons in Class I were to be segregated without hearing. Those 
in Class II were to be given a "comparatively brief" hearing by a 
Board of Review, set up in each relocation project, to determine 
whether or not they still "held to their pro-Japanese views." If, in 
the opinion of the Board of Review, they did continue to hold such 
views, they were to be segregated. If, however, they indicated will- 
ingness or desire to answer the loyalty question affirmatively, they 
were transferred to Class III. Persons in Class III were considered 
on probation. They were not to be released to resettle on indefinite 
leave except by affirmative recommendation after hearings of "suffi- 
cient thoroughness to enable the Leave Section to determine the 
true loyalty of each individual." 5 

A fourth class comprised the Yes-Yeses, and the nonrepatriates 
against whom no adverse report had been filed and persons in this 
class were stated to be "eligible for leaving." These were not to be 
segregated, but it was provided that if they wanted to remain with 
or join members of their immediate families subject to segregation 
they could do so. 

In summary, the composition of the group to be segregated was 
determined partly by a policy 6 of arbitrarily segregating applicants 
for repatriation or expatriation; partly by negative answers or 
refusal to answer the "loyalty" question at the time of registration 
and by persistence in holding to these answers after further exam- 
ination; partly on the basis of ill-defined "other information . . . 

r> WRA, Segregation of Persons of Japanese Ancestry in Tule Lake Relocation 
Center (pamphlet), August, 1943. 

6 This policy was formulated by WRA as early as August, 1942, but never put 
into effect. 

See footnote 10, Chapter III, for history of procedures regarding repatriation. 


indicating loyalty to Japan," and partly on the basis of the desire 
of persons who fell in none of these categories to stay with "disloyal" 
members of their immediate families. 

It is apparent from instructions issued, and documents prepared 
by WRA prior to segregation, that the official interpretation of 
"disloyalty" bore more heavily upon sentiment than upon behav- 
ioral attitudes. Thus "disloyals" were described as persons having 
interests "not in harmony with those of the United States" 7 and 
"people who have indicated their desire to follow the Japanese way 
of life"; 8 while "loyals" were those who "wish to be American" 9 and 
those "whose interests are bound with the welfare of the United 
States." 10 

"Disloyalty" was not to be considered culpable; nor was segre- 
gation to be considered a punitive matter. "The program of seg- 
regation is not being undertaken in any sense as a measure of 
punishment or penalty." 11 The privilege of leave clearance for 
resettlement purposes would be denied to those assigned to the 
Tule Lake Center. Otherwise, the main differences between Tule 
Lake and other centers would be (i) that self-government on the 
same basis as in relocation projects would not be possible at Tule 
Lake, but an advisory council of evacuees would be recognized; 
(2) that while American elementary and high schools were to be 
provided, attendance would not be compulsory. Japanese language 
schools could be established at the will of the residents but without 
financial aid from WRA. In all other respects, WRA procedures 
for community management would continue, including adult edu- 
cation, vocational training classes, hospital services, a community 
newspaper, and cooperative enterprises. Freedom of religion, ex- 
cept for Shintoism, 12 would be maintained. Employment would 
continue to be voluntary and compensated at the same rates as in 
relocation projects. 
The broad principles of the segregation program were announced 

7 WRA, op. cit. 

8 Colorado River War Relocation Project, Release on Segregation, gA, August 

7> 1943- 

9 WRA, op. cit. 

10 Ibid. 

11 Ibid. 

12 "Since State Shinto is not regarded by the Japanese government as a religion, 
it will not be permitted." Ibid. 


in each of the ten relocation projects early in July; and the fact that 
Tule Lake had been chosen as the segregation center became gen- 
erally known before the end of the month. By the first of August 
the administrative personnel on each project was geared to the job 
of resifting the residents preliminary to the transfer, which began 
with the departure of "loyal" Tuleans on September 13 and the 
arrival of "disloyals" from other projects on September 18. 

Unlike registration, segregation aroused no organized resistance 
from the evacuees and the program was carried through smoothly. 
But like registration, the decisions to be made by individuals and 
families were the source of serious mental disturbance. Under the 
registration program, all adult evacuees had faced the necessity 
of declaring themselves "loyal" or "disloyal," in accordance with 
administrative definitions of these terms. Under the segregation 
program, the "disloyal," as defined at registration, had to decide 
whether they would stand by their declaration or retract. In both 
cases, decisions were often made for reasons highly irrelevant to the 
matter of political allegiance. The most seemingly irrelevant of 
these reasons, and the one having the greatest influence on the 
evacuees was their belief that a declaration of "loyalty" would 
imply eventual forced resettlement. Residents of the segregation 
center would be denied leave clearance and could not resettle for 
the duration of the war whereas residents of relocation projects 
were being given leave clearance and subjected to intensive WRA 
pressure to resettle. Many evacuees therefore believed that WRA 
was planning to force them out of camps to face the hostile Ameri- 
can public responsible for their evacuation and detention. To these 
people, the choice offered was not between Japan and America, in 
a political sense, but between Tule Lake and the rest of America, 
in a security sense. 

To some, the attraction of Tule Lake over that of America was 
enhanced by an estimate of the rewards that would ultimately be 
reaped by the technically "disloyal" if Japan won the war, and by 
the belief that Japan actually was winning the war. 

To others, bitterness and disillusionment over the abrogation 
of rights, and the severe economic losses which evacuation had 
brought, resulted in a declaration of "disloyalty" to America with- 
out any element of sympathy for or interest in Japan. 

Contrasted with these irrelevant "disloyals" there was, even at 


this time, a minority of politically conscious adherents of Japan, 
who were willing to take a positive stand in favor of the "mother 
country," and a number of aliens who were unwilling to accept the 
stateless existence that any taint of "disloyalty" to Japan, or "loy- 
alty" to America, would imply. 

The manner in which decisions to remain "disloyal" and thus 
be eligible for segregation were reached is best illustrated by the 
documentation of individual cases recorded during "processing" 
for segregation. 

The following four cases of Issei who had refused to register and 
were called for hearings before the Tule Lake Segregation Board, 
a fifth case of a Nisei woman married to an Issei, and a sixth of a 
Nisei man, illustrate the fear of forced resettlement and the ten- 
dency to use "disloyalty" as a means of maintaining residence in 
Tule Lake. 

An Issei man, aged 59 (through an interpreter): 

Q. Does he hope to return to Japan? 

A. Yes, as soon as the war ends. 

Q. Does he have any property in Japan? 

A. He doesn't know for sure. 

Q. How does he feel about going to another center and waiting for the 
war to end? 

A. He dosen't want to move anywhere until after the war. That is the 
main reason why he didn't register. (The latter point was stressed.) 

Q. Does he feel more loyalty to Japan? 

A. He hasn't been back, but he can't get it out of his mind. 

Q. He doesn't feel disloyal to the United States? 

A. Before the war he felt sympathetic to the United States. Since being 
put here, he feels more sympathy to Japan. 13 

An Issei man, aged 54 (through an interpreter): 

Q. Why didn't he register? 

A. His intention was to return to Japan after the war. He didn't want 
to leave for the outside. 

Q. Does he feel he is more loyal to Japan than to the United States? 

A. Since he intends to go back to Japan his sympathies are with that 
country. 14 

An Issei man, aged 41 (through an interpreter): 
Q. Was there any reason for his not registering? 

13 Robert Billigmeier, verbatim record of Hearings, August 20-21, 1943 (manu- 

14 Ibid. 


A. He didn't register because of the rumor that those who registered 
would be forced to leave [Tule Lake] and he had no place to go. 

Q. Does he understand now that that isn't so? 

A. I guess he does. 

Q. He can't understand or speak English? 

A. Very little. 

Q. Does he plan to return to Japan after the war? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Does he feel more sympathy to Japan than to the United States? 

A. His sympathy lies with Japan. 


A. He was a law abiding citizen, worked hard, respected law, and yet 
he was placed here. He can't stand it any longer. 15 

An Issei woman, aged 39 (through an interpreter): 

Q. She didn't register, why? 

A. At that time she was sick, but she had no intention of signing the 
registration forms. 

Q. Will she abide by the laws of the United States and not harm the war 

A. She says that if she answers yes, she might have to leave. Should I tell 
her that her fears are not valid? 

Q. It's not a question of leaving, it's a matter of loyalty. We're merely 
asking questions it's not for us to decide whether or not she stays. She can 
sign all the papers and still can go to Japan. That is for Japan to decide if 
it wants her. 

A. She can't answer the question. 

Q. She can't answer whether she'll harm the war effort and abide by the 
laws of the United States? 

A. She says she can't do any harm anyway because she doesn't want to 
leave. She has that fear she can't squelch. 18 

A Nisei woman, wife of an Issei: 

Q. Are you disloyal? 

A. Yes. 

Q. Why? 

A. Well no reason. If I say "loyal" will they take me or leave me here? 

Q. We don't split families. If one member is on the segregation list the 
others in the family are given their choice of leaving or remaining. We 
don't want you to answer a certain way just because your husband does. 
This hearing is just to determine your loyalty. 

A. Then it doesn't have anything to do with staying? 

Q. No, you'll just be given the choice of following your husband or not. 

A. Then I'm loyal. 17 


16 Ibid. 

'"Ibid. Billigmeier recorded all hearings (34 cases) at one Board meeting on 


Jerry Kawamoto, 30 years old, married and the father of several chil- 
dren, said that he had too much at stake to risk leaving Tule Lake. He 
had lived with his parents and brothers and sisters prior to evacuation on 
a farm near Sacramento. It was a family enterprise which had assured all 
members of the family economic security. Jerry's father, now aged, and 
suffering from heart disease, despaired of rebuilding what they had lost 
at the time of evacuation, and was thinking of retiring to Japan with his 
meagre savings. Jerry himself had pleurisy, could not work full time, and 
believed that he would be unable to support his wife and two children on 
the outside. 

At the hearing, Jerry told the interviewer that he desired to remain in 
Tule Lake with his family and later return to Japan with them. He claimed 
that the Board had assured him that he could stay in Tule Lake. He 
received a notice, however, stating that he was "loyal" and was to report 
for an interview to discuss his preference among relocation centers. He 

"Hell, you can't consider me disloyal. I've been loyal too long. But if I 
can't stay by being loyal, I'm going to be disloyal. I told the interviewer 
that I wanted to stay here, and he said that I could." 

When he protested against being removed from Tule Lake, he was given 
another hearing. In the rehearing, Jerry declared that he was no longer 
loyal to the United States. The interviewer's comments were: "You can 
be sure of staying here for the duration if you put it down like this, but 
I sure hate to see you do it." 18 

That fear of the insecurity of the "outside world" for these dis- 
placed people was enough to tip the balance in favor of a declara- 
tion of "disloyalty" is evident. That the decisions were made not 
only for self-protection but also to assure family unity and security 
for the duration of the war is also evident. 

Similar fears and concern for the security of the family impelled 
numbers of residents of other relocation centers to undergo the 
inconvenience of moving and accept the stigma of disloyalty in 
order to achieve war-duration security in Tule Lake. The following 
excerpts are taken from an analysis by Morris Opler, 19 based on the 
records of the hearing boards in Manzanar and represent attitudes 
of a number of Nisei who had never been in Japan. 

August 20 and 21. This is the only case in which "disloyal" status was changed 
to "loyal," and it should be noted that the woman's continued residence in Tule 
Lake was, in this instance, assured by her husband's eligibility for segregation. 

18 Field Notes, August 17 and 29, 1943. 

10 WRA, Community Analysis Section, "Studies of Segregants at Manzanar" 
(manuscript prepared by Morris Opler). Note that the word "relocation," as used 
in these hearings, means "resettlement." 


The subject in this case is a young man, 22 years of age, unmarried, the 
oldest of seven children in a family of nine. On the strength of his answer 
the whole family will go to Tule Lake. At one time the subject was prepar- 
ing himself for work in America's defense program. In December, 1941, he 
completed a course at the Welding Engineering School at Wilmington, 
California. . . . 

Q. At the time of the registration you answered "no" to question 28. Do 
you want to change your answer now? 

A. I don't want to change. In my position I have a big responsibility. I 
can't go out on relocation. That's the big fact. 

Q. Do you know of anyone who has been forced out of a center yet? 

A. No one has been forced to leave yet. But gee, if the war goes on for 
two or three years we figure that the place will be closed down. We don't 
know, something may be in the office now about closing. We never know 
about these things until they are sprung on us. 20 

A 20-year-old unmarried girl comes before the Board. She is accompa- 
nied by her mother. The family is from the Florin district. The girl is 
speaking, not only for herself, but for a 22-year-old sister who has a speech 
defect and who does not appear at all. The girl is advised by her mother, 
who whispers in her ear before she speaks. There are four other children, 
15 to 5 years of age, who are affected by this girl's answer. In response to 
the questioning the girl explains: 

A. My older sister can't talk. My mother changed it to yes, but I want to 
leave it "no." 

Q. What is the reason for your answer? 

A. Father is dead. Sister can't talk and mother is all alone. We can't go 
out. So we have all planned to go to Tule Lake. We have close relatives 
we can depend on in Tule Lake, that's why. We want to go to Tule Lake 
as soon as possible. 21 

The subject is a 23-year-old woman, the mother of a small son. She 
operated a beauty parlor of her own in Santa Monica until the outbreak 
of the war and claims to have earned a yearly income of $15,000. She is 
the graduate of the Santa Monica High School and a west coast "Beauty 
College." Her husband is a kibei who maintained his "no" answer in 
Spring before a hearing board. The subject objects to relocating during 
the war and gives this as one reason for the retention of the "no." . . . This 
may be the primary reason why her husband earlier insisted on a "no" 
answer. Kibei, who feel that they have a linguistic handicap and habits 
which may be resented in a time of war, are extremely fearful of reloca- 
tion. . . . My notes on this occasion were as follows: 

A. I feel loyal to the United States but I have no intention of relocating, 
now or ever during the war. I've heard that segregation and relocation are 

20 Ibid. 

21 Ibid. 


Q. We are not talking about relocation at this time. We are interested 
in finding out about your loyalty to this country. Do you feel loyal to this 

A. Why yes, I feel loyal to the United States, for I was born here, but I 
want to do what my husband does. What I want to know is whether reloca- 
tion and this answer mean the same thing? 

Q. No, relocation is a separate subject. 

A. Also there is my husband. He is not disloyal, but he is the first child 
and has to go to Japan after the war to see and take care of his parents. He 
is kibei. 

Q. Your husband could have said "yes" and yet could have gone to 
Japan after the war to see his parents. Lots of people will travel all over 
the world after the war. And, for that matter, you can say "yes" if you 
really feel loyal and still go to Tule Lake with your husband. 

A. I'm going to do whatever my husband does. I won't do anything that 
will separate me from my husband. Maybe I'd better say "no." 

Q. This is a loyalty question and you have already told us that you are 
loyal. Isn't it a contradiction now to say "no" to a loyalty question? 

A. As I told you from the beginning I'm not disloyal, but I'm going to 
do what my husband does. I'll feel better about it. 22 

Two young men from the Venice district are involved. One is 20 and 
the other is 23 years old. Both are graduates of Venice High School. The 
older leased land and operated the family farm, the younger worked on 
the farm. This is the substance of the exchange between [one of them] and 
the Board: . . . 

Q. Have you thought over what you want to do about this question? 

A. We want to keep it as it is. 

Q. Do you realize that means we will have to send you to Tule Lake? 

A. Our parents wish to go; to be segregated. 

Q. We are more interested in how you feel on this citizenship status 
than how you feel on the family status. 

A. We'd like to sit in Tule Lake for a while. We don't want to relocate. 
The discrimination is too bad. I see letters from the people on the outside. 
There are fellows in Chicago who want to come back [to camp] but who 
are not allowed to. 23 

A reinforcing influence upon the decision to stay in or go to 
Tule Lake was fear, on the part of the parents, that their sons would 
be drafted unless they were "disloyal" and reluctance on the part 
of many of the young men to be inducted. An Issei in Tule Lake 
described the situation as follows: 

I'd be willing to go out now if it weren't for the draft. I have one son in 
the Army now, and I don't want my other sons to be drafted one by one. 

22 Ibid. 

23 Ibid. 


You can't blame them for not wanting to serve in the Army when they've 
been treated the way they have. In Walnut Grove they had to attend a dif- 
ferent [segregated] school. If we hadn't been evacuated, I wouldn't mind 
their serving in the Army. I'd be glad to see them go, but it makes you mad 
when you've been discriminated against so much. Ever since I came to 
America there wasn't a day when I wasn't made to feel small because I was 
a Japanese. 

I've lost all hope of a future in America. I can't make money here any 
more. I've lost everything. My wife feels worse than I do about the whole 
thing. She wants to send the younger children back so that they can get a 
Japanese education over there. 

I wouldn't mind going to another center, but I just can't stand the 
chance of my sons being drafted one by one. After all I haven't more than 
ten or fifteen years to live. I don't forget for a minute the son who is away 
from home. Unless you are a parent you can't tell how we Issei feel. 24 

Further questions and answers from the first case cited above 
from Opler's Manzanar analysis show how closely fear of forced 
resettlement and reluctance to be drafted were interrelated. The 
young man continued as follows: 

A. What about the draft? If I and my brother get killed what happens 
to my family? My brother and I are the only ones old enough to help sup- 
port the family. 

Q. Lots of mothers are losing sons. 

A. Yes, but they put us in here and then they expect us to fight for this 
country. It's one thing for a son to go off to war when the father still has 
his job and the family still has its possessions; its another thing to expect 
it after people have been through what we have and have lost everything. 25 

A young unmarried man who, before evacuation, had helped his 
father in farming operations and suffered severe economic losses 
explained his No-No answer, in part, as follows: 

A. If I would say "yes" I'd be expected to say that I'd give up my life for 
this country. I don't think I could say that because this country has not 
treated me as a citizen. I could go three-quarters of the way but not all the 
way after what has happened. 

Q. Would you be willing to be drafted? 

A. No, I couldn't do that. 

He later elaborated upon this situation in a talk with Opler: 

My dad is 58 years old now. He has been here 30 years at least. He came 
to this country with nothing but a bed roll. He worked on the railroads 
and he worked in the sugar-beet fields. If I told you the hardships he had 

a4 Field Notes, August 16, 1943. 

25 WRA, Community Analysis Section, op. cit. 


you wouldn't believe me. I owe a lot to my father. Everything I am I owe 
to him. All through his life he was working for me. During these last years 
he was happy because he thought he was coming to the place where his 
son would have a good life. I am the only son. I have to carry on the family 
name. You white people have some feeling like this but with us it is 
greatly exaggerated. 

I tell you this because it has something to do with my answer about the 
draft question. We are taught that if you go out to war you should go out 
with the idea that you are never coming back. That's the Japanese way of 
looking at it. Of course many in the Japanese armies come back after the 
war, just like in all armies, but the men go out prepared to die. If they live 
through it, that's their good luck. I listen to white American boys talk. 
They look at it differently. They all take the stand that they are coming 
back, no matter who [else] dies. It's a different mental attitude. 

In order to go out prepared and willing to die, expecting to die, you 
have to believe in what you are fighting for. If I am going to end the family 
line, if my father is going to lose his only son, it should be for some cause 
we respect. ... I would have been willing to go out forever before evacua- 
tion. It's not that I'm a coward or afraid to die. My father would have 
been willing to see me go out at one time. But my father can't feel the 
same after this evacuation and I can't either. . . . 

My mind is made up. I know my father is planning to return to Japan. 
I know he expects me to say "no" so there will be no possibility that the 
family will be separated. There isn't much I can do for my father any 
more; I can't work for him the way I used to. But I can at least quiet his 
mind on this. 28 

Among many of the Nisei, the primary reasons for declarations 
of "disloyalty" were anger and disillusionment because of the abro- 
gation of their citizenship rights. In Tule Lake, for example, a 
Nisei woman of 32, who had never been in Japan, replied to the 
question regarding her failure to register as follows: 

A. I have American citizenship. It's no good, so what's the use? 

Q. Has the evacuation caused you to lose faith? 

A. I feel that we're not wanted in this country any longer. Before the 
evacuation I had thought that we were Americans, but our features are 
against us. 

When asked whether she wanted her child brought up as Japa- 
nese, she said: 

A. Yes, I found out about being an American. It's too late for me, but at 
least I can bring up my children so that they won't have to face the same 
kind of trouble I've experienced. 

Q. You realize that you will have difficulty in adjusting to life in Japan? 

' x lbid. 


A. I know that, but I'm willing to try it anyway. It's too late for me. 
The important thing is that my children will not have to go through the 
same experiences as I have." 7 

A 21-year-old Nisei boy from Sacramento, immediately turned 
the question back to the examiner by saying, "Put yourself in my 
place" when asked if he was loyal. The interview proceeded as 

Q. Do you feel that you'd fit in well in Japan? Where do you think you'd 
best fit in here or in Japan? 

A. I can't say because of racial prejudices in this country. 

Q. We're fighting against racial prejudices and persecution. 

A. I don't know, the colored people have faced it ever since they came 

Q. You mean the Negroes? 

A. Yes. 

After a debate with the interviewer on the matter of race preju- 
dice, the young man held to his negative answer and remarked, "I 
want to stay in Tule Lake and see how the American people 
react." 28 

Opler's Manzanar cases are replete with statements of disillu- 
sionment and of angry protest, three examples of which are cited 

Q. Are you a dual citizen? 

A. No, we are not dual citizens. But in the first place if we are citizens, 
how come we are in these camps? The FBI had a record of all the bad 
ones. How come they took the rest? How come they took the citizens? How 
come they didn't intern Willkie, LaGuardia and Mayor Rossi? 

Q. This is wartime and things were done because of military necessity 
that would not be done in normal times. 

A. I'd rather leave the answer the same as it is. 

Q. We know you are angry at what has happened in the past but there 
is no use in arguing about that here. What we want to know now is about 
your loyalty, your feeling toward this country. 

A. I answered "no" because of resentment and because of how they 
treated us. When they asked us to come here, they told us that they would 
pay us union wages. They even used the Catholic church for such lies. 
How can I have faith in this country? I lost all my ideals about this 
country. In school I was even an Ephebian [member of a California high 
school honor society]. Do you know what that means? What will it be 
when the soldiers come back? I don't speak much Japanese, but at least 

27 Billigmeier, op. cit. 28 Ibid. 


I'll be among Japanese. (The young man's lips are trembling. He is almost 
crying.) 28 

A. Here is the thing. I'm supposed to be a citizen of the United States. 
At the time of registration, I asked them how far my citizenship went. I 
don't know if there is such a thing as restricted citizenship in this country. 
I refused to answer because if there is such a thing as restricted citizenship, 
I have the right to refuse to answer. What security have we? If this can 
happen now, why can't the same thing happen in five years? 

Q. What has happened is unfortunate. But other minorities have had to 
face discrimination too. In my part of the country the Germans are prob- 
ably treated worse than Japanese. 

A. It's all right to be of a minority as long as you're of the same race. 

Q. I can't see that. If you're discriminated against because you belong 
to a minority group, it's as bad whatever race you happen to belong to. 

A. This is the reason you look at it differently; you are a white man. At 
the end of the war, animosities will be high. There will be high feelings 
against us. There will be a boycott of us if we start in business. At the end 
of the last war, the bad feeling didn't continue against the Germans. But 
you can't tell a German from an Englishman when he walks down the 
street. But when I go down the street they say, "There goes a Jap." Per- 
haps it will be 15 years before this feeling will die down. I disagree with 
you when you say that 100,000 Japanese can be assimilated now. I know 
the WRA personnel are doing what they can. But the one hundred thirty 
millions in this country are hostile. (After additional discussion of this 
same topic) Well, you'd better write me a ticket to Tule Lake. . . . 

Q. Your record doesn't show any interest in Japan and you haven't said 
anything that would indicate that you want to go to Japan. Why is it then 
that you object so strongly to question 28? 

A. I have not been given citizenship rights so I don't have to answer 
questions like that. 30 

Q. Don't you feel that whatever has happened you should express your 
loyalty to the only country in which you now hold citizenship? 

A. At the time of the draft I was deferred because of my dependents. At 
that time I said I'd die for this country in the event of war. That's the way 
I felt. But since I lost my business when I was young and just starting up 
I've changed my mind. You Caucasian Americans should realize that I got 
a raw deal. 

Q. But things like these happen in a time of war. Evacuation was a war 
measure, an emergency measure. 

A. They shouldn't happen to citizens. What did a war with Japan have 
to do with evacuating me? You've got to realize that I am an American 
citizen just as much as you. Maybe my dad is not, because of Congress. He 
couldn't naturalize. But my associates in school and college were Cau- 
casians. It's been a hard road to take. It's been hard for my dad. He lived 

29 WRA, op. cit. 30 Ibid. 


in this country for 30 years. He was never in jail; never in any trouble. Yet 
he was pulled in [interned by FBI on suspicion]. Even though they let him 
out for lack of evidence it hurt him. 

Q. We really want to know whether you are disloyal. It isn't how angry 
you are, we know about that. 

A. I leave my answer "no" definitely. 31 

Opler also cites the case of a girl aged 22, who said: "I'm going 
to say 'no' to anything as long as they treat me like an alien. When 
they treat me like a citizen, they can ask me questions that a citizen 
should answer"; and of a ig-year-old boy who remarked, bitterly: 
"You people are just not loyal to us; so that's the way we feel." 32 

Among many Issei and Kibei, and some Nisei, the hope and 
expectation that Japan would win the war and that rewards would 
accrue to them through this victory, were often underlying motives 
for negative replies on the loyalty question. Some Issei thought that 
Japanese victory would mean indemnification for the losses they 
had suffered through evacuation and either restoration of the place 
they had made for themselves in the economic life of America or a 
brighter future in Japan. To numbers of Nisei, and particularly to 
Kibei, it would mean the possibility of a postwar career in the 
Orient. These hopes were postulated on a Japanese victory, or, at 
worst, a negotiated peace. The belief in a Japanese victory was a 
very prevalent one, reinforced by broadcasts from Radio Tokyo, 
which were listened to avidly by the few who had access to short- 
wave radio sets, or read in the widely circulated vernacular news- 
papers, and passed on, in exaggerated form. A few examples from 
Tule Lake will illustrate these beliefs and hopes. 

A young Tulean Issei, married to a Kibei girl, had, although 
strongly antiadministration, and initially opposed to the registra- 
tion procedure, finally answered question 28 in the affirmative. His 
wife had given a No-No answer, and residence for both of them 
in Tule Lake was thus assured. To a neighbor, he gave the follow- 
ing explanation of his reluctance to leave the project: 

If I were sure that I was going to live here in the U. S. and not return to 
Japan, then I'd go out and start working right now. Under those circum- 
stances that's the best thing to do. But after the war I expect that some- 
thing's going to come out of the negotiations beween Japan and America. 
That's why I'm not going out right now. 83 

911 Ibid. 

33 Field Notes, June 26, 1943. 


An older Issei who had fled to the Free Zone at the time of evac- 
uation and from there had been sent to Tule Lake, had joined in 
a mass refusal of his block to register. He gave his reasons as follows: 

The main thing is that the war's got to end soon. Japan will probably 
attack the mainland, but still I suppose it might take some time for Japan 
to win the war. America was sure dumb in thinking that she could beat 
Japan in a couple of months. . . . Japan used China as a sort of practice 
ground for her Army. But America was not smart enough to see that. She's 
losing all over the place. You can't believe the news you read in the Amer- 
ican newspapers because all they do is to tell lies. One reason Americans 
are weak is that they don't have any guts. . . . Japan won't weaken now, 
because look at all the resources she has at her command. 

The people in my block haven't registered yet, and they aren't going to 
do it either. It's better not to change the answer and leave because they 
might draft the boys, and it's dangerous going out. Well, yes, it might be 
all right for single men to go out, but I wouldn't advise it. People with 
families can't go out, anyway. I'm staying for the duration. When the 
war's over I can go back to Japan. Of course, it depends on the kind of 
peace that is made, but America's losing the war. 34 

Another Issei, who had been a successful farmer before evacua- 
tion, and worked on the hog farm in Tule Lake, remonstrated with 
his foreman, a Kibei who was leaving Tule Lake with the "loyals," 
as follows: 

Are you going to leave? Why don't you stay. If you leave you'll miss the 
takara-bune (treasure ship) from Japan. 35 

What's wrong with you Nisei is that you've got your hand on both 
objectives, Japan and America. If Japan wins you'd like to go to Japan, 
and if Japan loses you'd like to stay in America and make some money. 
Why don't you place implicit faith in Japan winning this war, for she 
will . . . After this war Japan will be a powerful nation, a nation of tre- 
mendous opportunities. 36 

A young Kibei advised a friend against resettlement on similar 

I think it's best not to go out. There's been broadcasts from Japan say- 
ing that the Japanese people should stay inside the center. If you go out, 
then Japan will assume that you are loyal to the U. S. and they won't do 
anything for you. That's why I think it's better not to go out. It was dumb 
of the administration to ask the Kibei to register. Even if we are put in 
jail, it'll only be for the duration. The war can't last very long now. 

34 Field Notes, April 27, 1943. 

35 Field Notes, July 22, 1943. 

36 Field Notes, July 31, 1943. 


America is going to be invaded soon. And when Japan wins they won't be 
able to keep us in jail. The trouble with the administration is that they 
think America is going to win. 37 

The idealization of the Orient, as a place of unlimited possibili- 
ties for their sons, had begun long before the war, when many of 
the Issei found that the children they had sent to high school and 
college were unable to find jobs for which they were qualified. 
Within the confines of the barbed-wire fence, the feeling that there 
was no longer a chance for success in America was intensified. The 
hope of a future without discrimination in Japan-controlled Java 
or Manchuria became, in many cases, the basis of plans for the 
future. One Kibei explained that there would be a good future in 
Manchuria for Nisei who spoke both English and Japanese. He 
himself planned a career there where he could "enjoy his Japanese 
face." 38 

A Nisei, brought up in a rural community near Los Angeles, in the 
midst of a sizable Japanese settlement, had attended the University of Cal- 
ifornia. At the time of registration he was caught by the pressure of both 
his parents and his block. His block wavered between not registering and 
doing so, and after much discussion, decided to permit registration of its 
residents. For several weeks the young man vacillated between affirmative 
and negative answers. He had hoped to leave the center and complete his 
college education or to take a job as judo instructor. An uncle told him 
not to register in the affirmative because he would be drafted if he did. His 
parents expounded the idea of a bright future in the Orient. His uncle 
proposed that they pool resources, and start a cleaning business in the 
Orient. The young man finally accepted the idea that America offered no 
future for Nisei, and registered No-No. When the segregation hearings 
were held, he did not change his stand even though most of his close 
friends were leaving Tule Lake. 39 

Administrative insistence on the terms "loyalty" and "disloyalty" 
as applied to Issei posed a dilemma for many honest Issei who could 
not accept status as "loyal" to America if it carried the implication 
of being "disloyal" to Japan, for "disloyalty" to the country of birth 
and citizenship implied lack of integrity. In Tule Lake this matter 
came to the front when the Project Director (Best) stated in the 
Tulean Dispatch that a rumor was prevalent that Issei who went 
"to a so-called loyal center . . . will lose their citizenship rights in 

37 Field Notes, April 18, 1943. 

38 Field Notes, April 23, 1943. 

39 Field Notes, March 8 and 14, 1943. 


Japan." Best denied the rumor and assured the evacuees that "segre- 
gation hearings are entirely confidential and are not seen by any 
other government." 40 

This attempt at reassurance merely confirmed the Issei's suspi- 
cion that status as "loyal" to America would detract from the moral 
character of Japanese citizens. An Issei block manager said: 

Whatever did Best mean when he said that the documents would be 
kept secret? Many people had made up their minds that they would go if 
they had to. None of them are going willingly. But if they have to go and 
then try to keep the fact a secret from the Japanese government, many of 
them don't want to leave. I'm not sure what Best meant, but he shouldn't 
have said what he did. Do we have to keep the fact that we are leaving 
Tule Lake a secret? 41 

Another Issei expressed the same fear even more forcefully: 

I can't leave this place. If you do you're going to be considered disloyal 
to Japan. Best said that they would keep it secret whether you've been in 
one center or another, but how can you keep a matter like that secret? You 
just can't do it. I tell people: "Don't get fooled! What do they think we 
are, fools?" They should make it clear that people will be able to go back 
to Japan even though they go to another center without having to keep it 
secret. 42 

While a third Issei remarked: 

No Issei would disobey the laws of the United States. They've always 
been law-abiding. In that sense they can be called loyal to the United 
States. On the other hand, none of them are disloyal to Japan. You can't 
use the word "loyalty" or "disloyalty" for Issei because it just doesn't apply 
to them. 43 

It was not unusual to find Kibei also who found it impossible to 
make an honest declaration of loyalty to America if this meant 
forswearing allegiance to Japan. The following case was recorded 
at Poston: 

A Kibei, 23 years of age, answered negatively to the loyalty question at 
the time of registration because he could not see how he could forswear 
allegiance to the Emperor of Japan. The day before his registration his 
friends had informed him of the nature of the question but he could not 
decide how to answer it at that time. However, the moment the question 

40 Tulean Dispatch, Supplement, August 20, 1943. 

41 Field Notes, August 17, 1943. 

42 Field Notes, August 22, 1943. 

43 Field Notes, August 17, 1943. 


was read to him by the Nisei sergeant he said he knew there could be only 
one answer a negative one. He calls himself "the tragedy of the Kibei." 
He was taken to Japan at a very early age and called back five years ago. 
He feels that if parents had not sent their children to Japan this sort of 
tragedy would not have occurred. 

He despises those people who changed from No to Yes because a thing 
like loyalty should not be played around with for personal convenience. 
He brands these individuals as cowards and of no value to either country. 
He said, "How can a Kibei be comfortable in a U. S. uniform when his 
convictions lie elsewhere? I know what I'm doing. I'm satisfied in the 
knowledge that I'm sticking it out according to my convictions even if 
they take my life away." 4 * 

In the same center, another Kibei remarked: 

If I change to Yes, I won't be able to walk on the streets of Tokyo with 
a clear conscience after the war. I can't forswear allegiance to the Emperor 
of Japan. 45 

In summary, the documents cited show the complexity of the 
motivations leading to an assumption of "disloyal" status. On the 
part of aging and dispossessed Issei, fear of forced resettlement 
and the economic and social uncertainties of the "outside world" 
were often of primary importance. Among their citizen children, 
the potential supporters of the family, the fear was felt that "loyal" 
status would result in their induction into the armed forces and 
further destruction of family security. 

Among Nisei schooled only in America, the abrogation of the 
"rights" which their indoctrination had led them to believe were 
implicit in American citizenship, often resulted in a negativistic 
protest reaction to the registration questions, and among many of 
these, negativism toward America was accompanied by no positive 
identification with or hope of a future in Japan. Others had built 
up prospects of a future in the Orient, free from race discrimina- 
tion. This last group was especially receptive of the propaganda, 
expounded by some Issei and Kibei, of Japanese nationalism and 
imperialism directed toward the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity 

In two important respects the residents of Tule Lake were in a 
unique position at the time of segregation. In the first place, the 
unfortunate bungling of the registration program in Tule Lake 

44 Field Notes, August, 1943. 

45 Ibid. 


had resulted in over four times as many potential "disloyals" in 
proportion to population as the average in the other relocation 
projects. This meant a much greater spread of "disloyalty" among 
the various classes of the population, a much lesser degree of selec- 
tivity, than was true elsewhere. In the second place, the fact that 
the home project had been selected as the segregation center gave 
an incentive, lacking elsewhere, to hold to the status of "disloyalty" 
to avoid what was, in a very real sense, an eviction process. Tuleans 
who remained in Tule Lake would not have to undergo the incon- 
veniences and hardships of a, move similar to those previously 
enforced and vividly remembered, from home to assembly center, 
and from assembly center to relocation project. These two factors 
promoted a tendency among large numbers of Tuleans toward 
narrowly opportunistic decisions to hold to the status of "disloy- 
alty" a tendency reinforced by the belief that "disloyal" status 
could be changed, at a more convenient time, to that of "loyal." 

Among both Tuleans and residents of other relocation projects, 
administrative policies operated further to stimulate declarations 
of "disloyalty" on practical rather than ideological grounds. The 
most important of these were (i) WRA's propaganda for resettle- 
ment which was being intensified during the period of segregation 
hearings in the hope of persuading as many as possible of the "loyal" 
to reinstate themselves immediately in the "normal stream of Amer- 
ican life." This propaganda for resettlement implied closure of 
some, if not all, other relocation projects, once the segregation 
movement had been completed. At the same time, resettlement 
from the segregation center was strictly prohibited by administra- 
tive regulations. The only sure war-duration refuge for evacuees 
would thus be the Tule Lake Segregation Center, residence in 
which could be attained only by the assumption of the status of a 
"disloyal" by at least one member of a family. (2) Statements from 
authoritative Army sources 48 that "disloyals" were not wanted in 
the armed forces. "Disloyalty" was thus to be rewarded administra- 
tively by the assurance of freedom from forced resettlement and 
freedom from induction into the armed forces. 

Nor were these the only rewards awaiting the "disloyal" in Tule 
Lake. The promise was made of plentiful postsegregation jobs, par- 
ticularly on the widely publicized Tule Lake farm, and at the same 

46 E.g., by Major S. A. L. Marshall, see pp. 79-80. 


time a drastic reduction of employment quotas was announced 
in all other projects. Tule Lake residents were assured administra- 
tive sanction for leading a completely Japanese way of life after 
segregation, including the possibility of establishing their own 
language schools, and WRA had stressed the point that the seg- 
regants were not being and were not to be punished for their 
"disloyalty." Under these conditions a large number of "loyals" 
desired to avoid transfer altogether and to remain in Tule Lake 
with the "disloyals." 

When the time for departure arrived, an appreciable number 
of the "loyals" followed the well-established pattern of passive re- 
sistance and, although all members of the family were Yes- Yeses 
and ineligible for segregation, they refused to leave Tule Lake. This 
came about as follows: All those who had been put on "removal 
lists" were scheduled for interviews with members of the Social 
Welfare Department in order to indicate their choice of a center 
of residence. 47 An appreciable number failed to appear for the 
scheduled interviews and of those who appeared many refused to 
state any choice of center. Administrative policy in these cases 
tended to be lax in general and the project personnel had been 
instructed to use persuasion rather than force, from fear of creating 
organized resistance. 

Thus by the end of the segregation movement, several hundred 
families, all members of which were technically "loyal," still re- 
mained in the Tule Lake Segregation Center for the "disloyal." 
The number of persons involved was approximately 1,1 oo. 48 

Altogether, some 6,250 "loyal" Tuleans left the center for other 
relocation projects between September 13 and 30. A small number 
of keyworkers, who had been asked by the administration to help 
with the segregation movement, and a few of the resistance cases 
left some weeks later. Remaining in the segregation center were 
more than 6,000 old Tuleans. 

47 Choice of centers was allowed as a reward to "loyal" Tuleans, and as a 
means of counteracting anticipated resistance to moving. Individuals and fam- 
ilies could designate the center in which they wished to reside. If, however, a 
larger group than a family wanted to be sure of going to the same center, it had 
to accede to an administrative selection. 

4S This estimate was made by the Relocation Planning Division of WRA. All 
but 34 of these 1,100 eventually "legitimized" their status by applying for repatri- 
ation or taking other similar officially sanctioned steps to become "disloyal," or, 
in a few cases, transferring to a "loyal" project. 



It has been possible to analyze, in some detail, the nature of the 
selective process that held these 6,000 old Tuleans in the Tule Lake 
Segregation Center. One factor of importance was location in the 
project, for there are clearly defined areas of "loyalty" and "dis- 
loyalty" on a blockwise basis. Blocks near and adjacent to Block 42, 
where the registration incident occurred (see pp. 75-77) repre- 
sent the most clearly marked "zone of disloyalty," as shown by 
Chart IV. 


Ward 31 (port) 

Within a given location in the project, the "loyalty" issue was 
also subject to varying interpretations by different classes of the 
evacuees, and was closely dependent upon preevacuation back- 
ground, economic status, and social distance from the majority 
group. Statistical analysis of variations in proportions "disloyal" 
indicates significant and systematic "net" relationships (when all 
possible factors are held constant) with a number of exogenous 
factors. The most striking relationships are in factors manifesting 
variations in acculturation or assimilation; religious preference for 
the Occidental patterns of Christianity or agnosticism versus the 
Oriental pattern of Buddhism; biculturalism in training and edu- 
cation, the extremes being the "pure" Nisei, educated only in 
America, and the Kibei returning recently after years of education 


in Japan; origin in certain areas of California, where economic and 
social segregation from the majority group was pronounced, as 
against origin in the more tolerant Pacific Northwest; occupation 
in nonagricultural pursuits, where, on the whole, contact with and 
accommodation to the majority group occurred to a greater degree 
than was true with the farming element. In brief, Buddhists were 
proportionately more "disloyal" than Christians or agnostics; the 
order of "disloyalty" proportions descended from Kibei to Issei to 
Nisei; Californians were more "disloyal" than Northwesterners. 
Less consistent on a "net" basis, but suggestive, were the differen- 
tials in occupation, the farming groups tending to be more "dis- 
loyal" than the nonagriculturists. 49 

In addition to the systematic operation of exogenous or back- 
ground variables, and endogenous variables or factors originating 
in the camp environment, the train of individual experience played 
an important role in motivating negative answers to the "loyalty" 
question, as documents quoted earlier in this chapter have shown. 

While the sifting of "loyals" and "disloyals" was going on, the 
Tule Lake Relocation Project was being transformed physically 
and administratively into the Tule Lake Segregation Center. A 
double "manproof" fence, eight feet high, was constructed around 
the whole area, and a new gate was built between Ward VII and 
the administrative area. The external guard of military police was 
increased from a couple of hundred soldiers to full battalion 
strength, and new barracks were built to accommodate them. In 
the military area, half a dozen tanks, obsolete but impressive, were 
lined up in full view of the residents. At this point there followed 
numerous resignations among the Caucasian personnel in protest 
against the transformation of Tule Lake into what had the aspect 
of a concentration camp. Notable among these were some socially 
minded persons who had been in close and cooperative relations 
with the evacuees and had promoted their efforts to develop a 
democratic organization within the center. 

Beginning on September 18, trainloads of "disloyals" from other 
relocation projects began to arrive in Tule Lake. During a 25-day 
period, some 8,600 transferees were added to the population of 

49 Statistical analysis of "The Ecology of Disloyalty" will be presented, in full, 
in a forthcoming monograph in this series by George M. Kuznets. This brief 
analysis is based on his manuscript. 


the center. First to arrive were those from the Arkansas projects 
(Rohwer and Jerome), the last were those from the Arizona projects 
(Gila and Poston). At the end of this movement, old Tuleans corn- 
Composition of Adult Population of Tule Lake Segregation Center 
by Project of Origin 



ROHWER (5%) 


HEART MT. (6%) 
ROHWER (7%) 

POSTON (8%) 
TOPAZ (8%) 

JEROME (11%) 

\ TRANS - 
/ (66%) 



JUNE 1944 

Chart V 

prised 42 per cent of the population of the segregation center; trans- 
ferees 58 per cent. Later, in February and May, 1944, 3,600 other 
transferees, in the main from Manzanar, Rohwer, and Jerome, were 
added to the population, and for these new barracks had to be 
built in the overcrowded project. When this movement was com- 
pleted, old Tuleans comprised 34 per cent of the population, trans- 
ferees 66 per cent (Chart V). 


Among the transferees there was the same range of motivation 
as among the remaining old Tuleans. Many had accepted the stigma 
of "disloyalty" to achieve security for themselves or their families. 
Numbers of the technically "loyal" had come to Tule Lake to avoid 
family separation. Many had come because of unwillingness to 
enter the armed forces. Others had yielded to family pressure. Some 
were extreme in their bitterness over the abrogation of their rights 
as citizens. Some were ardently pro-Japanese. But though the range 

75 & over 



14 12 10 8 6 4 2 2 4 6 

Per cent of Population 17 Years and Over 
I Old Tuleans 

\fffy Transferees 

Chart VI 

of attitudes may have been the same for Tuleans and transferees, 
it is highly probable that there was a greater concentration of con- 
vinced "disloyals" among the latter and of irrelevant "disloyals" 
among the former. 

Age-sex pyramids of old Tuleans and transferees (Chart VI) show 
a striking difference that throws some light on the problem of moti- 
vation. The concentration of transferees among young males of 
ages subject to selective service induction suggests the strength of 
the protest faction within this group. Correspondingly, concentra- 
tions of old Tuleans in the older age groups tends to confirm the 
hypothesis that the desire for security, and general inertia, moti- 
vated the declaration of "disloyalty" for a large proportion of this 


group. The strength of this selective process can be inferred from 
comparison of this chart with Chart I, 50 where it is seen that the 
basic populations from which these two groups were drawn dif- 
fered but slightly in age-sex composition. 

Transferees contrasted with the old Tuleans in another im- 
portant respect. Whatever their motives in declaring themselves 
"disloyal," the transferees found themselves, upon arrival in the 
segregation center, in the position of disadvantaged migrants, 
whereas the Tuleans were well-established "old settlers." The 
Tuleans represented the "haves," the transferees the "have nots," 
and with the arrival of the first trainload of transferees, antagonism 
flared up between the two groups. 

The first disadvantage the transferees felt was that they were often 
widely scattered throughout the project, separated from friends, 
and crowded into inferior apartments. Because of an expected hous- 
ing shortage, transferees were put into apartments in accordance 
with maximum WRA quotas of persons per apartment. 51 When 
apartments of the proper size were not immediately available, they 
were forced to take quarters in excess of the maximum quota, or 
were placed in hastily arranged dormitories in recreation halls. 
Old Tuleans, who had had their apartments assigned at a time 
when housing was relatively plentiful, had not been required to 
maintain maximum quotas. As described in Chapter II, when the 
evacuees originally entered Tule Lake in 1942 they found the 
apartments extremely meagerly furnished. In the meantime they 
had made a number of "improvements," including shelves, closets 
and partitions. When now these apartments were assigned to the 
incoming transferees, they had been stripped by their former occu- 
pants of all these improvements, and in addition plaster board and 
wood had been ripped from the walls for crating purposes, leaving 
gaping holes.and unsightly walls. Where furniture and shelves had 
been left, they had often been appropriated by other residents dur- 
ing the short period of vacancy before transferees took possession. 

Upon applying for job placement, transferees found that the 
old Tuleans had secured or retained the most desirable jobs. Vacan- 

50 See p. 31. 

51 Apartments of 20 by 25 feet were assigned to a group of 6 members; 20 by 20 
to groups of 3-5 members; and 12 by 20 to groups of 2-4 members, often without 
reference to sex, age, or closeness of relationship. 


cies created by departing "loyals" had been immediately filled by 
promotions of old Tuleans from lower to higher grades. For ex- 
ample, the gi-year-old "loyal" Kibei foreman of the hog farm, and 
a graduate of the University of California, College of Agriculture, 
was replaced by a "disloyal" Tulean Nisei only 20 years old. The 
head of the Adult Education English Department was succeeded 
by a young, inexperienced Tulean girl. Replacement was especially 
rapid and complete in the Cooperative Enterprises. Takeo Noma, 
who had held a minor position in the Coop before segregation, 
became General Manager upon the departure of the "loyal" incum- 
bent. Similarly, Milton Sasaki, who had been little known before 
segregation became Executive Secretary. 52 By the time the trans- 
ferees arrived, there were no major positions left unfilled in this 
important organization. 

In addition to their resentment of the fact that the "old settlers" 
had secured a monopoly of housing and jobs the transferees mani- 
fested an immediate contempt for the Tulean situation as a whole 
and made loud and disparaging comparisons between this center 
and their "home" project regarding the "spineless," proadminis- 
tration behavior of the settled residents, the overstocked canteens 
on the one hand, and the poor food provided by WRA on the other, 
the defects of the physical facilities (e.g., latrines), and they dis- 
paraged the climate and natural surroundings. Taken altogether 
there was thus a wide cleavage between the new transferees and the 
old Tuleans. 

Typical of the attitude of the transferees was a remark made by 
a Rohwerite after his first meal in the segregation center: "This 
won't do. We'll have to get organized and lodge a complaint." 53 

A young Kibei was overheard saying: "The people here are no 
good. In Rohwer we had a Seinen-Kai (Young Men's Organization) 
and never did anything the WRA told us to do." 54 

Old Tuleans, on their part, were quick to characterize the trans- 
ferees as troublemakers, agitators, "a sad bunch," and people who 
would be "hard to handle." 55 

62 The roles later played by Sasaki and Noma are described in chapters VII 
58 Field Notes, September 21, 1943. 

54 Field Notes, September 19, 1943. 

55 Field Notes, September 20, 1943. 


An old Tulean Issei characterized the two opposing groups as 

Tuleans who are staying are often doing so because they didn't want to 
move. Those who are coming in are among the worst because they 
wouldn't bother to pack and come here unless they were fairly bad. 60 

The dissatisfactions of the transferees soon manifested themselves 
in a series of minor outbursts of violence. A group of recently "proc- 
essed" transferees refused to pass through the gate between the 
administrative and residential area until the American flag, raised 
by old Tulean Boy Scouts, had been lowered. 57 On several occasions, 
evacuee police were unable to control crowds pushing against the 
fences to welcome incoming groups. The windows of the Housing 
office and of the Coop magazine stand in the administrative areas 
were broken. In the latter, copies of the JACL weekly, the Pacific 
Citizen, were destroyed. Rumors of violence toward women spread, 
and a voluntary curfew was imposed on young girls. A group, said 
to be Kibei, broke up a dance, and after this incident no public 
dances were held. A man in charge of the public address system at 
a basketball game was forced to stop playing American jazz and 
instructed to play Japanese national music. 58 

The transferees also quickly assumed leadership in the promised 
"pursuit of the Japanese way of life." Japanese language schools 
sprang up in different parts of the project (first in blocks 32 and 26), 
and a board was formed to supervise the organization of such 
schools in every ward. Buddhist religious ceremonies flouished, with 
ten active priests, and Christian activities were relegated to a minor 
place, with only one minister officiating. Etiquette classes for girls 
involving, for example, practice in sitting on the floor, were ini- 

A Nisei high school boy, worried about the lack of recreation 
and of American schooling asked: "What are we going to do if we 
stay in here?" 59 And a young Kibei wrote to his former English 

It isn't very good for a nice boy like myself when things turn out like 
this, is it? And what is more the people who came from other camps are 

56 Ibid. 

57 Field Notes, October 16, 1943. 

58 Ibid. 

59 Field Notes, September 25, 1943. 


all rough. They shout loudly "Banzai to the Emperor!" and even the 
police, it seems, are afraid to cross them. If you are caught at anything like 
[American] dancing, you are likely to be practically killed. . . . Japanese 
schools have sprung up everywhere. They say that the American school 
will not start until next February. 60 

Most important to the transferees in their vigorous campaign for 
control was the fact that by the removal of many of the Tulean 
leaders to other projects, and the restrictions imposed by WRA on 
self-government after segregation, the political field was left in a 
chaotic state. The Community Council, which had resigned during 
the registration crisis had never been reconstituted. The Issei Plan- 
ning Board, which had not been officially dissolved, had neverthe- 
less lost many of its members through segregation and had not 
proceeded with reorganization. A number of "loyal" block mana- 
gers had left, and their positions were in most cases not filled until 
after the arrival of the transferees. 

This political disorganization opened the way for the consolida- 
tion of the transferees as a protest bloc, opposed to both the old 
Tuleans and the administration. How quickly and effectively they 
utilized this opportunity will be described in subsequent chapters. 

60 Field Notes (undated letter) October, 1943. 


Chapter V 


Strikes, Threats, and Violence 

AN THE DISORGANIZED and chaotic Tule Lake 
Segregation Center, where hurried exchanges of hundreds of un- 
willing evacuees were being made daily, the transferees, as described 
in the preceding chapter, began immediately to give violent expres- 
sion to their feelings of discomfort and dissatisfaction with respect 
to living conditions in general, housing and food in particular, the 
availability of employment, and working conditions. Block mana- 
gers, both old Tuleans and newly chosen transferees, had constantly 
to take the brunt of pugnacious criticism from block residents. 
Evacuee supervisors and foremen received incessant complaints. 

The first overt manifestation of dissatisfaction over working con- 
ditions occurred when a labor dispute arose within a crew assigned 
to handling coal. On October 7 while segregation movements were 
still taking place, the administration abruptly terminated the em- 
ployment of forty-three members of this crew who had vigorously 
protested the discharge of three coworkers for alleged insubordi- 
nation. The following day these vacant positions were thrown open 
to anyone who would take them, but no evacuee came forward. 
Meanwhile, in order to help settle the controversy, the workers 
called upon several transferees who had been well known in their 
respective relocation centers for aggressive antiadministration atti- 
tudes. Among them were Watanabe and Kato from Topaz, Abe 
from Jerome, Sano from Rohwer, and Doi from Heart Mountain, 1 

1 Soon after his arrival, Doi and some of his Heart Mountain associates had 
formed a Kenkyu Kai (study group) to investigate conditions in camp. Watanabe, 
Kato and Sano formed a clique which met frequently for similar purposes. Abe 
was regarded as leader of the Jerome faction, which, while not formally organ- 
ized, represented a compact interest group. 


who were to take leading roles in events that followed. The matter 
was taken to the administration and was successfully arbitrated by 
Harry Mayeda, former chairman of the'Community Council, and 
Bill Mayeda, chairman of Civic Organizations, the central organ- 
ization of block managers. In spite of disapproval of outsiders' 
intruding in a labor dispute, the administration gave way on Octo- 
ber 12, rehired the forty-three terminated workers, and made cer- 
tain concessions, promising the crew members coveralls, gloves, and 
a midmorning snack. Although this dispute was on a minor scale, 
the residents regarded the settlement as strengthening their posi- 
tion. The advisors gained prestige from the incident, in spite of the 
fact that the administration had discouraged their intrusion. 

Shortly after this labor dispute two serious accidents occurred, 
involving a number of evacuees and precipitating a series of out- 
breaks. The administration was held to have been culpably neg- 
ligent in connection with these accidents, and when adequate 
compensation was not forthcoming, fear of loss of life and limb 
was added to the many smoldering grievances of the residents. 
When a partial strike of the evacuees was called, pending settle- 
ment of these multiple grievances, it was broken by the adminis- 
tration under conditions which pyramided on the existing bases 
for the grievances. 

The accidents occurred on October 13 and 15, 1943. On October 
1 3 a fire truck, speeding to answer an alarm, overturned, and three 
firemen were seriously injured; on October 15 at about 1:30 P.M., 
a farm truck, carrying twenty-nine workers, attempted to pass an- 
other truck, hit a soft shoulder, and overturned. All of the workers 
were cut and bruised, five were pinned under the truck and seriously 
injured, and one of them, Kashima, died soon afterward. 

Hundreds of the workers on the farm turned back to the center 
immediately after the accident. Just a few hours earlier a number 
of them had refused to report for work, having been angered by an 
Army sentry, who had held them up at the main gate leading to 
the farm, because of some procedural technicalities. Scarcely an 
hour had passed since they had acceded to an appeal made at the 
noon meal and reported for the afternoon work. The dispute in 
the morning had left them resentful and suspicious; the accident in 
the afternoon added to their state of confusion. These were, how- 
ever, only the most recent of a long series of difficulties. 


The farm situation had always been a source of grievance to the 
old Tuleans, and, from the inception of their employment, to the 
newly arrived farm workers also. Together they had made some 
effort to organize in order to bring their complaints about working 
conditions, equipment, and food to the attention of the adminis- 
tration, and a representative had been elected from each crew. The 
morning after the accident these representatives, together with vari- 
ous foremen, held a meeting in a mess hall, outside which the work- 
ers milled about in an angry mood. A rumor that the driver of the 
farm truck was a boy only 16 years of age, 2 quickly spread among 
them and from them to the residents in general. WRA, in its capac- 
ity as employer, was blamed for negligence in placing the lives of 
the evacuees in the hands of an inexperienced minor. Shocked, 
frightened, and angry, the residents then strove primarily to devise 
means of self-protection. They agreed to refuse to leave the center 
for work at the farm unless safeguards against further accidents 
were set up and adequate compensation for the injured persons 
provided. At the same time the farmers realized that the circum- 
stances of the accident and the resulting work stoppage provided 
an unparalleled opportunity for applying pressure on the admin- 
istration to alleviate other grievances and to improve living condi- 
tions. The work stoppage of approximately eight hundred farm 
workers jeopardized many thousands of dollars worth of crops 
which were then just ready to harvest. 8 Appreciating the power of 
the weapon in their hands, the representatives of the workers passed 
a resolution "to request and demand legitimate action from the 
administration and also to prevent any such happenings in the 
future." The resolution reads in part: 

We wish to make justifiable demands on behalf of the victims for the 
settlement of this regrettable incident. In addition, we ought to try to 
solve all problems [in camp] so that such an incident will not occur in the 
future. This problem is of vital interest to all the residents. Therefore, we 
resolve to make the problem center-wide. We farm workers pledge our- 
selves to stay away from our places of employment until our demands are 

2 The driver was actually 19 years of age. The reason for the residents' belief 
that he was younger was the fact that minors were known to be employed on the 
farm at this time and that, among the injured workers, were two boys of eleven 
and twelve years of age, respectively. 

3 About 2,900 acres were under cultivation, the crops consisting of alfalfa, 
potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, turnips, beets, spinach, etc. 


At this meeting, various prominent evacuees were called in for 
consultation and advice on how to get camp-wide support for a 
camp-wide issue. Among the participants were Watanabe and Kato 
from Topaz, Abe from Jerome, Sano from Rohwer, and Doi from 
Heart Mountain, i.e., the same advisors who had been called in to 
help settle the coal crew dispute. As in the dispute of the coal crew, 
the farmers decided to approach the Civic Organizations to report 
their specific grievances and to obtain center-wide support for their 
cause. When approached, the Civic Organizations, however, re- 
ferred them to the Planning Board, the Issei advisors of the ad- 
ministration. The Board was reluctant to handle the dispute and 
returned it to the Civic Organizations. There is reason to believe 
that neither the Board nor the Civic Organizations, both of which 
were dominated by old Tuleans at this time, was willing to handle 
the grievances of the farm group, particularly since the request was 
engineered by known recalcitrant and belligerent transferee lead- 
ers. As a result the Civic Organizations, at the request of the farm 
representatives, referred the question to a general meeting of block 
managers. The block managers, among whom were now many 
transferees, were much more intimately acquainted with the mood 
of the community since they had had to deal constantly and directly 
with complaining residents in their blocks. They speedily and 
unanimously decided on a plan for holding block meetings to 
elect representatives from each block and passed the following 

With respect to the October 15 incident we block managers resolve to 
support unconditionally the resolution of the farm workers. Furthermore, 
for solution of this problem we request visits by the WRA Director and 
the Spanish Consul. Because of this favorable opportunity, we resolve to 
solve, in cooperation with all the residents, all important general prob- 
lems pertaining to living conditions. 

It is to be noted that emphasis was placed on the fundamental 
problem of improving living conditions in the center. 

On the same night block-wide elections were quickly organized, 
and sixty-four representatives, one from each block, were chosen. 
The resulting choices reflected the existence of diversified interest 
groups in the community. In the process of segregation, the old 
Tuleans had lost, through relocation and transfer, many of their 
formal leaders (councilmen, block managers, Planning Board mem- 


bers, etc.). And following segregation, groups of newcomers were 
introduced into almost every block, for apartments made available 
by the departure of "loyals" had to be occupied soon after they 
were vacated in order to assure smooth functioning in exchanges. 
Since the newcomers arrived from the several relocation centers on 
different trains, there was an unavoidable concentration of Topaz- 
ians in certain blocks, Jeromites in others, and so on. The remain- 
ing vacancies were then filled indiscriminately, according to the 
size of the families. The result was a very considerable heteroge- 
neity of blockwise population, each block containing "cores" of 
people from one or more relocation centers. Such cores within the 
various blocks exercised a strong influence in the selection of repre- 
sentatives and in the formation of policies by the evacuees. 

The recently transplanted cores tended to remain solidary, ac- 
quaintance and intimacy tended to be limited to former neighbors, 
to the exclusion of present neighbors, and in the selection of repre- 
sentatives newcomers from within a transferred core had in the 
main a greater chance of support than members of the old Tulean 
population. If, for example, a bloc of transferees from Topaz imme- 
diately nominated an antiadministration, aggressive Topazian, this 
nomination was likely to overshadow any choices of the remaining 
residents, who might comprise a heterogeneous mixture of old 
Tuleans and blocs of transferees from half a dozen other projects. 
There was evidence of an inclination to elect belligerent, vocifer- 
ous individuals who had gained the reputation of being aggressive 
opponents of the administration in the centers from which they 
had come. Under the circumstances the selection in many blocks 
favored transferees. 

Quantitative analysis of the results of the election shows that old 
Tuleans outnumbered the combined population of all transferees 
in 21 of the 64 blocks, but managed to elect Tulean representatives 
in only 10 of these 21 blocks. 4 In 28 other blocks they outnumbered 
any other transferee bloc; but Tulean representatives were elected 
from only 1 2 of them. Two other Tuleans were, however, elected 
where Tuleans were outnumbered by one or more transferee 
groups. Thus, while mere numerical preponderance per block 

* Most blocks elected alternates as well as representatives. Associate repre- 
sentatives were also frequently elected. This analysis is based on representatives 
attending the first meeting of Daihyo Sha Kai. 


might have been expected to result in the election of some 49 
Tulean representatives, only 22, or less than half the "expected", 
number were elected, although 2 others were elected from blocks 
where Tuleans lacked numerical preponderance. 

The effectiveness of relatively small blocs of transferees in elect- 
ing representatives is shown by the following facts: In no block in 
the project were there more than 50 Jeromites 5 of voting ages, yet 
13 Jerome representatives were elected. In 29 blocks, the repre- 
sentative elected came from a relocation project which had con- 
tributed less than 30 potential voters to the population; and in 6 
of these, the representative came from a relocation project contrib- 
uting fewer than 10 potential voters. Gila and Poston segregants, 
arriving later on the project than those from Jerome, Rohwer, 
Heart Mountain, and Topaz, were less successful than the latter in 
electing representatives, in spite of the fact that they were less dis- 
persed on a blockwise basis. 

In other words, although dispersal throughout the project had 
produced a situation favorable to old Tulean control of any block- 
wise election, the leaderless old Tuleans were unable to take advan- 
tage of this situation and lost, by default, to the more aggressive but 
much smaller cores of transferees. If proportional representation 
of old Tuleans and transferees, respectively, is considered from the 
standpoint of total rather than blockwise distribution, the results 
of the election seem far less biased. Old Tuleans comprised 42 per 
cent of the total population and elected 24 out of 64, or 37 per cent 
of the possible representatives. Correspondingly, transferees, with 
58 per cent of the total population, elected 63 per cent of the 
representatives. Among the transferees, however, there is evidence 
of greater strength of some blocs than of others, e.g., Jerome and 
Rohwer elected representatives in twice the frequency of their pro- 
portions in the total population; Topaz, Poston, and Heart Moun- 
tain in about the same frequency as their proportions in the total 
population would predict; but Gila River transferees, who arrived 
only a few days before the election, were markedly underrepre- 
sented; and the scattered and numerically unimportant transferees 
from Manzanar, Minidoka, and Granada did not succeed in elect- 
ing any representatives at all. 

6 The average potential voting population per block was 159, with only one 
block having fewer than 100. 


To summarize: In so far as "representativeness" was concerned, 
the election had produced a body composed of old Tuleans and 
transferees in about the proper proportions, but some blocs of 
transferees were markedly overrepresented and were soon able to 
obtain and hold positions of control in the organization. 

By common consent the elected body became known as the 
Daihyo Sha Kai, which is the Japanese equivalent of "Representa- 
tive Body." On October 17, the day after the elections, the Daihyo 
Sha Kai held its first meeting, and the injured farmers formally 
placed all claims against and all proposed negotiations with WRA 
in its hands. The meeting was attended not only by the elected 
representatives, but also by representatives of groups with special 
interests in the farm incident, e.g., the Motor Pool, the Hog Farm, 
and the Agricultural Division. Officers were elected, with George 
Kuratomi of Jerome and H. Doi of Heart Mountain defeating 
Watanabe of Topaz by a wide margin for positions of chairman 
and vice-chairman, respectively. Watanabe's defeat should be re- 
marked upon here, for later it was widely believed that he, a promi- 
nent Topaz transferee, coveted and expected to obtain the position 
of chairman, or some other position of prominence. A number of 
informants have hinted that he carried his jealousy of the elected 
leaders to the point of betraying the Daihyo Sha Kai to the adminis- 
tration and obstructing its progress. 

As chairman, Kuratomi called on a leader of the Farm Group 
for its recommendations, and the latter presented a five-point 

(1) Prosecution of the persons responsible for the accident. 

(2) Termination of the employment of all minors as drivers. 

(3) Consultation with WRA officials. 

(4) Report of results of consultation to the Spanish Consul. 

(5) Adequate compensation for the injured. 6 

After considerable attention to the circumstances surrounding 
the farm accident, discussion became focused on some of the basic 
grievances regarding living conditions: shortage of ambulances, 
defective fire apparatus, broken-down plumbing in the latrines, 
overcrowding, scarcity of jobs, lack of unemployment compensa- 
tion, and, above all, deficiencies in the food supplied to the mess 
halls. To make possible more detailed attention to these numerous 

8 Paraphrased from minutes of the meeting, October 17, 1943. 


grievances, a plan for the formation of a series of subcommittees, to 
be selected by the representatives on a ward basis, was drawn up. 
These were to cover sanitation and betterment of living conditions, 
farm-incident settlement, the hospital, education, and mess halls 
and food supply. Finally, there was to be a central committee to 
coordinate the activities of the other committees and to negotiate 
with the administration. This became known as the Negotiating 

On the morning of October 18 the Daihyo Sha Kai representa- 
tives met on a ward basis to select one ward representative for each 
committee. These meetings were in general poorly attended and 
extremely informal. The important Negotiating Committee of 
seven men was selected in this informal way, on the ward basis. The 
original committee of seven ward representatives and the ex officio 
chairman and vice-chairman of Daihyo Sha Kai comprised seven 
transferees (four from Jerome and one each from Heart Mountain, 
Topaz, and Poston) and only two old Tuleans. Thus power of the 
organization was vested largely in the transferee protest bloc. Later, 
the committee appointed other members, and consolidated its own 
position. As described by a member, "The Negotiating Committee 
was more or less given the power to appoint any person as a member 
of the Negotiating Committee." 7 

For days the Daihyo Sha Kai made no attempt to negotiate with 
the administration, largely because of time-consuming prepara- 
tions for a public funeral for Kashima, the deceased farmer, and 
because of the necessity of getting the various subcommittees on a 
working basis, of carrying on investigations, of reporting to and 
receiving reports from the residents, and of deciding upon the 
proper approach to make to the Caucasian officials. 

Meantime, the administration, not knowing the extent to which 
the residents were organizing their protest movement, and faced 
with the loss of a valuable crop, issued 8 the following ultimatum to 
the farm workers: 

In the immediate situation the entire farm crop needs to be harvested. 
These are the vegetables that the residents of Tule Lake will be eating this 
winter. The crop will not be lost. If evacuees do not harvest it, the Army 
will be asked to. This means that the WRA will have to ask the Army 

7 Statement by Bill Kato, Field Notes, November 10, 1944. 

8 The statement was read by the block managers in the mess halls on October 
20; it was published in the Tulean Dispatch on the following day. 


Quartermaster for vegetables for the evacuees' tables this winter. These 
requisitions must be prepared for 50 days in advance of the period to be 
used. We would not be in a very good position to expect our demands to 
be filled if we fail to harvest the splendid farm crop now available. 

The situation is the responsibility, pure and simple, of the residents of 
Tule Lake Center. The administration is ready and willing to discuss and 
work out on a fair basis any and all difficulties that may arise. If the farm 
workers are not interested enough in the settlement of this problem to 
send official spokesmen to the administration by 8:30 A.M., October gist, it 
will be necessary for the WRA to request harvesting by the Army and 
consequent loss of the crops to the evacuees. 9 

In response to this ultimatum, the farm foremen met on October 
20 with the Caucasian Chief of the Agricultural Division. They 
informed him, first, that they could not return to work until their 
planned negotiations with WRA officials had been completed, and, 
second, that they had delegated responsibility for contact with the 
administration to the Negotiating Committee. They pointed out 
further that "we are not striking, but for our own protective pre- 
cautionary measure we will not go to work until the issue involved 
has been settled." This fine distinction between "work stoppage" 
and "strike" was emphasized because of the justified fear that a 
"strike" would provide valid grounds for termination of their 

Failing in his attempt to negotiate directly with the farmers, 
Project Director Best on the following day (October 21) invited, 
through the block managers, "any representative committee to 
discuss any problem," with him. But before this invitation could be 
acted upon by the Daihyo Sha Kai, tension reached a new height. 

Kashima's death had moved the people deeply. "They felt that 
the people who got hurt represented the whole center. They wanted 
to give Kashima an honorable funeral because he represented all 
of us." 10 The desire for an honorable funeral soon became crystal- 
lized into an intention to have a public ceremony. "Since Kashima 
was riding on the truck which was checked out of the Motor Pool, 
the Motor Pool people would want to come. Since he was from 
Topaz, his Topaz friends would want to come. Since he was a 
farmer, the farmers would want to come." 11 

By "loss" was meant only the loss of food; the evacuees did not share in 
profits or losses resulting from the sale of the crops. 
1(1 Statement of a Nisei informant, Field Notes, March 23, 1944. 
11 Statement by Bill Kato, Field Notes, September n, 1944. 


The decision to have a public ceremony was apparently made by 
two groups independently, one composed of the deceased's fellow 
workers from the farm, the other organized on a camp-wide basis 
through the Daihyo Sha Kai, which delegated the responsibility to 
Mr. Watanabe, a friend of the Kashima family. 12 

The first of these groups to contact the Project Director was the 
farm workers, evidently without the knowledge of the Daihyo Sha 
Kai group. The farmers wanted permission to hold a public funeral 
on the outdoor stage, and assurances that the Project Director 
would attend the funeral and send a letter of condolence to the 
widow. Best refused, and confirmed his refusal in a letter to the 
committee on October 21, in which he said: 

In reply to your statement that a public funeral will be held at 2:00 P.M. 
on Saturday, October 23, at the outdoor stage in the firebreak, you are 
hereby notified that permission is not granted to hold such a public 

For your information, funerals will be held in the customary locations 
as they have since the opening of this center. 

He later justified this refusal on the grounds that 

they didn't ask me, they demanded that I appear at the funeral and speak. 
They demanded that I transmit a letter of condolence to the widow. I do 
not recognize demands. 13 

Shortly thereafter Watanabe and his colleagues, acting for the 
Daihyo Sha Kai, approached Mr. Best in a conciliatory manner on 
the same errand, but evidently without knowledge of the Farm 
Group's earlier attempt. Best is said to have given them a half- 
promise that the high school auditorium could be used. This was 
withdrawn the day before the funeral in the following curt note: 

In reply to your request to use the outdoor stage or the high school 
auditorium for funeral purposes Saturday, October 23, my final answer is 
that no public funeral will be allowed at this particular time. Permission 
to use the outdoor stage or the high school auditorium is not granted. 

15 The attitude of Kashima's widow complicated the plans. According to Kato, 
she approved the plans of the Daihyo Sha Kai group and stated that she felt 
deeply honored. When approached by the administration, however, she is re- 
ported to have said that she did not want a public ceremony. This was later 
interpreted by the administration as evidence of pressure tactics by Daihyo Sha 
Kai. Evacuee informants (Kato and Kuratomi), however, interpret the refusal as 
"Japanese psychology," i.e., Mrs. Kashima, although pleased with the honor, felt 
impelled by modesty to refuse. 

13 Minutes of meeting with the Negotiating Committee, October 26, 1943. 


Angered by this refusal, Watanabe proceeded with his plans to 
use the outdoor stage. The notice that a public funeral was to be 
held had appeared in the Tulean Dispatch. Donations of money 
were made by each block and by various individuals and groups." 
It is said that groups of young men from Jerome and Topaz cleaned 
up the firebreak in preparation for the funeral. 15 

In defiance of Best's instructions, the funeral was held on Octo- 
ber 23 as scheduled by the Daihyo Sha Kai group. Since it was not 
authorized by the administration, the Daihyo Sha Kai decided 
"that no Army or Internal Security representative nor any Cauca- 
sian whatever should come to disturb it." 16 There is evidence that 
a group of young men, said to have been transferees from Jerome 
and Topaz, had banded together to enforce this ruling. Best, never- 
theless, instructed the Reports Officer to attend the funeral and to 
take photographs 17 of the proceedings. When the Reports Officer 
appeared and stepped out of his car, the young men moved in for- 
mation on him, took his camera away, and tossed him into the air. 
The episode was brief and the ceremony proceeded as scheduled. 

The administration contributed a further source of irritation by 
turning off the electric power on the project during the funeral, 
with the result that the public address system could not function. 
WRA officials claimed that the public address apparatus had been 
taken by force from the Community Activities Section following 
the intimidation of Nisei workers in charge of it. 

Best's refusal to sanction a public funeral was generally regarded 
as a discourteous and heartless act. It increased existing tension and 
added to the developing sense of persecution and of hostility toward 
the administration. Concomitantly, Watanabe's successful defiance 
resulted both in further loss of public respect for the administra- 
tion and a corresponding increase in the prestige of the Daihyo Sha 
Kai. The unrestrained public attack on the Reports Officer further 
deteriorated respect for law and order among the residents and 
encouraged irresponsible boys, who had for some time been de- 
stroying government property and obstructing dances and social 
functions, in more frequent outbursts of lawless behavior 

14 Field Notes, September 1 1, 1944. 

15 Field Notes, October 12, 1944. 

16 Field Notes, December 12, 1944. 

17 Or, according to some reports, to act as if he were taking photographs, and 
not to leave his car. 


On the same day (October 23) a further blow was dealt the eva- 
cuees when an official report from the United States Employment 
Compensation Commission was made public. This report stated 
that the amount of allowable compensation for Kashima's widow 
and children would be two thirds of his monthly wage as of the 
date of the accident. This brought to the fore the smoldering resent- 
ment regarding WRA wage levels and wage policy. As one inform- 
ant expressed it, "The widow and son of the deceased are entitled 
to the grand sum of 60 per cent 18 of whatever he is making in a 
month, namely, 60 per cent of the kingly wage of sixteen big 
dollars." 19 

That evening Daihyo Sha Kai met to receive reports from its 
several grievance subcommittees. Attention was centered on de- 
ficiencies in living conditions and on proposals for bettering them. 
Overcrowding should be eliminated; private enterprises should be 
restricted; the cooperative enterprises should not be permitted to 
sell luxuries and food items; the latter should be provided by 
WRA; wages should be increased to the new level of pay received 
by men in the Army; lumber should be provided free for making 
furniture, etc. It was alleged that the food provided in the mess 
halls cost only eighteen to twenty cents per day per person, whereas 
WRA regulations called for forty-five cents. 20 From this discrep- 
ancy, and the fact that products of the chicken and hog farms were 
not reaching the evacuees' tables, it was inferred that the Caucasian 
personnel were disposing of food illegally for private profit. In this 
connection, also, the question of status as "disloyals" was intruded. 
It was said that the best of the Tule Lake farm products were being 
shipped to the "loyals" in relocation projects and to the U.S. Army 
and Navy. "Disloyal" Tuleans, who planted, cultivated and har- 
vested the crops were receiving only second-grade products, and 
in insufficient quantities at that. 21 

By October 26, the Negotiating Committee was ready to accept 
Mr. Best's invitation to discuss project problems with him. Some 
ten members of the committee and three Caucasians, including Mr. 
Best, were present. Kuratomi acted as spokesman for the Negotiat- 
ing Committee. 

18 Actually, 66% per cent. 

in Field Notes, December, 1943. 

20 WRA, Administrative Instruction No. 33, August 24, 1942. 

-' Paraphrased from minutes of the meeting, October 23, 1943. 


Although Best was unwilling to recognize the Negotiating Com- 
mittee as "representatives" of the evacuees, and although antag- 
onism between Kuratomi and Best 22 was evident, some of the more 
important grievances were met by an evident attempt on the part 
of the administration either to devise means of alleviation, or to 
open the way for further consideration, and Best even stated at one 

There is no reason why we can't come to an understanding. We can lay 
our problems right here on the table. I am here to help you. I am not here 
for any other purpose. I want to spend 90 per cent of my time with you and 
your committee. That is what I am here for. ... I don't think there is a 
problem that we can't solve if we get together. . . . We can get right down 
to the bottom of these things. 

The agenda prepared by the Negotiating Committee covered 
four main points, namely (i) clarification of the status of Tule resi- 
dents; (2) settlement of the farm incident; (3) request for commu- 
nity government; (4) request for betterment of living conditions. 

Concerning status, the question was raised of the desirability of 
resegregation, involving the separation of "loyals" or "fence-sitters" 
from the genuinely "disloyal" and sincere repatriates for whom 
Tule Lake had been designed as a segregation center. Best agreed 
that "that is a good idea and is something that will have to be 
worked out." 

With respect to the farm incident, very little was settled. Discus- 
sion degenerated into recriminations, Kuratomi reproving Best for 
his "inhuman attitude" and demanding that WRA accept "full 
responsibility" for the accidents and issue a statement expressing 
regret; Best claiming that the residents had been pressured into 
attending the funeral. The only concrete concession made by the 
administration was an assurance that minors would not be per- 
mitted to drive automobiles or trucks. On another point concern- 
ing the farm, however, Best agreed with the Negotiating Committee 

22 The administration is said to have believed that Abe and Kuratomi had 
organized a pressure group while still at Jerome and had come to Tule Lake 
prepared to enforce their program on the residents. When Kuratomi and other 
Jeromites were introduced to Mr. Best shortly after their arrival, Best is alleged 
to have prefaced his greeting with the remark: "I don't recognize any group 
activity. I don't care what you have done in the past, but as far as this center is 
concerned, you shall represent no group or groups of people." (George Kuratomi, 
Personal Notes, October, 1943.) 


in principle, namely, that farm acreage be cultivated only to the 
extent dictated by the needs of the Tule Lake residents. 

Concerning community government, both parties agreed to its 
desirability. Best, however, emphasized the fact that self-govern- 
ment, as such, would, under WRA regulations, be impossible in a 
segregation center, but that an advisory committee would be desir- 
able provided it included "complete representation." 

About living conditions, many questions were raised, in accord- 
ance with the reports of the Daihyo Sha Kai subcommittees. The 
most pressing points related to food: insufficient milk for children, 
lack of eggs, poultry, pork, etc. As Kuratomi said, "Food is the 
major problem of every individual." Best sidetracked these impor- 
tant points by suggesting that the question of mess-hall distribution 
of food should be investigated by the Mess Management Division. 
He agreed, however, to initiate improvements in latrine facilities, 
to request permission from Washington to build uniform porches 
on the barracks, and, in general, "to make this as decent a place as 
we can make it." Interestingly enough, he blamed Congress for the 
existing state of community disorganization and discomfort. He 

The Congress of the United States . . . demanded and ordered segrega- 
tion. The Tule Lake Center was selected as the place. We had all of these 
trains coming in and going out and I don't believe that you or I or any- 
body else could have done better with what we had. We didn't have time. 
I didn't get here until the first of August. Other centers knew all about it 
before the first of August, but Tule Lake had no preparations made and 
had no plans. Other centers moved out one to three trains. We moved 14 
trains out and received trains from every center. I believe there were 18 or 
19 trains in. ... I guess we will just have to blame Congress. I don't want 
to blame you and I don't want to take the blame. I guess the blame rests 
on Congress. 28 

On the basis of evacuee statements concerning this period, the 
points brought up by the Negotiating Committee seem to have been 
a fairly accurate presentation of public sentiment. Only on the 
matter of the creation of a "permanent governing body" can the 
committee be said to have anticipated the wishes of the people. 
This does not mean that the people were against the formation of 
such a body, but there is no evidence that they considered it an 
immediate need or desired to make it one of the salient items re- 

23 Minutes of the meeting, October 26, 1943. 


quested of Mr. Best. With this one exception, it can be said that 
every issue put before Mr. Best at this October 26 meeting had an 
appreciable amount of public support. According to informants' 
statements, the institution of proper precautions to prevent recur- 
rence of accidents, improvement of general living conditions, and 
the dismissal of the Caucasian Chief of the Hospital (Dr. Pedicord), 
were the most emphatic desires of the people. This last issue was 
not mentioned at the meeting, although it later assumed great 
importance. Kuratomi explained that the committee members be- 
lieved their chief efforts at this time should be directed toward the 
attempt to straighten out the farm accident and, furthermore, that 
the report of the hospital subcommittee was not yet complete. 21 
They intended to bring up this issue at a later meeting. The policy 
of the Negotiating Committee at this meeting has never been criti- 
cized by evacuee informants. The general attitude at this time was 
that these men had been selected as representatives: whatever they 
chose to do "for the benefit of the people" was approved. 

The important question of the work stoppage of the farm crew 
was not mentioned specifically during the conference of October 
26. Best touched twice, however, during the meeting on the subject 
of the disposal of the farm crop. Once in discussing the distribution 
of hogs and poultry he said: 

If you have a tie up and have no one out to the farm to work of course 
I am going to have to dispose of the produce. If you don't have a work 
crew out there we will just have to find a buyer and sell it. 

Kuratomi took this warning to have reference to the hog farm 
crew and the poultry crew, and replied, "As far as I know they are 
working out there." Best then said, "I mean if you should stop 
working I couldn't give you any of the crop." 

At another point Best said: 

We are going to be short on some vegetables until they can be picked 
up, as long as we have our own crop out here and won't use it. I am going 
to sell this crop. There is a food shortage. There is a war on. We are going 
to salvage this food. I am going to sell it to the government. We will never 
see any of the money. I am going to sell the crop to save it. The crop is 
going to be harvested. We will work out this winter what to farm and what 
size you want, if any. 26 

24 Field Notes, April 9, 1945. 

25 Minutes of the meeting, October 26, 1943. 


Believing that the administration was receptive to their pleas 
and hopeful of an early settlement of disputes and grievances, the 
Negotiating Committee gave an optimistic resume of the meeting 
to the Daihyo Sha Kai and the Farm Group. 

The optimism of the Negotiating Committee turned out to be 
unjustified, however, for the administration had, two days before 
the meeting, made plans for recruiting evacuees from other reloca- 
tion centers to harvest the farm crop 20 and had telegraphed the 
Project Directors at Topaz and Poston for their aid. 27 This informa- 
tion was withheld from the evacuees at Tule Lake. 28 With successful 
recruiting of harvesters in prospect, Best announced on October 28 
that "due to failure of farm workers to report for work, they have 
been terminated as of October 19." Having taken this action, he 
left the project for San Francisco. 

The termination of employment of the farm workers, entirely 
without warning, was a serious set-back for the Negotiating Com- 
mittee and for the farmers who had insisted that they were not 
engaged in a strike but in a "work stoppage." A further blow was 
dealt them on the next day when they learned through newspapers 
that "loyal" harvesters, at prevailing wages, were to be brought in 
to break the "work stoppage." The "prevailing wage rate" was set 
at one dollar per hour, which contrasted sharply with the sixteen 
dollars per month wages of the striking or "work stopping"- 
farmers at Tule Lake. 

The evacuees had now completely lost their main bargaining 
point. Their anger and humiliation because of this situation were 
increased by the fact that it was "loyals" who were being brought 

26 WRA, Tule Lake Incident, Sequence of Events (manuscript). 

27 The Project Director of Topaz was definitely assured, and in turn reassured 
the residents, that no strike was in progress at Tule Lake. He stated: "In dis- 
cussing the job I have been asked to find out if there is any trouble like a 'strike' 
at Tule Lake. Last night I phoned to Tule Lake and received this information: 
'There is no "strike" or labor trouble in Tule Lake.' The residents of Tule Lake 
have had meetings with their project director and have said they did not feel 
they should harvest crops that were going to the other centers." (Topaz Times, 
October 28, 1943.) 

28 WRA, Semi-Annual Report, July i to December 31, 1943, states: "The ad- 
ministration ... recruited evacuee volunteers from the regular centers to save 
the crops. The recruitment was so successful that by October 26, the day set for 
a meeting with an evacuee committee . . . many recruits from other centers had 

already been recruited In view of the attitude of this committee, the project 

director did not announce the fact that the harvest was being completed by 
volunteers from the relocation centers" (p. 12). 


in under these favorable conditions to break a strike of "disloyals," 
in spite of the fact that "disloyalty" had been defined, administra- 
tively, as neither disparaging nor culpable. Seeking to forestall or 
delay their termination, the farmers, without waiting for the 
Negotiating Committee to intervene, immediately sent their own 
committee to discuss the matter with the administration. They 
reiterated the interpretation of their action as a "work stoppage" 
rather than "strike," and thus challenged the right of WRA to 
terminate their employment. They emphasized the contrast be- 
tween conciliatory statements made during the Negotiating Com- 
mittee's conference with Mr. Best and this abrupt retaliatory action. 
They asked the administration to retract the termination by noon 
of the following day, and threatened that "if this problem cannot 
be settled . . . we will again have to turn the matter into the people's 
hands." At the same time they pleaded, "It's possible that all of us 
should return to work. We don't believe any of us would have any 
objection to returning to work." 29 The administration, however, 
paid no attention to their threats or pleas and issued the following 
statement on October 30: 

The Farm Committee met with the Assistant Project Director . . . and 
discussed various subjects relating to the farm. These subjects will be dis- 
cussed further with Mr. Best and Mr. Myer on either Monday or Tuesday, 
November i or 2: 

Due to Administrative Instruction 27, Revised, dated August 4, 1943, 
it is impossible for me [as Assistant Project Director] to reverse the deci- 
sion regarding the turning in of badges which was received by the former 
farm workers on October 28, 1943. 

On the same day the first contingent of "loyal" strike breakers 
arrived and was housed in tents some distance from the project 
proper. Meanwhile, evacuees discovered that Caucasian employees 
had, during the previous night, transported food from the ware- 
houses to the farm for the use of the harvesters. A morning check-up 
by evacuee employees revealed that, not only were appreciable 
quantities of staple foods missing, but that certain luxury items 
which the evacuees rarely or never enjoyed in their own mess halls 
had also been removed. 30 Since discontent about food was one of 

2(1 Field Notes, December 26, 1944. 

30 According to an evacuee informant, the warehouse employees found defi- 
ciencies of 120 sacks of rice, 50 cases of milk, many cases of canned corn and 
pineapple and much flour and catsup. 


the most persistent of camp grievances, and since food supplies that 
had been bought for Tule Lake residents were to be diverted for 
the use of "loyal" harvesters from other centers, this situation led 
to further feelings and expressions of bitterness against the admin- 
istration. Resentment against the "double-crossing WRA" Mr. 
Best in particular and the "double-crossing loyal Japanese" rose 
to a high pitch. A group of young Daihyo Sha Kai members and 
adherents immediately organized night watches on the warehouses 
and Motor Pool. When on October 31 evacuee employees of the 
Motor Pool were ordered to service trucks to be used for transport- 
ing a second contingent of harvesters from the railway station to 
the farm, they refused, and Caucasian employees had to take over 
the job. By this time, unrest and tension were general. 

Learning of Dillon Myer's imminent visit to the project, Daihyo 
Sha Kai leaders approached Zimmer, Assistant Project Director, 
early on the morning of November i and requested an appoint- 
ment with Myer on behalf of the Negotiating Committee. Zimmer 
refused to make this appointment, insisting that the proper pro- 
cedure would be for Myer to meet with the Farm Group on the 
following day. This administrative decision was consistent with 
the policy applied at the time of the coal strike, i.e., to deal with an 
aggrieved labor group as an entity and to impede evacuee efforts to 
make a labor issue a matter of camp-wide concern. Since the Farm 
Group had already delegated responsibility to the Negotiating 
Committee, the latter was unwilling to comply with this policy. 
When informed by an evacuee janitor in the administration build- 
ing that Dillon Myer had arrived at about 1 1 A.M., and fearing that 
they would miss the chance of seeing him, members of the com- 
mittee decided to force a meeting, and Daihyo Sha Kai representa- 
tives announced at the noon mess that Myer would meet with the 
Negotiating Committee that afternoon and would speak to the 
people. All residents were exhorted to attend. 

After lunch a veritable multitude streamed to the administration 
area. As the crowd was gathering, Myer and Best, being alarmed, 
"got in a car and made a reconnaissance of the [evacuee] area, with 
a view to determining whether the situation warranted calling in 
the military. They saw people walking from every block toward 
the administration area. Old and young, women with babies in 
arms or in baby carriages, and children of all sizes were moving in 


a steady stream toward the administration building. The presence 
of these women and children and the aged in the crowd convinced 
the Directors that violence was not part of the plan." 31 They re- 
turned to the administration building and waited in the Project 
Director's office for developments. 

A Kibei woman informant describes the proceedings and the 
temper of the people vividly in the following words: 

It was announced in the mess that Mr. Myer was here and that the repre- 
sentatives of the Daihyo Sha Kai would see him on matters that the resi- 
dents of the colony wanted determined. . . . 

They said they didn't care whether we were young or old. They wanted 
us to go and they told us that we would not be permitted to come home 
when we wanted to. 

About ten minutes after we came home from lunch, every one of us got 
ready and formed a line in front of the mess hall and we walked to the 
administration building. When we reached there, the place was packed 
with people from other blocks. 

Everyone of us went from my block. 82 

By 1:30 P.M. the crowd, variously estimated from 5,000 to 10,000, 
completely surrounded the administration building. Most of these 
people knew that the demonstration was intended as a gesture of 
support to the Negotiating Committee and they participated for 
this reason. Curiosity and fear of criticism if they absented them- 
selves were important motives for others. Tension and resentment 
against the administration were at a high point, and the people in 
general were deeply aroused. The Daihyo Sha Kai leaders, however, 
were unwilling to risk a slackening of interest, and groups of young 
men were assigned "to keep order" and to block any efforts made 
by the masses to return to their barracks. 

The demonstration had been entirely without warning. Before 
lunch none of the Caucasian personnel had the least inkling that 
it was contemplated. Completely surrounded by thousands of eva- 
cuees and virtually imprisoned in the administration building, 
Dillon Myer consented to see the Negotiating Committee. Accord- 
ing to Caucasian witnesses, the members of the committee ap- 
proached the building "as if they knew exactly what they were 
doing and had everything well planned," and saw to it that a public 
address system was set up. Meanwhile, evacuees were stationed at 

81 WRA, Semi- Annual Report, July i to December 31, 1943, p. 14. 
82 Field Notes, October 12, 1944. 


the doors of the administration building to see that no Caucasian 
left. According to a statement made by Reverend Abe, these young 
men .took this task upon themselves, and the Negotiating Com- 
mittee not only had no voice in the matter, but disapproved it too. 

In the meantime a WRA employee "kept in close touch by tele- 
phone with the commanding officer of the Military Police, who 
stood by, ready to rush in soldiers at a moment's notice. Early in 
the afternoon the tanks in the military area were warmed up to be 
in readiness for an emergency."" 

While the crowd was still gathering, and just as the conference 
between Myer and the Negotiating Committee was getting under 
way, a serious incident occurred between Dr. Pedicord and uniden- 
tified evacuees. The incident is described in the official WRA report 

The Chief Medical Officer [Dr. Pedicord] soon observed that groups of 
three to five evacuees who were not hospital employees kept coming in at 
intervals and circulating among the hospital employees presumably to get 
them to leave work and join in the demonstration. He told the intruders 
to leave, and they did so, but he noticed that fifteen or twenty were con- 
gregated on the steps outside. He commissioned another Caucasian doctor 
to guard the door and let no one in, and then went into his office, which 
is at the right of the entrance and entered by way of an outer office. 

The young men on the steps pushed past the doctor at the door and 
began to crowd into the outer office used by the Chief Medical Officer's 
secretary. The secretary screamed; the Chief Medical Officer thrust his 
head out from his own office to see what was happening and had his glasses 
removed and laid on a shelf by one of the intruders. The Chief Medical 
Officer struck this man, whereupon the others moved up, pressing the 
doctor back into his office. Five of the group took an active part in the 
attack; the others stood on the sidelines. The assailants got the doctor 
down, kicked him twice, once in the side of the face and once in the body, 
and dragged him outside of the building. The doctor's nurse rushed out 
to the rescue, the leader of the gang gave the order to stop the beating, and 
the gang took itself off. Other hospital attendants came out, carried the 
doctor inside and administered treatment for his injuries, which were 
painful rather than serious. 

The fight was over, the injured doctor was receiving medical attention, 
and the assailants had vanished when the doctor who had been commis- 
sioned to guard the front door put his call through to the Project Direc- 
tor's office. Naturally there was nervous tension in the hospital. Few of 
the hospital attendants had witnessed the violent incident, but word of 
such an event spreads rapidly , at 

33 WRA, Semi-Annual Report, July i to December 31, 1943, p. 14. 

34 Ibid., p. 17. 


The doctor's telephone message to the Project Director inter- 
rupted the conference that had just begun. Best asked Kuratomi 
what was going on at the hospital. Kuratomi answered, "I don't 

The Project Director informed the group that the Chief Medical Officer 
had been beaten and property was being destroyed. At this point every 
WRA staff member in the room was aware of the surprise and consterna- 
tion which the news produced in the committeemen: it w r as obvious that 
this episode in the hospital was no part of the committee's plan. Recover- 
ing himself [Kuratomi] said: "We will stop it," and sent some of his men 
to the hospital. Discussion stopped until the men returned and reported 
that the Chief Medical Officer was being cared for and that all was quiet 
in the hospital. 30 

The meeting between the Negotiating Committee and Director 
Myer was then resumed. The Committee had been augmented in- 
formally to include seventeen persons, and Kuratomi acted as 
spokesman. In addition to Myer and Best, some half-dozen Cauca- 
sian representatives of WRA participated. Kuratomi emphasized 
repeatedly that his function was to present the people's grievances, 
and over and over again he called attention to the great mass of 
demonstrators outside, who had come "to express their dissatis- 
faction and anger about center administration." He stated that, 
should the administration continue its mistreatment of the eva- 
cuees, the affair could be reported to the Japanese government. He 
added that he believed American democratic principles were at 
stake and that if the conditions prevailing were allowed to con- 
tinue, "the democratic quality of the United States will be greatly 
injured." He accused Mr. Best of failing to keep faith with the 
Negotiating Committee and of inhumanity in regard to the funeral 
of Mr. Kashima. 

The administration refused either to explain its actions or to 
negotiate with the committee on two of the three important cur- 
rent issues of (i) termination of the farmers' employment, (2) im- 
portation of "loyal" harvesters as strike breakers, and (3) use of food 
from evacuee warehouses for the "loyal strikebreakers." 

In regard to the farmers' employment, Kuratomi accused Best of 
bad faith in terminating them retroactively, after inviting repre- 
sentatives to meet with him to discuss and settle the difficulties. 

35 Ibid., p. 16. 


Myer agreed that the termination notice issued by Best should be 
retracted with the understanding that the farmers would be noti- 
fied of their termination before rather than after the action itself 
was taken, and it represented little in the way of a concrete conces- 
sion to the evacuees directly concerned. 

Myer refused to discuss the presence of the "loyal" harvesters, 
saying merely: 

We are going to take care of the harvesting of the crop outside and I 
have no comment to make now. You folks did not want to do it so we 
arranged to have it done outside and I cannot make any comment. 

Regarding the use of food for these harvesters, the following 
discussion took place: 

BEST: It is our property and we are accountable for that property. We 
can do what we want to with it. 

KURATOMI: Because of the fact that some merchandise was taken out of 
this center some mess halls suffered a shortage. 

BEST: I would want to get into that thoroughly. I would want to find 
out exactly what was supposed to be delivered and was not and what mess 
halls were short. I want to know that. 

KURATOMI: When you do find out what happened, will you take proper 

BEST: What would be proper action? Maybe I don't know what the 
proper action is. I certainly will see that all staple commodities as far as 
the Quartermaster can supply will be kept here. I will see that the mess 
department keeps those things in here and supplies them to the mess halls. 

KURATOMI: I am not satisfied with your answer as yet. We have to make 
a definite statement as to why this food was taken out and why the mess 
halls suffered. 

MYER: Mr. Best gave you his answer. I am sorry but there will be no 
report why the food was taken out. I don't feel that it is necessary to 
report every movement made. If you request an investigation regarding 
such a case, and if it is proven that they were short, proper action will be 
taken. ... I am sorry to say we cannot be in a position to report to the 
community on every movement of trucks. 86 

On the vital issue of disposal of the farm crop, Cozzens, the 
Field Director in charge of the San Francisco office, who was 
present at the meeting, is reported by the Pacific Citizen 37 to have 
said that "a committee of the assemblage . . . asked what was to be 
done about the crops which the Tule Lake residents had refused to 
harvest . . . Cozzens said that the Japanese Committee was told 'it 
was none of their business' what would be done about the crops." 

38 Minutes of the meeting, November i, 1943. 87 November 6, 1942. 


Much against his will, Kuratomi had to accept these negative 
responses. His statement of the importance of the issues was by no 
means an exaggeration. For months afterward Mr. Best was de- 
nounced by the residents for bringing in the "loyal" farm workers 
and for feeding them "food belonging to us." 

The matter of hospital difficulties was brought up after the con- 
ference had been again interrupted by a Caucasian nurse, who, 
already shocked and frightened by the Pedicord incident, tele- 
phoned the Project Director that a large number of evacuees were 
milling around in the corridor of the hospital building and going 
into a wing of the ward section. 38 

When the discussion was resumed, Kuratomi informed Myer 
that the Daihyo Sha Kai had decided, on the previous evening, to 
ask for the resignation of "each and every Caucasian doctor and 
each and every Caucasian nurse who feels so superior that some of 
them believe they know more about medicine than the Japanese 
doctors who have had big practices and lots of responsibility." Myer 
was then informed of specific cases of alleged neglect and malprac- 
tice, and he promised to have the complaints investigated thor- 
oughly. Kuratomi refused to accept this reply, pointing out that 
the evacuees, having failed to get anywhere with "complaints" were 
now making "demands" for immediate removal of all Caucasian 
doctors and nurses and "a definite answer today." 

MYER: That is impossible because I have been on the project only six 
or seven hours and haven't even had a chance to look around. 

KURATOMI: Let me say this much. This has been a request from the 
evacuee doctors and nurses. ... I don't want to see any violence . . . unless 
you . . . remove those people . . . from the hospital ... I cannot guarantee 
the actions of the people. This is not a threat. I cannot stop these people 
from swarming over to the hospital and getting after the doctors. 1 don't 
want to see any violence take place, but I cannot guarantee what the 
people will do if we have to give them this answer. 

MYER: I have never taken any action under threat or duress. 

KURATOMI: It is not a threat; it is a fact. I am just explaining the actual 

38 "There was a fairly steady stream of evacuees from the crowd passing in and 
out of one door which led across the long corridor to a wing of the ward section 
which was not used for patients but which contained class rooms, and what is 
highly significant in this instance, rest rooms. The residents, herded from lunch 
to the administration area and not allowed to leave the area for more than three 
hours, were understandably making use of the rest rooms available within the 
area." WRA, Semi- Annual Report, July i to December 31, 1943, p. 18. 


MYER: I realize what exists. Someone is responsible for that. The people 
are pretty well whipped up. I am sure the tension would be much greater 
if I made concessions without going into the facts. ... I am very sorry that 
is the situation. In view of what has happened at the hospital today, I 
cannot take action until we investigate the matter. That is final."" 

Failing to gain any concession on this point, Kuratomi proceeded 
to review, for Myer's benefit, the many complaints of the residents 
about living conditions: qualitative and quantitative deficiencies 
of food, lack of porches, defective plumbing, insufficient supplies 
of items needed for cleaning, etc. 

With reference to the deficiencies of food, the Negotiating Com- 
mittee made specific accusations. Seki, who was called on by Kura- 
tomi to report the findings of the food investigating committee of 
the Daihyo Sha Kai, charged that for the month of September an 
average of only 27 cents per person per day was spent for food 
instead of 45 cents per person per day, which was allowable accord- 
ing to WRA regulations. 40 That is, only 60 per cent of the money 
allocated for food had been expended during September. He also 
alleged that a spot check made for October 3 indicated that the food 
expenditure for the day was 27 cents per person, identical with the 
average for the previous month. He claimed that ration points for 
meat and processed food were being misappropriated, the Cauca- 
sian personnel receiving thousands of points in excess of their 
allotment at the expense of the residents. Seki concluded: 

Between the time of September 1 7 and September 30, there is a record 
of 1880 pounds of beef being dumped for reason of being unfit for human 
consumption, and we thought this beef was to [have been] government 
inspected. Investigation reveals that the Caucasian mess hall not only 
gets some of the project meat but takes the choicest part of it. They get 
the cuts such as T-bone, rib steaks and tenderloin steaks. That part goes 
to [Caucasian] personnel mess hall and the evacuee mess halls get what 
is left. All of these items are contributing factors about which these evac- 
uees in this camp are complaining, because they are not getting their 
proper share of food that comes into the project. 41 

:!0 Minutes of the meeting, November i, 1943. 

40 That Seki's charges were correct is suggested by a summary of improvements 
between November, 1943 and November, 1944, prepared by the Community 
Analyst (Special Report on Center Trends, November 16, 1944, manuscript), 
where it is stated that "the residents can taste the difference between three meals 
at twenty-odd cents, and three [meals] at forty-odd." 

41 Minutes of the meeting, November i, 1943. 


In regard to these grievances, Best stated merely that the com- 
plaints were "under consideration." Kuratomi thereupon presented 
a statement from "the residents" demanding the removal of Mr. 
Best and various others of the Caucasian personnel. Myer answered 
by reaffirming his confidence in Best and stressing the fact that "we 
can't operate on the basis of demands . . . [but] are willing to inves- 
tigate charges and are willing to take action if we find they are 
based on facts." 

During the course of the meeting two other important issues 
were raised, the first by Kuratomi, the second by Myer. (i) Kura- 
tomi tried once more to get some definite statement on the status of 
Tule Lake residents. He pointed out the friction that existed in 
camp "between the people who have expressed their desire to go 
back to Japan and those who are still loyal to this country" and 
reiterated that "the residents would have this center designated for 
all those who have intention of going back to Japan sooner or 

He received no assurance that the desired process of resegre- 
gation could be carried through. (2) Myer indicated, at several 
points, his lack of faith in the "representativeness" of the Negotiat- 
ing Committee, pointing out that "you folks are serving in a tem- 
porary capacity until a truly representative committee has been 
chosen" and, again, "I don't know how many people you represent. 
I doubt that you represent all of them. ... It is difficult to repre- 
sent everybody's point of view when there are 15,000 here." 42 

The conference lasted for two and a half hours. During this 
whole period the great crowd of evacuees stood quietly around the 
administration building. A young man, Sadao Endo, spoke to them 
from time to time through a loud speaker and urged them to be 

When the meeting ended, Dillon Myer, at the request of Kura- 
tomi, made a very short address to the people. This address was 
preceded by a report from Kuratomi on the progress of the nego- 
tiations and was followed by a speech by Reverend Abe. Kuratomi 
assumed a much more conciliatory attitude in his speech to the 
people than he had in his meeting with the administrators. He 
made no threats and expressed the hope that something concrete 
could be accomplished through negotiation. 

42 Ibid. 


The resume of Myer's speech as reported in the Tulean Dispatch 
of November 2 follows: 

At the end of the negotiations Myer addressed the local residents over 
the public address system and stated that he has met with the people's 
delegates to discuss their representations. Expressing utmost confidence 
in Director Best, Myer concluded by asking residents to cooperate with 
the administration in settling all problems. 

Abe said in part: 

We have been here a long time. A great many things have been discussed 
and no conclusions have been reached. We will have to enter into further 
negotiations in the future. You people must remember that you are Japa- 
nese and must act as Japanese to hold together for the sake of the Empire 
and the Emperor. 

At the conclusion of Abe's speech, Endo called on the people to 
bow. This they did in unison, according to Kuratomi, "not only in 
gratitude to Reverend Abe but also as a gesture of gratitude to Mr. 
Myer." 43 After Abe's speech the crowd dispersed quietly. 

Immediately after the meeting, fully aware that the atmosphere 
was tense, the WRA officials took two steps which had far-reaching 
consequences. First, they conferred "with the commanding officer 
of the military police and [made] detailed arrangements for guar- 
anteeing protection of life and property within the center in any 
emergency that might arise. The military stood in readiness to take 
immediate occupation of the center at need, and it was agreed that 
authority to summon military assistance should be given any In- 
ternal Security Officer, whereas previously only [Best] or [Myer] 
himself was authorized to call in the Army." 4 * 

Second, the officials instituted nightly patrols of the administra- 
tive areas and assigned Chief of Internal Security Schmidt to gen- 
eral surveillance. The plan was to have patrol officers check in 
hourly to the sergeant of the military guard and the WRA em- 
ployee in charge for the night with the understanding that the 
military should investigate any check-in more than five minutes 
overdue. 46 

The state of mind of most of the Caucasian employees imme- 
diately following the meeting was one of indecision, tension and 

43 Field Notes, December 26, 1944. 

44 WRA, Semi-Annual Report, July i to December 31, 1943, p. 19. 

45 Ibid. 


fear often bordering on hysteria. "At the suggestion of the Chief 
Medical Officer, the Caucasian hospital staff was relieved from duty 
that night and sent home to get some rest." One Caucasian em- 
ployee remained on duty through the night. "A few members of 
the appointed staff spent the night in Klamath Falls or Tulelake 
(the nearest town)." 46 Newspapers printed lurid accounts of "J a P 
riots" and obtained highly colored statements from many of these 
Caucasians. For example, this "eyewitness" account of a WRA 
employee, who resigned after the incident, appeared in the San 
Francisco Examiner: 

From a newly resigned official of the Tule Lake Relocation Center a 
man who frankly says, "I quit because I like my sleep, and you can't sleep 
when you don't know when you're going to have your throat cut" the 
Examiner has obtained a detailed report . . . 

Japs began coming across the compound, between the hospital and the 
administration building. They came in droves, and they simply wiped 
away the low barbed wire fence which formed a deadline they were not 
supposed to cross. 

One group of about a thousand, led by the Judo boys the strong arm 
boys who rule the camp by intimidation stopped at the hospital to have 
it out with Doctor Pedicord . . . And one nurse had had her hair pulled 
and her face slapped. 

Meanwhile, several thousand Japs my guess is about 6,000 or 7,000 
were outside the administration building. . . . 

I saw Japs walk up to the building with sacks full of straw, and poke 
the sacks under the building. Later, we learned that the straw was soaked 
in oil. And I saw the Judo boys ostentatiously take up positions guarding 
every door of the building. . . . 

The Japs outside stood stolidly by ... I know enough about the Jap to 
know that he's most dangerous when he's quiet. My knowledge wasn't any 
more comforting when added to the fact that most of the Japs outside 
carried knives long, curved bladed beet knives or butcher knives . . . 

That's why I quit. I couldn't sleep. I kept waking up with the expecta- 
tion of feeling a knife against my throat. 47 

On November 2 the Caucasian employees held a series of meet- 
ings, culminating in one which Myer attended. They demanded 
that a fence be erected between the administrative and the evacuee 
areas. Several of the appointed personnel made speeches expressing 
their fears of violence. Some staff members resigned. 48 

46 Ibid., p. 19. 

47 San Francisco Examiner, November 4, 1943. 

48 WRA, Tule Lake Incident, Sequence of Events (manuscript). 


On the same day Best issued an order prohibiting public gather- 
ings of evacuees in the administration, Caucasian personnel, hos- 
pital, and warehouse areas. This order was printed in a special 
supplement to the Tulean Dispatch, distributed to the evacuees 
on November 4, 1943. 

Later in the day, members of the appointed personnel, promi- 
nent among whom were staunch supporters of Dr. Pedicord, held 
a meeting at the town of Tulelake. Dillon Myer again was asked to 
attend and is said to have done so unwillingly. The irate members 
of the WRA personnel demanded military protection, machine 
guns and tanks. Myer stated that he was against a show of violence, 
for violence bred violence. He voiced the opinion that the members 
of the personnel were justifiably scared but insisted that adequate 
military protection was quietly in operation. Soon after this meet- 
ing, Myer left the project in accordance with his original schedule. 

Two days later the construction of a high barbed-wire fence, 
separating the evacuee section of camp from the Caucasian section 
(the Administration Building, living quarters, warehouses, and the 
hospital) was begun. Sentries were stationed at the gates and no 
evacuee was allowed to enter without a special pass. 

Entirely unaware of these administrative attitudes and actions, 
the Negotiating Committee lost no time in publicizing and exag- 
gerating the actual concessions and the alleged promises made by 
Myer and Best. Their claims achieved a certain credibility when 
Mr. Best informed Kato that "there are no facts to the rumor that 
Dr. Pedicord will return to the Tule Lake hospital." 49 Best also 
stated that he planned to have uniform porches erected, if Wash- 
ington gave permission. When later events made it impossible to 
carry out these plans, the actual and imaginary broken promises 
were greatly magnified and were referred to repeatedly by the resi- 
dents as evidence of the "double-crossing" character of Mr. Best. 

On November 2 the Daihyo Sha Kai met to work out a procedure 
for the election of a permanent representative body (i.e., a perma- 
nent Negotiating Committee) and of permanent subcommittees. 
It was agreed that each block should prepare lists of suggested per- 
sonnel, that Daihyo Sha Kai was to elect a "selection committee," 
that the selection committee should choose from the block lists a 

49 Letter addressed "To whom it may concern," given by Mr. Best to Bill Kato 
on November 4. Dr. Pedicord, however, later returned to the hospital for a 
short period. 


slate of nominees, and that their selection should be subject to 
popular review. At the same time, a plan was also worked out to 
celebrate the Meiji Setsu, commemorating the birthday of the late 
Emperor Meiji, grandfather of the reigning Emperor, Hirohito. 

The Meiji Setsu ceremony took place on the morning of Novem- 
ber 3, without the permission of project officials. Some 10,000 resi- 
dents participated in the elaborate and solemn ceremony, with 
most of the workers taking unauthorized leave from their jobs. 50 

In the afternoon the Spanish Consul came to the project, on 
invitation of the Farm Group, to investigate the disturbances, and 
met with a group of twenty-one evacuee representatives, including 
the members of the Negotiating Committee. The same ground was 
covered as in the meeting with Dillon Myer: the status of "dis- 
loyals," maladministration by WRA, hospital difficulties and mal- 
practices, alleged graft by Caucasian personnel, deficiencies in food 
supplies, Best's "inhuman" behavior with respect to the Kashima 
funeral, etc. 

At one stage of the conference De Amat, the Consul, asked if the 
main cause of the disturbance of November i was dissatisfaction 
with the hospital. Kuratomi, the spokesman for the meeting, replied 
that that was one cause and food deficiencies was another. The 
discussion that followed reflects difficulties confronting the Daihyo 
Sha Kai leaders: 

DE AMAT: You know that I am here to help you. Why haven't you come 
to me before instead of going on strike? 

KURATOMI: The reason is we have come here very lately; we have been 
here only a month. It was very fortunate for us to have Mr. Myer visit us 
and we thought he could take our grievances first to see if [he] would take 
proper action to rectify some of the wrong doings. 

DE AMAT: But up to that moment you resorted to violence. . . . 

KURATOMI: That wasn't done by the residents. There were two or three- 
some of the hotheads. That was not the [procedure] or part of [our] 
program at all. 

In closing the conference, Consul De Amat made the following 
encouraging remark: 

I enjoyed talking with you. Everything was very reasonable, which is an 
exception. Frequently I have complaints that have no foundation but 

50 According to the WRA Semi-Annual Report, July i to December 31, 1943, 
"Young evacuee men rounded up evacuee workers and herded them [to the 
ceremony]" (p. 20). Evacuee informants deny this statement. 


everything we have talked about today makes quite a lot of sense, and I 
am very hopeful that part of it will be arranged, not all of it, but part 
of it. 51 

The major difference between the two meetings was the greater 
frankness and lack of restraint exhibited by the committee in the 
presence of the Spanish Consul, and the latter's sympathetic atti- 
tude in regard to the difficulties the evacuees were facing, in sharp 
contrast with the defensive attitude of the WRA officials. This 
difference was psychologically important in reinforcing the evac- 
uees' dependence upon Japanese rather than American protection 
in time of need. Having relied for aid on the Spanish Consul, and 
through him on the protection of the Japanese government, the 
evacuee representatives were confidently hopeful of an early settle- 
ment of difficulties. In the light of events that soon occurred, an 
informal conversation between the Consul and Kuratomi is par- 
ticularly significant. Kuratomi reported afterward: 

He (De Amat) asked us, "Is it all right for me to leave [Tule Lake]?" 
I told him frankly that everything was under control. 52 

Contrary to Kuratomi's optimism, as will be seen, everything was 
far from being "under control." 

On November 4 Daihyo Sha Kai met to complete arrangements 
for selecting the permanent representative body. Prior to this meet- 
ing, the residents of each block had handed in their lists of sug- 
gested persons for each committee, and it was the task of the 
"Selection Committee" of the Daihyo Sha Kai to choose the perma- 
nent committeemen from these lists. "The only thing left to do," 
said Kuratomi, "was to bring this up to the administration for their 
approval. We also intended to have the mass meeting and explain 
this to the people." 53 

The meeting was interrupted dramatically by the entrance of 
Yukio Baba, a twenty-two-year-old policeman, formerly of Heart 
Mountain, who reported that Caucasians were transporting food 
supplies to the outside by truck presumably to the strikebreakers. 
Mr. Tada, the chief of the evacuee police force, instructed him to 
return, take the license numbers of the trucks, keep note of the 

51 Minutes of the meeting, November 3, 1943. 

52 Field Notes, September 18, 1944. 


foodstuff being taken out, and report to the supervisor at once. 
According to the minutes: 

He further advised Baba not to go alone but stop at the Internal Secur- 
ity and pick up three or four night patrols to go along with him and he 
further warned him to refrain from taking rash actions by all means. Baba 
bowed and went out. Upon hearing this conversation, several youths 
followed Baba. 

On his way back Baba picked up a number of young men, some 
of whom were shortly engaged in violent clashes with Caucasian 
employees. The circumstances leading up to Baba's participation 
in the affair and the subsequent riotous behavior are described in 
the WRA official report, where it is stated that at 8: 15 that evening, 
a staff member had gone to the Motor Pool to requisition three 
trucks to meet evacuee harvest workers arriving at Klamath Falls 
from other relocation projects. Refused service by the evacuees in 
the Motor Pool, he corralled Schmidt, the Chief of Internal Secur- 
ity, and several other staff members and returned to the pool. After 
servicing the trucks, he and two other Caucasian drivers set off for 
Klamath Falls. 

No sooner had the other staff members turned away from the motor 
pool than an evacuee [Yukio Baba] jumped in a truck and headed at full 
speed for the evacuee colony. [Schmidt] anticipating a reaction to the 
removal of the cargo trucks, stopped at the room of [his assistant] and 
assigned him to watch the broad, open space between evacuee colony and 
administration area for signs of action. He detailed another officer to stay 
with the switch-board operator at the telephone office to forestall any 
attempt to cut communications, and then went to the military compound 
to report the situation to the sergeant of the military guard and make sure 
that everything was in readiness for quick action. . . . 

When word reached the colony that the trucks were taken, about 150 
to 200 of the strong-arm squad rallied with the intent of preventing the 
trucks (already well away from the center) from being loaded with food 
and taken from the center. The messenger's [Baba's] truck and others simi- 
larly appropriated were used to carry men to the motor pool and ware- 
houses to mount guard; auxiliaries set off for these areas on foot. Trucks 
darted about the center in pursuit of the missing trucks. Failure to find 
any trace of the three trucks baffled and enraged the young men. A number 
of them were armed with base ball bats, pick handles or short lengths of 
two-by-four lumber. Internal Security men on patrol or guard duty began 
to be aware of groups congregating in the shadows of the warehouses and 
around the motor pool. The guard at the high school called his chief to 
report that gangs of men were robbing the lumber pile. Two officers in a 


patrol car had their way blocked by a black pick-up whose evacuee driver 
announced that no produce trucks were going to get out of the center 
that night but who shortly drove away leaving the way clear. The officers 
headed back to the administration area to report. . . . 

In the Military Compound . . . [Schmidt] stopping only to tell the ser- 
geant of the guard that a request for the Army to move in would probably 
be made very soon, drove into the center, stopping about 75 yards from 
the gates when a car approached him, shining a spot light in his face. 
Thinking it an Army radio patrol car, he got out and walked over to it, 
discovering it to be the black pick-up previously mentioned. There were 
evacuee men riding in the rear. One of these and the driver jumped down 
and tried judo on the chief. After a brief interchange, the Chief got back 
into his car and headed for the Project Director's house. He parked his car 
across the road from the house and walked toward the house, suddenly 
perceiving 30 or 40 men with clubs in the shadows. Six of these attacked 
him, but he used the judo hold on two of these, wrenching an arm of each 
from its socket. In the lull following this feat, he got back to his car, hear- 
ing the men yell in English: "Get Best! Take Best!" He started in his car 
for the military area and out-maneuvered the driver of the pickup who 
tried to cut him off, reaching the military area to call in the Army. 54 

Schmidt's summons, however, was the second of the two emer- 
gency appeals to the Army in the short span of a few minutes. 
Previously, Project Director Best had called for the entrance of 
the Army when he had seen a number of men gathering near his 

In the meantime, 

the two men on patrol and the officer assigned to the area between colony 
and administration area reached the telephone office in the administra- 
tion building intending to report by telephone to [Schmidt]. The switch 
was open and they overheard the Project Director's call to bring in the 
Army. They started on foot for the Project Director's house, hearing the 
cries of "Get Best! Take Best!" Just outside the Administration Building, 
the driver of the same black pick-up attempted to run them down, but 
they jumped out of the way and the driver had to stop to avoid hitting 
some posts. He and his men jumped out and a fight began, in which one 
of the officers was injured. The other two, reinforced by several staff mem- 
bers from the administration building, fought off the others and took 
three prisoners in the few moments that remained before the Army arrived 
and took over. 55 

There were conflicting versions of this fight. According to the 
injured Caucasian officer, the evacuees attacked him. According to 

54 WRA, Semi-Annual Report, July i to December 31, 1943, pp. 21-22. 

55 Ibid., p. 23. 


another Caucasian in the fight, he himself "lit into the Japanese" 
after they had called him "dirty names." Whoever may have started 
the fight, a score or more of evacuees were very badly beaten. 

Thus, at about ten o'clock on the evening of November 4 the 
Army entered the Tule Lake Center with guns and tanks to take 
over the administration. With the assistance of the Internal Secur- 
ity force, the Army arrested eighteen young men in the warehouse 
and closely adjoining personnel residence area and in the part of 
the camp adjoining that area. All but nine 56 of these young men 
were released the same night. Several had been severely injured, 
were hospitalized under guard after questioning, and later removed 
to a stockade. In all, "possibly six shots were fired (none by evacuees 
as no firearms have been in their possession in centers at any time) 
but no one was found to have been wounded by gunfire." 57 

There is great confusion and disagreement in the records and 
reports about what actually occurred, beyond the bare facts men- 
tioned above. Among the important controversial points are the 
use for which the trucks were intended: whether food was actually 
being transported or not; the contention of some of the members 
of the Caucasian personnel that the evacuees intended to kidnap 
Mr. Best and the denial by evacuee informants of any such inten- 
tion; the question whether or not certain arrested evacuees were 
brutally beaten in the statistics office by members of Internal Se- 
curity before being turned over to the Army. 

Even though the entrance of the Army was accompanied by the 
noise of light tanks and jeeps and the glare of floodlights, most of 
the residents did not know until the next morning that the Army 
had taken over the camp. The members of the Daihyo Sha Kai, 
however, who were discussing the selection of permanent commit- 
tees, learned of the grave situation at about 11:30 that night. A 
Kibei youth ran into the meeting and reported that the Army had 
entered the center. "Noise of guns and machine guns, which broke 
the tranquility of a cold dark night, increased." 58 Abe instructed 
certain young men present in the room to order the boys to disperse 
before anyone was injured, and the discussion was resumed, the 
representatives evidently unaware of the melee that had taken place. 

50 Some evacuee informants reported that only five men were detained. 

57 WRA, Report, op. cit., p. 23. 

58 Minutes of the meeting, November 4, 1943. 


The selection of the committees was not completed until 2:00 A.M., 
after a meeting of more than six hours. Out of this meeting came a 
new permanent Executive Board, composed of Tetsuo Kodama, 
M. Tada and three others. These men were later to take on the 
important task of negotiating with the Army. 

The reason for rushing the selection of the various committees 
was explained by Kuratomi: "The Negotiating Committee wanted 
to be relieved of the responsibility as fast as possible. 1 myself 
wanted to get the Buddhist center church organized. That was my 
primary thought at this time. If I continued in politics I wouldn't 
be able to do other things I wanted to." 59 

At the same time it may be safely concluded that the representa- 
tives were aware of difficulties in store for them, for the minutes 
have further dramatic references to the activities of the Army. 

It was now 1:30 a.m. and the thundering roar of the tanks, armored 
trucks, and jeeps rumbled near the block 1 5 Mess Hall [where the meeting 
was held]. 

The minutes end: 

Sound of the guns were no longer audible; however, the rumbling of 
the Army trucks and tanks were heard. 

As stated in the WRA official report, "the acts which culminated 
in military intervention were committed in high temper and on the 
spur of the moment by young men acting on their own initiative. 
There is no reason to believe that the political leaders were in any 
way involved in the action taken by the young men." 60 Concerning 
Baba's report earlier in the meeting, Kuratomi lamented later: 

When Baba came in to report the trouble at the motor pool, I did not 
think it would develop into a fight of major proportion. If I had known 
then that the fight would be as significant as later events proved it to be, 
I certainly would have taken more precautions and had Mr. Tada go out 
to investigate. The Daihyo Sha Kai, especially the Negotiating Commit- 
tee, did not want to see such a thing happen. We had everything to lose 
and nothing to gain by having such a fight take place at this crucial time. 65 

50 Field Notes, January 2, 1945. 

60 WRA, Semi-Annual Report, July i to December 31, 1943. This statement is 
significant in view of the fact that the political leaders were later arrested by the 
Army and confined on WRA orders in the stockade for periods up to eight 

61 George Kuratomi, Statement, November 14, 1945. 


Chapter VI 


Martial Law 


JL.HE ARMY TOOK OVER Tule Lake on November 
4, 1943, and declared martial law on November 13. Not until Janu- 
ary 15, 1944, was martial law lifted and the administration returned 
to WRA. The intervening period was one of turmoil, idleness, 
impoverishment and uncertainty for the general population, who 
continued their partial strike and passive resistance. For the leaders 
of the Daihyo Sha Kai, for various other alleged instigators of the 
"riot," and for numbers of other individuals who had opposed the 
administration in one way or another, it was a period of increasingly 
severe repression: midnight pickups, isolation and incarceration in 
a stockade and "bull pen." It resulted in the disintegration of the 
Daihyo Sha Kai as a political organization, the emergence of an 
organization with collaborative aims (Coordinating Committee) 
and of an underground antiadministration pressure group (Reseg- 
regationists). Coincident with the development of these divergent 
policies came a sharpening of the distinction between the "disloyal" 
and the "loyal," an intensification of race-consciousness, and a wave 
of hate, fear, and suspicion toward dissenters, "fence-sitters," col- 
laborationists and informers. 

The Army had been brought into the center on the evening of 
November 4 to inhibit, by a show of force, an outburst of violence 
which WRA officials feared was in the offing. It was not expected 
that it would remain longer than was necessary to achieve these 
immediate ends. Events taking place between November 5 and 
November 13, however, led to the declaration of martial law and 
a two-month period of Army control. 

The tanks rolled into the administrative and warehouse areas on 


the night of November 4 "making a big noise, shooting, and what 
not," 1 but because of the distance of the evacuee living quarters 
from these areas, and because it was late at night, most evacuees did 
not hear the commotion and had no idea that anything untoward 
had occurred until the next morning when workers, attempting to 
enter the administrative area, were stopped at the gates by a cordon 
of soldiers and told to return to their barracks. About a thousand 
workers involved in this unannounced lockout pressed toward the 
gates, and the crowd was augmented by parents and relatives of 
workers in the hospital area who had not been allowed to return 
to their homes the previous night and by curious residents from 
the nearer barracks. Faced with a milling, rapidly increasing crowd 
and unable to disperse it by oral commands, the soldiers released 
tear gas into its midst. The scene is described by a Nisei informant: 

The next morning everybody, as usual, went to report to work and all 
the Japanese truck drivers were stopped by the guards, searched and told 
to go back. They said they had to go to work. The soldiers told them to go 
back, not to come near the place. Some of the fellows still argued and the 
soldiers kicked some of them. Everybody was gathering. So the Army started 
throwing tear gas at them and told them to go home. 2 

The evacuees were completely cut off from the administration. 
Even telephone calls between the evacuee and the administrative 
area were not accepted. Finally, M. Tada, head of the evacuee 
police, 3 was able, by virtue of his position, to establish contact with 
one of his Caucasian superiors and to request his mediation in 
arranging an interview with the Project Director. He was referred, 
instead, to Lieutenant Colonel Austin, the Commanding Officer of 
the Army unit, who, he was told, had now taken over the adminis- 
tration of Tule Lake. Escorted into Austin's presence, Tada imme- 
diately asked for a delineation of the conditions under which the 
Army would withdraw. Describing this interview, Tada reported: 

Colonel Austin told me that if the center goes back to normal conditions, 
there is no need of the army remaining. So naturally I asked what he would 
call "normal conditions." He didn't reply. I asked, "Does it mean if the 
residents resume the same activities as yesterday?" Colonel Austin said, 
"Yes." 4 

1 Statement by M. Tada, Field Notes, January 1 1, 1945. 

2 Field Notes, December, 1943. 

3 Tada was also a member of the Executive Board which was formed the night 
before (November 4). 

* Field Notes, January 1 1, 1945. 


Since the Army was responsible for the evacuees not being able 
to go to work "as yesterday," Tada felt that the difficulties could 
be quickly ironed out if evacuee leaders and Army officers could get 
together. With Austin's approval he therefore approached key 
members of Daihyo Sha Kai and George Kuratomi, the chairman. 
These men together worked out a plan for getting essential workers 
back on their jobs, first the hospital workers on change of shift, then 
the coal and garbage crews. The Army acceded immediately in the 
case of the hospital workers, and ninety of them were permitted to 
pass through the Army cordon and take up their duties. In regard 
to the other crews, however, difficulties arose, for the authorities 
decided to limit the number who could return to work. This plan 
of limitation seems to have been evolved by the Army in consulta- 
tion with WRA and to have been directed toward two objectives: 
(i) to purge from the work crews all those who were under suspi- 
cion of antiadministrative aims or acts; and (2) to introduce a more 
efficient plan for organizing the work, i.e., more intensive work per 
man employed rather than the existing system of spreading avail- 
able employment over a rather large labor force. The plan met with 
immediate opposition from the evacuees. The Army, for example, 
wanted the coal crew cut from about 300 workers to seventy who 
had been "cleared." A similar cut was proposed for the garbage 
crew. A stalemate resulted, with neither crew reporting for work. 
Other troubles developed in regard to distribution of food supplies, 
with serious repercussions on the evacuees in general. An evacuee 
described the situation as follows: 

Then on about the fifth and sixth of November, people began hollering 
about there not being enough coal. There was no milk. Only children 
under seven months old were getting milk. Children over seven months 
old were going hungry and crying. 5 

The Negotiating Committee, according to Tada, appealed to the 
workers, on the one hand, stressing the coal shortage, which "was 
being pretty much felt by the colonists and it isn't our idea to let 
the colonists suffer" and the necessity of garbage collection; to the 
Army, on the other, stressing the low wage scale, the fact that work 
was "voluntary," and that "the Army could not expect any of the 
Japanese to work as hard as Colonel Austin expected his soldiers to 
work." The Negotiating Committee asked, further, that "every 

5 Field Notes, December, 1943. 


person in the center who had been working be permitted by the 
authorities to resume his job." 6 

The Army relented so far as the coal and garbage crews were 
concerned, and work by the complete crews was resumed on Novem- 
ber 1 1 ; however, difficulties were now developing with other crews. 

On a certain day, the butcher shop workers were cleared by the Army 
to go back to work. Of course, the number of workers was very much 
decreased compared to the number working before the incident. So a 
dozen or fifteen men went to work in the butcher shop. They were told 
that under Army supervision they would have to put in their hours strin- 
gently. Mr. Matsui, a Nisei from block 48, spoke up and said, "With the 
small number of workers, we cannot complete as much of the work as 
we used to do. You should get more men and also rehire the foreman." 
That afternoon Mr. Matsui was pulled in by the Army for making this 
speech and agitating or being insolent. 7 

Only twenty-five of the ninety-eight warehouse workers were 
cleared for reemployment. But, Tada claims, he explained to the 
Army representatives: 

It would be impossible for us to go back and tell the group that only 25 
of the 98 could be approved by the FBI, WRA and the Army. That would 
have left a queer impression on those selected. The remaining people 
would be thinking they were inu or informers [i.e., collaborators with the 
administration]. 8 

Those warehouse workers who had been cleared refused to report 
for work. The authorities refused to reinstate the remainder of this 
and of other crews. In some crews, essential "cleared" workers agreed 
and returned to work "for the sake of the Japanese," but as they 
reported to work and found that many of their fellow workers were 
not included in the recall orders, ill-feeling increased. 

The rapport established between the Army and the Negotiating 
Committee in their joint attempt to bring order into the colony 
was strained by failure to come to terms on the matter of reemploy- 
ment. The breach in the relations between evacuees and Army was 
further widened by the inception on November 4 of a policy of 
removing persons suspected of antiadministrative acts or designs 
from the residential area and detaining them, without formal 
charges or trial, in an isolated, closely guarded area later designated 
as "The Stockade." The first persons confined in the stockade were 

6 Field Notes, January 1 1, 1945. 8 Field Notes, October 26, 1944. 

7 Statement by M. Tada, ibid. 


young men, variously reported in number from five to nine, who 
had been picked up during disturbances in the administrative and 
warehouse areas. On the night of November 4 the Army selected a 
site near the hospital, set up tents for temporary quarters and placed 
the arrested men there under heavy guard. Within a few days 
Matsui, who was involved in the butchers' dispute, was added to the 
group. After further arrests were made, the stockade was moved 
to another area, and five complete barracks, a mess hall, and a 
bathhouse were erected. 

Until November 9 the reemployment issue far overshadowed the 
stockade issue as a matter of concern, both for the Negotiating Com- 
mittee and for the residents in general, and at an emergency meeting 
of Daihyo Sha Kai on November 6, the people's representatives 
passively accepted the statement of the chairman that "those de- 
tained by the Army will not be permitted to return to the center 
until they have had their hearings" and his admonition that "be- 
cause of several youths' rash actions, an incident . . . occurred, which 
is very lamentable. You Daihyo Sha Kai representatives are re- 
quested to see to it that people refrain from such actions in the 
future." 9 

On November 9, however, when the Spanish Consul arrived (for 
the second time within a week) to investigate the incident at the 
request of the Japanese government, his attention was called to the 
stockade, and he was asked to ascertain the reasons for the Army's 
action and the physical condition of the detainees and to assure the 
Japanese government "that the colonists will remain loyal as Japa- 
nese subjects until the day we are allowed to return home . . . [and 
the Japanese government is] not to worry about us." The Consul, 
in turn, asked the Negotiating Committee to "expend its utmost 
effort to bring about an amicable settlement." He continued: 

If negotiations for the settlement fail, the body should report to the 
Consul at once. Upon such notice, the latter will immediately call, inas- 
much as he is assigned by the Japanese Government to insure the happi- 
ness of the Japanese colonists. The Consul asked for the promise of the 
body to see to it that such incident will not re-occur. Thus the block rep- 
resentatives [Daihyo Sha Kai] assured him that they will not resort to 
any rash or inconsiderate action, upon their honor. The Consul was very 
grateful. 10 

9 Minutes of the meeting, November 6, 1943. 

10 Minutes of the meeting, November 9, 1943. 


After promising that he would visit the center regularly, twice 
a month, and would make special trips whenever necessary, the 
Consul left Tule Lake 

By this time Daihyo Sha Kai leaders were leaning heavily upon 
the Japanese government for aid in solving the difficult impasse. 
Their views of the situation were carried to the residents by the 
camp paper, the Tulean Dispatch. Censorship, which had previ- 
ously been exercised by WRA, had ceased when John D. Cook, 
Reports Officer, left the project following the disturbances of 
November 4. Since the newspaper was published in the evacuee 
area, Daihyo Sha Kai opinions were freely expressed. The Tulean 
Dispatch, for instance, carried articles which gave the residents the 
impression that Japan would soon intercede and protect the Japa- 
nese in Tule Lake. For example, an article headed "Tule Lake 
Japanese Intimidated by Tanks" read: 

The fact that the Army had entered this center was reported to Japan. 
Radio Tokyo on November 8 stated: 

The American Army has entered the Tule Lake Center with machine 
guns and tanks, and is intimidating the residents. Nevertheless, the Japa- 
nese in the center are holding out by displaying their Yamato damashii 
[Japanese spirit]. 11 

Again the Japanese Section carried an editorial, "Mother Country 
That Has Not Forsaken Us": 

Being worried about us who are loyal to our mother country to the bitter 
end and about the entrance of the Army into the center, the Japanese 
Government has instructed the Spanish Ambassador, the representative of 
the Imperial Government, to investigate the conditions of the center. . . . 

Remembering that our mother country will not forsake us to the end, 
we should be patient, avoid rash acts, and endeavor to promote peace and 
public welfare. We should show greatness worthy of Japanese. 12 

The committee issued a public statement through the Tulean 
Dispatch of November 11, in which the members threatened to 
resign unless the residents cooperated: 

In asking the residents for their full support, the seven members of the 
Negotiating Committee stated that in case the residents do not obey their 
request for cooperation, they will be forced to resign. Also in case the 
Army does not recognize the truth of the incident, they will have to relin- 

11 Tulean Dispatch, Japanese Section, November 9, 1943. 

12 Tulean Dispatch, Japanese Section, November 1 1, 1943. 


quish their position. The Committee asked residents that whenever a 
request for workers is made by them, to report immediately after the call 
is issued. 

On the morning of November 1 2, however, Colonel Austin told 
the Negotiating Committee that, on the basis of information re- 
ceived from evacuees, he doubted its claims of representing the 
people and that he would no longer recognize it as medium for 
negotiations. In spite of this, the authorities and the committee pro- 
ceeded with plans for a mass meeting on November 13 at which 
reports would be made by Army, WRA, and Negotiating Commit- 
tee representatives. The Army and WRA were of the opinion that 
the Negotiating Committee was not giving the residents the true 
facts about the conferences between the committee and the authori- 
ties, and they hoped to use the meeting to make clarifying state- 
ments, 33 while the Negotiating Committee and the Daihyo Sha Kai 
planned to make a public justification of their actions. The pend- 
ing meeting was announced in the Tulean Dispatch. 

On the same afternoon, the day before the scheduled mass meet- 
ing, the Daihyo Sha Kai assembled, and, in a stormy session, reached 
a unanimous decision to cancel the meeting. The reasons behind 
this decision were many: internal dissention in Daihyo Sha Kai, 
apparent in the meeting and attributable to the refusal of the Army 
to "recognize" the Negotiating Committee, and suspicion among 
representatives that inu were making "false reports ... to the 
authorities" to the effect that the committee did not have the back- 
ing of the residents; dissatisfaction with the arbitrary actions of 
the Army in terminating the employment of workers on crews while 
negotiations were still proceeding; and annoyance because the 
Army had decided to limit the meeting to forty-five minutes. 

Suspicion of informers (inu) had crystallized when Army repre- 
sentatives told the Negotiating Committee that they were receiving 
reports from evacuees discrediting the Daihyo Sha Kai^ and its 
Negotiating Committee. They are said to have pointed out among 

33 WRA, "Tule Lake Incident, Report of Talks by Col. Verne Austin and 
R. B. Cozzens at Outdoor Stage in Japanese Colony" (manuscript), November 

13. 1943- 

14 Under the title, "Army's Attitude Toward the Representatives Abruptly 
Changes; Our Demands Completely Refused; Informers Disrupt Unity in Our 
Midst," the Japanese Section of the Tulean Dispatch (November 13) states: "The 
Army believes that . . . these representatives do not represent residents as a 


other things, that in spite of more than half of the population being 
old Tuleans, only two men from among them were on the Nego- 
tiating Committee, suggesting that "old Tuleans are not support- 
ing you." 15 They are said, further, to have expressed skepticism as 
to the proportion of the residents who would support the commit- 
tee by attending the meetings. The committee had estimated attend- 
ance at 3,000 on the assumption that one member per residential 
unit would participate and report back to other members of his 
apartment. The Army chose to interpret this estimate as propor- 
tional to the total population rather than to the number of resi- 
dential units. According to Seki, "the Army pointed out that mere 
3,000 attendance was only a small part of the colony," and disre- 
garded Kuratomi's assurance that "we have the backing of 15,000 
colonists." 18 Piqued by this skepticism, irritated by the frictions 
among the members, and fearful of the further acts of inu, the Nego- 
tiating Committee members offered to resign. They were, however, 
persuaded to carry on until evidence of general support could be 
presented to the Army, through a popular "vote of confidence" on 
a petition which would be submitted forthwith through the block 

The "arbitrary and oppressive" actions of the Army were de- 
scribed by Seki as follows: 

Reinstatement of all evacuee workers have been agreed yesterday and 
they [the Army] promised to answer by 10 a.m. today, but they haven't 
kept the promise. Authorities [the Army] know how many workers are 
required in certain departments, yet they evaded responsibility by bring- 
ing in WRA to handle employment matters. 17 


Yesterday they [the Army] showed sincerity of recognizing the Nego- 
tiating Committee. Yet, they abruptly terminated hospital employees 

whole. This belief, it is presumed, is a result of the work of some unknown Japa- 
nese informers who have reported to the Army that it is of no value to listen 
to the statements of these representatives." 

An editorial in the same issue mentions scathingly that "the presence of 
traitors" in camp had been "exposed." 

15 Minutes of the meeting, November 12, 1943. See pp. 117-120 for analysis of 
the composition of Daihyo Sha Kai and the Negotiating Committee. It is evident 
that old Tuleans were elected as block representatives in approximately their 
proportion to the total population, which was not "more than half of the popu- 
lation" but about 42 per cent. The Negotiating Committee, however, was 
markedly overweighted with transferees. 

16 Ibid. 17 Ibid. 


without notice [while negotiations were still going on]. Virtually, negotia- 
tion has totally ruptured. 18 

By Kuratomi: 

Seven hospital employees have been terminated and Matsui has been 
arrested and his whereabouts is unknown. 19 

Watanabe was the chief proponent of the cancellation of the 
meeting on the ground of the time limit. He said: 

I object to tomorrow's meeting. . . . Forty-five minutes for the mass 
meeting is absolutely not sufficient. I suggest that we give full support to 
the Negotiating Committee and the Daihyo Sha Kai. I request the Chair- 
man to remain in his present capacity until the end for the sake of the 
colonists. ... If the Army doesn't allow more than 45 minutes for the meet- 
ing we should notify the Army that the mass meeting will be postponed 
indefinitely. 20 

In spite of Watanabe's suggestion that the Army be informed of 
the decision to cancel the mass meeting, no hint of the decision 
reached either Army or WRA representatives. Residents had, how- 
ever, been notified in their mess halls at breakfast time that there 
would be no mass meeting in the afternoon. 

A few minutes before 2 P.M. Colonel Austin and Mr. Cozzens drove into 
the Japanese section, down the main firebreak to the outdoor stage. Army 
units had moved into position earlier. As they reached the stage about 
30 foot soldiers formed in a circle around the stage at a distance of about 
50 feet from it. Soldiers at the front of the stage fixed bayonets. Scout cars 
and soldiers took up positions in and along the firebreak at a distance of 
about two blocks from the stage. Armored scout cars and jeeps patrolled 
the streets of the entire colony. 21 

Austin and Cozzens mounted the outdoor stage and prepared to 
deliver their addresses. In spite of the lack of evacuee audience, they 
proceeded doggedly to give their speeches to an empty firebreak. A 
prominent WRA official from Washington, who was present, re- 
ported the event as follows: 

Colonel Austin . . . arrived at the scene a little before the set time with 
a detachment of M.P.'s. Armed guards were stationed around the stage 
and armored cars made a cordon around the ground where an audience 

18 Ibid. 

19 Ibid. 

20 Ibid. 

21 WRA, "Tule Lake Incident, Report of Talks by Colonel Verne Austin and 
R. B. Cozzens at Outdoor Stage in Japanese Colony, November 13, 1943" (manu- 


was supposed to gather. In preparing this space the M.P.'s had to clear out 
some kids playing football in part of the field, but the kids moved on will- 
ingly. At two o'clock, no one came and there was no sign of anyone coming 
to hear his speech. Like an Army man, true to his tradition, Austin began 
his speech. No one was there. Not a single soul! Colonel Austin spoke to 
the air. There were some young girls coming along. They stopped, looked 
on, and a few moments later moved on to resume their walk toward their 
destinations. There were other men who passed by while the Army officer 
spoke to the air, but they did not pay any attention and passed on. It was 
a pitiful sight which I cannot forget. I was there. 22 

In his speech Colonel Austin stated that the Army had assumed 
control of the Tule Lake Center 

to provide for the safety and welfare of every resident. . . . The providing 
of ... essentials [food, shelter and warmth] shall be directed so that it 
shall benefit the greatest number, but in the manner as prescribed by the 
military. ... I shall continue to welcome visits and suggestions from repre- 
sentative groups. . . . The sooner normal center operations . . . can be 
resumed, the better. . . . We will make the determination of the number 
who are to be employed. . . 

I know that the majority of you want peace and the opportunity to live 
unmolested by hoodlums and goon squads, as well as others who appar- 
ently lack respect for order. I expect to see to it that you have it. Those 
who instigated and participated in the disorders leading up to the Army's 
occupation shall be dealt with. 23 

He then read the following proclamation, which was later posted: 

1. That between the hours of 7 P.M. and 6 A.M. all persons of Japanese 
ancestry, except as directed by the military, shall be within their place of 
residence. This shall not be interpreted to prevent access, however, to 
laundry and lavatory facilities. 

2. No outdoor meetings or gatherings shall be permitted without express 
military approval. 

3. Normal Center operations shall be maintained, insofar as is practica- 
ble, under direct military control and in the manner prescribed by the 
military authorities. 

4. Persons of Japanese ancestry desiring to engage in useful work at the 
Center shall be accommodated as promptly as the situation permits. 

5. No incoming or outgoing telephone or telegraph messages will be 
permitted without prior military approval. 

6. Failure to observe strict adherence to all military regulations will 
result in disciplinary action forthwith. 

7. All persons of Japanese ancestry shall reside in the apartments 
assigned to them by the WRA. 24 

22 Field Notes, March 13, 1943. 2t Ibid. 

** WRA, op. tit., Italics his. 


Colonel Austin closed with the statement that "the military is 
prepared to meet any and all situations." 21 

Mr. Cozzens' prepared speech described Mr. Best as an able 
administrator and deplored the fact that, since segregation, "a few 
people from the colony attempted to cause as much trouble and 
discord as possible." He complimented the people for their orderly 
behavior on November i, "when you did not really know the pur- 
pose behind your presence at the meeting," and expressed his belief 
that "the majority of the people in this colony do want to live in 
peace and harmony." 2 * 

At 2: 13 P.M., Austin and Cozzens left the stage with their military 
escort. It was noted that some evacuees along their route "smiled, 
laughed, pointed and stared at the departing Army and WRA 
people." 27 

The Daihyo Sha Kai explained its cancellation of the mass meet- 
ing in the November 13 Tulean Dispatch: 

Feeling that there wasn't any necessity for a mass meeting, the sixty-odd 
block delegates present at the representatives meeting held yesterday after- 
noon at mess 18 voted unanimously to cancel the meeting scheduled for 
this afternoon at the community stage. 

The Negotiating Committee had planned to make a detailed report to 
the entire residents as to the proceedings of the conferences. However 
with the temporary termination of the negotiations with the Army officials, 
the committee members felt that there wasn't any report to be made to the 
center at such a meeting. 

The committee reported to the elected delegates present that the nego- 
tiations with the Army had been cancelled because the Army did not 
recognize the committee as true representatives of the people. 

According to the committee, the Army felt that they knew how many 
workers were needed in each division and the WRA, having worked with 
the Japanese, should know who should work in each division. 

The entire congregation expressed unanimous accord that there wasn't 
any necessity for negotiations if the Army had taken such an attitude. 

In retaliation for this humiliating act of passive resistance by 
the residents, which it attributed to pressure from Daihyo Sha Kai, 
the Army moved quickly in an attempt to root out the antiadminis- 
tration leadership and ordered the arrest of members of the Nego- 
tiating Committee, other leaders of Daihyo Sha Kai and prominent 
members of the Farm Group, coincident with a declaration that 
martial law was in effect. Two members of the Negotiating Com- 

* Ibid. * Ibid. * Ibid. 


mittee were forthwith arrested and placed in the stockade; four 
others were, for various reasons, 28 not listed as subject to arrest; 
Abe, Kuratomi and one other member of the Negotiating Commit- 
tee, and Kodama and Seki, prominent assistants to the committee, 
escaped arrest by going into hiding. 

Kato, who was arrested, wrote in his diary: 

I was picked up on November 13. It was at 8:30 P.M. Four armed sol- 
diers came. They searched me and brought me to the army compound. 
There they searched me again and took off all my clothes so that I was 
naked. 29 

With the forced dissolution of the Negotiating Committee, the 
Daihyo Sha Kai block representatives engaged in a desperate cam- 
paign to retain the backing of the residents. Their petition for a 
"vote of confidence" in the Negotiating Committee, which had 
been agreed upon the night before, was presented to the residents 
on the day of the arrest of the committee members. It was worded 
as follows: 

VOTE OF CONFIDENCE We, the undersigned, residents of Block 

have this day hereby resolved to vest full power and authority to the 
above-mentioned Negotiating Committee to study, discuss, negotiate, and 
exercise, incidental or conducive to the carrying out the objects and pur- 
poses, for which the Committee was formed; wherein to bring about 
amicable settlement of our general welfare in the Tule Lake Project. 

Signed and dated this i3th day of November, 1943. 

The petition was presented at block meetings in such a way that 
anyone who did not sign would be plainly observed. Somewhat 
over half of the residents 18 years of age or older affixed their signa- 
tures, many out of support of their oppressed representatives, with- 
out apparent regard to the context or meaning of the resolution; 
others out of fear of censure from the more aggressive supporters. 
The feeling of pressure that must have borne on many of the signers 
is exemplified by the statement of a young Nisei woman, who signed 
against her will: 

They had everything written down and would put it in front of your 
face and say, "You sign it!" If you didn't sign it the next thing you'd know, 
you'd be beaten to a pulp. It nearly broke my heart when I had to sign 

28 Pro Daihyo Sha Kai informants claim that one of them escaped arrest 
because he was a close friend of Watanabe; and that two others were exempted 
because of their favored status as old Tuleans. 

29 Field Notes, September 15, 1944. 


it. They said, "Don't anyone walk out that door." I wanted to walk out 
but my husband wouldn't let me. 30 

Another young girl added: 

I fooled them. I said I was under age and walked out. 81 

Once signed, the obligation to stand by the declaration was an 
important factor in the stubborn support given the Daihyo Sha Kai 
as the hardship of Army rule continued. 

Simultaneously, however, the Daihyo Sha Kai campaign for pop- 
ular support was embarrassed by a radical move made by an anony- 
mous group, which, under the name of the "Second Negotiating 
Committee," issued a manifesto calling for a hunger strike and 
general resistance to the Army: 

The only way to oppose and protest the Army's oppressive barbarous 
action is to internationalize 82 the problem from the angle of humanity. 

1. Demand immediate releasement of all those detained. 

2. Demand resignation en masse of WRA appointed personnel. 

3. Demand immediate withdrawal of the Army from the center. 

4. Close all mess halls from this afternoon and enter mass hunger strike. 
All mess chiefs are hereby instructed to distribute whatever available food 
supplies among block residents. 

5. Even at the risk of a torn-down door, everyone should prevent the 
entrance of the Army into the living quarters when search is conducted. 

6. Close all canteens. 

Some members of the rapidly disintegrating Daihyo Sha Kai met 
in Ward VII 33 and countered with a resolution of their own, dis- 
crediting the manifesto and asking for continued confidence in 
the Daihyo Sha Kai: 

1. Second Negotiating Committee's urgent instruction is premature. 

2. All colonists are requested to remain cool and calm until the arrival 
of the Spanish Consul, at which time negotiations will be properly con- 
ducted in compliance with the International Agreement. 

3. Do not close mess hall, despite many circulating rumors. 

30 Field Notes, September 14, 1944. 

31 Ibid. 

32 The reference to "internationalization" exemplifies the growing tendency 
of the protest factions to rely on the Japanese rather than on the American 
government for solution of problems, especially in connection with such radical 
measures as a hunger strike and general resistance to the Army. Retaliation by 
the Japanese government on American prisoners of Avar and internees was 
hoped for. 

33 Watanabe was said to be the chief instigator of this meeting. 


4. Colonists should keep calm until the formulation of a definite future 
policy by the Daihyo Sha Kai. 

5. Signatures of the colonists obtained yesterday should be withheld by 
Daihyo Sha Kai for the time being. 

6. Colonists are requested to entrust full confidence to the block repre- 
sentatives [the Daihyo Sha Kai members] and refrain from believing 

Meantime, Abe and Kuratomi attempted to direct policies from 
their hiding places, but met with increasing difficulties. The Daihyo 
Sha Kai tried to give them support by electing a temporary substi- 
tute committee to carry out the policies of the hidden leaders. This 
body was called the Renraku-iin (Communications Committee). It 
was selected by the Daihyo Sha Kai, not to replace the original 
committeemen, but rather to transmit the wishes of these leaders to 
the administration. As Kuratomi described the situation: 

After the Negotiating Committee was put on the spot and was hunted 
down by the Army, the remaining block representatives (Daihyo Sha Kai) 
didn't feel they should elect any other body until the incident was satis- 
factorily closed. So they felt they shouldn't elect any committee to nego- 
tiate with the WRA and the Army and that was the greatest difficulty. As 
a substitute they had the so-called Renraku-iin. On it were Kami [and five 
others]. They made it clear that they would not negotiate except through 
the Negotiating Committee. 34 

This body met almost daily from November 14 to December i 
in a futile attempt to carry on Daihyo Sha Kai policies, but was 
split by internal dissention, uncertainty, fear, and by the difficulty 
of contacting Abe and Kuratomi. The members looked to the Span- 
ish Consul as final court of appeal, and on November 15 sent him a 
telegram signed by Kami. On November 19 the Spanish Consul 
replied, "No instruction received from the Spanish Embassy, Wash- 
ington. State the reason for my coming to Tule Lake Center." The 
Renraku-iin, after consultation, sent the following reply: 

Colonists are no longer able to endure the inconveniences caused by 
the martial law and desire nothing but normalcy; we request for your 
immediate visit. 35 

The words "martial law" were deleted by the censor a deletion 
that must have left the Spanish Consul temporarily in ignorance of 
what the colonists were "no longer able to endure." 

34 Field Notes, September 18, 1944. 

35 Minutes of the meeting, November 19, 1943. 


Dissension between the Renraku-iin and the hiding Negotiating 
Committee members came into the open at the meeting of the 
Daihyo Sha Kai on November 16. Composed largely of Issei of the 
Watanabe clique, the new committee immediately ran into diffi- 
culties with the residents who "bring all their complaints and griev- 
ances to the [Renraku-iin for immediate correction, but] . . . don't 
realize that we have no authority to negotiate with the adminis- 
tration or the Army." 36 The ill-feeling between the Renraku-iin 
and the Negotiating Committee is clearly apparent in the state- 
ment made by Mr. Kami, a member of the former committee, in 
the minutes: 

We, the [Renraku-iin], are trying our best not to override the authority 
of the Negotiating Committee. The decision of the matter rests upon the 
Negotiating Committee's jurisdiction. Yesterday, as I was waiting for the 
co-op truck to be transported to the warehouse where I work, Kato [Secre- 
tary of the Daihyo Sha Kai] approached me and made threatening re- 
marks 37 to the effect that if I didn't support the Negotiating Committee, 
he will see to it that I be duly penalized. I have been doing my best to 
contact the Spanish Consul to visit this center. Yet, my integrity has been 
doubted by some Negotiating Committee [members] which I just can't 
stand for. 38 

Instructions from the hiding Negotiating Committee members 
were regarded as "undeniably dictatorial," and Tsukai, who was 
operating as messenger between the hidden leaders and their sub- 
stitute committee, was instructed by an irate member to 

go back and tell those spineless Negotiating Committee [members] to 
come out and work together with the [Renraku-iin]. In spite of the bad 
reputations [that we are getting] we are doing our utmost for the Daihyo 
Sha [Kai's] mission. 39 

The policy which the hidden leaders had decided upon for the 
residents was that of passive noncooperation with the Army and 
WRA, continuance of the partial strike, refusal to betray the hid 
den leaders, and refusal to elect a new representative body. This 
policy was termed the genjo-iji or "status quo." These conditions 
were thoroughly debated, but finally accepted by the Daihyo Sha 

88 Minutes of the meeting, November 16, 1943. 
37 Kato presumably shouted from the stockade. 

88 Minutes of the meeting, November 16, 1943. 

89 Ibid. 


On November 18 the Army made its last attempt to deal with 
the Daihyo Sha Kai on a partly negotiatory basis. A meeting was 
called which was attended by Colonels Austin and Meek, Mr. 
Cozzens, nine block managers and the Daihyo Sha Kai's Renraku- 
iin. The Colonels attempted to place the maintenance of colony 
order on the shoulders of the block managers and to convince them 
that it was their duty to give up the hiding negotiators. This and 
all other responsibilities the block managers refused to accept. 
Colonel Austin stated unequivocably that the Army would never 
recognize the Negotiating Committee. The Renraku-iin reiterated 
its position that the Negotiating Committee had been duly elected 
by the Block Representatives for negotiating purposes and had the 
confidence of the residents. 

Having failed to obtain cooperation from the block managers in 
apprehending the hiding men, the Army, on November 26, took 
another forceful step, a camp-wide search. This search was held 
ostensibly to look for contraband, hidden weapons, intoxicating 
liquor and rice from which sake could be made. WRA personnel 
was enlisted in this search. The Army formed 

two principal teams which worked from each side of the camp towards 
the center firebreak . . . [using] a large number of soldiers to insure that 
no colony resident could slip back into an area that had been searched. 
Small squads of soldiers searched every barrack, top to bottom. Boxes were 
examined. Space between the ceiling and roof was looked into. Floors were 
tapped. . . . The Army confiscated all rice found in barracks. 40 

Among other items confiscated were wooden canes, axes, hatchets, 
binoculars, cameras, and radios with dials which had short-wave 
bands. 41 Locked boxes and suitcases were taken along if the owners 
were not present to open them at the time of the search. 

In spite of the thoroughness of the search, four of the five leaders 
were not found. Seki, the investigator of the mess situation, was 
found hiding in a corner of a friend's room. Approximately ninety 
other persons were picked up, some of whom were people without 
Army identification cards but the majority were Hawaiian Kibei 
wanted by Internal Security. 

40 WRA, "Tule Lake Incident, Report of the Army Search of the Colony, 
November 26, 1943" (manuscript). 

41 No attempt was made to determine if the radios still had short-wave receiving 
equipment. A set from which the short-wave receiving mechanism had been 
removed was not contraband. 


By the end of November the leaders-in-hiding found their posi- 
tion untenable. Instead of cooperation and assistance, they were 
receiving constantly hostile criticism from the Renraku-iin. Their 
hope that the Spanish Consul would appear, with assurance of the 
support of the Japanese government, had proven fruitless. They 
feared further loss of prestige if they continued in hiding while 
the apprehended leaders of Daihyo Sha Kai were suffering in the 
stockade. They determined, therefore, to give themselves up "in 
the interest of the people," after one final gesture to obtain popular 
support: a new petition which, they believed, stated their position 
clearly and would reinforce the vague "vote of confidence" received 
on November ig. 42 They, therefore, submitted the following reso- 
lution and petition, through the block managers, on November 29: 

Whereas, the negotiation committee, which was duly elected by the 
block representatives who were in turn elected by the block residents is 
our sole mean of conducting negotiations necessary for the well-being of 
the residents of this center and especially in view of the fact that we, 
the residents of this center, give our undivided support to the above- 
mentioned committee, and, 

Whereas, we, as the residents of this center know that the present situa- 
tion was caused by the failure of the WRA administrators to heed our 
request not to take commodities out of the center warehouses in the middle 
of the night, and 

Whereas, Mr. Raymond R. Best, the Project Director, gave as his excuse 
for calling in the military that a group of center residents threatened to 
kidnap the Caucasian personnel, which statement is a plain false. As a 
result many unnecessary arrests have conducted. 

Therefore, in order to bring this unfortunate incident to a satisfactory 
and complete solution we, the center residents, feel that we must put 
forward the following resolutions to express our unqualified support of 
our representative committee. 


1. Not to enter any negotiation with camp administrators other than 
through our negotiation committee. 

2. To demand the wholesale resignations of the WRA appointed per- 
sonnels, who were here prior to November 4, 1943. 

3. To ask the withdrawal of the U.S. Army from the camp site. 

4. To put into practice the promises made by Mr. Raymond Best, the 
Project Director, during the conference held on November i, 1943, in 
Mr. Dillon S. Myer's presence. 

5. To request for the immediate and unconditional release of all of the 
persons who are held without evidence. 

42 Field Notes, September 18, 1944. 


6. Not to conduct further arrests in connection with this incident in the 

7. To ask for the reemployment of all the workers who were terminated 
without reason. 

Be it further resolved that without the satisfactory conclusion of the 
above resolutions we will not consider this incident closed. We, the resi- 
dents of the Tule Lake Center, 18 years of age or over, hereby signify our 
determined stand by our signatures on the 2gth day of November, 1943.^ 

This petition, like the earlier one, was signed by about half the 
adult residents, although some of the conditions were held to be 
too radical even by those who signed. On December i, however, 
the committee members decided to give themselves up, but they 
surrendered to the FBI rather than to the Army. 44 Their surrender 
was accompanied by considerable formality and was preceded by 
a meeting of Abe with the FBI, and an extremely dramatic meeting 
of the Daihyo Sha Kai, for which the Army had granted permission. 
This meeting was held at 9:30 on the morning of December i with 
no absentees. Watanabe was elected chairman to succeed Kura- 
tomi. When the leaders entered they were greeted with thunderous 

At this meeting Abe said: 

We, the Committee, have been fortunate to obtain signatures of major- 
ity of the colonists that our next problem is how to use this for the solution 
of the problem. We, four Negotiating Committee, have, in order to evade 
injustice of the Army, hidden. But realizing that the solution of the prob- 
lem could not be initiated without us, we have decided to come out, by 
meeting with the FBI. We will submit to them a complete record of our 
activities up to date to Washington. Second, the responsible party or the 
key to the solution of the problem is Colonel Austin, who will be met 
immediately and we will do our best to make him expedite the solution. 
We shall force him to accept the resolution of the colonists for the men- 
tioned two reasons. We are going to give up. Before we leave, there's one 
thing I'd like to plead to you and that is, since you have promised to give 
absolute support to the Negotiating Committee and recognize no other 
Committee than this one, I assume that I have authority to appoint an 
Acting Negotiating Committee during our absence to carry on the de- 
mands of the colonists. There will be four Acting Committee [members], 
which you must support as you have supported us in the past: Hachi, 
Block 49; Yokota, Block 32; Samejima, Block 36; and Koike, Block i8. 43 

43 Community Analyst to Head of Community Analysis Section, December 10, 

44 It is said that they hoped thereby to impress the FBI with the necessity of 
investigating WRA. 

45 Minutes of the meeting, December i, 1943. 


Kuratomi reiterated the necessity of full support by the residents 
and recapitulated his analysis of the causes of the existing tensions: 

Injustice done since the incident was the responsibility of the Army. 
On that day we met Myer and asked him to stop such practice as trans- 
porting food to the outside by night because colonists feel uneasy lest they 
be subjected to hunger. Their resentment may result to violence. Myer 
agreed. In spite of the November incident, Project Director broke this 
promise and called in the Army with silly excuse that some of the Cau- 
casians were kidnapped. Colonel Austin also made similar statement, 
which is more than injustice. They have made unnecessary arrests. In order 
to solve problems of this nature, such would require eight demands or 
articles, 40 we have instructed all the block representatives to call meetings 
to get signatures of the colonists. With that resolution, we have consulted 
the WRA. As a result, WRA recognized the institution of all departmental 
committees with WRA pay to assist the management of the Center. Nego- 
tiating Committee also expressed desire of controlling the block managers, 
since they are directly connected with the colonists. WRA rejected this on 
the grounds that they are the coordinating body of the WRA and the 
colonists. We demanded mass termination of Caucasian personnel, includ- 
ing the Project Director, Peck, Pedicord, Kirkman, and Caucasian nurses 
and doctors. We also demanded an unconditional release of all those 
arrested and at the same time the stoppage of all future pick-ups. Since 
we have with us the resolution signed by most colonists of 18 years or over 
signifying that they were supporting us, we have sound grounds to proceed 
with our demands. Once again I shall meet with Colonel Austin to remind 
him that the incident has created international problem and that the 
Japanese Government itself is aware of this. With that in mind, I shall 
expend my effort to bring about amicable solution on the matter. I feel I 
must do this because after the war when negotiation between U.S. and 
Japan starts, Japanese government should not be placed in an embarrass- 
ing position. FBI is waiting for us and time is so valuable, we must leave 

The four men who surrendered were placed in a separate stock- 
ade in two tents which were very cold quarters for this time of year. 
Later they were removed to the larger stockade where, by this time, 
about 190 other detainees were housed. 

After the four leaders were removed to the stockade, and the 
dissolution of the Renraku-iin was announced, the Daihyo Sha Kai 
continued with its meeting and ratified Abe's proposal for an "Act- 
ing Negotiating Committee," delegating complete authority to this 
committee to act for Daihyo Sha Kai and, through it, for the resi- 

46 Kuratomi meant the seven demands listed in the resolution of November 29. 

47 Minutes of the meeting, December i, 1943. 


dents. The new committee immediately attempted to resume nego- 
tiations with the Army, but the latter refused to recognize it. Daihyo 
Sha Kai, therefore, met again on December 4 to consider the situa- 
tion. This meeting, which was very well attended, gives an unusu- 
ally clear picture of the Daihyo Sha Kai state of mind. Rebuffed by 
the Army, their leaders held incommunicado, the depleted Daihyo 
Sha Kai was now faced with extraordinarily difficult and important 
decisions of policy. If it disbanded, leaving its leaders in the stock- 
ade, this would be a betrayal and an admission of guilt. Moreover, 
it had no assurance that the leaders would be released if the body 
disbanded. This, the most important point in the discussion, re- 
mained a major camp issue for more than six months. 

Eventually three policies were suggested, and each had adherents: 

(1) to continue the status quo 

(2) to call a general strike 

(3) to dissolve the Daihyo Sha Kai 

Yokota, who was one of Abe's nominees, took the chair and 
reported that the Army had announced (i) that the original "Nego- 
tiating Committee, held in the stockade . . . will not be permitted 
to return to the center under any condition"* 8 and (2) that neither 
the original nor the new Negotiating Committee would be recog- 
nized as representing the center. 

One Daihyo Sha Kqi member urged maintenance of status quo: 

My suggestion is that if we maintain the status quo at this time and 
Washington officials having been informed by the WRA, the Japanese 
Government will not neglect making protests for the colonists, that U.S. 
Government will be forced to settle this matter, which means the instruc- 
tions will be issued from the higher ups. That may be one way to solve. 48 

Several other members favored a general strike, but there was 
division of opinion as to whether the evacuees should be consulted 
before or after the strike was declared. The more radical members 
proposed approaching the evacuees with a fait accompli, justifying 
themselves by the claim that the evacuees had, in any case, delegated 
power to them, but indicating their underlying fear that "slackers 
among the colonists" and the inu would, if given a chance, fail to 
support the strike. Watanabe opposed this policy on the grounds 
that a general strike might well destroy all possibility of negotia- 

43 Minutes of the meeting, December 4, 1943. Italics ours. * 9 Ibid. 


tions; the detainees would then presumably be "transferred to 
another concentration camp" and would have no chance of being 
released to the center. He proposed instead that Daihyo Sha Kai 
be dissolved: 

Then those who are not connected with the Daihyo Sha Kai can con- 
tinue negotiation for the releasement, center betterment and other prob- 
lems. General strike will bring us misery and grievance, whereby we gain 
nothing. If there's no alternative, strike should be our last card until we 
have no other way out. 50 

Watanabe's proposal met with considerable opposition. Among 
others, the following objections were raised by various delegates: 
(i) "The Army claimed that they will recognize the representatives 51 
but not the Negotiating Committee. . . . [This makes] it apparent 
that the Army's intention is to confuse the colonists. . . . To select 
a new body means to discredit the Negotiating Committee"; (2) 
"Just because the Army revoked the original Negotiating Commit- 
tee, that doesn't mean that we have to select a new body"; (3) "If 
we select a new body, not only the [original] Negotiating Commit- 
tee but those 200 [detainees] will be a sacrifice." 52 Agreement was 
finally reached that the only fair procedure was to consult the 
residents in advance of so weighty a decision. 

Unanimous agreement was then reached to present three possible 
procedures (as formulated by Yokota) to the residents in each block 
for a vote: 

1. To declare a general strike and at the same time enter a hunger strike. 

2. By dissolution of the Daihyo Sha Kai, select a new body, then request 
the Army for the releasement of 200 persons. 

3. Maintain status quo and maintain the present condition no matter 
how long, until the authorities give in. In other words let time solve the 
problem. 63 

That night the residents of each block met, and votes were cast 
behind locked doors. The results, as announced at the Daihyo Sha 
Kai meeting the next day, were 

2 blocks undecided 4 blocks for dissolution 

3 blocks for general strike 56 blocks for status quo 54 

50 Ibid. 

51 The evacuees, of course, considered the Daihyo Sha Kai and the Negotiating 
Committee as their true representatives. 

52 Minutes of the meeting, December 4, 1943. 

63 Ibid. 54 Minutes of the meeting, December 5, 1943. 


Having obtained an overwhelming vote favoring the mainte- 
nance of status quo and desiring to strengthen the partial strike, 
the Daihyo Sha Kai, in its meeting of December 5, unearthed the 
smoldering issue of resentment against the Cooperative Enterprises, 
which, dominated by old Tuleans and favored by the adminis- 
tration, had become increasingly an object of suspicion both by 
Daihyo Sha Kai and by many of the residents. Daihyo Sha Kai 
feared that inu were operating against them through the Coop. 
Residents had noted that fruits which appeared on purchase orders 
by WRA were conspicuously absent from the mess halls, but were 
on sale at the canteens. It was strongly suspected that Coop officials, 
collaborating with WRA personnel, were diverting government- 
purchased goods for private profit. In addition, residents resented 
the Coop policy of selling candy and other "luxury" items which 
most of the unpaid, striking evacuees found it difficult to provide, 
and equally difficult to deny their children. This policy accentuated 
the differences between the rich and the poor, who could not afford 
such items, some of which, such as fruits and vegetables, the evac- 
uees felt should have been provided in the mess halls by WRA. It 
was considered desirable either to limit sales or to close the canteens 
completely during the period in which status quo must be main- 
tained. A not uncommon attitude was expressed by a delegate, who 

Canteen is the cause of all the misery. Since it's colonists' canteen, we 
have no reason to hesitate from closing it altogether. This will be only for 
a short while, since status quo will win [a victory over the administration]. 55 

The more radical plan of closure was discarded, and it was agreed 
to approach the Cooperative Enterprises immediately and demand 
that they cease selling unessential "luxuries": chicken, fish, fruits 
(except oranges which were to be allowed because of their medic- 
inal value), vegetables, candies, hardware, gifts, silk and woolen 
yardage, cakes and pastries, and ice cream and soft drinks during 
the winter months. 56 

When the Daihyo Sha Kai representatives met with the Coop 
Board of Directors on December 6, they admitted that their de- 
mands had not been approved by popular vote. Their chief argu- 
ment for restriction of the canteen was that all food should be 

55 Ibid. ce Minutes of the meeting, December 6, 1943. 


furnished by WRA. The Board replied that it, as "an elected body 
which is governed by the By-Laws and the members," could not 
decide this matter. It must be referred to the ward assemblies of 
members of the Cooperative. 57 

The Cooperative Enterprises, in fact, faced ruin if the demands 
of Daihyo Sha Kai were met. Their total sales in November were 
more than |i 10,000. If the items listed by Daihyo Sha Kai had been 
withdrawn, it is estimated that their gross sales would have been 
not much more than $40,000 . M When, on December 10, a second 
conference was held between the Coop Board and Daihyo Sha Kai 
representatives, the vice-president of the Coop, who presided at the 
meeting, pointed out that if this proposed step were taken it would 
mean that the Coop would be forced to sever connections with 
purchasing firms, that these connections could not be renewed, that 
the redemption of certificates of indebtedness would be postponed 
and that nearly 100 employees would have to be terminated. 

A spokesman for the Daihyo Sha Kai said: 

Let me tell you our side of the story. Up to November 3, negotiations 
with the WRA officials were progressing very satisfactory, but after the 
departure of Mr. Myer, Director of WRA, negotiations was abruptly 
terminated by them. To date the WRA has notified the Daihyo Sha Kai 
that they no longer recognize the Daihyo Sha Kai as representatives of the 
colonists. In the meantime, a great number of evacuees lost jobs and on 
top of that, up to date nearly 250 persons were picked up and detained 
in the Army quarters. It is evident that the WRA is about to give in to our 
demands ... in spite of the fact that we are not recognized. Co-op does not 
cooperate with us. Too indifferent. Work daily without considering the 
difficulty encountered by the people who are without jobs. That's not fair. 
I presume you Co-op officials are evacuees, and of course, think of your 
native land. We are at war with this country, I want you to remember that, 
that is why we are asking you to cooperate. If you want to make money 
you should have gone out where there is opportunity. 59 

Replying for the Coop, after consideration of the practical issues, 
Milton Sasaki, the executive secretary, said: 

Referring to ... statements that the Co-op's representatives, as a whole, 
are busy with the effort to make money only, and ignore the time and 
condition of this center, we want to make it clear to you that as far as 

57 Ibid. 

58 Board of Directors, Tule Lake Cooperative Enterprises, mimeographed state- 
ment, December 12, 1943. 

59 Minutes of the meeting, December 10, 1943. 


loyalty and the seriousness and integrity are concerned, we allow no one 
to question us. We, the Board members and the Executives, on behalf of 
the 7500 Co-op members and colonists as a whole, must prevent the Co-op 
from disaster. I want you gentlemen to understand just that. 60 

It was decided to put the issue to a popular vote. The Coop en- 
gaged in a hurried propaganda campaign, and distributed a mimeo- 
graphed justification of its action to its members, in which the 
following points were emphasized: (i) If the purchases of many of 
the "so-called luxury items" were "cancelled, the difficulty of renew- 
ing the quota at a later date will be insurmountable"; (2) the eva- 
cuees would then have to buy these items from mail order stores at 
higher prices; (3) the financial status of the Coop would become so 
precarious that 100 employees would have to be discharged; (4) 
under these circumstances it would be highly questionable if the 
Coop would be able to redeem its outstanding certificates of indebt- 
edness; (5) if the present camp difficulties could be solved in the 
near future, "the time will eventually arrive when the people will 
be more able to afford some of the things used in comforting our 
lives in this center, which is otherwise very much dull and sullen." 61 

The returns on the vote do not lend themselves to a simple inter- 
pretation. In the first place, voting was limited to Coop members, 
who were by no means a representative sample of the general popu- 
lation. As of September 30, the Coop membership was only 3,417. 
By this time the outward movement of "loyal" Tuleans, except for 
a few hundred essential workers, had been completed. Since the 
newly arrived transferees had not yet had time to join the organiza- 
tion, it is safe to assume that these were, almost without exception, 
old Tuleans. By November 30 total membership was reported as 
6,393, an d by December 31 as 6,508. As of the date of the referen- 
dum, therefore, membership could not have exceeded 6,500. Assum- 
ing that all of the increase in membership consisted of transferees, 
old Tuleans comprised at least 52 per cent of the potential voters, 
and it is probable that their proportion was considerably higher 
than this. Since at this time the proportion of old Tuleans in the 
total population was around 42 per cent, it is clear that the popula- 
tion eligible to vote on the Coop issue was overweighted with old 
Tuleans, underweighted with transferees. 

60 Ibid. 

61 Board of Directors, Tule Lake Cooperative Enterprises, mimeographed state- 
ment, December 12, 1943. 


In the second place, the popular vote was recorded for only 29 
blocks, while 22 reported the result merely as "unanimous vote," 
"with condition" or "recommendation" (unspecified) on the issue, 
and 13 refused to hold a meeting. Of the 29 blocks reporting the 
number voting, the average number of votes recorded per block 
was 60. If the other 22 voting blocks had the same average number 
voting, the total popular vote must have been around 3,000. It 
seems obvious, therefore, that somewhat less than half of the Coop 
members acceded to the request to vote on the issue. 

In the third place, interpretation of the stand of the 13 blocks 
which refused to hold the election is open to some question. It seems 
reasonable to infer that, since the Coop had initiated the proce- 
dure, refusal to vote indicated an antagonistic attitude toward the 

The blockwise status of votes can be broken down as follows: 




Clearly favoring 
Coop (popular 
vote or unanimous 

Favoring Coop 
but setting up 

Clearly opposed 
to Coop 
(popular vote) 






The administration apparently added classes I and II and set 
them in a ratio to class III, completely neglecting class IV. On this 
basis, the result was interpreted by WRA and by the Coop officials 
as a "9 to i " victory for the Coop and "the best job ... to date ... of 
discrediting" the Daihyo Sha Kai. e2 If, however, we assume that only 
Class I represented an attitude favorable to the Coop proposal and 
that all other classes were more or less antagonistic, 63 the ratio be- 
comes a "11/2 to i" victory, a result far more consistent with later 
cleavages than the official interpretation of an overwhelming vic- 
tory for the Coop and an overwhelming defeat of Daihyo Sha Kai, 

62 Community Analyst to Head of Community Analysis Section, December 20, 
1943 (appended to his December 10 report). 

63 A procedure that the Community Analyst later followed, by implication, 
when the more important community-wide issue of maintaining status quo was 
voted upon. Thus in his report of January 15, 1944 (appended to his January 14 
report), to the Head of the Community Analysis Section, he refers to these 
classes as indicating "more or less negative results." 


and as proof of WRA's constant contention that the Daihyo Sha 
Kai had never had a strong following in camp. 

On the day of the vote on the Coop issue the Spanish Consul, 
accompanied by a State Department representative, made his long- 
awaited visit. In a series of meetings 64 initiated largely by the pro- 
Daihyo Sha Kai element, these men made lengthy speeches in which 
they emphasized the international aspects of the problems develop- 
ing out of the Tule Lake disturbances, and proposed as a solution 
the abolishing of the old Negotiating Committee and the election, 
by popular vote, of a new committee "composed of members in pro- 
portion to the various classes in the community; that is, Issei mem- 
bers should elect Issei, and Nisei should elect Nisei representa- 
tives." 63 The proposed committee was to be selected under the 
supervision of the Army. The residents paid little attention to the 
speeches, but pressed their various demands and complaints and 
vociferously expressed the deep resentment they felt because the 
Consul had delayed so long his coming to Tule Lake, in spite of the 
many urgent requests of the evacuees. Underlying all their demands 
was the urgency of recognition of the Negotiating Committee and 
release of the stockade detainees. Spokesmen for the residents in- 
sisted that the Army's treatment of the Negotiating Committee be 
reported without delay to Japan, e.g.: 

They want you to report to Japan the fact that our Negotiating Com- 
mittee has been detained by the Army from November 4. That is our 
demand. They don't want shall or will business, they want you to make 
sure. 67 

The Spanish Consul gave no assurance of compliance with the 
residents' demands, other than a halfhearted promise that the mat- 
ter would be referred to the Spanish Embassy and "if it is neces- 
sary, they will report it to the Japanese government. If they think 
it is not important, they will not do so." Spokesmen also insisted 
that the Consul meet with the detained Negotiating Committee 
members, and they raised the issue of status as Japanese citizens for 
Nisei who, "even if they are American citizens should be equal as 

64 The meeting described here is the only one of seven held during the two-day 
period for which minutes were available. 

65 Minutes of the meeting, December 13, 1943. 

06 As a matter of fact, the first arrests of members of the Negotiating Com- 
mittee occurred on November 13. 

07 Minutes of the meeting, December 13, 1943. 


Japanese nationals." When the Consul insisted that his protection 
extended to Japanese subjects only, and the State Department rep- 
resentative insisted that "no American subject can throw off his 
citizenship)' the pertinent question was raised: "why did the United 
States government put American citizen Nisei in camp?" The reply 
was recorded as: 

That was done for the security of the United States in time of war. If 
they think I am a dangerous person they would put me in the camp also. os 

The temper of the meeting was reported by a young Nisei girl 
(George Kuratomi's fiancee): 

The people didn't listen to their speeches. As soon as the speech was 
over, they'd yell, "That's not what we want. We want the Negotiating 
Committee!" All through the meeting the Consul would get up and say 
something and the people would say, "Oh to hell with you, we want the 
Negotiating Committee!" 69 

The conference between the detained Negotiating Committee 
members and the Spanish Consul, in the presence of Army repre- 
sentatives, was equally unsuccessful, according to Kuratomi's 

We spoke with the Spanish Consul on December i3th or i4th in the 
Administration building because the people in the colony requested that 
he see us. Colonel Austin and Lieutenant Forbes were present at this 
meeting. I believe there were nine of us [Negotiating Committee and 
Executive Board] present. 

The conversation was very interesting in that we asked Colonel Austin 
for the reason of our detention. His contention was that he thought we 
were trouble makers and that was the reason he was keeping us locked up. 
We asked, "Can the Army, just because the commandant thinks a portion 
of the people are trouble makers, can they detain us?" He didn't make a 
very clear reply and had to think a long time. 

We also asked what was the evidence for our apprehension and deten- 
tion. He thought a long moment and said, "We'll get the evidence while 
we keep you boys in the stockade." 70 

At this meeting, Kato reports, Colonel Austin remarked, "I think 
you are troublemakers and therefore you are troublemakers." 71 
When it became apparent that there was no disposition to accede 

68 Ibid. 

0:1 Field Notes, January 10, 1945. 

70 Field Notes, January 10, 1945. 

71 Field Notes, September 15, 1944. 


to the Spanish Consul's appeal for the resignation of the Negotiat- 
ing Committee, the Army, at the suggestion of WRA, began to 
arrest and detain the Block Representatives, the main body of the 
Daihyo Sha Kai. Some of these men attempted to go into hiding 
but on December 17 seven were picked up and on December 18, 
fifteen more. 72 There were well over 200 persons confined in the 
stockade by this time. 

The Spanish Consul, representing Japan, had been the last resort. 
Failing to obtain either sympathy or encouragement from this 
source, chagrined by increasing signs of lack of support from the 
general population, and faced with concrete evidence of the Army's 
intention to apply even more drastic measures than in the past, the 
stockade detainees took matters into their own hands, and, on De- 
cember 31, began a protest hunger strike. The precipitating cause 
was a minor conflict between several detainees and the Army officer 
in charge of the stockade concerning responsibility for the lack of 
cleanliness in the living quarters. When the detainees involved in 
this episode were isolated in a "bull pen," some 200 others signed 
the following document and began a hunger strike which lasted 
"six days and two meals." 

As of supper, December 31, 1943. 

We the undersigned have solemnly vowed to undergo hunger strike 
until such time as everyone here in the stockade is released back to the 
colony simultaneously and unconditionally! 

Kuratomi later reconstructed the events of the day as follows: 

On the morning of December 3 1 , the Army made a sanitary inspection 
of the stockade and as a result of this inspection Lieutenant Shaner and a 
corporal came into the stockade and complained to Kato about the unsani- 
tary condition of the latrine, shower and the barracks. Kato countered by 
saying that he did not have the necessary implements of sanitation, there- 
fore he demanded that if he were to be given buckets, brooms and mops 
and the tubs for laundry he could have the place cleaner. Somehow Kato's 
attitude appeared insulting to the Army, and he was confined in the bull 
pen. The same complaint was directed against Tada, who was in charge 
of mess hall in the stockade at that time. When questioned about the un- 
sanitary condition in the mess hall, Tada made similar demands as Kato. 
He, too, was sent to the bull pen. The detainees became angry at this act 
on the part of the Army, and asked the reason for having these two men 
sent to the bull pen and in the course of the argument detainees and the 

72 Community Analyst to Head of Community Analysis Section, December 20, 
1943. (Appended to his December 10 report.) 


soldiers became very heated and it was decided on the part of the de- 
tainees that they would not answer the roll call which was conducted at 
about i o'clock afternoon each day. The corporal's answer was that the 
Army was prepared to meet any such situation and that if the detainees 
did not report for roll call, proper action would be taken to have them out 
for roll call. At this point, Yamada said: "You just try and do it," which 
evidently irritated the corporal. When the time came for the roll call, none 
of the detainees went out. Soldiers numbering about 75 were called in at 
the request of Lieutenant Shaner, and Colonel Austin appeared in per- 
son. Yamada was immediately taken to the bull pen for his run-in with the 
corporal in the morning. Lieutenant Shaner reprimanded the detainees 
for the incidents in the morning and said to the effect that "anybody else 
who feels that he wants to join those men in the bull pen, step out." To 
the embarrassment of Lieutenant Shaner, everybody stepped forward. 
This was the last straw, and Lieutenant Shaner immediately ordered all 
the foodstuffs to be removed and said that the detainees would be put on 
a bread and water diet. Two trucks were brought in and the foodstuffs in 
the mess hall, as well as the presents that the colonists had sent in to the 
detainees over the holiday season, were picked up. Among these gifts were 
apples, oranges, nuts, cakes and pies, also about 300 cartons of cigarettes. 
Valuables such as money, fountain pens, wrist watch, etc., were also taken. 
The detainees in the front row were asked by the soldiers to remove the 
foodstuffs from the barracks to the truck. Some detainees hesitated and, 
being slow in their actions, were kicked and prodded with bayonets. This 
was the direct reason which started the detainees on the hunger strike, 
starting on December gi. 73 

Kato reported his own behavior as follows: 

I really talked to the Army and gave them a piece of my mind. I said I 
didn't know the United States Army was like this. Lieutenant Shaner got 
burned up. He brought in soldiers and told me to pack up. He put me in 
the bull pen. 74 

On January 4 some of the strikers weakened in their determina- 
tion to continue, and two days later the leaders decided to abandon 
the hunger strike. 

The matter of confiscated gifts and valuables was taken up with 
the Army at a meeting of the Divisional Responsible Men 75 on 
January 17, 1944. According to the minutes 

Colonel [Austin] was questioned whether the story concerning thefts of 
many articles, such as tobaccos, money, watches, fountain pens, etc. by the 

73 George Kuratomi, Statement, November 16, 1945. 

74 Field Notes, September 15, 1944. 

75 Evacuee representatives of work units. See Chapter VI for the role they 
played in community affairs. 


soldiers during the Army's search of the stockade barracks recently was 
factual. The Colonel admitted that "lots of things were taken, but many 
were returned. Theft of money? I question money. I doubt whether people 
ever leave money in their barracks. I don't question watches or tobaccos." 

By the end of December the residents had been on a partial strike 
for six weeks, most of this time under the rigid conditions of mar- 
tial law. The strike had been entered into as a protest against the 
suppressive tactics initiated by the Army after the November 4 
incident, involving the separation of evacuees from the administra- 
tive area, enforced by soldiers with bayonets, tanks, and tear-gas 
bombs, "man-proof" barbed-wire fences, watch towers, and search- 
lights; the arbitrary curtailment of essential work crews; and the 
arrests and incarceration of leaders. 

The mechanism through which the protest was organized was 
the Daihyo Sha Kai, whose leaders attempted to direct procedures 
first from hiding, later from the stockade where they had been de- 
tained. As time went on, however, they began to lose their pre- 
carious hold on the general population. In late November, in spite 
of great pressure, only half the adult residents signed a petition 
pledging unqualified support to the Negotiating Committee, al- 
though a few days later the block residents in a secret vote gave a 
clear majority favoring the continuance of status quo. When, 
shortly after this, the Daihyo Sha Kai adherents tried to gain fur- 
ther support for the strike by forcing the canteens to restrict sales, 
the people voted them down. When, as a last resort, they turned 
toward the Spanish Consul for support from the Japanese govern- 
ment, their demands met a cold reception and a stern warning that 
their tactics might have international repercussions and slow down 
or negate the possibility of exchange of repatriates to Japan. And 
a hunger strike initiated by the stockade detainees failed to win 
popular support. 

The burden of maintaining status quo, involving, as it did, un- 
employment, idleness, impoverishment for so many, was bearing 
heavily on the people. As Niiyama, a member of Civic Organiza- 
tions, expressed it: 

During those dark moments of camp life many people with children 
had no shoes, no money, no clothing. Some of the children were beginning 
to go barefooted. The camp condition was critical. 78 

78 Field Notes, January 8, 1945. 


Similarly, Tsuruda said: 

Their finances were petering out. Here they're still paying off on Octo- 
ber checks [statement made February i]. Now these fellows who were not 
working got no clothing allowance, no welfare, no income. 77 

And Higashi describes similar hardship: 

Criticism grew as status quo dragged on. People had no clothes. They 
tried to get their shoes fixed. . . . With the canteens and things, the people 
were going broke. 78 

In addition many people lived in constant fear of being picked 
up and confined in the stockade, as exemplified by the following 

I'll say this: I think the Army went too far in sticking those people in 
the stockade. My husband almost got pulled in. He was as much against 
Daihyo Sha Kai as I was. A neighbor came and told us that the Internal 
Security had come and that he should hide. 

I said, "He can't hide." I even got his suitcase packed with pajamas, 
tooth-brush and a deck of cards. But they didn't come. However, they 
pulled in many innocent people. 70 

A bachelor Kibei, transferee from Poston, wrote to a friend: 

Everything seems and looks cold and still and melancoline. . . . Every- 
thing seems unchangeable like yesterday. The confine has not cleared out 
yet. No parcel and no money order can send out and every letters has 
examined. Three Niseis who came from Hawaii to live in this block were 
arrested this morning at 3 A.M. If you will not hear from me for the quite 
few days in the near future, you must understand that I am arrested. Don't 
forget that it will be possible/ 

Finally, the prisonlike atmosphere of camp and the cessation of 
all recreational activities resulted in feelings of extreme uneasiness 
and deep depression. 

A young Nisei girl said: 

I just thought, "What's this camp coming to?" After the Army came in 
I really felt like a prisoner . . . All during the time when the Army was 
controlling the camp, naturally, we were sad. There were no activities. 
Everything stopped. We had a curfew. Oh, it was a miserable life. . . . We 
got baloney for Thanksgiving. 81 

77 Field Notes, February, 1944. 

78 Field Notes, April, 1944. 

79 Field Notes, September 14, 1944. 
Sl) Field Notes, November 26, 1943. 
81 Field Notes, August 30, 1944. 


A married Kibei woman wrote: 

Right now curfew is in effect and martial law at the same time. No one 
can go out from 7 P.M. to 6 A.M. Anyway, there's no place to go, it's too 
cold. . . . Right now there's no movies or Engei Kai [Japanese entertain- 
ment] or anything. . . . The army is still in: they're delivering all the 
vegetables and food stuff to the mess halls accompanied by armored cars, 
jeeps . . . Perhaps this letter will be censored, if so tell me. 82 

Under these conditions many longed for "normalcy." even if it 
meant yielding in matters of principle, and WRA was equally anx- 
ious to get rid of the Army and to reestablish a working relationship 
with the evacuees. Mr. Best had established an Advisory Council, 
composed of project officials, before the November disturbances, 
and to this body he delegated responsibility for reinstituting rap- 
port with the evacuees. They, in turn, looked to the leaders of the 
crystallizing Daihyo Sha Kai opposition, and first approached a 
group from the Civic Organizations (the central organization of 
block managers) on December 1 1 . Two old Tuleans, Mayeda and 
Niiyama, along with Kitagawa of Rohwer and Minami of Heart 
Mountain, met with the Advisory Council. Their attitude toward 
Daihyo Sha Kai was extremely antagonistic and rapport was quickly 
established between them and the Advisory Council. They reported 
to the council that the Negotiating Committee represented the 
interests of a minority only; that the recent trouble had arisen be- 
cause the "Jerome faction," which, they said, was organized prior 
to arrival at Tule Lake, 63 dominated the Negotiating Committee; 
and that the basic reason for popular acquiescence in the strike, 
was fear of terroristic actions by the Daihyo Sha Kai supporters. 
Niiyama said: 

A lot of people would [like to] speak up ... but they have to sleep in 
the colony at night; it would be different if we didn't have to live there. 81 

After the successful meeting of December 1 1, the Advisory Coun- 
cil drew in other prominent evacuees known to be critical of Daihyo 
Sha Kai policies. Most prominent among the newcomers were 

82 Field Notes, November 26, 1943. 

83 Kuratomi and others deny that the Jeromites were formally organized before 
coming to Tule Lake. There were informal cliques, existing prior to segregation, 
which tended to persist after arrival in Tule Lake. 

84 Community Analyst to Head of Community Analysis Section, December 20, 
1943 (appended to his December 10 report). 


Oyama of the Civic Organizations; Sasaki, 85 Kami, 86 Matsushita, 
and Noma of the Cooperative Enterprises; Kunisaki of Housing, 
and Watanabe, who, although formerly prominent members in 
Daihyo Sha Kai, had become increasingly critical of its policies and 
tactics. Meetings between these men and the Advisory Council took 
place almost daily during late December and early January, with 
discussions centering on ways and means of breaking status quo. 
Meanwhile, the Army continued to arrest alleged Daihyo Sha Kai 
supporters, "much to the satisfaction of the opposition groups. 87 

Some of the evacuees included in these meetings volunteered 
names of people whom they considered troublemakers. The ad- 
ministration and the Army regarded this as a sign of willingness on 
the part of the evacuees to collaborate with the officials. The eva- 
cuee leaders who were drawn in by the Advisory Council were pre- 
ponderantly old Tuleans, and they represented vested interests. A 
number of them had remained in Tule Lake for purely oppor- 
tunistic reasons. Niiyama, for example, was the father of five young 
children and the sole support of aged parents who wanted to return 
to Japan. Several of these men decided that Tule Lake was no 
place for them and were discussing the possibilities of resettlement. 
With some of them, too, the pattern of close cooperation with the 
administration had been established before segregation. They 
seemed to share the belief that improvement of the miserable con- 
ditions under which the people were living could best be achieved 
by working, in a conciliatory manner, with the WRA personnel. 

By January 7 the cooperation of a group of some forty "respon- 
sible men" of the various sections and divisions, had been secured 
(including evacuee foremen of the Packing Shed, the Coal Crew, 
Garbage Crew, Maintenance, Time Keeping, Payroll and Account- 

85 Sasaki's militant stand on the luxury issue antagonized Daihyo Sha Kai 
supporters. The Community Analyst wrote that several days after the vote on 
the luxury issue, "Mr. [Sasaki] was threatened with personal attack and bodily 
harm. On learning this, he went directly to the headquarters of [the Daihyo Sha 
Kai] and informed the gentry assembled there that if any bodily harm befell his 
person, the organization and the gentlemen in particular would be sorry for it." 
(Community Analyst to Head of Community Analysis Section, December 29, 


86 Kami was a member of the Daihyo Sha Kai and of the Renraku-iin but later 

87 Community Analyst to Head of the Community Analysis Section, December 

29' 1943- 


ing, Placement, Cooperatives, Civic Organizations, Housing, Cloth- 
ing Unit, Construction, Furniture Industry, Mess Management, 
Warehouse, and the Garage) and a joint meeting with Army and 
WRA representatives took place. It was decided that a resolution 
for the abandonment of Daihyo Sha Kai's policy of status quo and 
in favor of a general return to work be prepared and that members 
of the various divisions should meet separately and decide whether 
to accept or reject the resolution. The result would then be an- 
nounced to the evacuees and a resolution be put to a secret vote in 
each block. Since the divisional vote was markedly in favor of the 
proposal, a committee of seven, including Kitagawa, Sasaki, 
Oyama, Takayama, Sugano, Kami, and Minami, was chosen by the 
Divisional Responsible Men to make plans for the taking of the 

Faced with the necessity of working so fast that the remnants of 
the Daihyo Sha Kai would not have time to organize an effective 
opposition, the committee members scheduled the referendum for 
the evening of January 11. On the morning of the election they 
distributed a mimeographed justification of the proposed action 
throughout the project. The evacuees were asked to support the 
following resolution, prepared by the Divisional Responsible Men: 

BE IT RESOLVED THAT, as a vital preliminary measure in liquidat- 
ing this so-called status quo as maintained by the Daihyo Sha [Kai] and in 
order to bring forth normal condition to this colony in the very imme- 
diate future, every colonists, respectful and peace-loving residents, should 
return to work immediately. 

It was pointed out that the Daihyo Sha Kai representatives had 
"utterly failed in their negotiation"; that the Army would not rec- 
ognize them; that they had been unable to secure the successful 
intervention of the Spanish Consul; that far from achieving the 
release of the original detainees, they "were wholly unable to check 
the increasing number of persons being detained each day"; and 
that above all, 

they have conclusively failed in their principal and initial purpose of bet- 
tering the condition of the center. 

At present increasing number of families are suffering economically 
and they are requesting for relief through the Social Welfare Department 
and the Spanish Consulate. C'est domage! Every colonist in this Center 
has no other desire than to exist as a true Japanese. 


Every colonist in this Center should keep in one's mind that such a 
self-imposed suffering in itself does not reflect upon one's loyalty to his 

The men responsible for the resolution pledged themselves to 
two aims: 

1. Equitable distribution of employment 

"It is our duty to materialize an equitable distribution of employment 
because it is the principal source of income for most of the colonists resid- 
ing in this center. After restoring this center back to normal condition, a 
plan can be worked out in which there will be employment possibility for 
the greatest number of residents." 

2. Aid in obtaining the release of persons detained in the stockade 
"The return of the colony to normal condition will create a favorable 

atmosphere where the justifiable release of detained colonists will become 
a greater possibility. 

It is unwise contention that if the status quo is liquidated, the persons 
detained will be deemed as guilty. If the status quo is maintained, there 
will be no possibility whatsoever for negotiation for the release with either 
the WRA or the Army. Not only that, but also it has become evident that 
the longer the status quo is maintained, the more colonists would be look- 
ing out of the stockade." 89 

Voting was by secret ballot, with soldiers present at every polling 
place. Of 8,713 valid ballots cast, 4,593 were against, 4,120 in favor 
of status quo. Thus the decision to return to "normalcy" was won 
by a plurality of only 473. Blockwise tabulation also showed a rela- 
tively slight margin, some 35 blocks against, 28 favoring the main- 
tenance of status quo, and i block refusing to vote. 90 

Daihyo Sha Kai remnants who opposed return to work, distrib- 
uted a report challenging these results. Calling themselves the 
"Nippon Patriotic Society," they claimed that the vote was taken 
by force and that unopened ballots were carried away by the Army. 
By their estimate 3 1 blocks favored status quo, 29 opposed it, 4 were 
not clear, and the residents of i block refused to vote. 

Whereas there is no evidence to support the claim that force was 
used during the voting, it is a fact that the Army had picked up a 

88 "What Is This So-Called 'Status Quo?" Mimeographed statement distrib- 
uted by Divisional Responsible Men, January 7, 1944. 

89 "The Motive and Course of Events of the Meeting of Division and Section 
Heads." Mimeographed statement distributed by Divisional Responsible Men, 
January 7, 1944. 

00 Community Analyst to Head of the Community Analysis Section, January 
15, 1944 (appended to his January 14 report). 


number of Daihyo Sha Kai members and sympathizers early that 
morning. Thus the impression that a vote in favor of status quo 
might lead to arrest undoubtedly impeded freedom of action in 
some sections of the camp. 

Distribution of Blocks by Percent of Voting Population 
Favoring Status Quo and Percent of Transferees 











59 '70 


2.3 -17 


10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 

Percent Transferees 

Chart VII 

Statistics of the vote cast for and against status quo are available 
for all blocks except Block 56 which refused to hold a meeting. 
Chart VII shows that a positive relationship existed between pro- 
portions favoring status quo and proportions of transferees per 
block; or, conversely, between the proportion favoring "return to 
normalcy" and the proportion of old Tuleans. This relationship, 


based on 62 block units, is expressed as r = .54, a statistically signifi- 
cant result. It strengthens the assumption that the active protest 
faction was overweighted with the newer arrivals who, as has been 
shown, had a controlling interest in Daihyo Sha Kai and who 
were still willing to endure the hardships of a partial strike, while 
old Tuleans, more firmly established in the community, were 
predisposed to assume an attitude of accommodation to the 
administration-sponsored proposal of resumption of work. Never- 
theless, the wide scatter in the observations reflects also the fact that 
many Tulean blocks voted strongly for status quo, while a number 
of transferee-concentrated blocks favored its abolition. 

As soon as the vote had been counted, plans were drawn up to 
effectuate the return of the workers to their jobs. The Committee 
of Seven, 91 which had prepared the referendum, was officially recog- 
nized on January 15 by the administration and by the Army to 
cooperate with the Advisory Council in these plans, and it became 
known as the "Coordinating Committee." Simultaneously, the 
Army announced the lifting of martial law, withdrew most of the 
soldiers from the center, and returned the management of Tule 
Lake, except for the stockade, to the WRA personnel. 

01 The "Committee of Seven" requested official recognition by the administra- 
tion at a meeting of the Divisional Responsible Men on January 12, 1944. Of 31 
"responsible men" present at this meeting, 24 were old Tuleans and 7 were trans- 
ferees. Of the 7 transferees, 4 were appointed to the Coordinating Committee, 
while only 3 were old Tuleans. The executive secretary, Sasaki, was an old 
Tulean, however, and it is clear that the committee received its backing from 
the Tulean rather than from the transferee bloc. 



Rise and Fall of the Coordinating 

JL.ROM ITS INCEPTION as a Relocation Project, Tule 
Lake was split by dissensions reflecting the sharp contrasts in the 
experiences and attitudes of its population. The split was, in gen- 
eral, between those who had progressed farthest along the path of 
assimilation to American behavior patterns and those who were 
oriented more to Japanese culture. The extent of segregation, dis- 
crimination and competition, or of tolerance, acceptance and coop- 
eration by the Caucasian majority group prior to evacuation had 
had much to do with the early camp dichotomization into accom- 
modators and protestors. The earliest dichotomy was, broadly 
speaking, Northwesterners as accommodators, versus Californians 
as protestors. This territorial dichotomy, however, was blurred by 
clusterings of certain interest and circumstantial groups. Of the 
Japanese Americans educated primarily in American schools and 
oriented to American culture, the majority clustered around the 
"accommodation pole." They were predominantly Nisei; but 
among them were minorities consisting of the older immigrants 
(Issei), particularly those with American-born children and with 
property interests in America, and other minorities composed of 
the American-born, Japanese-educated second generation (Kibei), 
particularly those who before evacuation had secured a foothold 
in the American economy. 

At the protest pole were clusters of those whose assimilation had 
been weakest: immigrant bachelors who had "followed the crops" 
as seasonal laborers for decades, and Japanese-educated, second- 


generation Buddhists who had been hampered in economic and 
social adjustments by linguistic and cultural barriers between them 
and the Caucasian Americans. At this pole, too, were smaller clus- 
ters of the American-born, American-educatedsome of them 
highly intellectual, some of them emotionally unstable who had 
become embittered and disillusioned by the abridgment of their 
rights as American citizens. 

The Registration crisis spurred reset,tlement of many of those 
who clustered at the early accommodation pole: first the active 
JACL members, then others of the more highly assimilated Nisei, 
Northwesterners and urbanites, far out of proportion to their 
numerical importance in the population. Segregation speeded up 
the process of withdrawal of the original accommodators, with the 
movement of vast numbers of the residuum of Northwesterners and 
urbanites, leaving behind a disproportion of Californians, ruralites, 
Kibei Buddhists, immigrant bachelors, the dispossessed in general, 
as well as a very large number of families, usually with many chil- 
dren, who, with no appreciation of the stigma of "disloyalty," 
simply resisted change and held tight to their "homes" in Tule 
Lake. While segregation was in process, this residual group con- 
solidated its position, took over key positions, appropriated the 
more desirable housing units, built up rapport with the adminis- 
tration, and eventually established vested interests in the project. 

The first dichotomy after segregation, then, found the previously 
protesting "old Tuleans" clustered around the "accommodation 
pole," while the incoming transferees from other projects, unable 
to find the jobs they wanted, overcrowded into what was often the 
less desirable housing, suffering from the psychic shock of another 
"evacuation," beset by the uncertainties and fears which their more 
positive decision to be "disloyal" had engendered, were found in 
the main at or near the "protest pole." 

With the automobile accidents, the death of Kashima, the un- 
satisfactory compensation decision, the farm work stoppage, the 
arrival of "loyal" harvesters, who as strikebreakers were paid as 
much in two days as the strikers had received in a month and were 
fed with food taken from the project warehouses, unity of the whole 
population was achieved. Newcomers and old Tuleans merged in 
a general protest against what they conceived to be overwhelming 
injustice. This unity was short-lived, for the newcomers, achiev- 


ing dominance in the selection of the Negotiating Committee of 
Daihyo Sha Kai, once more split the interest-groups in the commu- 
nity. When the violence of November 4 occurred, and the Army 
moved in to administer the project, the Daihyo Sha Kai was able to 
obtain an appreciable majority in favor of passive resistance and a 
partial strike, which became known as the maintenance of status 
quo. When their leaders were arrested and detained in a stockade 
under military guard, however, the Daihyo Sha Kai began a losing 
fight to hold the population at its pole. Successive "votes of confi- 
dence" in the Negotiating Committee were signed by scarcely more 
than half the adults. Status quo was maintained against increasing 
popular opposition. A radical proposal to extend the effect of pas- 
sive resistance by restricting the sale of articles in the canteen was 
defeated by the voting members of the Cooperative Enterprises. 
Appeal to the Spanish Consul to strengthen its position by assuring 
the backing of the Japanese government met with a cold denial. 
Efforts to negotiate with the Army or WRA for release of those 
detained in the stockade were fruitless. Burdened by the incon- 
veniences and hardships of status quo and the oppression of Army 
rule, most of the old Tuleans and many of the transferees veered 
away from the protest pole. When a group dominated by old Tu- 
leans proposed a conciliatory solution and achieved recognition by 
the administration, status quo was defeated in a popular vote. The 
Army withdrew, and WRA, with the accommodation-polarized 
leaders, now known as the Coordinating Committee, set about the 
task of reestablishing "normalcy." That this task would be a diffi- 
cult one was obvious from the beginning, for the defeat of status 
quo had been achieved by a plurality of less than 500 out of nearly 
9,000 votes cast. The Coordinating Committee faced the same prob- 
lem the Daihyo Sha Kai had been unsuccessful in solving: how to 
unify a community split by a major cleavage. 

Statements of informants are unanimous in indicating that it 
was weariness, impoverishment, and fear, more than rallying 
around a new set of leaders, that led to the conclusion of the strike, 
e.g., according to J. Y. Kurihara: 

The main reason status quo broke was not because they didn't want to 
stick with the Negotiating Committee but lack of finance. Another reason 
is they didn't want to loaf along doing nothing. Time lags so monotonous. 1 

1 Field Notes, March, 1944. 


And Mr. Tsuruda stated: 

It was my opinion that status quo wouldn't accomplish a darn thing but 
would only increase the peoples' sufferings. While we have status quo, we 
can't expect things to improve.-' 

While Kurusu, a conservative block manager, remarked: 

1 thought, deep in my heart, that it was very silly to keep on in a situa- 
tion like this. We might as well change the system and have a better way 
to run the camp. If we kept going on strike forever, we're just sunk. 3 

The narrowness of the margin in favor of abandoning status quo, 
however, reflected the strength of antiadministration feeling: "If 
they had been in favor of the administration, the vote for liquidat- 
ing status quo would have been overwhelming"; 4 that fear of being 
picked up and distaste of Army rule had played an important role 
in the results, e.g., "People got wise that the longer they maintained 
the status quo, the more they were going to yank them and stick 
them in the stockade"; 5 that there was little popular enthusiasm for 
new leaders, regarding whom, as Sasaki's secretary (Miss Yama- 
guchi) admitted, "The people say we're inu." 

The Coordinating Committee began its difficult task in the 
middle of January with the cordial backing of the administration. 
"The members . . . were put on the WRA payroll, given an office, 
and provided with the use of an official car." 7 It had committed 
itself to the people to carry out two policies, (i) full employment 
and (2) "justifiable" release of stockade detainees. It had every 
reason to believe that the administration would support it in these 
two programs as a reward for cooperation in the difficult task WRA 
faced in achieving "normalcy," a task which is described by WRA 
as follows: 

Under the military authorities the center had almost ceased to operate 
as an organized community. . . . All employment under the War Reloca- 
tion Authority had stopped when the Army took control, and no wages 
were paid. 8 The Army had imposed a curfew on the whole population, 

2 Field Notes, April, 1944. 

3 Field Notes, April, 1944. It should be noted that the informant, in spite of 
this attitude, had voted in favor of maintaining status quo. 

4 Field Notes, May 21, 1944. 

5 Field Notes, February, 1944. 

6 Ibid. 

7 WRA, Semi-Annual Report, January i to June 30, 1944, p. 29. 

8 A definite contradiction to the statement in WRA, Semi-Annual Report, July 
i to December 31, 1943 (p. 55) that as of December 31, 1943, 3,047 evacuees were 


first from 7:00 P.M., later 9:00 P.M. All troublemakers, particularly those 
considered to be fomenters of the strike, were confined in what the Army 
termed the "stockade." When the War Relocation Authority took over in 
January there were 352 men confined there. No assembly of any kind had 
been permitted in the center; if any group was found meeting it was imme- 
diately broken up. Nor had there been any schools in session; evacuee 
teachers were unemployed and the Caucasian teachers spent much of their 
time in staffing the administrative mess and performing other necessary 
tasks. All mimeograph machines had been removed from the evacuee area 
and no publications were permitted. That was the status of the center 
when WRA administration replaced the Army. 

After January 14, it was the job of WRA to restore the camp to a func- 
tioning community insofar as the conditions permitted. 10 

The Coordinating Committee was, at first, hopeful of fulfilling 
the promise of "full employment." Its Executive Secretary, M. 
Sasaki, for instance, presumably relying on information from the 
administration, announced on January 9 that since "this center is 
considered a special project . . . plan had been laid out whereby 
placement of as many people as possible on various jobs will be 
instituted." 11 And Huycke (Head of Community Activities Section), 
representing the administration, assured the Divisional Respon- 
sible Men, a few days later, that 

I'm quite sure we'll get more workers than November 4. ... We believe 
that we can devise work for everyone who wants work here. Don't worry. 
I believe we can develop work for everybody. 12 

In spite of these assurances, the difficulties that the Coordinating 
Committee was to experience in the transitional period were imme- 
diately brought into sharp focus. It met obstacles to its "full em- 
ployment" program from both sides the Caucasion personnel and 

"employed and paid by WRA." An official notice, signed by Colonel Austin and 
dated December 8, 1943, confirms the version that there were appreciable num- 
bers working and paid during the status quo period. Thus, Colonel Austin stated 
that there were 2,837 employed and requested 267 "additional essential workers" 
to report for employment at that time. He added that "those now working on 
the payroll and those needed for the additional essential work will be processed 
and placed on the payroll." 

According to George Kuratomi, the peak population of the stockade was 253. 
According to the minutes of the joint meeting of the Divisional Responsible Men 
and stockade detainees on January 13, 1944 (two days before WRA took over), 
there were 247 men in the stockade. 

10 WRA, Semi- Annual Report, January i to June 30, 1944, p. 25. 

n Minutes of the meeting of the Divisional Responsible Men, January 9, 1944. 

1a Minutes of the meeting of the Divisional Responsible Men, January 13, 1944. 


the evacuees. In the January 13 meeting of the Divisional Respon- 
sible Men, the aim of WRA became apparent. In the first place, 
WRA had every intention of continuing the policy of purging the 
labor force of antiadministration elements by insisting that the 
names of workers be cleared by both the Army and Internal Se- 
curity. In the second place, dislodging of Caucasian personnel who 
had certain jobs formerly open to evacuees was meeting with resist- 
ance from the divisions concerned. There was an especial reluctance 
to reinstating evacuee employees in the Mail and Files Section and 
in the Statistics Section "inasmuch as vital information may be 
forwarded to the Spanish Consul and WRA will be put in a bad 
light and they do not want to be fools again, and that the WRA 
cannot take the risk." Resistance to the reinstatement of the eva- 
cuees was also met from the Operations Division, where the Cau- 
casian personnel, according to Huycke, formed "a solid block" that 
felt "somewhat uneasy" and feared "insubordinate sassiness" and 
"lack of respect for their authority." The touchy issue of what com- 
prised a day's work was raised also, as it had often been raised in 
the past and without any greater concurrence of opinion. Huycke 
urged that "the foremen . . . control their crew to see that they do 
an honest day's labor, not for sixteen dollars [monthly] salary. . . . 
You are working for yourselves not for the WRA." To this a mem- 
ber of the Coordinating Committee replied that because of the 
meager wages it was impossible to compel such labor gangs as the 
coal crew, engaged in disagreeable work, to work steadily for eight 
hours a day and that, when pressed too hard "some bunch of radi- 
cals all get on trucks and just go home." 13 Finally, the evacuees 
wanted some assurance that certain articles of work clothes would 
be furnished them, and that food provided in the mess halls would 
be immediately improved. As in the past, solutions of these prob- 
lems were slow and incomplete. 

On the following day (January 14), at a joint meeting of the 
Advisory Council, comprised of several members of the administra- 
tion, and the Divisional Responsible Men, the refusal of Caucasian 
supervisors to accept employees who had been "cleared" and recom- 
mended for immediate recall to their former jobs was brought up. 
It was reported that the Project Director had recommended "that 
such a situation should be discussed and thrashed out by the em- 

13 Ibid. 


ployer who refused the employee and the employee who was not 
wanted," both meeting with the Project Director." This plan of 
arbitration, however, did not work out to the satisfaction either of 
the workers or the Coordinating Committee. The administration's 
failure to reinstate workers remained one of the major problems 
for the committee during its entire tenure, as it became increasingly 
evident that key WRA personnel were reluctant to enforce the 
committee's recommendations for employment recall upon their 
Caucasian subordinates. This administrative bottleneck, which had 
been described by Huycke on the previous day, was again empha- 
sized by the Community Analyst in this meeting: 

Inasmuch as the appointed personnel must be 'nursed' into this new 
plan, each division head will decide the problems according to his own 
discretion in that particular case. 15 

In the course of the next week the committee's efforts to place 
evacuees in their former jobs were repeatedly rebuffed by uncoop- 
erative Caucasian supervisors; for example, the supervisor of the 
Motor Pool is said to have stated to the representatives of the 

Damn, what the hell is this Committee always butting into other 
people's business? What does it stand for? I don't care to know. I can get 
along fine without your (Committee) advice, in fact, I can get along 
better. I don't take any orders from anyone. 30 

Obstruction of the committee's efforts was also met from the 
evacuee side. In the first place, many evacuees who actually wanted 
to return to work hesitated to do so because of rumors of violence 
perpetrated on workers by non working Da ihyo Ska Kai supporters, 
who had voted for status quo and who were continuing to oppose 
the back-to-work movement. That these rumors had some basis in 
fact is suggested by reports received by the committee of the intimi- 
dation of a number of reinstated workers. In the second place, 
would-be workers, who had been refused "clearance" by the admin- 
istration or whose employment had been terminated, 17 accused the 

14 Minutes of the meeting, January 14, 1944. 

15 Ibid. 

18 Memorandum from the Coordinating Committee to Supervisor of Motor 
Pool, February 24, 1944. 

17 During this period, numbers of workers are said to have been dismissed be- 
cause dose relatives were officers or strong supporters of Daihyo Sha Kai. 


committee and the Divisional Responsible Men of exerting influ- 
ence on the Army and on Internal Security to keep their political 
opponents out of certain jobs. The committee also took the brunt 
of the blame from workers whom the Caucasian supervisors refused 
to reinstate. In one instance a group of workers who had been de- 
nied "clearance" threatened the life of one of the Divisional Re- 
sponsible Men. 18 Many of these workers and their friends claimed 
that the fault lay with the committee because of its failure to press 
its program upon the administration. 

In spite of these difficulties the Coordinating Committee, sup- 
ported by the Divisional Responsible Men and consulting almost 
daily with the Advisory Council, achieved a considerable measure 
of success in getting jobs for the job-hungry population. While 
reemployment proceeded slowly at first, it gradually gained mo- 
mentum, 10 and, within a month the center was, on the surface, 
operating normally. But it soon became apparent that there were 
not enough jobs for those willing and able to work. The need for 
the sixteen dollars a month wage became more and more acute for 
the involuntarily unemployed. They pressed the Coordinating 
Committee, the Coordinating Committee pressed the project ad- 
ministration, and the project administration pressed Washington, 
with few or no concrete results. The committee proposed that farm 
operations be resumed in order to enable former workers to return 
to jobs. The administrative attitude, as expressed by Mr. Best, was 
that "the time is not appropriate to talk about a farm program of 
any scale." 20 The committee proposed that the portion of the farm 
land in the surrounding district that had been lost due to the policy 
of the Negotiating Committee, be regained in order to create more 
jobs. 21 This was declared to be impossible at the time. Not until late 
in the spring were farm activities resumed, and the farm program 
was then greatly curtailed. 

Creation of additional work opportunities was stressed repeat- 
edly. As early as January 24, for example, Sasaki, on behalf of the 

18 Minutes of the joint meeting of the Advisory Council and the Coordinating 
Committee, January 24, 1944. 

111 Between January 15 and January 22, 784 workers had been reinstated. (Min- 
utes of the meeting of the Divisional Responsible Men, January 22, 1944.) 

20 Minutes of the joint meeting of the Coordinating Committee, the Project 
Director and the Commanding Officer, January 20, 1944. 

21 Memorandum from the Coordinating Committee to the Project Director, 
February 2, 1944. 


committee, asked for a clean-up crew of thirty men. To this request 
Best replied: "New projects such as the above-mentioned are not 
yet in order; until such time that the center reestablishes itself to 
its former sound normal stage and all old activities function as 
usual, such plans should be withheld. . . . However, all such plans 
will be duly considered."* 

On February 2 the committee sent an urgent memorandum to 
Mr. Best, pointing out the political dangers that might ensue from 
the presence of a disgruntled body of unemployed persons on the 

Approximately 750 persons [who were not employed when the Army 
took control] have applied for jobs up to date. In view of this fact that 
many are still on the waiting list, new applicants are aware that their 
chances of employment are remote, hence a growing impatience is noted 
among them. We, the Committee, fear the result, lest they be instigated 
by the pro-status quo group who may aver that this back-to-work move- 
ment is beneficial only to those who had worked previously. 

In order to relieve this situation, may this Committee again request for 
your special consideration on this matter of creating new employment 
opportunities such as general camp cleaning or sawing of kindling wood." 5 

When this suggestion was brought up in the meeting of the Coor- 
dinating Committee and the Advisory Council on February 3, Mr. 
Best and Mr. Black 230 countered with the employment statistics 
which apparently showed that there were only 165 fewer persons 
employed than there had been before the strike. Black said, "We 
don't have to step very far before we have more people working 
than before." 21 

Repeated attempts to prevail upon the Project Director to in- 
crease work opportunities continued throughout the Coordinating 
Committee's tenure. At almost every meeting with the Advisory 
Council, the unemployment problem was described in detail, and 
alleviation was earnestly requested. On February 25 Sasaki stressed 
the fact that "because of lacking of opportunities, people are losing 
faith." 25 

- 2 Minutes of the joint meeting of the Advisory Council and the Coordinating 
Committee, January 24, 1944. 

23 Memorandum from the Coordinating Committee to the Project Director, 
February 2, 1944. 

230 Assistant Project Director in charge of Community Management Division. 

24 Field Notes, February, 1944. 

135 Minutes of the meeting of the Advisory Council and the Coordinating Com- 
mittee, February 25, 1944. 


The committee was constantly pressed by the Divisional Respon- 
sible Men to reinstate workers and to alleviate the labor shortages 
in various crews. At a meeting of the Coordinating Committee with 
the Divisional Responsible Men on February 26, 

slaughter house employees . . . took the floor and requested for the body's 
aid in investigating the reason why they were not recalled to work despite 
their long wait for assignments. 26 

The head of the construction crew complained: 

We have requested for 40 more carpenters, however, the request seems 
to have been bottlenecked at the Placement [office]. Would like to request 
the Committee to investigate the bottleneck. 27 

Few of these complaints, which the committee channeled to the 
administration, resulted in amelioration. As a result the Coordi- 
nating Committee, during February and March, lost much of its 
already tenuous hold on the people because it could not obtain 
effective collaboration from the administration in fulfilling the 
first of its promises to the residents to work out "a plan ... in which 
there will be employment possibility for the greatest number of 
residents." 28 The precarious employment situation which was jeop- 
ardizing the committee's status was described by Sasaki, "People 
are desperately trying to get jobs and there are about 1,000 on the 
waiting list already." 29 The problem was further complicated by 
the arrival of nearly 2,000 new segregants from Manzanar toward 
the end of February. Although some of this group had been given 
service assignments (e.g. mess hall jobs) before arriving in Tule 
Lake, the bulk of them found it impossible to obtain employment. 
During the period from February 22 to March 25, there were among 
them some 924 job seekers who represented 40 per cent of all job 
seekers on the project. 30 To the extent that they obtained employ- 
ment, they decreased the openings for the still unemployed earlier 
transferees and old Tuleans. To the extent that they were unable 
to obtain jobs, their own group solidarity was strengthened by the 
impression that they were at a disadvantage in comparison with 

29 Minutes of the meeting, February 26, 1944. 

27 Ibid. 

28 See p. 181. 

20 Minutes of the joint meeting of the Coordinating Committee and Stockade 
detainees, February 28, 1944. 

30 Newell Star, April 20, 1944. 


earlier transferees and original residents. In any case, their arrival 
had an immediate influence in depressing the percentage employed 
on the project as a whole and led to administrative restrictions on 
the number employed per family. 

In late March it became evident that employment would have to be 
spread among families, and it was determined that no family should have 
more than two employed when there were other families with only one or 
none. 31 

Even by June, 1944, Tule Lake Segregation Center had not been 
able to absorb its employables to the extent that was possible in 
other relocation projects. At this date, two months after the Co- 
ordinating Committee had given up the struggle to achieve its 
program, less than 3 1 per cent of its population was employed, com- 
pared with an average of about 40 per cent for all other relocation 

The committee was even more seriously balked in attempts to 
fulfill its second promise of "justifiable release of detained colo- 
nists."" 2 On January 13, two days after the status quo referendum 
and two days before the committee was officially recognized by the 
Army and WRA, it took the initiative in establishing rapport with 
the detainees. With the permission of the Army, but without the 
knowledge of WRA, six detainees were interviewed. None of these 
was a key member of the Negotiating Committee, the Army having 
refused Sasaki's request to include one or more of them in the con- 
ference. A member of the Coordinating Committee explained the 
results of the referendum to the detainees and stated that "efforts 
in trying to get you people released from the stockade should be the 
preliminary step, prior to our ultimate objective (return of normal 
conditions)." Of the six detainees interviewed, only one, Yokota, 
was inclined at that time to be cooperative with the Coordinating 
Committee, and he promised to compile opinions of the detainees 
on the plan for establishing "normalcy." 33 

On the following day the Coordinating Committee met again 
with the same six detainees. The latter criticized the former severely 
for not consulting them before the referendum was taken; pointed 
to the small plurality as evidence that most people still favored 

31 WRA, Semi-Annual Report, January i to June 30, 1944, p. 29. 

32 See p. 181. 

33 Minutes of the meeting, January 13, 1944. 


status quo; deplored the split among the residents and the fact that 
a program was being foisted upon them," after all the hardship and 
misery [they] had gone through," without united support. They 
insisted that release of detainees should be assured before the 
return-to-work program was embarked upon. As Yokota pointed 

The reason why status quo came into existence was chiefly for the pur- 
pose of getting our release. . . . You cannot remedy and settle this situa- 
tion ... by merely liquidating status quo. Normalcy will automatically 
come back if you solve the root of it. 34 

Kitagawa and Sasaki explained the Coordinating Committee's 
helplessness in view of the administration's determination that 
normal conditions, i.e., abandonment of the partial strike, must 
precede releases. The detainees were at first adamant in demanding 
unconditional release of all 247 as the price of their cooperation in 
supporting the return-to-work program, but later modified this to 
a proposal to release the detained members of the Negotiating 
Committee for a few hours in order that they might convince the 
residents of their support of the Coordinating Committee's pro- 
gram. Yokota also promised, on behalf of the Negotiating Com- 
mittee, that the members, if released, would abstain from political 

The administration's attitude toward this meeting was one of 
disapproval that "their" 35 group should initiate a contact with the 

On January i5th we learned, too late to prevent it, that meetings were 
being arranged between "our" majority spokesmen . . . and the stockade 
group. . . . Our group apparently wished to hold a trump card, by being 
the only faction in the village in contact with the stockade. They further 
sought information on the hunger strike. ... As feared, the meetings were 
a misstep, the stockade bargaining ever so diplomatically for our group 
to work for unconditional release of all inmates; the committee asking for 
stockade backing to promote a program which would bring their best rep- 
resentatives closer to freedom. 36 

34 Minutes of the meeting, January 14, 1944. 

35 Administrative personnel, at this time, consistently referred to Coordinating 
Committee members as "our" group, in contrast to antiadministration factions 
such as Daihyo Sha Kai supporters. 

36 Community Analyst to Head of Community Analysis Section, January 15, 
1944. (Appended to his January 14 report.) 


At a meeting on January 17, the Coordinating Committee mem- 
bers were sharply rebuked by WRA officials for having approached 
the detainees without prior approval of the Advisory Council. 
Kami apologized "for the committee's negligence in not consulting 
the Advisory Council previous to the interviews" 37 and mentioned 
that one of the detainees had stated that "the detainees really 
desired liquidation of status quo; nevertheless, due to some great 
pressure from the 'big bosses' of the 'headquarters/ 38 such feeling 
could not be expressed outwardly." 39 Mr. Oyama added that, accord- 
ing to a recently released detainee, some 170 detainees opposed 
status quo and about 30 favored it. 

The committee and the administration were unable to reach any 
agreement at this meeting; the former insisting that "justifiable" 
stockade releases, which would be credited to its efforts, be initiated 
immediately; the latter being equally insistent upon delay until 
normal conditions prevailed. It became apparent that the admin- 
istration was not willing to give the support on this issue that the 
committee considered essential if its promises to the people were 
to be fulfilled. At the same time, the project officials were reluctant 
to weaken the community position of the committee, which was 
performing important functions in channeling information to the 
people and in getting people back to work. In an attempt to absolve 
the committee from blame because of failure to obtain releases, 
Best sent the chairman the following letter on January 18: 

It is noted that the first accomplishment has been the back to work pro- 
gram. This we learn is a direct reward of your labor in the Colony as the 
result of the ballot in which the entire people over 18 years of age par- 

While you have not been successful in securing the release of all the men 
detained in the Army Stockade you can be assured that the cases of these 
men . . . and those persons who meet the requirements for return to the 
Colony will be returned to the Colony at the earliest possible time. Be 
assured that your interest or requests in this connection are being given 
due consideration. 40 

37 Minutes of the joint meeting of Divisional Responsible Men, the Project 
Director and the Commanding Officer, January 17, 1944. 

ss j}y "headquarters," was meant Barrack F, where Abe, Kuratomi and other 
prominent Daihyo Sha Kai men were confined. 

39 Minutes of the joint meeting, op. cit. 

40 Community Analyst to Head of Community Analysis Section, January 20, 
1944. (Appended to his January 14 report.) 


Meantime, a group of Daihyo Sha Kai supporters made an inde- 
pendent and unsuccessful attempt to obtain the release of the 
detainees through an approach to one of the project officials. The 
negotiations carried on by this group will be described in the fol- 
lowing chapter. 

The Coordinating Committee continued to press the administra- 
tion for release of the detainees simultaneously with a campaign 
for increased work opportunities. Some releases were made on an 
individual basis, and on January 29 Sasaki was able to report to 
the Divisional Responsible Men that 

up to yesterday, 55 persons were released from the stockade and more will 
be released in the very near future. The Army has definitely stated that 
release en masse is impossible unless the Center has returned to its normal 
condition. 41 

In its attempt to get favorable publicity for its efforts in releasing 
men from the stockade, the Coordinating Committee was frus- 
trated by the desire of the administration that no publicity be 
given these releases, lest undue pressure be put upon the Coor- 
dinating Committee by the "opposition." On January 20, at a 
meeting with the Project Director and Army representatives, the 
committee was promised preferential consideration for four de- 
tainees whom it recommended for immediate release and was also 
authorized to publicize the release of various other detainees from 
the stockade. 42 However, on January 26, at a meeting with the 
Advisory Council, Mr. Best "cautioned the Coordinating Commit- 
tee to proceed very slowly in its undertakings and he thought it 
advisable to refrain from publicizing matters pertaining to the 
releases of the detainees, especially their names, too strongly." 4 

The committee had earlier been informed of a split within the 
stockade. It was alleged that the overwhelming majority of the 
detainees had turned against the Negotiating Committee at the 
time of the hunger strike, claiming that Abe, Kuratomi and others 
of the leaders who were confined in "Headquarters" were fortify- 
ing themselves with vitamin pills and food obtained surreptitiously. 
For example, a crudely printed anonymous letter from the stock- 
ade reached the military authorities on January 16. 

41 Minutes of the meeting, January 29, 1944. 

42 Minutes of the meeting, January 20, 1944. 

43 Minutes of the meeting, January 26, 1944. 


Lt. Shaner: "Rats" plenty here and getting fat. Only place "rats" can 
get something eat is kitchen. You send soup few days ago. We not eat soup 
because "rats" catch soup first. "Rats" have plenty smoke every day. They 
have package we get only two cigaret. One day apple on menu breakfast 
we no eat apple. This morning apple half box no more. All us know where 
"rats" live. In Barrack F big rats no good. They like go out first that not 

right We no do nothing but here long time. That not right here too. 

Like go home quick go work. "Rats" getting coffee every night. Lots sugar. 
Why you no do something. Pretty soon trouble. Somebody getting mad. 
Hit "rats" head with shovel. No like trouble me. More better you do 
something/ 4 

In its meetings at about that time with the detainees, the Coor- 
dinating Committee had sought help from part of the group which 
seemed to be willing to cooperate in return for freedom. Its efforts 
paid dividends on February 4, when two of the remaining detainees 
(Yokota and Koike) asked the military officer in charge of the 
stockade to arrange a meeting with the Coordinating Committee. 
The meeting took place the following day and was opened by 
Yokota with an expression of confidence in the committee: 

The reason why we asked for this meeting was because we heard many 
true stories and actual reports of the Center's existing condition at the 
present time, by many men who recently came into the stockade. We heard 
about you people who were working so hard for the benefit of the colony 
and how straightforwardly the Committee had been working in attempt- 
ing to get the stockade people released. 

Yokota stated forcefully that among those still detained there 
were now many who were ready to abandon their stubborn support 
of the Negotiating Committee and to give a solemn agreement not 
to engage in political activities in the colony. 

Mr. Kodama, Mr. Koike and many others believed that it was just of no 
use being so stubborn there's no limit to it. Army's attitude toward the 
Negotiating Committee hasn't changed a bit since their December 4 state- 
ment.* 5 We felt that there's no hope in relying on those Negotiating 
Committee. At that time we had strong convictions, but since we failed 
once, we have no intentions of being block representatives again. Many 
of those men have this same opinion. 

The older detainees, furthermore, were said to be distressed by 
the fact that so many young men, who had engaged in no political 

44 Community Analyst to Head of Community Analysis Section, January 20, 
1944. (Appended to his January 14 report.) The pidgin English used in this letter 
suggests that the writer was a Hawaiian Kibei. 

45 See p. 166. 


activities, were confined in the stockade, and that, in spite of the 
releases that were made, new arrests and new detainments were not 
uncommon. Some of the allegedly unjust imprisonments were de- 
scribed in detail, e.g.: 

There are cases which are really pitiful boys who are merely 20 or so 
have been detained in there for three months just because their past 
records weren't too good or something. 

Since I became captain of the barrack, I met boys who come in to fill 
coal and do other works. They have told me that they were detained 
simply because they didn't carry or because they lost their temporary 
passes. Some of them are really handicapped because of their inability to 
speak English. Recently I have noticed many fellows like that. There are 
three boys in particular, who have been in Tule Lake since the inception 
of this center. I think something should be done for them, even before us. 
Once when I heard that a young boy dreamt about his mother, I felt so 
sorry for him. I think it's urgent that such boys be released as soon as 

Referring to a young man, the speaker continued: 

His younger brother went out but he's still in there and he doesn't even 
know why he came in. He told me that he wasn't at the Motor Pool at the 
time of the incident as the Army thinks so. He told me that he was willing 
to testify strongly and even provide evidence, a time punch, to establish 
proof that he was in a mess hall. 40 

Yokota gave the Coordinating Committee a list of sixteen per- 
sons whose immediate release he recommended. The Coordinating 
Committee thereupon agreed to draw up a pledge for these men to 
sign before the Project Director, and presented the list to the Ad- 
visory Council on February 8. At the meeting on February 8 it was 
agreed to give consideration to these persons provided there were 
no charges against them other than allegiance to the Negotiating 
Committee. The committee's tactics to win over the detainees, how- 
ever, were again frustrated by the slowness of the administration 
in acting upon its recommendations. Negotiations for the release 
of the sixteen men progressed slowly, and, on February 1 1, a formal 
request for the release of two of the sixteen, Yokota and Otsuka, 
was presented by the Coordinating Committee as a means of expe- 
diting the matter: 

The releasement of such persons will have great influence upon the 
welfare of the colonists; thus, we have arrived at a conclusion that without 

4(5 Minutes of the meeting, February 5, 1944. 


any risk on our part, the Committee will profit immensely by their release- 
ment. . . . We feel that such . . . would bring the finishing touches to the 
work which the Committee could not otherwise undertake. 

These two men were released the following day. 

Extra-committee pressures for release proceeded concurrently 
with these activities. In several instances block meetings were held 
and block petitions drawn up for the release of detained block 
members; e.g., on February 14, the residents of Block 9 petitioned 
for the release of four detainees on the grounds that 

the releasement of the above-mentioned persons will bring about the solu- 
tion to the problem of the block. Therefore, please consider this matter 
for the future maintenance of peace among residents. . . . We will assume 
responsibility to see to it that these parties will not be involved in politics 
of any kind after their release. 

Similar petitions were presented by the families of detainees, 
e.g., an Issei woman petitioned, on February 16, for the release of 
her husband who, she said, "has done nothing whatsoever in the 
past that may be detrimental to the peace of the block residents, 
as well as the residents of the center." 

However, Best stated at a meeting of Advisory Council and Coor- 
dinating Committee on February 18 that petitions of this sort 
would receive no consideration and that appeals would have to be 
made through regular channels, viz: 

Release shall be based on individual merits and block petitions will not 
be acted upon. 47 

By this time the committee was weary of the difficulties that it 
faced and discouraged by lack of support from residents. It was 
anxious to organize a new central committee, with campwide sup- 
port, to succeed itself. It recommended the appointment of Taro 
Watanabe (the Daihyo Sha Kai renegade) as an advisor and as head 
of an Arrangements Committee to make plans for the election of 
this proposed Central Committee. The recommendation was ac- 
cepted by the administration, and at the regular meeting of Febru- 
ary 25 with the Advisory Council, Watanabe made a strong plea 
for "releasement of those considered leaders, 48 also innocent youths" 
as the first step in winning support of the status quo adherents and 

47 Minutes of the meeting, February 18, 1944. 

48 By "leaders," Watanabe did not mean the Abe-Kuratomi clique. 


thus unifying the community prior to the establishment o a sound 
central governing body. 

While continuing its efforts on behalf of the stockade detainees, 
the committee acceded to administrative pressure to place primary 
emphasis on extension of work possibilities. The administration's 
standpoint was emphasized by Assistant Project Director Black as 

The Committee's work should not be measured by the number of re- 
leases from the stockade. It should be on the basis of employment, living 
conditions, decent community atmosphere, etc. Moreover, process of re- 
leasing is slow because of Army and FBI clearances. Furthermore extracts 
from the FBI Washington office is being forwarded, clearing some of the 
detainees. 49 

Watanabe, however, presented a memorandum to the Advisory 
Council on February 27, in which, admitting frankly the lack of 
popular support of the Coordinating Committee, he recommended 
various steps that must be taken in establishing "ground work" 
prior to the "formation of Colonists' central body," and again, 
insisted upon release of stockade detainee leaders in order to obtain 
their cooperation: 

Let the leaders of those more than half of the colonists who support 
pro status quo take the initiative to pacify their followers, in other words, 
the conversion of the leaders of status quo and make them see our point 
in the future. For this reason I have conferred with Mr. R. Best, Project 
Director some three weeks ago with regard to the releasement of those 
detained internees on condition that I, myself, will be responsible for their 
future activities and again I repeat my unchanged opinion, at this time. 

Among those released in the past are men who are considered influen- 
tial leaders. Mr. Kazuo Yokota has been expending his utmost effort for 
the conversion of the pro status quo group; however, there is a limit to a 
single person's effort on such a great undertaking. Therefore, my desire is 
the releasement of some of the detained internees with whom Mr. Yokota 
could work together. Then I believe accomplishment would be expedited 
in reference to the formation of a central body, to which Mr. Yokota has 
requested me to convey this message to you. If the administration should 
accept our suggestion, I would like to have the Coordinating Committee, 
including myself, interview those detained internees prior to their release- 
ment to assure that upon their releasement they would willingly cooperate 
with Mr. Yokota's effort for the educational campaign among the colonists. 

My suggestion for the condition of their releasement will be aided with 
utmost importance. Leaders of those released up-to-date will issue a co- 

49 Minutes of the meeting, February 25, 1944. 


signed statement, to be distributed throughout the Center, that they are 
supporting Mr. Yokota's movement which ultimately supports the work 
of the Committee. As to the above laid suggestion it is definitely arranged 
and agreed between Mr. Yokota and several others who have already been 
released. By this statement which may be experimental factor as to its 
effective result, this will be our step toward the formation of such central 

Now we enter the second step. I wish to see that with the exception of 
the same Negotiating Committee and those who had profound relations 
with them, the majority of the block representatives and others released. 
I appeal to the Administration since success or failure of the formation of 
this new central body depend on them. If this is materialized the second 
step will be made public by those released and I believe, as a result, not 
only the status quo but also all the colonists, as a whole, will be impressed 
and recognize our righteous standpoint and thereby profit by their utmost 
support. Then the friction in this center and the unsavory atmosphere 
will gradually be obliterated. 

The next day (February 28) the committee, along with Watanabe, 
and the recently released Yokota, met with fourteen "selected" 50 
stockade detainees. One after the other of these pledged "unre- 
served cooperation" and "whole-hearted support" for the "resto- 
ration of peace and order," and gave unstinted praise to the 
Coordinating Committee for its efforts in this direction. At the con- 
clusion of the meeting Sasaki apologized for the stand of his 
committee and the Divisional Responsible Men in limiting their 
requests to "justifiable releases": 

When the divisional responsible men's body was born, we emphatically 
resolved to obtain justifiable releases. You people may construe this inser- 
tion of the word "justifiable" as a word of cowardice. However we have 
always based our all undertakings on "within reasons" principle when 
dealing with the Administration or otherwise. Even upon your release- 
ment I want you people to understand and realize thoroughly this point 
of view. That is the only way we can restore perpetual peace. 

To this apology, two of the detainees replied: 

Your work up till today has evidenced that it is truly not cowardice. 51 

The Coordinating Committee, on March i, sent a memorandum 
to Schmidt, Head of Internal Security, again urging release of the 
fourteen who had been present at the meeting on February 28, 

50 The remainder of the sixteen detainees whom Yokota on February 5 recom- 
mended for release. 

51 Minutes of the meeting, February 28, 1944. 


giving as its reason the excellent results obtained through the ear- 
lier release of Yokota and Otsuka who "have proven to us by their 
utmost efforts for the conversion of the opposition," but pointing 
out that "there is a limit to their efforts on such a great under- 
taking," and that 

as to the above-listed persons, this Committee recommends that they are 
trustworthy as to their sincerity to help as assured by Mr. Yokota and then 
by the interview with them the other day. 

On March 3 the Advisory Council assured the Coordinating 
Committee that the Army and WRA were attempting to accelerate 
clearance and subsequent release of the men recommended, but, 
when, by March 9, no action had been taken, the Coordinating 
Committee sent a further urgent memorandum to the Chief of 
Internal Security, the Advisory Council, and the Army, pointing 
out that there were signs of popular unrest and that 

in view of the sign of possible re-flare-up, the Committee earnestly feels 
that it could be prevented if detainees whom we have interviewed and 
recommended were released as soon as possible to work together with 
those already released. . . . They have agreed to put out a statement stating 
their clear position. 

We request for your special consideration to expedite the releasement 
of the 14 detainees. 

In the meantime, a larger list of sixty-one detainees considered 
worthy of release had been prepared and submitted to the admin- 
istration. In spite of these efforts, releases were made very slowly. 
On March 1 1 it was reported that Kodama had been released; and 
on March 14 two others from the list of fourteen, four from the 
longer list of sixty-one, and one whom the committee had not rec- 
ommended obtained their freedom. There is little reliable evidence 
of the use which those who were released made of their freedom. 
Sasaki has said that some did their best to help the Coordinating 
Committee and others double-crossed it. 

By the middle of March, in spite of the committee's efforts, about 
120 persons were still confined in the stockade, partly because the 
continuing pick-ups tended to offset releases. At a meeting with 
Dillon Myer on March 18, the question was raised once more, and, 
according to the minutes: 

Mr. Myer went on to say that doubtless there are many who earnestly 
desire to get friends out of the stockade, but one should be reluctant in 


making demands, until WRA has a chance to get the inventory taken and 
get all papers in order to check the stockade list. He advised that one 
should withhold making too many recommendations which are inclined 
to embarrass the administration. 

In the course of its relations with both the administration and 
the residents, from the middle of January to the end of March, the 
Coordinating Committee found itself in an increasingly difficult 
and unpleasant predicament. The policy of collaboration with 
the administration which the members and their supporters had 
adopted was probably dually motivated by (i) a genuine desire to 
have more settled conditions in the project, and to improve the 
situation of the residents, and (2) a desire to maintain a position of 
political control over the residents partly because the tactics of the 
Daihyo Sha Kai had become a threat to their vested property and 
employment interests in Tule Lake and their stake in a future in 
America, which they were by no means willing to abandon. The 
administration had in the beginning shown itself willing enough 
to give the committee nominal support and backing if it brought 
the people in line with predetermined administrative policies in 
regard to employment and developed an effective opposition to the 
Daihyo Sha Kai. When, however, the committee attempted to ini- 
tiate policies in regard to extensions of employment and release of 
detainees, the administration disregarded or pushed aside its pro- 
posals. Yet these proposals had to be met if the committee could 
hope to strengthen its tenuous hold on the people. 

The committee was fully cognizant of the seriousness of its situa- 
tion within a few days of its recognition by the administration. In 
desperation, the members adopted the tactics of "playing both ends 
against the middle." As described above, they interviewed stockade 
detainees without administrative sanction, and they pressed for 
better living conditions and for increased employment opportuni- 
ties against administrative indifference. At the same time, they tried 
to crush all "radical" (i.e. Daihyo Sha Kai) opposition, 52 and at a 
meeting of the Divisional Responsible Men on January 22, formu- 

52 A plan for protective espionage was probably developed very soon after 
the status quo referendum. The Community Analyst stated, "The important 
thing for the Coordinating Committee is results. To aid them in what [Sasaki] 
calls his 'researches,' they are getting a staff." (Community Analyst to Head of 
Community Analysis Section, January 20, 1944, appended to his January 14 


lated a plan for "a liaison body acting between the Coordinating 
Committee and the Divisional Heads and workers to receive all 
reports, complaints, suggestions, plans, etc." K! Two days later, when 
the matter was put before the Advisory Council, the liaison body 
was described as a 

sub-committee . . . [which] will refer such matters as it may deem neces- 
sary to the attention of the Project Director. Mr. Kami reiterated that 
inasmuch as the Committee is still encountering much difficulties with the 
antagonistic minority of pressure groups, it is definitely imperative that 
this sub-committee be established immediately to accelerate the progress 
of this great task. 54 

By January 28, when the committee again met with the Advisory 
Council, the proposal for the subcommittee was stated, frankly, as 
a request for the appointment of "30 men with WRA remuneration 
for the purpose of performing intelligence work which is to be used 
only for the advantage and benefit of the colony." At the same time 
the necessity of restricting meetings within the center was brought 
up, and on Mr. Black's suggestion the restriction was deemed unnec- 
essary "since the creation of an intelligence unit should alleviate 
the task to a certain degree by insinuating within these [meetings] 
investigators and spotting and identifying the nature of the meet- 
ing and possibly the leaders." 55 

The organization of this intelligence unit was approved by the 
administration, and the agents, known as "fielders," were placed 
on the WRA payroll. They kept a constant watch for "agitation," 
and "general unrest," as well as for complaints about mess halls, 
housing, and employment. On February i, two fielders were as- 
signed to work in Ward VII since problems had been reported in 
blocks 66, 69, and 70. Trouble was reported on February 3 from 
Ward VI, to which three fielders were dispatched the next day. 
They reported "general unrest" in blocks 49 and 52. On February 
5, B-g, a fielder (the fielders were known by numbers) reported that 
troublemakers in blocks 27, 53, 54, and 67 were "busily plotting to 
overthrow the committee." The next day three fielders were in- 
structed to work in wards II and VII. On February 7, fielder K-3 

53 Minutes of the meeting, January 22, 1944. 

54 Minutes of the joint meeting of the Advisory Council and the Coordinating 
Committee, January 24, 1944. 

65 Minutes of the joint meeting of the Advisory Council and the Coordinating 
Committee, January 28, 1944. Italics ours. 


reported that Block 67 was the headquarters of the pressure group 
and named Tsukai 5 " as an agitator. On February 10 it was reported 
that Sawamura, Shiba, Tsukai, Tsuchikawa, and others were in- 
volved in an organized plot, were obtaining signatures of the resi- 
dents under the pretense of giving them priority on the exchange 
boat, were attempting to get the release of everyone in the stock- 
ade, and were discrediting the Coordinating Committee by propa- 
ganda. 57 The committee passed on the information received in this 
way to the administration in a further attempt to consolidate its 
collaborative position. 

When, in late February, a contingent of 1,876 segregants arrived 
from Manzanar, the Coordinating Committee made a vigorous 
attempt to win the new arrivals to its side. In this it was aided by 
WRA personnel, who arranged elaborate welcoming ceremonies, 
giving the Coordinating Committee a prominent part, and had 
built new and superior living quarters for the newcomers, who thus 
escaped many of the inconveniences and hardships that had been 
the lot of the other segregants. Fires were lit in their barracks prior 
to their arrival, and they were presented with a mimeographed 
expression of welcome, signed by Sasaki on behalf of the commit- 
tee, ending with an appeal for cooperation: 

None of us know how long will our stay in Tule Lake be. All Tuleans 
have been trying to make it a better place to live under the circumstance. 
Yet they have no other desire than to live in peace and happiness for the 
duration. Our ideal is Utopia. Ideal of Utopia may not be attained, how- 
ever, we must strive to attain that goal as much as we can for ideal is like 
a North Star. Sailor never reaches North Star, yet without North Star he 
cannot come to the port. 

We appeal to you, MANZANITES!! Now you are in the same boat with 
us. Let's make the best of it and lay up for the future happiness. 

The success of this gesture was marred by two circumstances, 
(i) the resentment by the other residents of the considerate treat- 
ment given the Manzanar people, and (2) a blast of propaganda 
from former status quo supporters, now operating as an under- 
ground pressure group, "unmasking" the Coordinating Committee. 

Resentment over the comparative luxury of the Manzanar quar- 
ters was not limited to any political segment of the population. An 
Issei who was noted for his proadministration attitude complained: 

56 See p. 161. 

57 Diary of the Coordinating Committee, February i to 29, 1944. 


They tried to do everything for the Manzanar people. When we came 
in here we were treated like criminals. We were treated dirty. When Man- 
zanar people came in they were treated like princes. Even their stoves were 
started already. They had showers and everything. 58 

Mrs. Kurusu, a Kibei transferee from Gila, noted for her dis- 
approval of radicals, stated: 

It seems that the administration is afraid of them. They had a riot in 
the Manzanar Relocation Project you know. They've gotten very good 
consideration if you ask me. I think Gila people had the raw deal. We 
were the last in here and when it came to work, Gila people didn't have 
any. Manzanar people already got work before they came in. 6 " 

These statements differed little from the outburst of Higashi, a 
strong status quo supporter: 

We are all glad they're here, but we don't like the things the adminis- 
tration does for them. We've been here six months. We haven't yet received 
broom, mops, or soap. The people from Manzanar all received a new mop, 
broom and a cake of soap for each person. What's the difference between 
those fellows and us? 80 

Similarly, two ex-Gila housewives: 

MRS. A: They got everything! 

MRS. B: My sisters tell me, "Gosh, they got treated so good they thought 
something was fishy!" 61 

The propaganda from the underground pressure group was dis- 
tributed early in March in the form of a pamphlet, presenting the 
"true picture of this center." It analyzed the "root of the [Novem- 
ber] incident" in terms of the policy of WRA of "converting reluc- 
tant evacuees to so-called loyal ones." 

For the love of their native land and recognizing the conflict as a racial 
war, the evacuees have resorted to repatriation and willingly segregated 
from the other centers. Among the evacuees, there were many young 
people in indefinite status because of American citizenship and there was 
no action taken as to the legislative action of denouncing citizenship. The 
greatest inconsistency to which the colonists were subjected was forced to 
keep silence. Nonclarification of the status was the root of all center 
troubles up to date. The present incident precipitated by the accident 
occurred in the agricultural department. The fundamental root was the 
accumulation of resentments on the part of the evacuees for the above- 
mentioned hypocritical and inconsistent policy on the part of the Admin- 

58 Field Notes, March, 1944. 61) Ibid. 

5 " Ibid. 61 Ibid. 


The pamphlet minimized the violence connected with the inci- 
dent itself: 

Because of the incident, the resulting suppressive policy made colonists' 
life more unbearable. On the other hand, it seems as if it were planned as 
in a drama. At any rate for a little incident of that nature, they the Army, 
used even motor trucks and tanks and fired great number of ammunitions. 
Since then, forced suppression prolonged, until today. During the inci- 
dent over 200 innocent ones were picked up and every apartment was 
searched, for which even a mere child of three years of age was indignant. 

It pointed to the "dark stream of a sinister plot" by the exec- 
utives of the Cooperative Enterprises, who were supporters of the 
Coordinating Committee, and who 

resolved to pacify the colonists' feeling by vile absurd statement that they 
were expending utmost effort, as if to risk life even, and attempted to 
dissolve the Daihyo Sha Kai by the use of contemptible publication and 
speech, inveigling the colonists. On the other hand, those who rallied 
[support for] this campaign with the executives of the Co-op were gam- 
blers, bootleggers, and shameless egoists, or the so-called money makers of 
the center. To ... [aid them] the WRA employed, in order to carry out 
their damnable policy, the "dogs" [informers; i.e., inu] hired with excel- 
lent salary. 

It claimed the status quo referendum "was taken by banditlike 
methods . . . with the cooperation of armed soldiers" and that the 
"true result is more than questionable." 

Furthermore, it branded the Divisional Responsible Men as inu 
and "betrayers of the Fatherland," because they had disregarded 
"Fatherland's stiff protest for the sake of the colonists" and nulli- 
fied "the accomplishment and altruistic spirit created by the former 
Daihyo Sha Kai. 

It claimed that the Army withdrew from the center as a result of 
a "stiff protest" delivered by "the Imperial Government repeat- 
edly." The protest was 

considered stronger than an ultimatum. Stipulation was made that unless 
the Army withdrew from the center by January 15, reciprocal retaliation 
will be made to the American prisoners. 

It ended with the following warning: 

Don't be fooled, Manzanites! Special consideration and hospitality 
upon your arrival to this center was a plan . . . camouflaged by hypocrisy 
... to enslave you. We can definitely tell you so brothers and sisters from 


Disillusioned by the failure of the Coordinating Committee to 
live up to its promises regarding employment and release of detain- 
ees, irritated by and suspicious of the activities of the "fielders," 
fearful because of the continued pick-ups, and resentful of the 
committee's attempts to win over the Manzanar group, the resi- 
dents, in general, veered more and more from support of the pro- 
gram of the Coordinating Committee. By the middle of March 
the attitude of many had changed from indifference to hostility. 
Kurihara expressed a prevalent attitude of suspicion that the Coor- 
dinating Committee was impeding releases of detainees and was 
instrumental in the recent pick-ups when he said: "The Japanese 
are held in the stockade by the Japanese." 62 

Wakida indicated the general state of pessimism regarding re- 
leases: "I don't think the people in the stockade will ever be 
released," 63 while Higashi said, "The majority of the people are 
against status quo but in their hearts they don't like to see people 
in the stockade," 64 and later added: "The people haven't gained 
much confidence in Sasaki. They don't thank the Coordinating 
Committee for anything. I'd still like to know how they got in 
there." 05 

Some informants, however, continued to express approval of the 
Coordinating Committee members, e.g., Wakida, who stated: 

I know the Coordinating Committee works hard. I respect them. But 
I think status quo against anti-status quo will be a big trouble in the 
future too. (XJ 

And a Nisei cx-Daihyo Sha Kai member said: 

The Coordinating Committee did get people out of the stockade and 
tried to do their share. 67 

A few even approved the administration's policy in regard to 
detainees, e.g., the proadministration Issei, cited above (p. 207, 
note 58), who said: 

I suppose some of the fellows in the stockade should be let out. A good 
many didn't mean anything not knowing what the consequence was to 
be. The real agitators the leaders were nothing but agitators should be 
kept there their whole life as far as I'm concerned. They want to start 
trouble. 68 

fi - Field Notes, March, 1944. Ibid. 6S Ibid. 

c:i Ibid. 6 " Ibid. 

01 Ibid. 7 Ibid. 


A Caucasian informant (WRA employee) described the difficul- 
ties, as follows: 

On the subject of releases the Army is telling the Coordinating Com- 
mittee that WRA is holding out, and the WRA is telling them the Army 
is holding out. It's a vicious circle. There are too many cooks with a hand 
in the broth, the Army, WRA and the Coordinating Committee. 69 

Kurihara is one of the few residents who recognized the difficult 
position of the Coordinating Committee, and the inevitability of 
blame, deserved or undeserved, being heaped upon it. Of the com- 
mittee he said: 

The Coordinating Committee, I think, is the unconscious tool of either 
the Army or WRA. 70 

And concerning Sasaki: 

There are a couple of men under him. They express themselves better 
in English than he does and they go over his head in doing things. If he 
could wriggle out of the committee, all right. But if he waits longer, some 
day it's going to be too late. He will be blamed regardless of the conse- 
quences that follow. If he keeps on and sticks at it, even if he's really for 
the Japanese, he's going to be branded as an inu and blamed for working 
for WRA. 71 

Throughout all the maneuvers described in the preceding pages, 
the position of the Coordinating Committee as a political party was 
an anomalous one. It had not been elected by the people, but 
appointed by a group of "responsible men." The narrow popular 
margin by which status quo was liquidated could not reasonably 
be taken as a vote of confidence in this committee, about whose 
very existence a large part of the population was ignorant. Yet the 
Army and WRA officially "recognized" this committee, as a mech- 
anism of collaboration, although both agencies had earlier refused 
to "recognize" Daihyo Sha Kai and its Negotiating Committee on 
the grounds of lack of evidence of "true representativeness" of the 
former and of appointment, rather than election, by a "minority 
faction" of the latter. As suggested earlier in this chapter, the Coor- 
dinating Committee was by no means unaware of its anomalous 
political position. When the Divisional Responsible Men requested 
"official recognition" of the committee on January 12, it had been 
unanimously voted that the committee be dissolved as soon as nor- 

69 Ibid. m Ibid. n Ibid. 


malcy was achieved. At the meeting with the detainees on January 
14, Sasaki stated: 

We have no political ambitions whatsoever. We have strongly resolved 
to dissolve this group as soon as the center returns to its normal condi- 
tions, as soon as people go back to work, as soon as we succeed in getting 
the release of those justifiable colonists detained, and finally when the 
responsible political group is established. 72 

By February 3 the committee felt so insecure that it made a seri- 
ous proposal, at its meeting with the Advisory Council, 73 to initiate 
a popular election of representatives. Sasaki said: 

If we made preparations to replace the committee, the colonists would 
feel better. That way, everybody is responsible for recommendations in 
the center. 

The Army and WRA representatives, however, hesitated to act on 
this proposal, for fear "radicals" (i.e. Daihyo Sha Kai supporters) 
might be elected as representatives. They were completely frank 
in the reasons for their reluctance, as indicated by the following 
exchange of views: 

LT. FORBES: To put it in words of one syllable, do you think you can 
win it the same way you won the last election [status quo referendum]? 

SASAKI: I don't think so. But we want the people to realize that we are 
not like the Negotiating Committee but are interested in the welfare of 
every colonist in the center. 

HUYCKE: If you have an election, I'd say the chances are you'd have a 
committee selected with about 40 per cent negative point of view. 

The only Caucasian supporting the committee's point of view 
was the Community Analyst, who suggested that an election might 
be advisable because of the difficult position of the committee. He 
urged some delay, however, at the same time proposing an imme- 
diate public announcement. 

Black supported Huycke's negative stand: 

BLACK: If we have a referendum now, we're not going to get the quality 
of men on the committee we want. 

COMMUNITY ANALYST: The main point is, this group is begging to be 
released. I thing that this responsibility lies on us, since we want them 
to continue. 

72 Minutes of the meeting, January 14, 1944. 

73 Official minutes of this meeting are not available. Quotations are from our 
own field notes. 


The discussion continued, with pros and cons as follows: 

ROBERTSON: 74 What does the committee feel would be the reaction of 
the colonists to the fact that the committee wants to leave. Do you think 
they'd clamor for a referendum? 

COMMUNITY ANALYST: (answers for the committee) Yes. 

ROBERTSON: The committee does not entirely approve of this statement 
from the administration? 

SASAKI: Not exactly. 

LT. FORBES: I think the opposition would seize on it and demand a vote. 

SASAKI: It's not quite democratic. We should leave before our welcome 
is worn out. 

At this point, Kami fell in with the suggestion of the administra- 
tion and stated: 

It's too early yet. I feel personally there is more to be accomplished 
before we submit a referendum. W T e don't want people to think we're 
doing this because we like it. We want to accomplish something before we 
retire. When this is all fixed up, let Mr. Best give a big steak dinner for 
the incoming and outgoing committee. 

The members of the committee, asked if they were willing to 
accept Kami's standpoint, agreed, somewhat hesitatingly, while 
Sasaki insisted "At least let the people know." The meeting ended 
with no concessions made by the administration, and the Coor- 
dinating Committee remained in its insecure and uncomfortable 
position of prominence, appointed by a small group, the Divisional 
Responsible Men, but standing as representatives of the people and 
supported by the Army and the administration. 

The struggles of the committee with both administration and 
residents, which continued throughout January and early Feb- 
ruary, finally made a plan for self-liquidation imperative. The 
committee called in Watanabe on February 7 and obtained his 
agreement to act as head of an "Arrangements Committee" to plan 
an election. On February 16 it sent an urgent memorandum to Mr. 
Best, recommending that this Arrangements Committee, headed 
by Watanabe, be approved; and that, when the personnel of the 
Arrangements Committee had been finally agreed upon, "the Coor- 
dinating Committee, as previously understood as a temporary one, 
will duly dissolve." It justified its decision, as follows: 

Viewing great improvement of the Center to normalcy, this body should 
not, by any means, lose this ripe opportunity of dissolution, which was 

74 Assistant Project Director in charge of Operations Division. 


made public in our previous statement; otherwise, colonists' misunder- 
standing and misconception toward this Committee will accrue. It is 
imperative that this organization's standpoint be clarified, as announced 
previously, whereby the Committee may be replaced by election by means 
of secret votes. 

The members expected, they said, that their elected successors 
"will thereon continue to settle the problems among colonists and 
simultaneously cooperate fully with the administration for the bet- 
terment, peace, and order of the community," and that the Coor- 
dinating Committee itself would, even after dissolution, continue 
to "assist and cooperate for the betterment of the Center." Two 
days afterward, this proposal was approved by the administration. 

At about this time it was made clear that the Coordinating 
Committee members expected full administrative backing in the 
planned reorganization and election, and were not willing to share 
their prerogatives and prestige with any other group before the 
election, which they obviously hoped to influence through their 
favored status. A self-styled minority group championing a "peace- 
movement" had been given a hearing by the Advisory Council. It 
had proposed the dissolution of the Coordinating Committee to 
permit its group to form "a temporary acting committee." This 
"temporary acting committee" was to "be at liberty to cooperate 
fully with the administration's 'back-to-work program.' " When 
"normalcy" was achieved by this committee "another shall be 
elected by the colonists in compliance with the authorities' an- 
nouncement." 75 

The end, a general election, was the same for which the Coordi- 
nating Committee had been pressing, but the means manipulation 
of the election by a rival group was not to be tolerated. On hearing 
of the meeting, the Coordinating Committee sent an indignant 
memorandum to the Advisory Council on February 18. The com- 
mittee, so the memorandum stated, had made "extensive study and 
investigation through fielders . . . almost daily" for any such "plot" 
or "movement" on the part of status quo supporters. It deplored 
the Advisory Council's consultation with this group, which should 
"have come to us first." The fact that the Advisory Council had 
conferred with this minority, without the Coordinating Commit- 

75 Hisao Shiba, Negotiator of Minority, to Chief of Internal Security, February 
8, 1944. 


tee's knowledge, would, the latter said, lead to rumors of lack of 
administrative support of the committee and would strengthen the 
hands of the opposition: 

We are fatigued mentally and physically and could no longer invite and 
increase our burden. The reason why we resent is that we feel that such 
frivolous action on the part of the Advisory Council will give an impres- 
sion that the Committee has been discredited and also noncommitment 
statement are often interpreted in a wrong sense and in favor of those who 
are against us. We have been up-to-date obliged to exhaust our efforts to 
rectify such rumors spread by misunderstandings. . . . 

This Committee has no intention to ask you to stop altogether such 
interviews or consultations, however, hereafter, please bear in mind that 
such opportunity given to such delegations will give an impression that 
anyone can consult the administration directly on this matter, thereby 
ignoring the Committee's position and curtailing its work. 

Perchance that should you find these delegation more fitted for the 
work than the Committee, we are always ready to wash our hands on the 
matter any time. 

The committee apparently gained nothing from its protest, ex- 
cept an intensification of the feeling of its insecure position in its 
relations with the community and administration. It nevertheless 
went ahead with its plan for establishing "ground work prior to 
the formation of colonists' central body," and Watanabe presented 
his plan, toward this end, in a memorandum to the Advisory Coun- 
cil on February 27. He conceived the release of friendly leaders 
from the stockade as an essential part of this groundwork. He 
admitted frankly that "about 50 per cent of the colonists are still 
for status quo despite [its] liquidation ... by the effort of the re- 
sponsible men of all divisions," and pointed out that the other 50 
per cent of the colonists "are less organized comparatively, their 
standing is very unstable, and their belief is not concrete as to the 
solution of the existing problem; they are reluctant to take active 
part to the opposition." If, he added, "we disregard such a condi- 
tion and if we should proceed with the formation of a new central 
body, those prospective representatives from each block will refuse 
to assume office; thus, the formation of a central body will become 
a failure." Therefore, he concluded, the gap between the opposi- 
tion and the followers of the committee could be bridged only by 
utilizing the leaders, including the detainees, to educate the general 
population in "willingness to ... cooperate." 


The efforts of the committee in preparing the groundwork for 
an election were met with a general indifference by the residents. 
Even persons who felt that the election of a representative body 
might do much to bring order into the camp were pessimistic, for 
they believed that responsible persons, realizing the difficulty of 
getting caught between the administration and the people, and the 
possibility of incurring criticisms for dissatisfactions for which they 
could not be responsible would, if elected, refuse to accept positions 
on the central body. 

Tsuruda said: 

I don't think an election would do any good anyhow. What do we want 
representatives for? They don't do us any good. Let us roam around here 
and feed us three times a day. We'll wait until the war ends. Nobody likes 
trouble. If they treat us like human beings and not like dogs, nobody 
starts kicking. 70 

Wakida said: 

If a general election were held in this camp, who's going to be a candi- 
date? I won't. We wouldn't have any power to do anything here anyway. 77 

Less typical is the statement of a young Nisei, employed in the 
Community Analysis Section, who was hopeful of the results: 

In order to have the camp back to a normal basis, the only way to do is 
to dispose of the Coordinating Committee and let the blocks elect at least 
two representatives from each block and then let them be the peoples' 
representatives. 78 

The majority of the people in camp were relieved that the status 
quo period of discomfort and tension was over; people had gone 
back to work and were making some money, although more than 
1,000 were unemployed, awaiting job openings. Living conditions, 
in general, had improved, although there were still dissatisfactions, 
with food in particular. These people, however, had learned the 
futility of fighting the administration and had resigned themselves 
to the ineffectual outcome of protest activities. It was better to let 
well enough alone, and give passive support to the Coordinating 
Committee, rather than initiate any step which might bring on 
another period of tension and discomfort. A minority, however, 
while disapproving of the Coordinating Committee, found this 
attitude unacceptable. Some sort of rapport between the residents 

7U Field Notes, March, 1944. 77 Ibid. 7S Ibid. 


and the administration should be established, they believed, but 
fear of being thought proadministration or inu rendered them 
helpless. At the opposite extreme was another minority, or a cluster 
of minorities, determined that some organization should be formed 
on their terms. Persons of this way of thought were biding their 
time, agitating continuously against the administration, and par- 
ticularly against Mr. Best, and campaigning vigorously to discredit 
the already very insecure Coordinating Committee. Some of the 
younger extremists among them were reported to have threatened 
to beat committee members. 

At this time the administrative attitude was marked by optimism, 
as exemplified by Dillon Myer's speech to the Caucasian employees 
on March 17, when he is reported to have said: 

I think WRA has passed its worst crisis, assuming we don't have another 
blow up. I feel more confident about Tule Lake than ever before. Things 
are on the beam now. Everything's going to be all right. Once I decide I 
have the right people in the right place, I'll support them. 70 

At Myer's meeting with the Coordinating Committee the follow- 
ing day, the question of replacing the committee (in which Best 
expressed "full confidence and faith") was raised. Myer pointed out 
that the matter had to be cleared with the Secretary of the Interior, 
and that 

if the Secretary agrees (it is hoped that he will), some plan could be 
worked out where Tule Lake may have a representative type of election, 
actually selected in the same capacity as this Committee. It will not be a 
community government in the same sense as those functioning in the other 
relocation centers, but as a group representing the colony to serve as a 
channel of information and understanding between the colony and the 
administration and a body representing the point of view of the colony 
to present to the administration, and vice versa. 80 

Before these plans could be developed, however, the Coordinat- 
ing Committee found itself in a position so strained that its res- 
ignation could no longer be put off. A group of Daihyo Sha Kai 
sympathizers, which, as will be described in the following chapter, 
was involved in an underground movement in opposition to the 
committee, obtained administrative sanction to circulate a petition 
for signatures of those who had applied for repatriation or expatri- 
ation and who wanted to be separated from "loyal" residents until 

79 Ibid. ** Minutes of the meeting, March 18, 1944. 


they were afforded an opportunity for exchange to Japan. Although 
sanction was withdrawn on April 10, the petition had meantime 
been circulated and obtained some 6,500 signatures. 81 

To the Coordinating Committee members, the recognition of 
these people whom they termed Daihyo Sha Kai sympathizers was 
the last straw. As a final resort they went over the head of the WRA 
and appealed to the Army for support. They received no encour- 
agement from the Army and incurred the disapproval of Mr. Best. 

On April 7, the day on which the petition was circulated, the 
members of the committee resigned en masse, sending the follow- 
ing communication to Mr. Best: 

. . . We, the Committee, have expended our utmost in order to restore 
normalcy in this Center, in spite of threats, intimidations, bad names, 
such as "dogs" [informers] literally we have exhausted ourselves physi- 
cally and mentally for the good of the colonists by our utmost faith toward 
the Administrative personnel to attain our object 

At this time, we, the Committee, feel that it is most proper and oppor- 
tune for us to keep our promise, which we made at the time of the forma- 
tion of this body, to dissolve and make way for the future responsible body, 
which will be selected by the entire colonists' vote. Prolonged existence of 
this Committee will wear out the welcome of the colonists. . . . We, the 
Committee, hereby submit our resignation to be effective immediately 
upon due consideration. 

The following day the committee was reprimanded by the Divi- 
sional Responsible Men for resigning without consulting "the body 
which elected them." The committee members, while apologizing 
for their "rash action," presented a lengthy justification, including 
the following points: 

(1) The fact that WRA had granted permission for the circula- 
tion of the resegregation petition without consulting the Coordi- 
nating Committee. 

(2) The fact that the committee had been rebuffed by the Army 
when asking for intervention in respect to conditions "endangering 
the peace and normality of the Center. . . . Colonel advised that the 
Committee should not 'tell' on such a trifling occurrence." 

(3) The fact that consultation with the Army had led to strained 
relations with WRA. "Project Director felt indignant toward the 
committee because the committee had over-ridden the Admin- 

81 See p. 233. 


(4) In view of all of the above-mentioned difficulties, and the fact 
that "the center condition had returned to normalcy and the object 
upon which the committee was formed has been accomplished, and 
in order to expedite the formation of a new colonists' representative 
body," the committee had seen fit to resign without consulting its 
sponsors, the Divisional Responsible Men. 

Because of this action of the committee, the Divisional Respon- 
sible Men took under consideration plans for their own dissolution. 
It was finally agreed to postpone this step until 

April 29, 1944, which does not mean that the body will irresponsibly 
sever relations with the colonists or the Administration. Until that time 
(April 29), the body will expend its utmost to prepare for the replacement 
of this body. Furthermore, there are many unfinished business yet to be 
completed prior to dissolution. In other words, for the maintenance of 
peace and harmony among colonists, the resigned Coordinating Commit- 
tee, as part of the Divisional Responsible Men's body, will give its 
undivided attention as heretofore. 82 

Sasaki, in an interview, later expressed his own opinion of the 
need for resigning, in view of WRA's evident lack of confidence in 
the committee: 

Mr. Black told the committee that the Coordinating Committee was not 
the only body representing the colonists. At that time we sort of felt it 
might be WRA policy to keep confusion among the colonists. 

Up to the igth of February the Advisory Council would cooperate with 
us, but lately I was told, "You people are making too many requests and 
getting in my hair." It may be WRA's policy to stir up confusion. 

We worried a good deal when this resegregation petition was presented. 
It showed us that there have been some members of the administration 
working hand in hand with the Daihyo Sha Kai.^ 

Sasaki's secretary, Miss Yamaguchi, summed up the dissatisfac- 
tions as follows: 

Every time when something good was suggested, the administration 
would over-ride us. The committee members feel the longer they stay in, 
the longer they'll be called mw. 84 

Niiyama, of Civic Organizations, who had been instrumental in 
bringing the Divisional Responsible Men together, said: 

82 Minutes of the joint meeting of the Divisional Responsible Men and the 
Coordinating Committee, April 8, 1944. 

83 Field Notes, April, 1944. 

84 Ibid. 


The administration used the Coordinating Committee like a crook uses 
a crowbar to get into a house. After robbing the house, they threw the 
crowbar away. 85 

That it was not only "betrayal" by the administration, but also 
awareness of the increasing hostility of the colonists that motivated 
the resignation of the committee is also suggested by the following 
expressions of opinion recorded just before its resignation: 

A few days before the news of the committee's resignation, 
Kurihara said: 

I heard that the members of the Coordinating Committee were going 
to resign and have the people elect persons in whom they can have confi- 
dence. If they do that it might help. The Coordinating Committee and the 
Civic Organizations group are suspected. From our point of view, they 
are "loyals." 

The administration knows that the people consider the Coordinating 
Committee and the Civic Organizations group inu, yet they continue to 
employ these people. They should know better. 

The general trend of opinion of the people is: they've got to get rid 
of, sever the heads of, the men on the Coordinating Committee. Unless 
they get rid of these men there's going to be trouble ! &G 

The conservative Mrs. Kurusu, stating that the Coordinating 
Committee was more unpopular than ever before said, "This would 
be a fine time for the Coordinating Committee to resign." 87 

Mr. Kurusu added: 

I think the people are so against the anti-status quo group, because they 
don't like the Coordinating Committee. They don't trust the members. 
If the members of the Coordinating Committee had been chosen by elec- 
tion, that would be another story. But they're self-appointed. We don't 
trust them. We don't know them. 1 * 

The news of the committee's resignation, announced in the 
Newell Star of April 13, was received with general approval. The 
removal from power of the group of "self-appointed loyals" and 
"Coop inu" would, many people hoped, decrease unrest among the 

On April 29 the Divisional Responsible Men held their last 
formal meeting, and Milton Sasaki listed, for their benefit, the chro- 
nology and the accomplishments of the Coordinating Committee. 

85 Field Notes, January 8, 1945. 87 Ibid. 

80 Field Notes, April, 1944. 88 Ibid. 


1. On January 8, return-to-work voting was held at various places and 
by- majority of affirmative votes, ex-employees of various sections and 
divisions resumed work. 

2. On January 11, referendum vote was taken and by a margin of 473 
votes or 35 blocks against status quo and 28 blocks for, policy of status 
quo was liquidated. . . . 

3. On January 12, seven members were selected from the Divisional 
Responsible Men as Coordinating Committee, which was officially recog- 
nized by the administration and the Army forthwith. The Committee, since 
it felt that its purpose for which it was organized had been accomplished, 
tendered its resignation on the loth of April. 

4. On the i5th of January, the Army withdrew from the center and the 
WRA resumed administration. 

5. On January 19 and 20, first releasement of 26 internees was made. 

6. By February 4, total of 3,848 was at work. This figure was only 165 
less than the full employment mark of October, 1943. 

7. Curfew was lifted on February 2i. 89 

8. 5,145 employees were on the payroll on April 17. 

9. 257 stockade internees were released and 19 recently released. 

10. Since the center returned to normalcy, the Divisional Responsible 
Men resolved to dissolve on April 30 at its meeting held on the 8th. 

It will be noted that almost equal emphasis was placed on the 
two planks in the platform on which status quo was defeated, 
(i) full employment, and (2) release of detainees. That the Ad- 
ministration held a much more limited view of the functions, 
accomplishments and reasons for liquidation of the committee is 
suggested from the following appraisal in the WRA Report: 

. . . The Coordinating Committee . . . resigned . . . ostensibly . . . because 
it was under considerable pressure from certain of the residents to force 
the release by WRA of all of those detained in the stockade. Actually, 
however, it had about outlived its usefulness in getting the people back 
to work. To this Committee should go considerable credit for bringing 
about a more cooperative attitude among the residents. 01 

8n Although the Army had turned the center back to WRA on January 15, some 
features of martial law were continued for many weeks. Among these were the 
curfew and the maintenance of military patrols within the center. The Coordi- 
nating Committee made repeated efforts to have these restrictions relaxed. At its 
meeting with the Advisory Council on February 18, it had again petitioned for 
removal of the curfew, and Best had agreed that "such a recommendation is 
permissible if such is the desire of the colonists." The revocation was made 
effective by Colonel Austin on February 21. The patrol was, however, main- 
tained until June i, 1944. 

90 Minutes of the joint meeting of the Divisional Responsible Men and the 
Coordinating Committee, April 29, 1944. 

n WRA, Semi-Annual Report, January i to June 30, 1944, p. 29. 


Chapter VIII 


Inception of Resegregationist 


JTjLs DESCRIBED in the preceding chapter, collab- 
oration became a policy for evacuee-administrative relations in the 
middle of January, 1944. It was mediated, on the evacuee side, by 
the Coordinating Committee, which had been appointed by a rela- 
tively small group of "Responsible Men." Its popular backing was 
dubious. Its platform of "back to normalcy" versus "status quo" 
had won by a margin of only a few hundred votes. It soon met 
administrative indifference in effectuating the two main planks of 
its platform: "full employment" and "justifiable release of stockade 
detainees," and its popular margin of support narrowed to such an 
extent that its control of the community was imperiled. It sought 
in vain both to enlist opposition leaders and to crush opposing 
factions. It proposed self-liquidation repeatedly, but reacted nega- 
tively against attempts made by other groups to obtain administra- 
tive recognition. When, in spite of all its efforts, popular confidence 
ebbed still further, the opposition gained strength and organiza- 
tion, and the administration vacillated in its encouragement of first 
one group and then the other, the committee resigned. 

The activities of the opposition were touched on briefly in the 
preceding chapter. In its early development, it consisted of several 
small groups operating independently and informally around nu- 
clei of supporters of the detained Daihyo Sha Kai leaders. From 
time to time these nebulous groups merged to bring pressure upon 
the administration. This merging of small groups eventually re- 
sulted in an underground movement of considerable strength. 


Because they were subject to the constant danger of arrest and con- 
finement in the stockade, its leaders carefully concealed their 
identity from the administration. When it was necessary to come 
out into the open, they chose, as spokesmen, persons whose arrest 
would not seriously weaken their organization. 

Throughout January, February, and March, their activities were 
directed toward two ends: (i) the attempt to bring about the re- 
lease of the stockade detainees, and (2) the reopening of the status 
quo issue. In contrast to the Coordinating Committee, which fought 
for only "justifiable" releases and acceded, however unwillingly, 
to the administrative policy of giving priority to other factors in 
achieving "normalcy," the opposition leaders emphasized release 
of all detainees and usually made these releases a prerequisite for 
abandonment of the status quo. They strove to maintain the partial 
strike as a bargaining weapon in dealing with the administration 
for correction of many actual and imagined grievances. Concomi- 
tantly, they relied on the intervention of the Japanese government 
for the alleviation of their humiliation and sufferings. They were 
convinced that Japan was winning the war and would be the only 
effective source for their protection. Many of them firmly believed 
that the Army had relinquished control over the center and had 
later lifted the curfew because of protests by the Japanese govern- 
ment. In furthering their aims, they publicized their dependence 
on Japan as the "savior" for those "disloyals" now segregated at 
Tule Lake and at the same time they did everything possible to 
discredit and embarrass the Coordinating Committee. Before the 
people they accused the committee of conniving with the adminis- 
tration in "oppressing" and impeding the release of detainees; to 
the administration they complained that the committee did not 
consist of true representatives of the people; and toward the com- 
mittee itself, they usecl various tactics to intimidate its leaders. 

Many of the stockade detainees were close relatives or friends of 
members of this group, which regarded them as martyred leaders. 
The group made many efforts to obtain the release of the Negotiat- 
ing Committee and other detainees from the stockade. They sent 
appeals to the Secretary of the Interior, the Attorney General of the 
United States, and the Spanish Consul at San Francisco. They also 
made at least two direct appeals to the project officials. The first of 
these was on January 16 when Robertson, an Assistant Project 


Director, was asked by five or six Daihyo Sha Kai members, in an 
interview shrouded in secrecy, 1 to intercede on behalf of the de- 
tainees. The meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Tsuchikawa, 
sister of the Sadao Endo who had been arrested on November 4 
and confined in the stockade. She assumed a position of leadership 
in the underground movement and also agitated constantly and 
openly for the release of her brother. In the course of time she 
came to be regarded by the administration as the instigator of most 
of the trouble that later developed. 

The meeting with Robertson led to no concrete results. Robert- 
son urged that the Daihyo Sha Kai back the Coordinating Com- 
mittee in the latter's efforts to bring the center back to normal. The 
group appeared willing to take this advice provided Robertson 
could gain the approval of some of the more prominent detainees. 
Accordingly, Robertson called seven men, among whom was George 
Kuratomi, to his office. After an hour-and-a-half session, Kuratomi 
said, "If you'll promise us that we'll eventually get out of the 
stockade, we'll go for that plan." Robertson pointed out that he 
was in no position to make a promise of that sort, but that Daihyo 
Sha Kai's support of the Coordinating Committee would probably 
be a necessary preliminary to their eventual release. Kuratomi is 
said to have replied, "If I ask the boys in the stockade to adopt this 
plan, I'll have to give them my word. If anything goes wrong, I'll 
have to commit hara-kiri." Robertson refused to allow Kuratomi 
to take the risk, since he could give no guarantee of release. Kura- 
tomi then suggested that two detainees be granted temporary free- 
dom "to convince the people that this is the thing to do," 2 since the 
group Robertson had talked to was not strong enough to lead the 
people. Kuratomi promised, "If you release two, we'll resign and 
tell the people to hold an election." Robertson agreed to approach 
the administration with this plan, but pointed out that he had 
little hope of success. His pessimism was justified, for, upon ap- 
proaching Mr. Best, he obtained no concessions. 3 

1 Robertson reports that he received "a frantic telephone call" from Block 11 
(one of the strong Daihyo Sha Kai blocks) asking him to come to an address in 
Block 1 1. He went there and was told that someone in Block 6 wished to see him. 
The next day he was invited to a meeting in Block 6, where he met six members 
of the Daihyo Sha Kai, none of whom he had ever seen before. 

2 On January 14, two days previously, Yokota proposed a similar plan to the 
Coordinating Committee. See p. 195. 

3 Field Notes, March, 1944. 


Early in February the group made another attempt to negotiate 
with the administration this time using one Hisao Shiba as its 
spokesman. As described in the preceding chapter (see p. 213), 
Shiba claimed to be a "negotiator for the minority" and was 
granted a conference with members of the Advisory Council. He 
proposed dissolution of the Coordinating Committee and assump- 
tion of responsibility for "peace and order" by the minority. After 
the promised "peaceful conduct of the colony" had been achieved, 
the stockade detainees were all to be immediately released. Again, 
nothing came of this effort, and the administration, as described, 
reaffirmed confidence in the Coordinating Committee. 

The underground group was evidently responsible, also, for the 
preparation and distribution of the propagandic pamphlet circu- 
lated in early March among the newly arrived segregants from 
Manzanar (see pp. 207-208). Investigation by the Coordinating 
Committee's "fielders" revealed a possible common source of publi- 
cation of Manzanar pamphlet and of the material distributed by 
the "Nippon Patriotic Society," 4 challenging the validity of the 
status quo referendum. 

There is no evidence that the underground group had any posi- 
tive popular support throughout January, February, and March. 
Its position was, however, indirectly strengthened by the uncertain 
status of reinstated workers and by the growing popular attitude 
of suspicion and hostility toward the Coordinating Committee. 
Many of the workers who had quietly returned to their jobs, thus 
breaking status quo, giving indirect support to the policy of col- 
laboration with the administration, and indirectly jeopardizing 
communal solidarity, were often most vociferous in their com- 
plaints about camp conditions and in their denunciations of col- 
laborationists. The general residents, too, while not inclined to 
support an aggressive, radical, overt antiadministration movement, 
were disposed to make scapegoats of the proadministration Coor- 
dinating Committee and its supporters. 

At the same time the tactics of the Coordinating Committee in 
utilizing fielders for "intelligence work," concomitant with the 
continuation of the Army's and WRA's policy of making new 
arrests and confinements in the stockade, brought about an almost 

4 The "Nippon Patriotic Society" was believed to be composed of Daihyo Sha 
Kai members. 


pathological state of fear of being informed upon by inu, or of 
being classified as an inu. 

The members of the Coordinating Committee, and many of their 
supporters among the Divisional Responsible Men had, by this 
time, achieved the unenviable reputation of being inu par excel- 
lence or, in camp parlance, "Public Inu Number One," while a 
larger slate of men, the composition of which might almost be said 
to vary in the mind of each individual resident, was suspected of 
inu activities. So great was the fear and suspicion of being informed 
upon that no one could be sure whom he could trust. Many resi- 
dents believed that a casual, joking remark in the latrine or mess 
hall might be reported unfavorably to the administration by inu 
and might result in imprisonment in the stockade. And the fear of 
being branded as an inu was the more intense, because a person so 
suspected was not only subjected to the most severe social ostracism 
but was often in very real danger of physical violence. 5 

The underground leaders made effective use of this fear by 
branding as an inu anyone who made a statement which could be 
interpreted as proadministration, or critical of themselves or their 
group. Since few of the residents explored the basis of the rumors 
arousing these suspicions, a man's reputation could be ruined by 
a few whispered words or by an inspired "smear" campaign. 

The underground group also sought to force a realignment of 
the population in respect to the attitudes that had been developed 
in regard to "loyalty" during segregation. To understand its ma- 
neuvers, it is necessary to review briefly attitudes prevailing at the 
time of registration and segregation, and the changing alignments 
that resulted from the increasing tension in the segregation center. 

As has been explained in detail elsewhere, a negative answer 
to questions 27 and 28 at the time of registration had many different 
meanings. To some it reflected an intense bitterness toward and 
alienation from America, as a reaction against the rejection by 
America, and the humiliation which evacuation implied: the abro- 
gation of citizenship rights, the uprooting from homes, the destruc- 
tion of means of livelihood. To others it represented a protest 
against the intolerable oppression which was a necessary concomit- 
ant of even the most humanely operated concentration camps. To 
many others it was a highly opportunistic decision, offering a haven 

5 See Chapter X. 


of security from which, they believed, neither relocation into a hos- 
tile world nor induction into the armed forces of a country which 
had placed them behind barbed wire would be required. Since 
segregation was based on the ex post facto definition of "disloyalty" 
which had resulted as a by-product of registration, it was necessary 
for those who had answered the crucial questions negatively at the 
time of registration to reiterate their "disloyalty" at presegregation 
hearings if they wished to remain in or be removed to Tule Lake. 
This act of reiteration branded the registrants as "disloyals" and 
made them eligible for segregation. 

Also eligible for segregation were very appreciable numbers of 
persons who, though answering the registration questions in the 
affirmative, came under an administrative regulation designed to 
avoid the hardships of split families and permitted them to accom- 
pany a "disloyal" member of their immediate family to the segre- 
gation center. It often happened that a single member of a family, 
perhaps a young man of draft age, gave a No-No answer on the 
registration questionnaire and thus achieved the coveted status of 
segregants for his parents, sisters, and brothers, all of whom there- 
upon registered as "loyal." Similarly, "loyal" wives accompanied 
"disloyal" husbands to Tule Lake, and vice versa. All persons 
under eighteen years of age were ineligible for registration and 
were therefore technically "loyal," even though segregated. Finally 
there was a large group (estimated at more than 1,000 persons) of 
Tule residents who registered as "loyals" but simply refused to 
leave the project while the segregation movement was in process. 

In respect to alienation from America on the one hand, and 
predisposition toward Japan on the other, the segregants, at the 
time of segregation, fell into three rather well-defined attitudinal 
and motivational groups: 

I. Those who were extremely bitter toward America and aggres- 
sively vociferous in their expressions of loyalty to Japan. They 
stated that since they had been cast off by America, they had decided 
to become Japanese; that they had suffered financial loss, indignity, 
and great inconvenience by evacuation; that they placed all reli- 
ance for assistance and eventual justice and repayment for injuries 
on Japan. Japan, they hoped, would accept them without prejudice 
or discrimination. "Life in Japan could not be any worse than life 
in the United States." They repeated over and over again that they 


had become segregants because of "a sincere desire to return to 
Japan" and that they "saw no future for themselves in America." 
They were "true Japanese" who had "made up their minds once 
and for all." 

II. Those who had made no hard and fast decision favoring 
either America or Japan as a future place of residence or symbol 
of allegiance. They believed that this decision could and should 
be postponed until the war was over. Many of them possessed a 
considerable attachment to the United States and to the American 
way of life. Others, of the immigrant generation, tended to be nos- 
talgic for the Japan they had known thirty or forty years ago. 
Almost all of them were extremely ambivalent in their attitudes 
toward a future in Japan or a future in America. 

III. Those to whom Japan as a symbol of allegiance or a future 
place of residence held no attraction. In spite of the discrimination 
they had met, they preferred the prospect of a future in America 
to a future in Japan. 

Although we have no direct statistical measure of frequencies in 
each of these classes, documentary evidence suggests that, at the 
time of segregation, Group II contained the overwhelming majority 
both of those who had remained at Tule Lake and of those who had 
arrived from other relocation projects. Groups III and I were both 
a great deal smaller than Group II. Group III was overweighted 
with old Tuleans because of the inertia of the old Tulean popula- 
tion at the times of registration and segregation, but it also con- 
tained numbers of new "loyal" transferees accompanying their 
families. Group I, on the contrary, drawing as it did the radical 
dissenters from nine relocation projects, necessarily contained a 
greater number of transferees than of old Tuleans. 

During the period immediately following the segregation move- 
ment, competition and rivalry between the in-migrating segregants, 
as a whole, and the settled old Tuleans, brought about a largely 
artificial cleavage that obscured the margins between the attitudi- 
nal groups described above. At this time almost all transferees acted 
as if they belonged to Group I and gave at least lip service to the 
extreme views expressed by this group. This is, in large part, to be 
attributed to the tensions connected with the segregation move- 
ment; the loss of the familiar atmosphere of their former "homes" 
in other relocation projects; the feeling that Tule Lake was, in all 


respects, inferior to these other projects; in particular, the shock 
connected with the "man-proof" fences, the numerous watchtowers, 
the searchlights playing over the camp at night, and the finger- 
printing at time of entrance; the need to assert themselves against 
the vested interests of old Tuleans, who seemed to have entrenched 
themselves in the best apartments and the best jobs. Opprobrium 
heaped on the old Tuleans by Group I took the form of claims that 
the former were not "true Japanese"; that they were all either loyal 
to America or, worse still, were "fence sitters" waiting to decide 
their allegiance, and that they, therefore, did not belong in the 
segregation center designated for "disloyals." Group II among the 
transferees took over the attitudes and expressions of Group I so 
far as to claim that they were "true Japanese" and that the old 
Tuleans were, by and large, persons "loyal" to America who should 
be removed from camp. 

Although many transferees in Group III had no desire to become 
"true Japanese," their resentment toward the old Tuleans was so 
great that they found it convenient to adopt the disparaging term 
of "loyals" in referring to them. Others, realizing the incongruity 
of the accusations, were unwilling to risk social disapproval by 
expressing dissent from the prevailing attitude. So far as the old 
Tuleans themselves were concerned, the radical, "pro-Japanese" 
Group I expressions of the transferees gave some of them an effec- 
tive weapon to use against their rivals in assuring the maintenance 
of their status with the administration. To many others, Jiowever, 
status with their fellow-residents was of more importance than 
status with the administration and they began vociferously to pro- 
test the injustice of the accusation made against them and to pro- 
claim the depth and sincerity of their "disloyalty." 

During the period we have termed "Revolt," the margins of the 
attitudinal trichotomy described above were further blurred. The 
strike was a collective movement; passive resistance to the admin- 
istration was general; the necessity of maintaining status quo was 
an obligation felt deeply by all segments of the population. Uni- 
fication was, however, of relatively short duration. With the sup- 
pression and inconveniences that were necessary concomitants of 
Army rule, the monotony and boredom of life without productive 
activity, the impoverishment of a wageless existence, cleavages again 
became manifest. Protest tactics had failed to bring about any 


noticeable improvement in conditions of living, and the cohesion 
of the protest movement had been destroyed by the arrest and 
confinement in the stockade of most of its leaders. New leaders 
appeared and, with them, the assumption of a policy of collabora- 
tion with the administration in breaking status quo and achieving 
"normalcy." This policy, however, failed to gain general support, 
even at its inception. Its backers and leaders were predominantly 
old Tuleans upon whom, in return for their collaboration, the 
administration bestowed many favors: positions of prestige, prior- 
ity in job placement, offices, paid assistants, use of project automo- 
biles. Dormant resentments against the old Tuleans flared up once 
more among the transferees. Suspicion that the leaders were inu 
grew into a confident belief that they were "loyal to America" and 
therefore predisposed to betray the "true Japanese." J. Y. Kurihara, 
for example, said: 

We have a lot of loyal people here. Probably they are here for the 
administration to make use of them. 6 

while Tsuruda stated: 

One hundred per cent of the inu are of the loyal bunch. I wouldn't be 
surprised if Sasaki and that bunch are all loyal. 7 

A tendency to attribute the difficulties facing the colony to the 
failure to separate the "loyal" from the "disloyal" by segregation 
became more and more apparent, along with expressions of loyalty 
to Japan and denunciation of "fence sitters." These denunciations 
were usually followed by some such statement as "The inu, the 
Yes- Yes and the loyal people should be forced out of camp." As 
these attitudes spread to the old Tuleans, they felt the same com- 
pulsion to find scapegoats who could be denounced as fence sitters 
or "loyals." 

Most of the members of the underground movement belonged 
unequivocably in attitudinal Group I. They were predominantly 
transferees and had, from the time of their arrival, been ardent 
exponents of separation of themselves from their "loyal" opponents 
and rivals (by definition, old Tuleans). They had backed Daihyo 
Sha Kai, forced the adoption of radical policies on the more moder- 
ate leaders (most of whom were at this time detained in the stock- 
ade), and instigated gangs of younger men to acts of violence. They 

Field Notes, March, 1944. 7 Ibid. 


had opposed the collaborationist leadership of the Divisional Re- 
sponsible Men. Their opposition had not diminished but had, on 
the contrary, become sharper when status quo was defeated by a 
narrow margin. They welcomed the arrival of new contingents of 
Manzanar, Jerome, and Rohwer transferees in the spring of 1944, 
who, they correctly concluded, would be predisposed to accept the 
protest definition of the solution of community problems. They 
made every effort to strengthen this predisposition through propa- 
ganda against the anti status quo elements, who, they claimed, were 
"loyals" and collaborators. They succeeded in enlisting the enthu- 
siastic support of the new arrivals and, fortified by this support, 
sharpened the criteria for resegregating the "loyal" who were unde- 
termined about repatriation, and the "disloyal" who wanted to go 
to Japan as soon as possible. 

Pending the realization of the ultimate goal of return to Japan 
for themselves, resegregation in separate areas of the Tule Lake 
camp was sought. Since Ward VII had been fenced off by the Army 
after the November disturbances, 8 the protest leaders pressed to have 
this ward set aside for themselves and "like-minded" people, includ- 
ing those who were still detained in the stockade. Simultaneously, 
they made efforts to determine more accurately the composition of 
the "like-minded" group. Early in February, attempts to obtain 
signatures of persons who wanted to be sent to Japan on the "earl- 
iest exchange boat" were reported, 9 and rumors were prevalent that 
the Japanese government was negotiating for an exchange ship. 
The underground group thereupon made an open bid for resegre- 
gation and priority in repatriation. A letter signed by one Ishikawa, 
a comparatively unknown person, on behalf of a "committee" asked 
permission of Attorney General Biddle and the Spanish Embassy 
to circulate a petition for the signatures of those residents who 
desired early return to Japan and who, meanwhile, wished to be 
separated, in Tule Lake, from those who were not so inclined. 

Ishikawa's letter was channeled from Biddle to Ickes to Myer 
and finally to Best, who, being about to leave the project on official 
business, passed it on to Black, who sanctioned a survey. 10 

8 Presumably because of an abortive plan to segregate "troublemakers" and 
their families in this area. 

9 See p. 206. 

10 As described, pp. 216-217, this was the act which led to the resignation of 
the Coordinating Committee. 


This is to confirm my statement to you and your committee during our 
conference yesterday to the effect that there is no objection on the part 
of the administration to the proposal that you and your committee make 
a survey to determine the wishes of residents with respect to further segre- 
gation within the center. 

The information to be derived from the survey would be as follows: 

1. Persons and families who have applied for repatriation or expatria- 
tion, who wish to return to Japan at the earliest opportunity, and who 
wish to live in a designated section of the center among others of like 

2. Persons and families who have not applied for repatriation or expa- 
triation, who have reached no conclusion with respect to an early return 
to Japan, and who wish to live in a section of the center not specifically 
designated for persons and families of the first group. 

It is understood that the survey is to be made merely on a factual basis 
with the entire liberty of choice resting with the subject interviewed. The 
survey committee is to make no attempt to influence the decisions of the 
residents. It is pointed out that no sound speculation can be made as to 
any prospect of return to Japan because at present the Japanese govern- 
ment is entertaining no consideration of further exchange. 

It is further understood that the survey will be made without commit- 
ment on the part of the administration, either stated or implied, that the 
results of the survey will be made the basis of administrative action beyond 
that which is already established for housing adjustments through the 
Housing Office. 11 

The last paragraph of Black's letter, which is ambiguous in 
English, was made even more ambiguous in the Japanese transla- 
tion where it conveyed the impression that the results of the peti- 
tion would be made the basis for future administrative action. This 
led to a general belief that WRA approved of and was contemplat- 
ing the early development of a plan for resegregation. 

The petition was circulated from April 7 to April 9. While it was 
being circulated the pressure group released a statement signed by 
Ishikawa, the wife of Reverend Abe, and twenty-eight other per- 
sons. In this statement, it was pointed out that, upon arrival in 
Tule Lake, "we discovered a large number of heterogeneous ele- 
ments, with whose thoughts our ideas could never harmonize, min- 
gled among us. Hereupon scores of like-minded people petitioned 
for resegregation to the high government officials in Washington." 

Conduct and attitudes compatible with the "honor of Japanese 
subjects" and "discipline and education of our children adapted to 

11 Letter, Black to Ishikawa, March 29, 1944. 


the system of the wartime Fatherland" could not be achieved "as 
long as the objectionable elements are present." 

The proponents of this statement reaffirmed alleged WRA sup- 
port by adding that "fortunately, the intelligent authority has given 
its consent to our earnest petition." They, therefore, urged all "who 
wish resegregation because they desire the opportunity to board an 
exchange ship ... to sign this petition of your own free will and 

The circulation of the petition threw the residents into a state of 
turmoil and confusion. Many suspected that it was not authorized 
by the administration and that signing it might result in arrest and 
confinement. But the rumor spread that failure to sign might mean 
that one would not be allowed to repatriate or expatriate. Argu- 
ments for and against the petition raged. Beatings and violence 
were reported. Sasaki stated: 

Due to the diversity of opinions, a brawl, which hospitalized one, has 
already been noted in Block 16. Many cited that various arguments pro 
and con were noted in various blocks. 12 

The fundamental cause of the confusion was the narrow and 
radical exposition of loyalty propounded by the underground 
group; that the only "true disloyals" were those willing (a) to 
repatriate as soon as possible, and (b) in the meantime to be reseg- 
regated, either in a separate section of Tule Lake 13 or possibly at 
some center other than Tule Lake. Anyone not willing to fulfill 
these conditions was, by definition, a fence sitter or "loyal to Amer- 
ica." Loudly as they denounced the fence sitters, most of the resi- 
dents did not want to go to Japan immediately and were, in fact, 
neither loyal to America nor to Japan in a political sense. They 
had segregated to Tule Lake with the idea that they could stay 
there and make up their minds, depending upon the outcome of 
the war. Moreover, they did not want to move again even if the 
moving entailed only a shift to another section of the camp. 

It should also be kept in mind that a strict separation of ardent 
repatriates and expatriates from the other camp residents would 
necessarily have resulted in extensive separation of family members. 
Many families had come to Tule Lake because the parents had 

12 Minutes of the meeting of the Divisional Responsible Men and the Coordi- 
nating Committee, April 8, 1944. 

13 Ward VII. 


requested repatriation, while the children remained Yes-Yes. In 
other cases parents had merely accompanied No-No children, par- 
ticularly sons, without themselves requesting repatriation. To base 
resegregation solely on the desire for immediate repatriation or 
expatriation was objectionable to such families and also to the 
Nisei No-Noes who had not requested expatriation. 

The petition therefore placed the residents in a difficult position. 
Some 6,500" resolved this by signing, some because they sincerely 
desired to repatriate immediately, others because they believed that 
their signatures were not binding. Among those who did not sign 
were many who complained that the underground group was going 
too far. Some of them pointed out that they had already taken all 
necessary steps in applying for repatriation or expatriation before 
segregation and that coming to Tule Lake as segregants was in 
itself sufficient proof of their intentions. In additions, they objected 
to setting off the petitioners as the only ones worthy of being called 
"true Japanese." 

The excitement which this petition engendered in the colony 
caused the administration great alarm. Mr. Black, feeling that the 
petitioners had not kept faith with his stipulations and had gone 
"ahead on their own initiative and started this 'return to Japan 
rumpus/" 1 ' issued the following memorandum on April io, 1G stat- 
ing that the administration had had no intention of carrying out 
resegregation and that no petition had been authorized. 

It has come to the attention of the administration that two unauthorized 
reports have caused some uneasiness in the colony during the past week. 

The first rumor was to the effect that there would be a further segrega- 
tion within the center so that all individuals and families who had applied 
for repatriation or expatriation would be required to live in one area of 
the center and all other individuals and families in another area. It is 
officially announced that the administration has no intention to carry out 
a further segregation. Under present procedure individuals and families 
who wish to move from one part of the center to another, may do so 
voluntarily by making application ... at any time to the Housing Office. 

34 Included in the 6,500 are dependents whose signatures were appended by 
parents. It should be noted that according to WRA records, at least 7,265 resi- 
dents had been classified as repatriates and expatriates at the time they were 
segregated (WRA Semi-Annual Report, January i to June 30, 1944, p. 26). It 
seems reasonable to infer that signers of the Ishikawa petition were among these 

15 Field Notes, April, 1944. 

1B By this date the petition had been circulated and signed by 6,500 persons. 


The second rumor was to the effect that persons who wished prior con- 
sideration of applications to return to Japan at the first opportunity 
should sign a petition which was cirulated among the colonists. It is offi- 
cially announced that no authorization or authenticity was given to the 
circulation of such a petition. At present the government of Japan is giving 
no consideration to further exchanges. It is our understanding that if and 
when further exchanges are considered, the Japanese government will 
make selection of persons to be exchanged on an individual basis, as has 
been the case in the past. Affiliation with any group within Tule Lake 
Center, or place of residence within the Center, will have no bearing upon 
the selection or rejection of the individual. 

It is requested that this announcement be posted conspicuously for the 
information of all residents of the Center, and that announcements in all 
mess halls invite attention to its contents. 

In view of the fact that Black had been said to have authorized 
the circulation of the petition just a few days previously, this retrac- 
tion was regarded, even by opponents of the underground group, 
as another example of "double-crossing" by the administration. 

The disturbing effect of the petition on the general camp resi- 
dents wore off in about three or four weeks. Since the administra- 
tion had denied its authenticity and nothing more was done about 
it, many of those who did not sign and those who signed under 
pressure, appeared to think it was a closed issue. Some informants, 
however, realized that resegregation, as such, was not a closed issue 
and that the cleavage in the colony would probably persist. 

The underground group felt that its cause had been greatly 
strengthened by the petition. On April 24 five of its members sent 
a copy of the petition to the Spanish Embassy in Washington: 

We, the residents of Tule Lake Segregation Center, Newell, California, 

whose names are listed below in total numbers of , do hereby earnestly 

and respectfully wish to request your excellency to contact the proper 
authority of the Japanese Imperial Government immediately for the 
purpose to convey our most desired wishes stated below. 

1. All the petitioners desire an immediate repatriation. 

2. Upon arrival at the destination if our wishes is granted, all the peti- 
tioners have decided to give up everything, materials and manpower, to 
the country we love so dearly, willingly and gladly as loyal service at this 
time of national emergency, for her disposal. 

Respectfully submitted this 24th day of April, 1944, A.D. 

Representatives: Torakichi Ishikawa Tokuichi Matsubara 

Tomoichi Kubo Kenichi Wakasa 

Hideki Tsuchikawa 


They adopted a name, Saikakuri Seigan" and soon became 
known as the Resegregation Group, or Resegregation Committee. 
Receiving no satisfaction from their appeal of April 24, they fol- 
lowed it up by a more elaborate petition to the Spanish Consul in 
San Francisco on May 30, appending the names of "6,500 residents 
. . . and a supplementary list thereto," and they requested the Consul 

to expedite negotiation with proper authorities regarding the said matter 
through the Spanish Embassy as it is our sole intention to be included in 
the priority on the next exchange vessel to Japan. We are determined and 
fully convinced that it is intolerable for us to remain entirely indifferent 
while our mother country is at war. We, Japanese disloyals, have no ego- 
istic ambition but we only hope for the exchange ship in order to fulfill 
our duties as Japanese subjects. . . . Furthermore, we wish to be resegre- 
gated whereby we Japanese with same thoughts and ideals of mutual 
understanding can prepare and wait for said order of repatriation. 

They reiterated their dissatisfaction at having to live among 

loyal citizens of the United States who should enter the Army or relocate 
outside to help the government; loyal citizens who came here merely by 
family ties who do not desire repatriation or expatriation; persons who 
are taking advantage of this center as more or less for safety [united in] 
their beliefs to evade draft calls; persons who do not wish to return to 
Japan until the war is over, etc. 

They emphasized their desire to avoid "disturbance and restless- 
ness," and to "keep away from such shameful behaviors [as] that of 
fighting among brothers," and to receive education and discipline 
"in accordance to the organizations of our mother country." These 
ends could be achieved only by resegregation, and 

the resegregees, if granted to live in a separately established area, will 
guarantee full cooperation with center officials in keeping peace and 
harmony within that area. 

The resegregation will tend to lessen the burdens of center officials for 
the maintenance of peace and harmony within and also shall be easier 
to deal with in all daily problems. 18 

After submitting the petition of April 24, the several active pro- 
ponents of resegregation organized frequent, informal meetings 
among themselves in order to develop plans for implementing their 
program. Not until August, however, did they come out into the 
open with plans for a formal, overtly nationalistic organization. 

17 The literal translation is "appeal for resegregation." 

13 Petition from Resegregation Committee to F. De Amat, Consul of Spain, 
San Francisco, California, May 30, 1944. 



Period of Apathy 

.HE PERIOD FROM THE end of April to the middle 
of June, 1944, was, politically and psychologically, characterized by 
indifference and apathy on the part of the residents. The protest 
movement had failed, and its leaders were still confined in the 
stockade. The Army had taken over and then relinquished control 
of the center. A partial strike had been succeeded, if not by "full 
employment," at least by a wider distribution of jobs, and wages 
were being paid. Some improvements had been achieved in food 
and living conditions generally, and the unpopular and disillu- 
sioned Coordinating Committee had resigned. Although agitation 
for resegregatipn was being carried on continuously by the Saika- 
kuri Seigan, popular interest in its program had died down after 
the Ishikawa petition. 

On May 7 June Yamaguchi, secretary to Milton Sasaki of the 
recently dissolved Coordinating Committee, wrote to a friend 

Tule Lake Center continues to be subjected to many trifle discords, 
unrest, and disharmony, which probably will never end. . . . 

Divisional Responsible Men's group as well as the Coordinating Com- 
mittee are practically out of existence. Sure hard to trace the members 
now . . . The place is so quiet. . . 

In spite of many things, Center's social activities continue to function 
as if there's no trouble whatsoever. Baseball, basketball, dances, shows, 
engei kais [Japanese entertainment], bazaars, and field day of various track 
games are some of the activities which enliven our almost "dead" spirit. 

J. Y. Kurihara remarked early in May, 

Things have changed a great deal. . . . Right now things are simmering 
down pretty fast. 1 

1 Field Notes, May 14, 1944. 


And Higashi said at about the same time: 

. . . All quiet on the western front. Things are going pretty good except 
for the reduction of persons working in the family. . . . 

1 think the Japanese people as a whole made a big mistake at the ware- 
house [November 4 incident]. If the food had been as it is now, it couldn't 
have happened. Now we have all the Japanese food we want, and plenty 
of rice and vegetables. 2 

Tsuruda described the state of affairs as follows: 

Things are quieting down. People are forgetting Sasaki. He stays in the 
background. As long as you don't keep floating something in front of 
peoples' faces, they forget about it. 

The food has really improved. We have 48,000 pounds of cured ham 
sitting there in cold storage. In the coming months we are going to average 
eight eggs per person per week. That's an egg a day. 3 

Co-existent with this lessening of tension, and perhaps to some 
extent responsible for it, was a marked change in administration 
policy. Mr. Best, in the words of one of his staff, was "putting him- 
self out to be agreeable." 4 He had proposed a half holiday to permit 
the people to celebrate the Emperor's birthday on April 29; he 
ordered the big meal of the week to be served on that day; he threw 
the first baseball at the game which celebrated the occasion. He had 
also had the fence which separated Ward VII from the rest of the 
colony removed, an act which had a pronounced effect on morale. 
As noted in Chapter VIII, the Resegregationists were pressing to 
move en masse to this ward pending their return to Japan. Many 
residents, particularly those living in Ward VII, were opposed to 
this plan since it would have subjected them to the inconvenience 
of moving. When WRA took down the fence they inferred that the 
plan for intracamp resegregation would not have administrative 
approval and that they would, therefore, not have to submit to 
forced change of residence. Every informant visited in Ward VII 
made some such remark as the following: "The fence has been 
taken down. It certainly makes us feel better." 

The chronic causes of dissatisfaction were, of course, still present. 
The prisonlike conditions of camp had, after all, been modified 
only in relatively slight details. The underlying dissatisfactions 
were, however, rarely verbalized during this period. Most people 

2 Field Notes, May 15, 1944. 4 Ibid. 

3 Field Notes, May 13, 1944. 


seemed to have resigned themselves to the inevitability of the 
thwarting of their desires for a fundamentally better way of life. 
The more obvious, presumably remediable dissatisfactions con- 
tinued to be commented upon: the stockade situation, physical 
conditions in camp, and employment deficiency. 

The stockade situation was discussed, at this time, mainly by the 
relatives of those who were still detained, or by pressure group 
agitators. The lack of overt concern by other elements is probably 
to be attributed to the rapid rate at which detainees were being 
released. On May 18 the administration announced that 264 de- 
tainees had so far been released; that the number remaining in the 
stockade at that time was only 55; and that "releases of from 2 to 5 
persons are being made almost daily." 5 

Preoccupation with deficiencies in the physical conditions of life 
had shifted from food, which, it was generally admitted, was much 
better, to sanitary conditions; and comparisons were still made 
between the superior facilities in the Manzanar section and the 
inferior equipment in the older section of the camp. 

Complaints continued to be heard, also, about the lack of employ- 
ment opportunities, since WRA had in late March embarked on 
a policy of limiting employment of two persons per family. From 
the middle of April the administration intensified its efforts to 
effect voluntary terminations of the excess employees. The director 
of the Placement Office was quoted in the project newspaper on 
April 27 as saying: 

One or more members of 78 different families have signified their inten- 
tion to voluntarily terminate so that there will be no more than two in 
the family employed. . . . 

However, terminations initiated by the administration will be necessary 
if this voluntary action is not taken. 6 

On May 1 1 the director stated: 

It is urgently requested that terminations be made voluntarily as it will 
be much more satisfactory for all concerned. 

To date, a total of 188 persons from 145 families have volunteered to 
terminate immediately . . . 

Of the 301 families requested to make voluntary terminations, 156 fami- 
lies with 225 excess people employed have not volunteered terminations. 7 

5 Newell Star, May 18, 1944. 
8 Newell Star, April 27, 1944. 
7 Newell Star, May 11, 1944. 


On May 25 the Placement Office reported that it was "now dis- 
missing [excess] workers from the families where there are more 
than two working"; and on June 8, it announced that "voluntary 
terminations [of either husband or wife] will be appreciated wher- 
ever the family consists of only husband and wife and both are 
employed." It also stated at this time that those who were being 
terminated involuntarily were "accepting the decision ... in a very 
satisfactory manner." 8 Reports from evacuees suggested, however, 
that the acceptance was often made with great unwillingness. For 
example, Higashi said: 

Things are going pretty good except for the reduction of persons work- 
ing in the family. In this block there were eight or nine families who had 
more than two persons working. In my opinion the administration is 
making a big mistake by saying that only two people in each family may 
work, because there are some families who have as many as ten members 
and they ought to be allowed to have more people working. 9 

In addition to the causes of dissatisfaction mentioned above, at 
least two happenings in early May might have been considered as 
sufficient cause for overt resistances. 

On May 2 and 3 a number of young men received notices from 
Selective Service Headquarters to appear for physical examination. 
Of some 73 on the original list, only 35 were still in residence at 
Tule Lake and, of these, 24 refused to appear for examination. 1 " 
Wakida, a Kibei, commented: 

This is the way I think the Japanese feel. Anyway, it's the way I feel. 
If I get called for selective service and show up for my physical examina- 
tion, the Japanese think that means we have some loyalty to the United 
States of America. If we are loyal to Japan and we are pure Japanese, we 
don't have to go. If we are going to refuse to go into the Army, we are 
going to refuse from the beginning. . . . 

If I'm going to be a Japanese, I'm going to be pure Japanese and not 

8 Newell Star, June 8, 1944. 

9 Field Notes, May 15, 1944. 

10 WRA, Semi-Annual Report, January i to June 30, 1944, p. 31. The Newell 
Star, however, reported on July 20 that "27 Japanese failed to report for pre- 
induction physical examinations for the Army." These twenty-seven were ar- 
rested, but when the cases were heard in the U.S. District Court at Eureka, 
California, the Judge dismissed the indictment. His decision was quoted in the 
Newell Star of July 27, 1944, in part as follows: "It is shocking to the conscience 
that an American citizen be confined on the ground of disloyalty and then, while 
so under duress and restraint, be compelled to serve in the armed forces or prose- 
cuted for not yielding to such compulsion." 


American at all. I didn't use to be like this. But now I just see this camp 
from the Japanese point of view only. 11 

These violators of the Selective Service Act were subjected to 
intensive questioning by FBI agents. Yet no expressions of resent- 
ment were heard about the questioning. The whole matter seems 
to have been taken very casually, as exemplified by Tsuruda's 

All they did was come around and pull you in for a couple of hours of 
routine questioning. Some boys had their suitcases all packed. They asked, 
"Where do we go from here?" The FBI said, "You can go home now." 12 

The second happening was the arrival of a contingent (1653) of 
new segregants primarily from Rohwer and Jerome. This move- 
ment caused a great amount of inconvenience to the settled resi- 
dents, who were required to take up smaller quarters in accordance 
with a new regulation alloting a minimum housing space of 80 
square feet and a maximum of 100 square feet per individual. Many 
family groups had to be consolidated, and, while this process was 
going on, a large number of the new segregants were housed tem- 
porarily in recreation halls. The new segregants were thus exposed 
to the same conditions which had led to unrest among the earlier 
transferees. At this time, however, they made no organized protest, 
nor was there any overt attempt to propagandize them, such as 
occurred with the induction of the contingent from Manzanar. By 
late summer, however, their accumulated grievances made them 
receptive to the pressures of the Resegregationists. 

During this outwardly quiet period the administration decided 
to take up anew the long-dormant idea of self-government. It will 
be remembered that a proposal of this nature had been made by 
Daihyo Sha Kai as early as October 26, 1943," and that insistent and 
repeated proposals of the same sort had been made by the Coor- 
dinating Committee from the day it assumed office to the day of its 
resignation. 11 These proposals were consistently sidetracked by the 
project administration, in part because WRA steadfastly main- 
tained that its policies for self-government of relocation projects 
could not apply to Tule Lake, 13 especially since antiadministration 
"radicals" might be chosen in such an election. 

11 Field Notes, May 18, 1944. 14 See Chapter VI. 

12 Field Notes, May 15, 1944. 35 See p. 216. 

13 See Chapter IV. 


As described in Chapter VII, the Coordinating Committee had, 
on February 16, recommended the formation of an Arrangements 
Committee to plan the establishment of a permanent representa- 
tive body to succeed itself. Although this plan was approved by the 
administration on February 18, it failed to materialize. 

When it became apparent that the Coordinating Committee 
would have to resign, the administration found it imperative to 
sponsor some plan for organizing an evacuee committee with which 
it could deal in channeling communications to the evacuees. On 
April 15 the Project Director is said to have received official author- 
ization from Washington to encourage the residents to select a 
representative committee. 18 On April 22 Myer's authorization was 
published in the Newell Star, along with an invitation to the resi- 
dents from Acting Project Director Black, to participate in plan- 
ning an election. Myer stated: 

The residents of the segregation center will be invited to establish a 
Representative Committee. The membership of this Representative Com- 
mittee shall be selected by orderly, representative, elective procedures. 
The members shall be selected on a geographical basis to represent resi- 
dential areas within the center, shall be selected for fixed periods of time, 
and the total membership of the committee shall not be greater than 12 

The function of the Representative Committee shall be that of acting 
as the official representative of the residents of the center in communi- 
cating to the project director the viewpoints, attitudes, and requests of the 
residents, in conveying to the residents information concerning WRA 
regulations and determinations affecting them, and in advising with the 
project director on matters as to which collaboration between the admin- 
istration and the residents is needed. 

Black requested that an Arrangements Committee be formed "to 
work out the final plans and supervise the election of the permanent 
committee." This Arrangements Committee was to be composed 
of one representative from each ward, selected by block representa- 
tives. Black added: 

It is hoped that by May i a meeting may be held with this Arrangements 
Committee . . . and the administration can outline the requirements of 
regulations of the War Relocation Authority. . . . 

The duty of the block delegates will be merely to select one representa- 
tive from each ward to serve on the Committee of Arrangements. 

This Committee on Arrangements will have two functions: (i) Make 

18 Field Notes, April, 1944. 


plans for the election of a permanent Representative Committee. . . . 
This duty will include the fixing of the tenure of office, provide for the 
method of filling vacancies, prescribe the manner of conducting elections, 
and make all necessary preparations so that an orderly election may be 
held in the near future. (2) Supervise the election and certify the results 
to the administration. . . . 

There will be no community government within the Tule Lake center 
similar to that which exists at the relocation centers. The Representative 
Committee . . . will serve in an advisory capacity to the Administration. 17 

The administration waited in vain for the slightest sign of ini- 
tiative on the part of the colony. On May 4 Mr. Best announced 
that procedures for the organization of an Arrangements Com- 
mittee to plan and supervise the establishment of a permanent 
Representative Committee had been decided upon "in a spirit of 
helpfulness and cooperation" . . . : and outlined plans for an elec- 
tion to be held on May 22, three weeks after the date originally set. 

An election by secret ballot of block delegates to ward councils will be 
held May 22 from 2 to 8 P.M. in each block manager's office, following pre- 
liminary block meetings on May 18, under the pro tern chairmanship of 
the block manager, to nominate five candidates and to choose an election 
board consisting of three to five members. . . . 

The ward councils, composed of 18 block delegates from each ward (20 
in Ward VI) will meet at 2 P.M., May 25. ... A secretary will be appointed 
and a representative and an alternate who must be able to speak and 
understand both English and Japanese, will then be selected from among 
themselves to serve on the Arrangements Committee; after which, results 
of the meeting will be certified to the project director through Civic 
Organization. The ward council will continue to exist for possible con- 
sultation by the Arrangements Committee. 

The eight members of the Arrangements Committee so selected will 
meet, with the project director or his designated representative as chair- 
man pro tern, and select its own chairman as the first order of business. 

The Arrangements Committee will then prescribe qualifications for 
voters and for members of the Representative Committee; fix the term of 
office of members of the Representative Committee; designate the date of 
election; prescribe the manner of filling future vacancies in its own mem- 
bership; supervise the election; confer with the project director or his 
representative on matters related to the election and the inauguration of 
the Representative Committee. 

Members of the Arrangements Committee will be paid at the rate of 
$19 per month and the secretary $16 per month. Other approved members 
of any necessary sub-committees will be paid at appropriate WRA rates. 18 

17 Newell Star, April 22, 1944. 

18 Newell Star, May 4, 1944. 


On May 8 these items were repeated in the Newell Star and, 
under a section headed "Slow Response," the failure of the evacuees 
to take advantage of the invitation was pointed out: 

However, there has been no substantial response to the administration's 
invitation to proceed with the formation of the Representative Commit- 
tee. This delay may be due to a number of factors, such as the size of the 
community, the diversity of interests, the more immediate importance of 
competent and sound leaders to assume the initiative which would put 
the program under way. 

Therefore, in a spirit of helpfulness and cooperation, the administra- 
tion is prepared to assume the responsibility for proposing definite plans 
to bring about the organizations of the Representative Committee and 
the establishment of harmonious and practical working relationships with 
it as the recognized and official spokesman of the residents in accordance 
with the provisions of Mr. Myer's authorizations. 

There followed an elaboration of the earlier instructions regard- 
ing the election planned for May 22 and the selection of the Ar- 
rangements Committee on May 25, with further, very detailed 
specifications of functions of the Arrangements Committee and 
procedures for election. 

These elaborate plans never came to fruition. At the camp-wide 
block nomination meetings scheduled for May 18, only fifteen 
blocks 1 " nominated delegates. Most blocks called meetings, but so 
few residents attended that valid nominations could not be made. 
A few blocks refused even to hold meetings. 

Accounts are available from a number of informants indicating 
the procedural difficulties met in the separate blocks. 

Wakida, from Block 58, reported: 

I didn't go to the meeting. Eighty-two people were needed for a quorum 20 
and only seventy-five showed up. Then the anti-status quo people went 
around to get people to come. I went and I was nominated. I absolutely 
refused the nomination. I don't intend to engage in politics. Things 
dragged along and about ten people left. They refused to let me decline 
the nomination. Then I said that there was no quorum anyway, so the 
nomination was not valid. After a lot more talk the meeting ended. Nobody 
was nominated. 

10 New construction had added 10 blocks to the original project and there were 
74 occupied blocks at this time. 

20 Each block could determine its own rules of procedure. Definitions of 
"quorum" varied greatly. In some blocks 75 per cent and in others 50 per cent 
of the eligible voters formed a quorum. In still other blocks, no specific quorum 
was required. 


J. Y. Kurihara, who refused to attend the meeting in Block 7, 

I was home and they came for me. But I refused to attend. I heard they 
had only twenty people attending. They seem to have appointed me and 
another gentleman next door. But I flatly refused to accept the nomina- 
tion. 21 

Kurusu, block manager of the very pro status quo Block 59, tried 
to comply with the instructions given by the administration, but 

I had a meeting. Only twenty-five or twenty-six people attended. So 
there was no quorum and I just told them the meeting was adjourned. 
As you know, the block managers can't stick their noses in politics, so I 
must be neutral. I did my best, but the people feel that way. 22 

A young married woman living in the notoriously tough Block 2 1 
reported that the people in her block had had a meeting but that 
they had shouted, "No, no, no, no!" No one was nominated. 23 

When Tomiyama, an Issei resident of Block 5 was asked how the 
nominations had gone, he replied with a smile, "Nobody was nomi- 
nated," adding, "Of course, this is Reverend Abe's block." 24 

The Community Analyst reported the situation in other blocks 
as follows: 

I heard that Block 73 had a long argument. The block manager arrived 
and was accused of being an inu, for helping in this. He said he had a fight 
(verbal, it seems) with the "worst radical" in the block. He added that 
there were others "too radical to listen." Anyway, the group couldn't be 
handled. There were no nominees. 

In Block 9 there were no nominees. 

In Block 69 they put up representatives; but they also had an argu- 
ment. Apparently it was in the blocks which had no nominees that they 
had the worst arguments. 

In Block 29 things went O.K. There was a nomination. But they had a 
one-hour wait before people came. I think that was usual. They had to go 
around in the block and get them to come in. In Block 16 an anti-status 
quo man said, "We had to drag them out of bed to get nominees/' Block 
16 is very pro-status quo. 25 

It is obvious that the old status quo issue was still very much 
alive; that the radicals, far from seeking election, were opposed 

21 Field Notes, May 21, 1944. 2i Field Notes, May 20, 1944. 

- 2 Field Notes, May 23, 1944. 25 Field Notes, May 20, 1944. 

23 Field Notes, May 22, 1944. 


to the formation of any representative body; that the conservatives 
and moderates were unwilling to assume the responsibility of work- 
ing with the administration in this way; and that fear of being 
called an inu if elected was a general deterrent. Statements of a 
variety of informants, both before and after the election, indicate 
clearly that the attitude of the general resident was one of skepti- 
cism about'what could be gained by an election; of resentment that 
earlier "representative" bodies (Daihyo Sha Kai and Negotiating 
Committees) had not been recognized; of irritation that there were 
still detainees in the stockade; of fear that new representatives 
might be thrown into the stockade; and, above all, of unwillingness 
to accept any administration-sponsored proposal. Although an 
appreciable number of potential voters may have abstained from 
attending meetings because of overt pressure from the under- 
ground group or because of social pressure from their neighbors, 
it is apparent that a pattern of opposing the administration by 
merely ignoring administrative exhortations to attend meetings 
had become well established. 

Kurihara had stated, several days before the nomination meet- 
ings, that, in his opinion, the election was doomed to failure be- 
cause "people are not very enthusiastic about it." He regretted the 
lack of interest: 

I think that a body ought to be formed to try to cooperate with the 
administration and get things rolling harmoniously. It would be best if 
the body stood up and spoke for the rights of the Japanese, even if they 
are thrown into the stockade. 

He added, however, that "no respectable, well-educated Japa- 
nese" would be "willing to accept that position. "* 

Higashi, a former Daihyo Sha Kai supporter, foresaw that get- 
ting "new delegates will be pretty tough. People in general are 
saying 'What's the use? We put up representatives once and they 
wouldn't recognize them/ " He suspected also that the administra- 
tion had a black list of residents of whom it disapproved and that if 
any of these were elected, "I know the administration will not OK 
him." He added: 

As far as I'm concerned, I don't care if they elect representatives or not, 
as long as they take care of sanitation and family employment. 27 

26 Field Notes, May 14, 1944. 

27 Field Notes, May 15, 1944. 


June Yamaguchi, also before the election, emphasized the extent 
of Daihyo Sha Kai support as an impediment: 

It doesn't seem as if this representative body will go through. I hear 
so many people say as long as they are obligated to the Daihyo Sha Kai, 
they will refuse to vote until they're released from the stockade. 28 

Wakida was extremely pessimistic: 

I have no idea about it. They've asked me to be one of the representa- 
tives, but I won't. I'm not going to be in any political organization. 

The people feel pretty bad. If you do good for the people you get put 
in the stockade. If you do good for WRA you get called inu. So I'm going 
to play baseball. 29 

Tsuruda, who had no strong allegiance to any of the camp's 
political factions, said: 

Nobody cares a thing about having a representative government. So 
far as I can see, nobody is going to break their neck trying to work up a 
few representatives for the block. They just don't care. Things are going 
along pretty good, so leave well enough alone. 30 

Ex post facto explanations emphasized strongly the stockade 
issue. "Representatives" were still confined against the will of the 
community. How could the administration expect the people to 
elect new representatives? For example, J. Y. Kurihara said: 

People are taking the attitude, why should they make a committee when 
the administration and Army refused to recognize them in the first place. 
If the administration had recognized the boys in November, they would 
have had success at this time. 31 

Wakida remarked: 

It was unfair to put the representatives in the stockade. It was a dirty 
deal. That's really what the people feel. Eighty per cent of the camp feels 
this way, not because they support Abe and Kuratomi but because they 
think WRA treated them bad. 32 

Tomiyama made the same points: 

When the people came into camp they were confused. They are still 
confused. The reason they are refusing to support this proposal is that the 
old matter of the men in the stockade is not settled. If they were all let out, 
the election would be proceeding in an entirely different manner. No 
intelligent able man would accept the nomination. I certainly wouldn't. 33 

28 Field Notes, May 16, 1944. 31 Field Notes, May 21, 1944. 

20 Field Notes, May 18, 1944. 32 Field Notes, May 23, 1944. 

30 Field Notes, May 13, 1944. 33 Field Notes, May 20, 1944. 


And Itabashi, a transferee from Manzanar who entered camp in 
February, long after the Daihyo Sha Kai representatives had been 
incarcerated, and had expressed himself frequently as opposed to 
all "radicals" and "trouble makers," had also swung over to the 
prevalent attitude: 

The first representatives we sent out were all put in the stockade. The 
administration was denouncing them that they were not representative of 
camp opinion. So we put in some new block representatives. 

Then the administration said, "You don't represent camp opinion 
either." It sent them to the stockade. . . . 

Then the administration formally requested the camp people to elect 
representatives. Everybody's opinion was, "What's the use? Every time we 
send representatives they are arrested. If we make more representatives, 
they will only put more people in the stockade." Everybody said, "What 
the heck! We don't want to send any more people to the stockade." 34 

Kurusu, conservative and anti-Daihyo Sha Kai, also felt that the 
stockade issue was still of paramount importance. 

The people feel right now, I think, that it's better to release the men 
from the stockade. I feel pretty strong that way. 

Another thing, the Coordinating Committee was organized for the pur- 
pose of releasing the men and bringing the center back to normalcy. As 
long as the men are in the stockade people will feel that it is not a normal 

Unless WRA releases the men in the stockade there is no necessity to 
organize another committee. 

Besides people hesitate to be block delegates. They may go to the stock- 
ade if they are. 35 

A Nisei girl, an old Tulean, explained, later, that nominees 
refused because of fear of being beaten up. 

They thought the best thing to do was to sit quiet and take what the 
administration dishes out. You're always in constant fear if you take that 
job. 06 

Yamashita, who was assuming leadership in the underground 
pressure group, summed up the situation as follows: 

It shows that the majority of the residents have no confidence in the 

Much of it is due to the people still being held in the stockade. They are 
taking too much time for settling this little business in the stockade. Mr. 
Best every day is taking valuable time with the chief consideration of 

34 Field Notes, July 27, 1944. 38 Field Notes, August 17, 1944. 

33 Field Notes, May 23, 1944. 


keeping the administration's face. They have to spend so much time on 
the stockade that they are disregarding other things such as watering the 
roads and improving the mess halls. 37 

And Mr. Tsuchikawa, husband of the active agitator for resegre- 
gation, remarked that "This is a great victory for the people." 38 

Project officials are said to have interpreted the nullification of 
their efforts as a mere postponement. A Caucasian informant de- 
scribes the Project Director's reaction as follows: 

Best said that if the center felt that this was premature, we will have it 
later. He isn't calling it off. 

It's a curious inversion. Once, when they had the organization, Best was 
trying to slow it down. Now Best is saying "Go ahead," and the people 
are slowing down. 30 

In the course of time the matter was dropped, and no further 
official attempts were made to form a representative body. The 
project administration announced its stand, as follows, in the 
Newell Star of May 25: 

Plans for the formation of the Representative Committee, a permanent 
intermediary body which was granted approval by the WRA, have been 
postponed for an indefinite period of time, announced Ray R. Best, proj- 
ect director. The block meetings, which were held Thursday evening to 
nominate candidates for the block delegates' election as the first step 
toward formation of the permanent body, did not show sufficient response 
from the residents. 

"The failure of a large number of blocks to hold their meetings and 
select their nominees serves to defeat the purpose of the organization plan, 
and indicates that there is not enough popular sentiment in favor of the 
formation of the Representative Committee to warrant a continued effort 
to carry out the election at the present time," stated the project director. 

He lauded the earnest effort made by the residents of many blocks to 
launch community representation in accordance with the outlined plan; 
and stated, "It is obvious that unless the residents are virtually unanimous 
in their participation in the selection of the Representative Committee, 
then the committee cannot be truly representative." 

In conclusion he expressed the belief that the formation of the repre- 
sentative body should be postponed until a more favorable date "in fair- 
ness to the entire community." 

In this same issue of the Newell Star it was also announced that 
WRA had taken over the stockade from the Army. 

37 Field Notes, May 21, 1944. 39 Field Notes, May 20, 1944. 

38 Ibid. 


The WRA is now in complete charge of the administration of the segre- 
gated area within the center, it was announced by Project Director Ray 
R. Best on Wednesday. This area which has been commonly termed the 
"stockade" had been established by the Army authorities and adminis- 
tered by the Army prior to this time. As stated in the Newell Star last week, 
releases have been made from the area to the residence section of the 
center by a WRA committee working with Army officials. 

The administration of the segregated area by the WRA as announced 
by the Project Director means that complete supervision will be in the 
hands of the project officials. 40 

This act was to mean that the force of the irritation and anger of 
the evacuees about continued detention would shortly be directed 
entirely toward WRA, which could no longer pass along the blame 
for detention to the Army. 

On May 24 an incident of extremely high explosive potentiality 
occurred. An evacuee worker in the construction crew, returning 
to the project from his assignment outside the area, had an alterca- 
tion with an armed sentry and was shot at close range. He died on 
the following day. Here was a repetition, under even more distress- 
ing circumstances, of a situation which, late in October, had thrown 
the camp into turmoil: a worker had been killed, not accidentally 
as before, but apparently in cold blood. The incident was witnessed 
by some dozen evacuees. 

Some time later an account of the incident was built up from 
these eyewitness accounts by a committee of eight Issei and formed 
the basis of a report submitted to the Japanese government via the 
Spanish Consul. This version follows: 

Immediately after the incident of November 4, 1943, the Army with the 
aid of the WRA, constructed fence, segregating the Colony and the Ad- 
ministrative area. Four gates were constructed and Army sentries were 
assigned to examine the workers who passed through the gate from the 
Colony area into the restricted zone. Recently, evacuee workers were 
issued work buttons and blue cards. There have been complaints about 
the gate-pass procedure, which required different type of buttons, about 
two inches in diameter white, green, and red. . . . Despite inconveniences 
of the gate-pass procedure, there was no evidence of generalized center 
hatred for the sentries. 

On the morning of May 24, the Center was calm and undisturbed. 
Then, at approximately 2:20 P.M., May 24, 1944, the shooting occurred. 
The victim, Shoichi James Okamoto, was 30 years old, had been born in 

40 Newell Star, May 25, 1944. 


Garden Grove, California, and had never been abroad. In the Center, he 
was a truck driver, properly licensed and assigned to the construction crew. 

Okamoto was driving Truck #100-41 at the order of the construction 
supervisor ... to get lumber piled across the highway from the old main 
gate, which is called Gate #4. He carried all necessary identification 
papers and badges and was qualified as a truck driver permitted to pass 
into the restricted area. In his truck, a swamper named Harry Takanashi 
. . . accompanied Okamoto on this assignment; he likewise was provided 
with all necessary identification to go outside the perimeter gate. The 
witnesses, besides Takanashi who rode next to Okamoto, included eleven 
boys from the heavy equipment crew who were waiting for an Army escort 
to go out to the cinder pit. This crew had three trucks parked in a semi- 
circular form, close to Gate #4. Okamoto and Takanashi were permitted 
to pass out the gate and the fatal shooting occurred when they were re- 
turning via the same gate. 

According to Takanashi, the new sentry had just come on duty. Word 
has it that the new sentry was in a disagreeable mood and was known as 
one of the tougher sentries. The two on the truck went over the line a bit. 
The sentry, on Okamoto's side of the truck, could see Takanashi's badge, 
but could not at first see Okamoto's because of the high sidedoor of the 
truck, and because of the sentry's short stature. It is claimed that the badge 
was on Okamoto's jacket, as was necessary. The sentry asked to see the 
badge in a disagreeable fashion. Okamoto showed the pass, was allowed 
through, and returned with his truck and swamper in a few minutes. On 
the way back, his truck drove up close to the heavy equipment crew's 
trucks. There were 1 1 boys on the equipment crew, the trucks in a semi- 
circle form, standing near the gate with fellows on the running boards, 
fenders, and around the vehicles. It is said that the sentry made remarks 
to them. The most usual phrase which was repeated in the center was, 
"What the hell are you Japs doing waiting to climb the hill?" At this 
juncture, Okamoto was driving in towards the gate and the sentry's atten- 
tion was focused back upon him. While he had been waved through the 
gate a few minutes before, he was now ceremoniously halted. It is claimed 
Okamoto said words to the effect of, "Well, here's the pass." Perhaps this 
sounded cocky to the already irritated guard. The sentry ordered him off 
the truck and commanded Takanashi to drive. Without a driver's license, 
the latter explained, he could not drive a truck. The sentry, it is said, was 
infuriated at this delay. From then on, commands were well peppered 
with curses. This took time and raised tension all around. To Takanashi's 
answer the guard is said to have replied, "You Japs and your WRA friends 

are trying to run the whole camp." He then turned back to Okamoto 

Heavy equipment boys, not many feet away, were talking among them- 
selves of the sentry's aggressive and insulting manner, and some despite 
the tension were saying, "They're not all like that," "This one has it in 
for 'Japs,' etc." Okamoto was apparently apprehensive by this time. When 
ordered out of the truck he had done so reluctantly and had left the truck 
door opened. At this juncture a Ford V-8, driven by Roy S. Campbell, a 


Caucasian WRA staff, arrived from the highway and stopped with engine 
running, about 7 feet from the end of Okamoto's truck. 

According to Takanashi and other witnesses, the sentry at that time 
cocked his gun and went around via front to the other side of the truck 
where Okamoto was standing. The sentry then ordered Okamoto to the 
back of the truck. This would have been just outside the gate. Okamoto 
started but hesitated for an instant. At this point, speculate on the guards 
motives, with true concentration-camp psychology, the suspicion is that 
the guard wished to shoot him outside the gate. (Shot while trying to 
escape.) Okamoto's hesitation is explained by this point. In the moment 
of hesitation, in which most say no pipes were lit and no words said, the 
sentry struck Okamoto sideways on the right shoulder with a rifle-butt. 
Okamoto raised his right arm and moved his body slightly back to ward 
off any further blows. While in this defensive position, the guard stepped 
back one pace and from a distance of four or five feet fired without warn- 
ing. In all accounts stemming from eyewitness testimony, the act was 
looked upon as an unprovoked attack, Okamoto fell with what seemed to 
have been a close-range stomach wound. Residents speculated on the pos- 
sibility of the sentry having been overseas, having been shell-shocked, or 
being mentally below par. It is said, in the center, that Takanashi cer- 
tainly must have been cool-headed about the affair since he summoned an 
ambulance in less than one minute. At any rate, the account which he and 
his co-workers gave as signed testimony to the Police Department in inter- 
views with all eyewitnesses on the scene shortly thereafter is said to be 
factual and logical. The story of all eyewitnesses, despite already distorted 
newspaper versions, such as in the S. F. Examiner that the one Caucasian, 
Roy Campbell, eyewitness account, 41 probably fits the picture drawn for 

The heavy equipment crew was thunderstruck. The sentry cursed, 
seemed nervous, and it is said, swung the rifle in their general direction. 
More cursing "You people get the hell out of here" and they fled, 
Takanashi trying to get the hospital on the phone. Another crew of five 
stumbling on the scene were ordered back by the sentry. The ambulance 
arrived. . . . 

Okamoto was immediately hospitalized. How long a time elapsed before 
he was hospitalized is not known; some say 20 minutes. According to the 
attending physician and surgeon every possible means of treatment was 

41 The newspaper account, to which reference is made, stated: "The witness, 
a Caucasian employee of the WRA, said he did not know the cause of the argu- 

" 'The guard said, "Don't get out of that truck," ' the witness related. 'Anyhow 
the Jap got out on the driver's side and I am sure the guard said, "Don't come 
any closer, you b ." ' 

" 'About that time he drew up his rifle, butt end. He was going to hit him on 
the head. 

" 'The Jap moved, the guard backed up about three feet and shot.' " San 
Francisco Examiner, May 25, 1944. 


administered. ... In spite of the doctors' effort, Okamoto died at 12:10 
A.M., May 25, 1944- 42 

As in the case of Kashima's death, the immediate reaction of the 
residents to this fatality was shock, intense fear, and anger. There 
was a reluctance to pass through the sentry-guarded gates. The con- 
struction crew, of which Okamoto had been a member, met and 
refused to resume work. Workers on many other crews failed to 
report for duty on the day after the shooting. Grievance meetings 
were held throughout the project on the evening of May 24 and the 
following day. 

Due to quick and effective action by WRA officials, however, 
anger was turned against the Army rather than against the admin- 
istration. As reported by WRA, "[the] event . . . somewhat reduced 
the opposition to WRA and made it stand, rather, in the light of 
protector." 48 

The strategy WRA used in handling the incident was in sharp 
contrast with its tactics at the time of Kashima's death. Mr. Best 
immediately circulated a statement of regret about the tragedy, and 
he and other project officials called on the bereaved family. Secre- 
tary of the Interior Ickes issued an indignant radio and press re- 
lease, calling the shooting "completely unwarranted and without 
provocation on the part of the victim." 44 Two automobiles were 
placed at the disposal of the family, and another was sent to the 
Heart Mountain Relocation Project to bring other relatives to the 
funeral. Employment compensation papers were filed immediately. 
Plans for a public funeral were approved and facilitated. Cauca- 
sian and evacuee members of the WRA police force were stationed 
at the gates, near the sentries, to alleviate the workers' fears of pass- 
ing the armed sentries. 

Best's message of regret, which was circulated in both English 
and Japanese, was reported in the Newell Star, of May 25, as follows: 

Mr. Best made a statement this morning which was read at all of the 
mess halls in the center. The statement follows: 

"I regret very much that one of the center residents was shot yesterday 
afternoon by a military police sentry and that he died at the center hos- 
pital early this morning. Everything was done by the medical staff at the 

42 Report of the Investigation Committee on the Shoichi James Okamoto Inci- 
dent, July 3, 1944. 

43 WRA, Semi-Annual Report, January i to June 30, 1944, p. 30. 

44 Newell Star, June i, 1944. 


hospital to save his life and a great many people stood ready to give their 

Investigation is being conducted by the military and proper disciplinary 
action will follow. The WRA was in no way responsible for the shooting, 
and I want you all to know that we regret that it happened. No further 
statement can be made at this time pending the investigation by the 
board, but as soon as facts are available they will be given to the residents 
in full detail." 

At the same time Mr. Best expressed sympathy to the bereaved members 
of the family and offered to make available to them any facilities of the 

In the same issue of the Newell Star, Okamoto's older brother was 
quoted as wanting 

a complete and unbiased investigation of the circumstances surrounding 
the shooting and full justice meted, although he hoped that there would 
be no undue disturbance within the center over the affair. 

The effectiveness of this policy is shown both by the fact that 
the construction crew and other workers immediately called off 
their strike and by the attitudes of many informants. 

On May 25 J. Y. Kurihara reported: 

I heard quite a lot of criticism about it, but one thing surprises me: the 
people are very calm. There is quite a lot of resentment, but they are not 
excited. The people are saying, "Let's be cool and find out more about it 
before we take any action. We must not make any rash judgment until we 
know the facts completely." The colony itself is taking it calmly. 

You might find hot heads may start to agitate. But we must be fair. 
Mr. Best is not responsible. 

We had an announcement here at noon in English and Japanese. As I 
say, they were very calm. The Japanese can take it. They'll take it more 
than any other race. 

From the information that has been gathered, of course, I don't know. 
It looks as if the soldier used too rash judgment in using his gun. 45 

A young Nisei girl, at about this same time, said that the people 
were calm but that they were talking a great deal and had had a 
meeting that morning. "They do not as yet know who was right, 
but think the soldier was too quick with his gun." 46 

Tsuruda's wife, a Nisei, emphasized the quieting effect of Ickes' 

The people are angry about it. But we heard over the radio that Secre- 
tary Ickes said that it was the soldier's fault, that the soldier was going to 
hit Okamoto on the head. That made the people feel better. 

45 Field Notes, May 25, 1944. 46 Field Notes, May 25, 1944. 


They were all angry around here but nobody knew what it was all 
about. Some were saying, "Well, maybe Okamoto got fresh." But now 
even Secretary Ickes blames the M.P. 47 

Some informants, however, refused to exonerate WRA com- 
pletely from blame. June Yamaguchi, for example, said that she 
felt the announcement made at the mess hall sounded as if WRA 
were trying to avoid responsibility. 

It was Mr. Best's fault for bringing in the military in the first place. 48 

Immediately after the shooting, the sentry, a man named Goe, 
was placed under arrest and an investigation board was appointed 
by Colonel Austin. It was announced that a court-martial would 
be held after the completion of the Army investigation. Meantime 
an inquest by the Coroner of Modoc County was held, and on May 
26 a verdict was released to the effect that Okamoto came to his 
death "by a soldier of the United States Army in the performance 
of his duty." 49 District Attorney Lederer of Modoc County reported 
on the inquest as follows: 

Lederer said the [coroner's] jury received "eighteen different stories." 

Sifting these stories, he continued, it appeared that Okamoto and the 
unnamed sentry first had words when Okamoto drove outbound through 
the gate to pick up a load of lumber. 

When Okamoto returned to the gate, inbound with the lumber, he 
again exchanged angry words with the sentry over the latter's demand to 
see his pass, said the district attorney. Witnesses declared that Okamoto 
was "sarcastic." 

"The sentry ordered him from the truck," Lederer said. "But Okamoto 
refused. Then the guard ordered him again and the driver left the vehicle. 

"The guard then ordered him to the rear of the truck, where a WRA 
car was parked, and again Okamoto refused." 

The soldier was holding his rifle at the port arms position across his 
chest when Okamoto made a sudden move as though to grab the rifle, said 
the district attorney. It was at that point that the sentry took two steps 
back and fired. 50 

From statements collected three or four days after the incident, 
it became apparent that many people believed that the court- 
martial proceedings would result in a "whitewash." Some feared 
an outbreak if the sentry was exonerated. Tsuruda, for example, 
showed the conflicting emotions that the strain had induced: 

47 Ibid. 40 San Francisco Examiner, May 27, 1944. 


A lot of how this goes is going to depend on how WRA handles it be- 
tween now and the time the verdict of the court-martial is released. If 
WRA can prove to the people that they are sincere in their belief that the 
man who was shot was of no fault, and that they did their best to get 
justice, then things might quiet down. But if they justify the sentry com- 
pletely, there's going to be a blow-off. They'll have to build a double fence 
around the administration section. 

The smartest thing WRA could do is to start impressing the people now 
that the military is responsible and not WRA. After all, the man was a 
soldier. ... It comes under the jurisdiction of the War Department 

There are people who talk like this: "Well, we can't expect justice from 
the Army here inasmuch as we are disloyal Japs and their enemies. If 
that's the case and the soldier is exonerated, all we can do is learn his 
name and remember it until after the war and see which side wins." They 
want to bring it up at the peace conference. 

Another faction says, "You won't hear anymore about this until after 
the war. By that time, they hope the people will have forgotten about it." 

If the soldier is exonerated, that will give the M.P.'s the impression that 
the lives of the Japs in here are not worth a hell of a lot. That's just asking 
for more shooting. It all depends on what the verdict is. 51 

Wakida stated that he had a good deal of business to transact in 
the administrative areas but he was not going to risk going through 
the gates. His wife remarked that the sight of soldiers patrolling 
camp with machine guns was offensive. But neither Wakida nor 
his wife, however, believed that the people would make any demon- 
stration. "What can we do?" asked Wakida, "We're only Japs. All 
we can do is take it." 52 

A young Kibei informant from Block 2 1 stated categorically that 
the soldiers should be kept out of camp. 

Everytime the people see them they feel worse. If the soldier is acquitted, 
the best thing WRA can do to avoid trouble is to remove the soldiers 
completely and tear down the fence. Then trouble might not start. It 
would be all right to have the military at the main gate, but at the other 
gates-No. 53 

In this tense atmosphere the public funeral arrangements were 
made by a committee of block managers and representatives of the 
Construction Crew and Motor Pool. A wake, held in the high 
school auditorium on the evening of May 30, was said to have been 
attended by some 1,200 persons; and the funeral on May 31, held on 

51 Field Notes, May 27, 1944. 

52 Field Notes, May 28, 1944. 
63 Ibid. 


the outdoor stage, had an attendance variously estimated at from 
4,000 to 9,000. According to the Neioell Star of June i : 

Thousands came from all parts of the center, in spite of the cold dis- 
comfort, to stand with bowed heads in tribute to the deceased. At the 
same time they were expressing a protest against the hate and intolerance 
engendered by this war. Men and women, young and old, mothers with 
babies in their arms, thus offered sympathy to the bereaved family. Every 
person present was moved by sorrow. 

Mr. Best and other high-ranking project officials were present, 
and Best gave a memorial address: 

I wish to express regret that this unhappy event has occurred. I have 
already assured the young man's family on behalf of the administration 
that all in our power will be done to assist them in their hour of grief. 

The community is to be commended for the help that it has given the 
bereaved family and for the public expressions of sympathy. The spirit 
shown during the past few days gives me confidence that we have learned 
to live under the difficult and complex conditions that prevail in this 
center. 54 

After the funeral, reactions, in the main, were still favorable to 
the administration. Mr. Best's courteous gesture was evidently 
deeply appreciated by the residents in general, although some of 
the more cynical interpreted it as "a first-rate political gesture." 

J. Y. Kurihara remarked with considerable emotion: 

I felt happy that he came and made that talk. Not to do it would have 
made the people suspicious. I felt very good about it. Undoubtedly he 
created a better feeling by coming than by staying away. 

The Japanese people thought sure he would send Mr. Black or Mr. 
Robertson and that Mr. Best wouldn't come. They were surprised. He has 
regained some confidence. Coming in and speaking showed courage. 55 

Wakida said: 

He's good now, but think what happened last time [the farm accident]. 
He's learned. . . . Now he has confidence in our behaving peacefully. 50 

Yamashita gave the more cynical interpretation and expressed 
an attitude undoubtedly common among members of the under- 
ground pressure group: 

As you know, the shooting took place in such a manner that it was 
liable to cause almost any kind of trouble with grave consequence. But 

54 Newell Star, June i, 1944. M Ibid. 

55 Field Notes, June 3, 1944. 


with the experience of the past, residents of this center kept themselves 
very quiet, knowing themselves how serious a matter it was. The adminis- 
tration has done a marvelous job of taking the matter very cautiously, 
trying to calm the feelings of the residents. 

The question of sincereness and sympathy to the family, on the part of 
the administration, is, in my opinion, doubtful. But they have worked in 
a very, very wise way to prevent some incident which might occur. Leaving 
the funeral to be a camp funeral was done very excellently and that I 
appreciate and admire. The administration was wise in persuading the 
residents to have a public funeral. That was one of the reasons which 
should be considered important in calming down the feelings of the 
people. Mr. Best was very wise in making the funeral so big. It made 
people feel very good, at the expense of the residents. [I.e., cash contribu- 
tions were received from the residents.] 

If this was a public funeral, which the administration sincerely recog- 
nized, it should have been paid for by the government or the adminis- 

The committee who arranged the funeral was more or less pulled in as 
tools of Mr. Best. 57 

Kurusu wrote an excellent summary of general camp attitudes 
about ten days after the shooting 

Generally speaking, the attitude and sentiment of the colony toward 
shooting incident is very quiet and does not make sharp and strong criti- 
cism in comparison to the last year's incident. It seems to give me a hint 
that on account of the past experienced troublesome period, the colonists 
are acting much more sensibly and observing the present existing condi- 
tion with the eyes of great interest. 

As far as I can observe the present existing public sentiment, I hope 
that probably there will be no public disturbance or see the slightest tend- 
ency of trouble and pressure group. However, it appears to me that the 
colonists have received considerable shock and a tendency of great anger 
toward thoughtless cruel barbaric inhuman being attitude of the military 

With the most prudent attitude and the greatest interest, the colony is 
observing the progress of the present affairs and those false communica- 
tion and broadcasting over radio deeply degrade the public morale and 
extremely irritate the public sentiment and anger. As the most typical 
characteristic of the Orient races, especially, Japanese has a great tendency 
toward excitement, irritation and judge things sentimentally. In consid- 
eration of these facts I sincerely hope that the authority take thorough 
steps for the investigation and the justice will be done for a better solu- 
tion. Also I have confidence that the colony is eagerly waiting with great 
expectation for the official announcement of the truth. 58 

57 Field Notes, June 14, 1944. 

58 Isamu Kurusu, Letter, June 5, 1944. 


Some evacuee leaders attempted to make political capital out 
of the tragic shooting. The Divisional Responsible Men, spurred 
on by former Coordinating Committee members, and the under- 
ground pressure group both attempted to intrude themselves into 
the picture. 

The Divisional Responsible Men met on May 26, the day after 
Okamoto's death, ostensibly "for the purpose of discussing future 
preventive or precautionary measures to avoid the recurrence of 
an incident similar or diverse in nature to the one in which James 
Okamoto was a victim, as well as take steps in assisting in any way 
possible with the disposition of the case." 50 Pointing to the fact that 
no representative body had been formed to care for the residents' 
interests, they proposed that a "temporary group" 

to deal with the immediately pending problems, such as insurance of 
safety when passing through the Gates, be formed. Then, future plans for 
a workers' group may be discussed and decided upon later, subsequent to 
the Administration's approval or rejection. 80 

A temporary committee was thereupon appointed, but, when it 
met with the Project Director on May 30, the members received a 
cold response on the grounds that they were intruding political 
considerations into a purely personal matter. 

Mr. Best expressed great distress over the incident and stated that as 
our respect to the man who passed away, tribute must be paid purely on 
a religious and personal basis in which politics should be wholly unin- 
volved. He further mentioned that an establishment of a temporary body 
composed of responsible men of various divisions and sections may tend 
to divide the colony again. He felt that another trouble, presumably 
caused by this recent incident, will not recur; that is, he hoped it will not. 
If it should, it will be one in which people will be against the administra- 
tion and in such an event, the people are the only ones who are going to 
suffer. If in the future, at any time, any incident of any nature occurs from 
which trouble starts, "we might just as well wash our hands and have the 
Army take over the camp," Mr. Best commented. 

The program under way to establish a Representative Committee to 
disseminate information and to talk and counsel with brought no response 
from the Colony because there were some groups which disliked the 
administration and groups which disliked the Divisional Responsible 
Men, the Project Director informed. As a whole, Mr. Best felt that it was 
inadvisable to form such a body (committee) at the present time. Mr. 
Black pointed out that in view of the nonacceptance of the administra- 
tion's invitation to proceed with the formation of the Representative 

50 Minutes of the meeting, May 26, 1944. Ibid. 


Committee, setting up of a temporary committee, which will not be au- 
thorized by Washington, will stall off the time when we can bring about 
the required Representative Committee which Washington has already 
approved. 61 

Miss Yamaguchi (Sasaki's secretary) described the indignation 
and hurt feelings of the members of the former Coordinating Com- 
mittee at this rebuff when she said: 

Because of this shooting they wanted to make some sort of a labor organ- 
ization to protect the workers. Mr. Best said he was really distressed over 
the incident but politics should not be involved in the funeral; it should 
be a purely religious matter, purely a matter of paying tribute to the 

Mr. Kitagawa, Mr. Kami and Mr. Sasaki say, "No matter how hard we 
work and how much we try to do for the people we are always called inu. 
So we might as well leave the place alone and let it burn up." 62 

The underground pressure group used the incident to fan up 
resentment against the Army and the administration. Its leaders 
posed as protectors of the "oppressed," and one of them (Kira) is 
said to have threatened that if the sentry were exonerated in the 
court-martial, some Caucasian would pay for the verdict with his 

The results of the court-martial were not announced until the 
end of the first week in July, about six weeks after the shooting. 
The sentry was acquitted. Nothing came of Kira's threats, and the 
predicted troubles did not materialize. 

The institution of court-martial proceedings had been an- 
nounced in the Newell Star of July 6, 1944: 

Court-martial proceedings for the sentry . . . commenced today at the 
military area here, announced the administration. Officers from other 
military posts have been detailed here to conduct the court martial. 

Although it is contrary to military rules for any civilian to be present at 
a military court-martial, exceptions were made in this case. Arrangements 
were made by Dillon S. Myer, national director of WRA, with the War 
Department so that eight residents of the center may be present at the 
proceedings. Among those attending today will be a member of the Oka- 
moto family and representatives of the committee of Japanese nationals 
which will make a report covering the case to the Spanish Embassy. 

Representatives of the WRA project staff and Edgar Bernhard, WRA 
attorney from San Francisco Regional Office, will also be present. 

61 Minutes of the meeting, May 30, 1944. 

62 Field Notes, June 15, 1944. 


The trial was described in the public press as follows: 

Private Goe, charged with manslaughter in connection with the death 
of 30 year old [Shoichi Okamoto], a disloyal resident of the camp, testified 
in his own behalf before a board composed of five colonels, a lieutenant 
colonel, and two captains. . . . 

The verdict was reached after an hour's deliberation. 63 

The verdict had relatively little impact on the residents gen- 
erally. By this time the temper of the community had changed. A 
series of inu beatings had, just a few days before, culminated in a 
murder, and most of the residents were preoccupied and confused 
by this new crisis. 

The acquittal of the soldier was, however, discussed resentfully 
by some individuals. Others regarded it cynically as an action that 
might have been expected from the American government. J. Y. 
Kurihara wrote: 

The American laws are born out of Congressional incubator, turned 
out by the thousands to suit the occasions which benefit themselves. I 
would rather live among the barbarians than among the hypocritical, 
selfish, everything-for-myself Americans. Their laws are mockery to civili- 
zation. They can shoot and kill an innocent man for no reason whatever 
and be acquitted, as pronounced by the court-martial freeing Pvt. Bernard 
Goe, who shot Shoichi Okamoto on May 24. ... 

The resentment over this very unfavorable verdict is great. Why 
shouldn't it be? To kill a man just because he was afraid of him is no 
excuse, yet the officers have acquitted the sentry. A cowardly shooting and 
a shameless verdict. This is America, hypocritical America. 01 

A Nisei girl said: 

There were harsh reactions to the acquittal. It was very shocking and 
disappointing news. It seemed so unfair and unjust. 65 

Another Nisei girl said: 

The verdict was kind of expected. They knew the result before they 
even started. All those things are whitewashed. 60 

63 "Sentry Exonerated in Tule Lake Jap Slaying," San Francisco Examiner, 
July 7, 1944. 

* J. Y. Kurihara (manuscript). 

65 Field Notes, July 18, 1944. 

66 Field Notes, July 19, 1944. 


Chapter X 


Suspicion, Beatings, and Murder 


JLHE PERIOD DESCRIBED in the preceding chapter 
was characterized by extreme apathy and indifference to admin- 
istrative proposals and actions. At the same time, however, the 
undercurrent of suspicion toward fellow-evacuee collaborators, 
fence sitters, and "loyals" was gaining strength. The dual fear of 
being informed upon by an inu and of oneself being classified as 
an inu has been discussed in Chapter VIII, where the tactics of the 
underground pressure group in labeling an ever-increasing number 
of its opponents with this derogatory tag have also been described. 
Most members of the Coordinating Committee, many of their 
backers among the Divisional Responsible Men, the old Tulean 
clique in general, and a number of the transferees who had taken 
a public stand in favor of cooperation with the administration, 
were being called inu. Most prominent among these alleged in- 
formers were Kitagawa, Minami, Niiyama, and Oyama of the Civic 
Organizations; Sasaki, Kami, and Noma of the Cooperative Enter- 
prises; Watanabe, and other deserters of the Daihyo Sha Kai cause, 
all of whom were called "Public Inu Number One." 

It will be remembered that Army representatives met with mem- 
bers of the Negotiating Committee daily after the November 4 
disturbance until November 1 2, when they abruptly refused to have 
any further dealings with the committee members on the grounds 
that they were not truly representative of the community. The 
Commanding Officer admitted, at this time, that he was receiving 
information from evacuees discrediting the Negotiating Committee 
and Daihyo Sha Kai. The leaders of these evacuee organizations 
suspected that the hostile reports had come from Kami and Kita- 


gawa. The suspicion soon became public information and these 
men were held responsible for the subsequent crackdown by the 
Army and the institution of martial law. When the leaders were 
arrested and thrown into the stockade, without specific charges filed 
against them, in November and December, Daihyo Sha Kai sup- 
porters firmly believed that informers, such as Minami, Niiyama, 
Oyama, Kami, and Noma were to blame. When the Army suddenly 
arrested other Daihyo Sha Kai supporters on the morning the status 
quo referendum was being taken, and when status quo was defeated 
by such a narrow margin in the subsequent vote, the two events 
were connected as further evidence of the use by the Army of 
informers hostile to Daihyo Sha Kai. Noma came under especial 
suspicion during the period of martial law because he was ob- 
served frequently entertaining Army officers at his apartment and 
was exempted from the Army-imposed curfew regulations. 

When martial law was lifted the activities of the newly created 
Coordinating Committee, and the enthusiastic support it received 
from WRA, did nothing to diminish suspicions of its members, 
many of whom were the same ones who had been thought to be 
informing the Army. In particular, the administration-approved 
committee plan of using "fielders" for "intelligence work" con- 
firmed these suspicions. The committee's policy of asking for only 
"justifiable" release of stockade detainees made it apparent that, 
with administrative sanction, it was determined to keep its most 
outspoken opponents incarcerated indefinitely. It was also blamed 
for the new arrests that were made sporadically. When Watanabe, 
who had been one of the original Daihyo Sha Kai members, joined 
forces with the Coordinating Committee and was given special 
status as advisor to the committee, his earlier obstructive tactics 
in regard to Daihyo Sha Kai were remembered. His frequent visits 
to project officials, and the fact that a few Negotiating Committee 
members and Daihyo Sha Kai block representatives, who were his 
close friends, escaped arrest while those known to be his enemies 
were apprehended, left no doubt in the minds of many residents 
that he was an inn par excellence. Without exception, members of 
the Coordinating Committee were considered informers, and 
Sasaki, its executive secretary, necessarily took the brunt of the 
blame for its activities. The tie-up between the committee and the 
Coop was also viewed unfavorably by the residents. 


On the imaginary list of Public Inu Number One were included 
also Police Chief Suzukawa and several members of the Evacuee 
Police Force. Ever since segregation the evacuee police had been 
under suspicion by the segregant transferees, who knew that after 
registration only Yes-Yes or "loyals" had been allowed to serve on 
police forces in relocation projects. They believed that the same 
policy held in the Tule Lake segregation center, 1 and that the 
administration was employing "loyals" in this capacity to spy on 
the "disloyal" residents. Furthermore, the police were in an inher- 
ently vulnerable position since they had to work closely with the 
administration and, in enforcing law and order, to carry out poli- 
cies that often clashed with the residents' wishes. They were, for 
example, required to investigate alleged pro-Japanese activities 
which were disapproved by the administration but condoned by 
the community. In this connection they were frequently accused 
of informing on fellow evacuees, of obstructing "harmless" activ- 
ities, of harrassing "innocent" people and, in general, of breaking 
the unwritten law which required every Japanese to keep damag- 
ing information about his fellow evacuees within his own racial 
group. The incompatibility of their duty to collaborate with the 
administration in enforcing law and order and their obligation as 
evacuees to observe the unwritten law tended to inactivate the 
police force. They avoided involvement in any action by which 
they might be considered inu. As a result social control by legal 
sanctions weakened progressively. Lawbreakers, who had been 
"legitimately" arrested, often took advantage of the prevailing state 
of pathological suspicion and called their arraigners inu, hoping 
thereby to establish their "innocence" in the eyes of the commu- 
nity. And, although the inaction of the police against gamblers, 
who were operating openly in the project, brought accusations that 
they were taking bribes from gambling and vice interests, the police 
chose in most cases not to arrest the offenders, for to do so might 
lead to the more dangerous accusation of being inu. 

A man named Kurokawa was also included among Public Inu 
Number One. He had been confined in the stockade, but, after his 
release, was often seen in the administrative area and was said to 
be an unofficial advisor to the Project Director. After obtaining 

1 This was an erroneous impression. At Tule Lake there was no such require- 
ment in force. 


employment with the Reports Division he had, apparently on his 
own initiative, opened an office and set up a sign designating 
it as "Research Headquarters." Suspicious residents immediately 
dubbed the office "Inu Headquarters." 

Residents did not hesitate to suggest that their private enemies, 
or persons whom they merely disliked, were inu. Usually no spe- 
cific accusations were made. It was sufficiently damning to pass 
along the word that "so-and-so is an inu." By May it was difficult to 
find an informant who was not vociferously castigating the gen- 
erally recognized Public Inu or giving vague hints about other 
suspicious characters. As a Nisei girl expressed it: "Every place 
you look you see an inu." 2 

Ever since status quo had been broken it was widely believed that 
the inu would be the objects of violence. It was even hinted, occa- 
sionally, that their lives were in danger. For many weeks, however, 
no overt punishment of inu took place. They were, instead, sub- 
jected to distressing forms of social ostracism. A suspected inu 
would be met with marked hostility in mess halls, block meetings, 
recreation halls, latrines. People would break off conversations at 
his approach, or would lower their voices to whispers. Children 
would bark at him suggestively. 3 Young men would shout "Hey, 
inu!" as he passed. Rumors that certain persons were planning to 
waylay and beat him up would reach his ears. His wife and children 
would be similarly shunned and insulted. The long-expected series 
of beatings did not actually get under way until the middle of 
June, when, within less than two weeks, at least four "inu beatings" 

On or about June 12 Masato Noma, brother of Takeo Noma, the 
general manager of the Cooperative Enterprises, was so severely 
beaten in a night attack that he had concussion of the brain, and 
it was reported that he might lose his eyesight. The reasons for the 
beating were widely discussed. Many people believed that he had 
been mistaken for his brother, Takeo, who, it was agreed, was a 
Public Inu Number One. Others claimed that the beating was 
intended as an example and reproof for Takeo who had, upon 
Masato's recent arrival from the Santa Fe detention camp, favored 
him with the prized position of manager of the sewing factory in 
the Cooperative Enterprises. There seemed to be general agreement 
2 Field Notes, June 4, 1944. 3 Cf. pp. 78-79. 


that popular resentment against Takeo Noma was directly or 
indirectly responsible for Masato's beating. 

On the night of June 13 Anzai, an Issei warden on the police 
force, was the victim of an assault so serious that he was said to have 
suffered a fractured skull. This incident was the culmination of 
friction between status quo and anti status quo factions in Anzai's 
block (Block 54). The block had been split almost in half on the 
status quo referendum. 4 Even after the referendum the status quo 
anti status quo cleavage dominated block meetings, and Anzai and 
another Issei became known as spokesmen for the anti status quo 
position. They were accused of threatening to report questionable 
activities of their opponents to the administration. A crisis had 
arisen several weeks before the beating when these two Issei had 
publicly criticized certain young men in the block for indulging 
in "morning exercises" in imitation of militaristic exercises cus- 
tomary in Japan. Resenting this criticism, several of the young men 
(said to be members of the underground pressure group) sought 
out the two Issei and, after a heated argument, locked one of them 
in the public ironing room. The second Issei escaped and called in 
the evacuee police, who released his friend but did not apprehend 
the culprits. The block residents, irrespective of their former stand 
on the status quo issue, now repudiated the two Issei completely. 
They petitioned the administration to remove them from the block, 
and they petitioned Suzukawa, the evacuee chief of police, to re- 
move Anzai from the Police Force. Neither of the petitions was 
acted upon, and the two men continued as unwelcome, suspected 
residents of the block. When, less than a week later, eleven men 
from the block were arrested and placed in the stockade, suspicion 
that Anzai and his friend were culpable inu became a certainty in 
the minds of their fellow residents. Most residents, outside the 
block, knew little or nothing of the details of the friction that led 
to the violence. It was generally agreed, however, that Anzai was 
beaten because he was an inu. Few people questioned the validity 
of this accusation; the mere fact that other people were calling him 
an inu was accepted as justification for the act. 

Reactions of the residents to the beatings varied from gratifica- 
tion and condonation to mild rebukes. J. Y. Kurihara reported that 
"the majority of the people are enjoying the beatings." 

4 Continued status quo was favored by 52 per cent, opposed by 48 per cent. 


Kurihara added: 

The beatings can be justified from various angles. The Japanese have 
grievances against the administration, but they know as a fact that they're 
helpless. Naturally, the only thing they can think of doing is how to get 
back at those who spy on them. I think these beatings will keep going on 
for quite a while. I think there will be at least a half a dozen more. The 
administration listens to the inu and not to the others. So such things 
happen. 6 

Yamashita said: 

Knowing the Japanese as a race, knowing them for their courtesy and 
their good behavior, I say that if anyone is beaten there is a certain funda- 
mental reason justifying it. 

I hate to see any Japanese beaten by our countrymen. The fundamental 
reason for such beatings is the way this camp is governed. 8 

A few days after the Anzai beating, Harry Takanashi, the chief 
eyewitness of the Okamoto shooting, was threatened but escaped a 
beating. It was alleged that his testimony at the coroner's inquest, 
unfavorable to Okamoto, had resulted in exoneration of the sentry. 

On June 2 1 a mentally deranged evacuee attacked his roommate 
and another elderly Issei with a hammer and almost killed one of 
them. Although it was widely known and acknowledged that the 
victims had never been called inu, the inu obsession was so uni- 
versal that some people began to say that they must have been inu. 
A Nisei girl, for example, reported: 

People are saying that even this beating was an inu beating. The old 
man found out that his friends were acting like inn? 

By the middle of June the project administration had become 
aware of the tensions and the disorganized condition in the camp. 
It was also cognizant of the unpopularity and inherent weakness 
of the evacuee police. In an attempt to improve the deteriorated 
relations of the police with the residents, the administration had 
planned to organize a Police Commission 8 composed of eight ward 
representatives. An announcement in the Newell Star of June i 

5 Field Notes, June 17, 1944. 

6 Field Notes, June 14, 1944. 

7 Field Notes, July 2, 1944. 

8 There was an earlier Police Commission composed of three evacuee members 
selected by the Coordinating Committee. This body was very unpopular and 
ineffectual and soon went out of existence. 


attracted little interest from the residents. But as the beatings 
continued, social disorganization in the community became more 
pronounced. Petty thefts and other crimes took place with increas- 
ing frequency; the WRA officials became alarmed and renewed 
their efforts to organize the commission by announcing on June 22 
that "an election will be held Wednesday [June 28] in each block to 
select by ballot or by acclamation one man whom they consider 
qualified to act as a Police Commissioner." 9 Another election was 
to be held on July 5 to select three candidates from each ward from 
among the block choices; and from these three ward candidates the 
administration was to select one police commissioner. 

By the formation of the commission the administration hoped to 
enlist evacuee leaders to cope with the situation and to bring 
"about an understanding and cooperation between the colonists 
and the police department in the enforcement of rules which have 
been set up for the good of the center." 10 This administrative action 
again met passive resistance from the residents in the form of non- 
cooperation. Before the election many evacuees predicted that it 
would be a failure. A man in Ward VIII remarked caustically, 
"Who wants to be a legalized inuT'^ Kurihara predicted it would be 
a "resounding failure. Nobody with any self-respect would take the 
position because he would inevitably be labeled as inu." i2 

And Tsuruda said: 

I don't think it's going to be such a hot idea. The people aren't going 
to like it. It's giving them the impression that the administration is put- 
ting them under additional surveillance. 13 

Wakida was more optimistic: 

It may have a fifty-fifty chance. You see the Internal Security is very bad. 
Somebody might think, "We're going to change this system." So the elec- 
tion might go better than the one to select a representative body in May. 14 

The Tsuchikawas, pressure-group leaders, stated that they hoped 
the election would be even a greater failure than the attempt to 
elect representatives in May. 15 

When the election was held on June 28, only three blocks elected 
candidates. Wakida's wife reported: 

Newell Star, June 22, 1944. 13 Field Notes, June 25, 1944. 

10 Ibid. " Field Notes, June 23, 1944. 

II Field Notes, July 2, 1944. 15 Field Notes, June 24, 1944. 
12 Field Notes, June 26, 1944. 


The block manager announced it in the mess hall at lunch time. He said 
we'd have a meeting. But he said a certain number of people have to come 
to have the meeting and if you don't come we can't have it. I don't think 
many people went. 18 

According to a Nisei girl informant, Block 21, a very strong 
status quo block, did not have any meeting. The Tsuchikawas 
expressed disappointment that their block (Block 6) had actually 
selected a candidate, although only about ten persons attended the 
meeting. The block manager had stated that there was nothing in 
the announcement about a quorum and proceeded with the meet- 
ing. According to Kurihara his block (Block 7) failed to hold an 
election because only about four people attended. 

The situation in the center was further complicated on June 28 
by the transfer of nineteen Issei from Tule Lake to the Santa Fe 
camp operated by the Department of Justice. Fifteen Issei were 
removed directly from the stockade, and the others were taken from 
the evacuee area, presumably for having engaged in Daihyo Sha Kai 
activities. It was alleged that the administration had been contem- 
plating their removal for some time. The residents considered this 
as unnecessary persecution, and many of them blamed a nebulous 
group of inu as being responsible for these arrests and the transfer. 
Some confidently expected reprisals, e.g., Mrs. Wakida said, "Both 
my husband and I think there's going to be a lot of trouble here 
since these nineteen men were sent to Santa Fe." 17 An Assistant 
Project Director, approached by some members of the pressure 
group, was told that the transfer was "the last straw." He was 
warned that the leaders had had difficulty in restraining young 
strong-arm boys and that they were no longer willing to keep them 
in check. As a result, the official was told, future attacks might not 
be restricted to beatings, but might result in murder. 18 

Meanwhile, incidents of violence continued. On June 29, a little 
over a week after the attempted hammer murder, a man named 
Sumitomo was waylaid and beaten at night. According to rumor 
he was a close friend of Mr. Kurokawa, a Public Inu Number One. 
Sumitomo was also said to have deserted the Daihyo Sha Kai, for 
which he was once a block representative. Although some inform- 
ants claimed he was beaten because he was not liked in his block, 

18 Field Notes, June 30, 1944. ls Field Notes, July 2, 1944. 
17 Field Notes, June 30, 1944. 


it was more widely reported that he had been beaten "because he 
was an inu." 

A few nights later, Watanabe was beaten by unknown assailants, 
although he was not severely injured. His status in the Public Inu 
Number One group left no doubt in the minds of the residents 
about the cause of the assault. 

During the latter half of June these beatings were discussed in 
almost every home and were the main topic of conversation in 
latrine, laundry, and boiler room. Gruesome details of injuries were 
repeated and elaborated. Imaginary black lists, on which inu were 
supposed to be ranked in order of their guilt, were described. There 
were frequent guesses about who would be the next inu to be 
beaten. Hints that the "worst" was yet to come were heard. Though 
the ordinary, peace-loving resident might secretly disapprove of 
violence, he rarely expressed this disapproval publicly for fear that 
he himself might come under suspicion. He tended, rather, to pass 
on every scrap of gossip he heard about the misdeeds of the victim 
and the activities of those who were "next on the list." Some people 
expressed disappointment that, so far, only the smaller fry were 
involved in the beatings. In discussing these happenings at a later 
period, Kurihara said, "Some of them deserved it and some didn't," 
and added, "Take Kami, he should have been buried." 19 Mrs. 
Tomiyama said at the time: "It's too bad about the Noma beating. 
They mistook the man for his brother." 20 

Regarding the tension in camp, Kurihara commented: 

Having inu around keeps everybody on edge. Everybody suspects every- 
body else and it has led to a great deal of hard feeling. It keeps the people 
in a constant state of tension. 21 

Mrs. Tsuruda, a younger Nisei who had often expressed violent 
hatred of inu, described the state of unrest when she said: "I think 
everybody is nervous in here. This place gives me the willies." 22 

Gossip about the misdeeds of the officials of the Cooperative 
Enterprises became intensified. Stories of the extent of their alleged 
graft reached fantastic proportions. It is almost certain that some 
of these stories originated with the underground pressure group 
which had bitterly attacked the Coop for its stand on the luxury 
issue in December and for its role in breaking status quo in Jan- 

19 Field Notes, October 16, 1944. 21 Field Notes, June 8, 1944. 

20 Field Notes, June 21, 1944. ^ Field Notes, June 24, 1944. 


uary. Whatever their source, the stories were accepted on their face 
value and spread from one family to another. Some informants 
accused General Manager Noma of attempting to buy off his oppo- 
nents with Coop money. Others accused Coop officials and em- 
ployees of outright theft. 

An older Nisei woman stated: 

People say that Coop men are making big money for themselves. They 
say that in the old days whenever a Coop man relocated he took a big pile 
of money away with him. 23 

An old Tulean Nisei later told of a woman who had reputedly 
found three hundred dollars in a box of cake purchased at the 
Coop. When the honest finder returned the money to the store, the 
clerks made her a present of several more cakes in the hope that she 
would not betray the fact that they had secreted stolen money in a 
cake box. She added: 

Employees in the canteens all graft. If you have a friend you can go to 
the canteen and buy things for half price. 24 

Kurihara remembered that: 

Mr. Kami has said numerous times, "If I'm afraid of two by fours [the 
clubs used in beatings], I can't make money." 23 

Stories of graft by Coop officials in connivance with WRA offi- 
cials were also widely reported. An Issei stated: 

The information I get from all over is that there are a few of the man- 
agers of the Coop who have a close relationship with the WRA officials. 
Both appointed personnel and evacuees are getting graft out of the 
Coop. 26 

A Nisei girl, an old Tulean, later stated: "They said the Coop 
was buying WRA stuff and selling it in the canteens." 27 

These stories were brought into the inu context by claims that 
people who had criticized the Coop and its officials were being 
arrested and confined in the stockade. According to Kurihara: 

Any person who unflinchingly attacked the Cooperative was imme- 
diately reported to the administration . . . Without question, that person 

23 Field Notes, June 21, 1944. 

24 Field Notes, August 24, 1944. 

25 Field Notes, July 31, 1944. 

26 Field Notes, June 30, 1944. 

27 Field Notes, September 14, 1944. 


was then apprehended and thrown into the stockade and confined there 
indefinitely without even a semblance of a trial. 28 

The interplay of intense hostility toward the Coop, the break- 
down of legal sanctions, and the tacit social approval of the beat- 
ings and attempted beatings finally culminated in murder. On the 
morning of July 3 the camp was electrified by the news that Takeo 
Noma, the general manager of the Cooperative Enterprises, who 
had long been known as a Public Inu Number One, had been slain 
the previous night while on his way home from a carnival. The 
Tule Lake Cooperator, the publication of the Coop, reported in 
the July 3 edition: 

Mr. [Takeo Noma], general manager of Tule Lake Cooperative Enter- 
prises, Inc. was assassinated July 2nd, 10:40 P.M. in front of the entrance 
of his brother's unit in Block 35. He was attacked by several unknown 
assassins who stabbed him through his neck from right side of throat and 
cut a main artery with a sharp short sword. He fell on the porch and died 

Mr. [Noma], on his way home from a visit to the Carnival that night, 
stopped at lavatory of block 35 where he resided. When he came near the 
entrance of his own unit, apparently he noticed the figures of several 
suspicious men, and so he tried to enter his brother's unit which was lo- 
cated next to his. But, it was too late. The assassins ran closely after and 
stabbed him before he could open the door. Hearing a sharp cry of 
anguish, his sister-in-law dashed out and saw to her surprise the tragedy. 
Despite the prompt search to north and south by Mr. [Noma's] brother 
and his neighbors, the men who committed the crime had fled. 

Diverse rumors about the cause of the murder spread rapidly. 
Noma's inu status in the camp had been well established in the 
minds of the residents. He had been accused of graft and of nepo- 
tism. He had been prominent in resisting Daihyo Sha Kai in 
December. He had advised and helped the administration in its 
program of breaking status quo. He had backed the Coordinating 
Committee. Any one of these acts was considered sufficient cause for 
punishment. Some people, however, held that his prewar activities 
as an insurance agent, when he was alleged to have swindled fellow 
Japanese, had led to a "grudge murder." 

The immediate reaction of many of the residents was that Noma 
had met the fate he deserved. Kurihara's sentiments, quoted below, 
were shared by many others. 

28 J. Y. Kurihara, manuscript, July 20, 1944. 


The killing of T. Noma was a blessing to the residents. I have yet to see 
anyone who really feels sorry for him, other than those of his immediate 
family. Never have I seen such pleasant reactions to a murder in all my 

Several others are said to be in line for the grave . . . and their deaths, 
violent as they may be, will be openly rejoiced by the residents. 

The public sanction of T. Noma's murder will undoubtedly encourage 
the executioner to carry on his or their work. A good work. He doubtless 
is feeling like a hero receiving public approval and rejoicement. I hope 
he won't betray himself, feeling elated. . . . 

Why do I approve it? Because there is no law here in this camp. . . . The 
administration has so far listened to the Rats [inu] and upon the strength 
of their flimsy charges, it arrested and threw many into the stockade. 29 

A Nisei girl stated: 

This might sound awfully heartless, but nobody has any sympathy for 
Noma. The whole camp feels that way. It had a lot to do with the Coop 
and people felt he was really behind all the things going on with the 
administration and sending people to the stockade especially the more 
recent pickups. 30 

Two informants, discussing the murder much later, 31 described 
the attitudes prevalent shortly after the murder. A Nisei girl, an 
old Tulean, remarked: 

The old Tuleans, I know, felt Noma got what he deserved. After all he 
did! They were all saying he was going to resign arid leave camp. They 
said he had made his kill and was planning to go. 32 

An Issei said: 

Of course, Mr. Noma was one of the most hated men in camp. I heard 
that he signed a petition to send the people in the stockade away to 
Santa Fe. 33 

Others, disapproving of this extreme act of violence, were hesi- 
tant to express sympathy. An older Nisei man said: "The funny 
thing is that the murder has split the camp into two parts. Half 
feel sorry for the guy and the other half are glad." 3 * But, as Kuri- 
hara said, "Everybody shut up like a clam." 35 

29 Ibid. 

ao Field Notes, July 18, 1944. 

31 It was necessary to collect an unusual number of ex post facto statements to 
cover this period, since our Caucasian field worker was asked by many of her 
informants not to visit them for fear they might be suspected of being inu. 

32 Field Notes, August 24, 1944. 34 Field Notes, July 17, 1944. 

33 Field Notes, August 8, 1944. 33 Field Notes, July 20, 1944. 


Yamashita stated: 

People were sorry for the victim. But they as a whole were afraid of 
consequences if they did not rejoice for such a happening. They thought 
that the murder was the last resort or last step to be taken to let the public 
on the outside and the administration know that wrong doings by WRA 
cannot continue here forever. Deep thinking people do not consider that 
this barbarous action was wise and they realized that it would be more or 
less criticized by the American public when it is known outside by the 
paper or radio. But the conditions of this camp were such that they were 
forced to use such a method. 36 

The residents speculated a great deal about the identity of the 
assailants, and many of them suspected that some members of the 
still nebulous Resegregation Group would be accused. The admin- 
istration, too, attributed the murder to a deliberate conspiracy by 
members of the Resegregation Group and suspected that the stock- 
ade detainees had incited them. Several repressive measures were 
immediately instituted against the detainees. All mail to and from 
the stockade was stopped, and large pieces of plaster board were 
attached to that portion of the stockade which faced the evacuee 
residential area so that no signals could be exchanged between 
detainees and residents. Gate Number 2, near the stockade, was 
closed, and Gate Number 3, which was located several hundred 
yards away, was opened for the residents. These measures angered 
the detainees, irritated the camp residents and contributed toward 
keeping the stockade issue alive in the public mind. As described 
in the next chapter, the detainees, in protest, initiated a hunger 
strike in the middle of July. Later, the administration turned over 
several of the detainees to the Grand Jury of Modoc County for 
indictment on the charge of murder. 37 

Throughout the project a state verging on panic prevailed. The 
Board of Directors and the key officials of the Coop immediately 
resigned. Anticipating closure of the canteens, people rushed to 
stock up on food supplies. Anonymous threats against other inu 
were reported to the administration and spread over the project. 
It was said that the assassination of all members of the Coop Board 
of Directors had been threatened. Persons who feared that they 
were "next on the list" were taken into protective custody and 
housed in the administrative area. The entire evacuee police force 

30 Field Notes, July 28, 1944. 37 See p. 301. 


The Newell Star reported the resignations of the Coop officials 
in its July 6 edition as follows: 

As a result of [Noma's] slaying, an emergency Cooperative Board of 
Director's meeting was called Monday morning [July 3]; at which time all 
17 members of the Board resolved to tender their resignations collectively. 

Subsequently, the following officials of the Cooperative tendered their 
resignations which were approved and accepted by the Board of Directors: 
Masao Nishimi, assistant manager; Masamori Maruyama, business man- 
ager; Masao Iwawaki, personnel director; and Toshio Tomishige, infor- 
mation director. 

For a time it seemed as if the Cooperative Enterprises would dis- 
integrate completely. Under the shadow of increasing public oppro- 
brium and suspicion, minor officials throughout the organization 
attempted to resign. Most of them agreed, however, to remain at 
their posts after an urgent appeal had been made by their former 
leaders who immediately took steps to insure the election of a new 
Board of Directors. In spite of the reluctance of many of the resi- 
dents to assume the vacated positions and the turbulence and dis- 
order of many of the meetings, a slate of ward representatives was 
elected by July 9. These, in turn, selected and installed a new Board 
of Directors on July i2. 38 The make-up of the new Board contrasted 
sharply with that of the old. Instead of being ultraconservative 
representatives of the old Tulean vested interests, two of the new 
directors were ex-stockade detainees who had been suspected of 
complicity in the November disturbances, and several others were 
considered "agitators" by the administration. 30 The administration 
was forced to approve these selections, for it recognized that the 
individuals were willing to step into positions which might cost 
them their lives. 

On July 24 the new Board released, through the Tule Lake 
Cooperator, a statement requesting popular support of its officials: 

The sudden death of the late General Manager [Takeo Noma] has 
made a great change of managing staffs. . . . The Board is still facing fur- 

38 Ward II reelected its former directors, who later refused to accept the posi- 
tions and were replaced by new men. Ward VII failed to elect directors. 

39 The list of directors announced in the Tule Lake Cooperator of July 15 (no 
directors from Ward VII) indicates that two Tuleans were chosen. The break- 
down of the list shows that besides these two Tuleans the new Board was com- 
posed of three transferees from Topaz, two each from Poston, Manzanar, and 
Rohwer, and one each from Heart Mountain, Gila, and Jerome. A transferee 
from Jerome was elected president of the Board. 


ther difficulties in selecting the personnel for the key positions. If the 
actual condition of the Coop has not been well presented to its members, 
then there will be a tendency to cause misunderstanding 

Therefore, we appeal to you for the preparation to create a smooth and 
favorable operation of our Coop in the future, you are urged and invited 
to assist in choosing the most capable men for this purpose. . . . 

Your fine judgment and generous cooperation is needed to carry on 
this program. We may say there is a slight tendency of an atmosphere of 
"none of my businessism" can be found among us members. Doesn't it? 

We must eliminate totally such unfavorable feeling because it might 
happen to be a cause of unwelcomed incident. We especially take this 
opportunity to appeal to you for your hearty assistance and cooperation 
which is essentially needed to adopt a successful plan for mutual benefit 
of all patrons. 

The Board immediately adopted and adhered to a policy of refer- 
ring important issues to the residents for criticism and approval. It 
proceeded to pay off long-deferred patronage dividends. It pledged 
itself to follow the "guiding principles ... of courtesy and honesty"; 
to avoid high-pressure salesmanship and overexpansion; to give 
no discounts to anyone: to restrict radically the sale of "luxury 
items"; and, finally, to shun political activities. 

We shall confine ourselves to the conduct of business and we shall not 
enter into any affairs having no bearing upon the proper discharge of 
responsibility. 40 

To remove any suspicion of graft, it employed as a special ac- 
countant for periodic checking of its books an evacuee of recog- 
nized integrity and prestige who had a considerable following in 
the community. 

As these various changes went into effect, hostility toward the 
Cooperative Enterprises died down, and criticism of its policy prac- 
tically ceased. Improved rapport was clearly manifested as early as 
July and August, 1944. 

A Kibei girl stated, "People I know are very glad about the 
changes. It seems everything is in order now," 41 and a Nisei girl 
said, "Well, as far as our block is concerned, the people were very 
satisfied with the new Board representatives." 42 

Although critical remarks were occasionally heard, the majority 
of the people seemed to agree that, at last, the Coop had become 

40 The Tule Lake Cooperator, August 26, 1944. 

41 Field Notes, August 7, 1944. 

42 Field Notes, July 18, 1944. 


a decent and properly run organization, working "for the good of 
the people." 

Meantime, threats to other Public Inu Number One were con- 
sidered such a serious menace that some fifteen men 43 were removed 
from the evacuee area and housed in the administrative area as a 
protective measure. It is said that some of these men fled from the 
evacuee area and sought refuge on their own initiative but that 
others left only under protest, after being informed by Internal 
Security representatives that, unless they acceded, the administra- 
tion would not be responsible for their lives. They were all housed 
in the hospital where they immediately met opposition and scorn 
from other evacuee workers. Whenever any of them walked about 
in the administrative area, he was greeted by barking noises. The 
mess crew in the hospital refused to serve them food and when the 
refugees were then taken for meals to the Caucasian personnel mess 
hall, they met a similar reception from the evacuee crew employed 
there. Finally, facilities for cooking had to be set up for them in 
a warehouse. 

Several of the refugees shortly returned to their barracks; but 
even after ten days others refused to leave their sanctuary, although 
the administration assured them that the danger of violence had 
passed and that the situation was under control. It is said that some 
of them claimed that return at this time was "equivalent to a death 
sentence." On August 15 three of them (Kami, Suzukawa, and 
Kurokawa) were, at their own request, transferred to other relo- 
cation projects. News of this transfer spread quickly among the 
evacuees, many of whom expressed satisfaction that inu had been 
removed from their midst. Some added hopefully that these people 
would undoubtedly meet their deserved fate in the centers where 
they had taken up residence. A rumor arose that Kurokawa had 
been forced to leave Heart Mountain, the center to which he had 
transferred, because of public feeling. Kurihara remarked: 

Kami, Kurokawa, and Suzukawa it was wonderful that they were 
transferred. That helped to relieve a great deal of tension. But I feel sorry 
for them; they're branded as inu for good. People from Tule Lake are 
writing to other projects telling their friends all about them. 44 

43 Included were Sasaki, Kami, and Watanabe of the Coordinating Committee; 
Suzukawa, Chief of Evacuee Police; Kurokawa of the Reports Office; and several 
members of the Coop Board of Directors. 

44 Field Notes, August 21 , 1944. 


Mrs. Tsuchikawa, the prominent Resegregationist, however, ex- 
pressed disappointment at their removal and hinted that it would 
have been better for all concerned if they had remained in Tule 
Lake and met the same fate as Noma. 

The remaining refugees returned to their barracks after several 
weeks. They were met with varying receptions. The hostility to- 
ward some of the old Coop Board members seemed to have died 
down, and they had little difficulty in reestablishing themselves in 
their blocks. Sasaki and Watanabe, however, were regarded as 
traitors and were completely ostracized by their coresidents. Sasaki 
found the reception in his own block so hostile that he left his 
family and took up residence with a group of devoted judo boys 
who acted as a constant bodyguard. Kurihara said: 

Those inu who fled the evacuee community and who returned I don't 
think they could contrive to sleep without worries. The longer Sasaki 
maintains bodyguards, the longer he'll be hated. If he lived alone, the 
people might forget. Getting bodyguards was a very short sighted policy. 45 

The resignation of the evacuee police force was one of the most 
serious repercussions of the Noma murder. The administration ex- 
perienced extreme difficulty in recruiting another force, and the 
change brought about in the attitude of those evacuees who finally 
consented to serve altered the character of the body a great deal. 
The explanation of their reputation as inu before the murder has 
already been indicated (p. 263), and their position in the com- 
munity became extremely hazardous after the murder since, as an 
essential part of their duties, they would be required to investigate 
and act against Noma's assassins. The public in general tacitly con- 
doned the murder, and the leaders of the underground pressure 
group had a special interest in preventing any investigation for fear 
their "strong arm boys" would come under suspicion. Immediately 
after the murder, threats (presumably by pressure-group adherents) 
were made against Police Chief Suzukawa and his assistant, and 
they resigned under duress. Other members, realizing their unten- 
able positions, resigned one by one. The staff dwindled from 115 
to 72 men within a little more than two weeks after the murder. 
Suspicion and pressure from the colony increased progressively. 
The remaining members of the staff, fearing that they would be 
forced to cooperate in the apprehensions of the murderers and 
45 Field Notes, August 7, 1944. 


thereby incur the wrath of the powerful and violent underground 
group, resigned en masse. Itabashi aptly described the situation: 

The camp residents suspected that they were spies of the administra- 
tion. That was the main reason the police couldn't get the cooperation of 
the residents. 40 

The resignation of the remaining seventy-two men on the police 
force was announced in an extra issue of the Newell Star on July 20. 
In this announcement Mr. Best asked the residents in each block 
to select two men to serve as policemen in their own blocks. "These 
persons selected by the blocks will be accepted by the administra- 
tion without question and will be assigned to the colony police 

The mass resignation left the administration in a difficult posi- 
tion since the project could not be policed without evacuee help. 
It was imperative that a new force be recruited immediately in 
accordance with the announced plan. Accordingly, Mr. Schmidt 
and Mr. Holding, of the Internal Security section, addressed the 
block managers and attempted to make the recruiting of this force 
the latter's responsibility. Mr. Holding is said to have stated: 

If there's a failure it's going to be your responsibility. You've got to see 
that people in the block cooperate with the policemen. For those blocks 
which supply no policemen, no protection will be given. 47 

Schmidt threatened to withdraw certain services, ordinarily pro- 
vided by evacuee police, from blocks failing to elect representatives, 
e.g., passes to the administrative area, transmission of telegrams, 
etc. These coercive statements angered some of the block managers 
and impelled them to resist the administration-sponsored election. 

Many informants expressed the opinion that the attempt to form 
a new evacuee police force would face many obstacles. Wakida said: 

People would like a police force but nobody wants to run for the job. 
They don't want to be inu. I think the attempt to get a new police force 
will fall to the ground. 48 

A Kibei block manager wrote: 

Up to date the reputation of police has been so grave that it seems to 
me that the colonists have no interest in police affairs. 4 " 

46 Field Notes, July 24, 1944. 48 Field Notes, July 24, 1944. 

47 Field Notes, August 8, 1944. 40 Isamu Kurusu, Letter, July 20, 1944. 


Itabashi, who lived in the Manzanar section, remarked: 

I think they'll get a police force, but it will take time. So far, the police 
have been looked upon as administrative agents. 50 

Rumors that those chosen to serve on the police force would be 
required to sign a pledge of loyalty to the United States and that 
the record of their service on the force would be sent to Japan 
also had a deterrent effect on the progress of election. Kurihara 

There is quite a lot of argument about that. I heard this thing two 
months ago. I'm not sure whether it's true or whether it's rumor. Anyway, 
it is said that the records of all Japanese who ever acted as policemen and 
spied for the administration will be sent back to Japan when they are 

If that is true, then when they get back to Japan they'll be on the black 
list. That is the point many of them are worrying about. The previous 
police were made to swear some kind of statement that they will be loyal 
to America and even give up their lives if necessary. One who really is 
truly a Japanese will not sign that statement. 51 

Kurusu, quoted above, explained: 

The Issei in our block are against it because they heard the rumor of 
sending records to Japan. Also the colonial police used to wear a badge 
of the regular United States police. It said United States Police on the 
badge. Most of the people are afraid to connect themselves so obviously 
with the United States government. 5 - 

Elections were, however, duly held and about two thirds of the 
blocks immediately selected policemen. As the Newell Star in the 
July 27 edition reported, "The breakdown revealed 33 blocks each 
chose two policemen, 13 blocks elected one each and three blocks 
elected three members." The article added: 

It was also disclosed that 25 blocks failed to elect representatives. How- 
ever, this report of 25 blocks failing to elect members is not to be judged 
as final. Some blocks have requested time for further study and infor- 

The Community Analyst wrote: 

Blocks . . . wished additional information, indicating how much inde- 
pendence the wardens' organization would have from . . . [the Caucasian] 
Internal Security . . . People said generally that they "know complete inde- 

50 Field Notes, July 24, 1944. 52 Field Notes, August 8, 1944. 

51 Field Notes, July 31, 1944. 


pendence is impossible, yet we want to know how much is possible; the 
wardens will never succeed if they have to spy on the residents or be 
responsible for stockade pickups." 53 

Some of the blocks succeeded in the election of policemen, while 
others remained unpoliced for six months or more. It is perhaps 
significant that the blocks in Ward VIII, the Manzanar section, 
filled every position. There is reason to believe that the under- 
ground pressure group played an important role in the success of 
elections in these blocks where its leaders, who were soon to under- 
take numerous overt nationalistic activities, resided. There is some 
evidence that it desired to control the new force by having its own 
members selected in order that activities of the group might not 
be curbed. 

Considering the deterrents against the election, it is significant 
that the police force was restaffed at all. The fairly rapid and 
successful recruitment in the face of the reluctance of residents to 
accept positions that might brand them as inu may be attributed 
in part to bizarre rumors of rape that spread through the camp 
for ten days after the resignation of the evacuee police. A Nisei 
girl reported that a young woman was covered with blankets and 
thrown into a ditch. She added, "In Ward VII another girl is sup- 
posed to have been attacked by some of the boys. Some of the boys 
in camp are bad." BJ 

Mrs. Wakida said: 

Some boy chased a girl in block 69. The boy had a blanket over his head. 
Also her girl friend who lives only with her mother and sister was annoyed 
by having boys knock on her door at night and shine flashlights in the 
window. 55 

These and even more specifically detailed rumors were taken 
very seriously by many people. For about a week girls and women 
imposed a voluntary curfew on themselves, and were seldom seen 
outside the barracks after dark. Wakida said: 

The girls can't go to the Japanese night school. It's a fact that some 
people, especially girls, are scared. Even the movies are closed down. 56 

53 WRA, Community Analysis Report, "Community Attitudes on Recurrent 
Crises in July," August 3, 1944 (manuscript). 

54 Field Notes. July 25, 1944. 
Gr> Field Notes, July 26, 1944. 
60 Field Notes, July 24, 1944. 


Some residents were skeptical of the authenticity of these reports 
and saw the hand of the administration behind them. For example, 
Itabashi remarked: 

The bothering of girls is just rumor, I think. Of course, there is a possi- 
bility that such crimes could be committed when we are living this abnor- 
mal life, but I think it's a rumor started by the administration to make 
people form a police force. 57 

After the selection of police, stories or events of this sort ab- 
ruptly ended. 

The new police force, which had ninety-four men by the end of 
July, held a series of meetings among themselves and with the 
administration in order to formulate new policies to mitigate the 
"weaknesses and defects of the former police force." They deemed 
it "necessary first to dissolve the previous suspicions and opposition 
surrounding the old [evacuee] police force." They proposed to 
"create a police force operating for and by the people of the com- 
munity," providing a rule that a policeman might be recalled by 
the wish of the people. They also requested that Director Best 
henceforth instruct Internal Security and the FBI to inform the 
evacuee police of the reasons for the arrest of any resident and 
specified that "problems arising between the administration and 
the residents did not come within the jurisdiction of the [police] 
force." 58 

The newly organized police force thus adopted a series of changes 
designed to insure that they would not be involved in any affair 
which might incur the displeasure of the residents. Soon the 
"wardens," as the police were now called, came to be looked upon 
as meek, ineffectual officers. Whenever any infringement of law 
occurred which might remotely be connected with politics or might 
conceivably offend the residents if action were taken, the wardens 
refused to act. 

Concomitant with the reorganization of the Cooperative Enter- 
prises, the liquidation of the old Tulean clique, the removal to 
places of safety of the Public Inu Number One, and the reorgani- 
zation of the police force, public sentiment toward the wave of 
violence that had culminated in Noma's murder, underwent a 
marked change. People began openly to deplore the murder. Some 

F>7 Field Notes, July 24, 1944. 
C8 Newell Star, August 10, 1944. 


even questioned Noma's essential guilt as an informer. Itabashi 
said, "He wasn't bad enough to be assassinated." 59 
A Nisei girl remarked: 

I never understood why Mr. Noma had to be killed. My parents knew 
him and feel sorry for him. I can't feel one bit of this hate that made 
someone stab him. Nobody seems to know why he was killed. 

In camp there were so many rumors at that time. People believed what 
they heard was true. To prove its credibility they always said, "My friends 
say it." It made almost everybody believe the story. 60 

As an aftermath of the wave of inu hatred the pressure group 
gained strength by default. The administration was weakened with 
the thorough discrediting of many of the evacuees upon whom it 
had depended as a channel of communication and a means of col- 
laboration. Failure to apprehend assailants and assassins weakened 
the official forces devoted to the maintenance of law and order. 
The more radical elements emerged from the underground and 
sponsored openly, and with impunity, programs that a short time 
before would have led to arrest and incarceration. 

50 Field Notes, August 8, 1944. 
60 Field Notes, August 30, 1944. 




The Stockade Issue 


tial device adopted by the Army as a means of incarcerating a group 
of young men apprehended in the November 4 incident. It became 
institutionalized during the period of martial law and was firmly 
established as an essential element in WRA project administration 
by the time the Army withdrew from the center. It was in existence 
for more than nine months, from early November, 1943, to late 
August, 1944. During this period over 350 men were picked up 
and detained for varying periods, some of them for more than eight 
months. Its maximum population was reached during January 
when more than 250 were in confinement at one time. It was the 
source of grief and emotional disturbance to the families from 
which these men had been separated and of irritation, discontent 
and persecution reference among the general population. The 
surging suspicions against inu, described in the preceding chapter, 
were closely tied in with fear of arrest and incarceration in the 
stockade. The stockade was an important element in every political 
issue that arose between administration and residents, or within 
political factions among the residents. Status quo had its origin in 
the stockade issue; the Coordinating Committee's fate was largely 
determined by its actions in regard to the detainees; the adminis- 
trative failure to realize its plan for representative government was 
directly connected with its stockade policy; and the underground 
pressure movement drew increasing popular support for its pro- 
gram of unconditional release of those who had been incarcerated. 
Eventually, the WRA policy of detaining people without accusa- 
tion or trial led the American Civil Liberties Union to intervene. 


In physical structure the stockade grew from a single tent, set up 
by the Army on November 4, to a barbed-wire enclosed area of 
200 by 350 feet, comprising five barracks, a mess hall and a building 
with sanitary facilities. A detained evacuee described the stockade 
in the following terms: 

There were four towers located on each corner of the stockade just 
outside of the fence and armed guards were stationed on each 24 hours 
a day. . . . There was only one gate and each time any of us were taken 
out to go for our food or to the office for various business, there was a guard 
standing at the gate and several Internal Security Officers attending. 1 

The barracks were of the same size as those in the center, 20 by 
100 feet, and each accommodated on the average 43 or 44 persons. 
It was "one large dormitory" 

without partitions . . . with two coal stoves for heating purposes and 12 
windows to each side. These barracks were numbered A to F. One half of 
Barrack F was used for latrine and shower, the other half, for living quar- 
ters. Barbed wire fence was approximately 10 feet from the building on 
both ends. Barrack A had one row of lights in the center, which was poor. 
Barrack B, C, D, E had two rows of lights; hence, better than Barrack A. 2 

Living conditions were described as "poor" or "intolerable" with 
details as follows: 

We were not given any convenience of sanitation to keep the barracks 
in order such as bucket, broom, and mop, etc., at first. They furnished cot 
beds with 3 or 4 blankets without any sheets or pillows which even refused 
to people with very poor health. . . . The stockade does not have any 
washing place and the people confined in the Area have to wash when 
taking a shower. Above that Tule Lake weather causes clothes to become 
dirty and have sweat odor making it impossible to wear long without 
washing. Soaps were furnished occasionally. 3 

The food condition that existed in the stockade were very poor and the 
ration for the number of people was not sufficient. We were only given 2 
pounds of sugar per day when there were 155 odd persons. One box of 
orange or apples were sent consisting of rotten fruits so most of the 
people did not get any. We were on a carrot diet from January 16 for 
nearly one month and carrots day after day. Even these consisted of bad 
vegetable. There was no jam or butter (oleomargarine) for the bread. 
Black coffee for a long time without sugar. There were so many confined 

1 Letter from the files of the American Civil Liberties Union, Northern Cali- 
fornia Branch, August 20, 1944. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Letter from the files of the American Civil Liberties Union, Northern Cali- 
fornia Branch, August 11, 1944. 


that people had to eat their meals in shifts for not having adequate dishes 
and silverware. 4 

When we were first in here we only had rice and carrots I don't know 
how many weeks. 5 

All mail, both incoming and outgoing, was censored by the Army 
while it was in charge and by WRA when it took over the stockade. 
No visitors were permitted. 

First class mail has always been censored and has to be opened before 
it comes in. ... They won't let it in unless it is open and a third party has 
to open it and I know it is against a Federal law. . . . And then you have 
heard about the fact that we haven't been given an opportunity to even 
see anyone. 8 

The first pickups on November 4 were on the initiative of the 
Army and were directed toward the quelling of what was believed 
to be a potential "riot." The next major move was made on No- 
vember ig 7 when members of the Negotiating Committee, other 
leaders of Daihyo Sha Kai and prominent Farm Group represen- 
tatives were ordered arrested. This move followed the successful 
act of passive resistance to the administration when the residents 
ignored the Army WRA-sponsored mass meeting. Several of the 
Negotiating Committee leaders who escaped apprehension at this 
time by going into hiding gave themselves up on December i and 
were then put into the stockade. Meantime, a general search of the 
evacuee area had resulted in the apprehension of some ninety men, 
who were under suspicion on unspecified charges by the WRA 
Internal Security staff. And when by the middle of December it 
became apparent that incarceration of its leaders had not broken 
Daihyo Sha Kai resistance, a pickup of the block representatives of 
the organization was instituted and they were added to the stock- 
ade population. Arrests continued after martial law was lifted in 
January, 8 but not until late in April did the Washington office of 

* Ibid. 

5 Stenographic record of interview between Ernest Besig and detainees, July 
11, 1944; from the files of the American Civil Liberties Union, Northern Cali- 
fornia Branch. 

6 Ibid. 

7 WRA, "History of Area B at Tule Lake, 'The Stockade'" (manuscript), 
September 12, 1944, states, however, that on November 5 a number of evacuees 
were arrested "at the request of and upon information furnished by the Internal 
Security ... on suspicion of being connected with the incidents of November i 
and 4." Detainee informants do not verify this statement. 

8 Officers of the Western Defense Command pointed out in an interview that, 


WRA issue an ex post facto statement of its procedures for the 
"separation of residents within [the] center." An "isolation area" 
was then defined as necessary for the restriction of "the movement 
and activities of persons whose influence or actions may be dis- 
ruptive to the operation of the center," for promoting "the orderly 
administration of the center," and for maintaining "peace and 
security for the residents." 9 

There is no evidence that any administrative plan for liquidat- 
ing the stockade was contemplated at this time. On the contrary, 
it was stated that "residence of any individual in Area B [the stock- 
ade] . . . shall be for an indefinite period." 

Correspondingly, no need for statement of charges against the 
arrested individuals, for intensive investigation of charges, or for 
regularized hearings was felt. "Since such . . . separation of indi- 
viduals is a purely administrative arrangement to secure the peace- 
ful and orderly administration of the center, only such investigation 
need be made as is requisite for an administrative determination 
by the Project Director." 10 Although a Fact Finding Committee, 
composed of project personnel, had long been in existence, it was 
required merely "to secure and examine any evidence which is 
available at the center, or which can without undue delay be 
secured from any other source, bearing upon the activities of any 
individual suspected of past or probable future interference with 
the peaceful and orderly processes of center administration." 11 To 
the Project Director was delegated the duty of reviewing "the evi- 
dence and recommendations submitted by the Committee," and of 
determining the final disposition of the cases. Theoretically, the 
detainee had recourse of appeal to the Director for an interview, 
but the Project Director "shall at his convenience hold [such] 
interviews," 12 with wide discretionary powers in denying such in- 

No interview need be held in cases in which the evidence supporting 
the [Fact Finding] Committee's recommendation is so clear as not to 
leave room for any reasonable doubt as to the correctness of the recom- 
mendation. 13 

after martial law was lifted, the Army in the main both arrested and released 
evacuees on information supplied by and as a "courtesy" to WRA. 

9 WRA, Manual, "Administrative Separation of Residents within Center," 
Section 110.15, April 26, 1944. 

Ibid. n lbid. 32 Ibid. Italics ours. Ibid. 


Restrictions upon the activities of the detainees, which had been 
operative by this time for more than five months, were formulated 
as follows: 

All mail going into or coming from Area B . . . will be censored. 

No visiting will be permitted between the residents or [sic] Area B . . . 
and the main area of the center except under extraordinary circumstances 
and with the express permission of the Project Director. 

Visiting with the residents of Area B . . . will not in any event be per- 
mitted within the physical limits of Area B . . . but may take place only in 
rooms provided for the purpose outside the evacuee residential area and 
in the presence of witnesses if the Project Director so determines. 

Families of individuals removed to Area B . . . will not be allowed to 
accompany such individuals into the separated area." 

Failure to have formal charges filed or formal hearings held was 
a continual cause of complaint among the detainees. Excerpts from 
the complaints of a number of detainees and former detainees fol- 
low. As one detainee stated, the reason for continued imprisonment 
"is a mystery to us." 15 Others said: 

No reasons was ever given to me for my arrest. 18 

I was arrested by the Army on January 1 1, 1944, without any question- 
ing and thrown in the place called "stockade." The reason I do not know 
and still is a question to my mind. 17 

Day after day we are being given the same line saying you might be re- 
leased sometime soon. That is the only promise they say, which is very 
indefinite, and we ask for the reason of our detention, and they refuse to 
tell us. ... We can't seem to budge that. We are forced at gun point, so 
there you are. 18 

I do not know the reason why I am being confined here. ... Of course, 
I am a member of the Negotiating Committee, executive secretary, but 
what I did I acted in behalf of the people of the colony and because I 
was secretary I never said a word in a meeting anyway. . . . They [WRA] 
try to pin something about the November 4th incident. As far as that is 
concerned, I took no part in it. 10 

14 Ibid. 

15 Letter from the files of the American Civil Liberties Union, Northern Cali- 
fornia Branch, August 20, 1944. 

18 Stenographic record of interview between Ernest Besig and detainees, July 
11, 1944; from the files of the American Civil Liberties Union, Northern Cali- 
fornia Branch. 

17 Letter from the files of the American Civil Liberties Union, Northern Cali- 
fornia Branch, August 11, 1944. 

18 Stenographic record of interview between Ernest Besig and detainees, July 
11, 1944; from the files of the American Civil Liberties Union, Northern Cali- 
fornia Branch. 

10 Ibid. 


I got picked up on November i3th and released on April 7th. While I 
was in there they didn't tell me why I got picked up or why I have been 
kept in there for that length of time and when I got released there wasn't 
anything said, they simply, Mr. Best and Mr. Schmidt, have told me that 
they have confidence in me, that I am no longer any trouble maker and 
such and such and so have released me. . . . They simply said that I was 
one of the trouble makers, that's all. They haven't showed me any evidence 
or anything like that. Merely I was arrested on a mere accusation, and 
although they went through quite a bit of investigation about my activity 
and maybe they clarified their accusations themselves and brought my 
release, I guess. 20 

The only hearing I have had was just the other day with the Internal 
Securities. I don't know whether you call that a hearing or not . . . What 
they wanted to know they just asked me a lot of questions like if I was 
a member of representatives [Daihyo Sha Kai] or if I participated in 
November 4th riot ... I wanted to see Mr. Best. I asked him through a 
letter. He never answered it. 21 

The plight of the detainees bore heavily upon the community 
and did much to increase the rapidly developing sense of persecu- 
tion. Agitation for release was carried on almost constantly by the 
detainees themselves, by their disturbed relatives, and by whatever 
group, radical or conservative, was in power or seeking power as 
representatives of the people or negotiators with the adminis- 
tration. The early radical group, the Daihyo Sha Kai and its 
supporters, had made strenuous efforts to give the issue an inter- 
national aspect and, through appeals to the Spanish Consul, to 
obtain the intervention of the Japanese government. These efforts 
came to nothing because of the unwillingness and inability of the 
Spanish Consul to act on behalf of American citizens, who com- 
posed the bulk of the detainees. At the end of December, the de- 
tainees took matters into their own hands and instituted a six-day 
hunger strike directed both as a protest against the Army and the 
project administration and as an effort to speed up their release. 
Their act resulted in no administrative concessions and, coming as 
it did at a time when the residents, after weeks of unemployment, 
were ready to accede to a "back to normalcy" program, aroused 
little popular support. 

The conservative Coordinating Committee, which came into 
power shortly after this hunger strike, had announced "justifiable 

20 1 bid. 

21 Ibid. Best, however, did grant interviews to some of the detainees. See 
Kuratomi's statement, p. 293. 


release of detainees" as one of its major planks, and had negotiated 
for this purpose with the Army and WRA throughout its tenure. 
Its tactics of direct negotiation with the Army and WRA, rather 
than appeal to the Spanish Consul or the Japanese government for 
intervention, met with considerable success. It was able to bring 
about the release of a contingent of twenty-six men as early as 
January 19 and 2O. 22 At almost every meeting with WRA officials 
the committee nominated persons whose release it considered "jus- 
tifiable" and pressed for action. Meantime, WRA assumed the 
responsibility of determining the eligibility of detainees for release, 
and releases other than those sanctioned by the committee were, 
from time to time, authorized. When the Coordinating Committee 
resigned at the end of April it reported that 257 stockade detainees 
had been released. The committee, however, failed to receive credit 
from the community for these releases; instead, criticisms were 
heaped upon it for the slowness of releases, for its insistence on 
the "justifiable" criterion, for its failure in obtaining releases for 
the better-known detainees such as Abe, Kuratomi, Seki, etc., and 
because residents suspected it of having a hand in recent arrests 
and detainments. 

After the resignation of the Coordinating Committee two groups 
became conspicuous in fighting for release of the detainees Tada 
and his friends, and the radical Resegregationists. 

Tada was released from the stockade in April and immediately 
joined forces with Kodama, Yokota, and other Daihyo Sha Kai 
adherents whose release had been obtained previously. They con- 
ferred with the Project Director and the Project Attorney at every 
opportunity in an effort to persuade them to release Abe, Kuratomi, 
Seki and others. Their efforts were not successful. According to 

They [WRA] do not tell me anything specific, all I get is a lot of 
innuendos, "Well, you don't know what we know." That's what I hear 
all the time. 23 

22 Some men were released earlier. A WRA report, for instance, states, "In 
some cases the wrong person was picked up and he w r as immediately returned 
to the colony." WRA "History of Area B at Tule Lake 'The Stockade'" (manu- 
script), September 12, 1944. 

23 Stenographic record of interview between Ernest Besig and detainees, July 
11, 1944; from the files of the American Civil Liberties Union, Northern Cali- 
fornia Branch. 


The Resegregationists conducted a more concerted and extensive 
campaign in the camp. By the end of April they were the most 
powerful group on the project, although their activities were still 
for the most part shrouded in secrecy. New leaders had emerged, 
among whom were Yamashita, a parolee from Santa Fe, and Kira, 
who had arrived with the Manzanar contingent in February. Both 
of these men were experienced in the acts of agitation, and each 
was protected by "strong-arm" boys. The former had played a 
prominent role in Poston in support of the strike of November, 
1942, and in the formation of a Kibei bloc to obstruct military regis- 
tration in February, 1943. The latter had been leader of a gang 
in Terminal Island before evacuation and is said to have held this 
gang intact at Manzanar where it took a prominent part in the 
"riot" of December, 1942. They now stated that they were waiting 
until the center was "unified" to come out into the open with an 
ambitious plan for resegregation. Unification, they said, could be 
attained only after the stockade was liquidated. The motives under- 
lying these tactics were apparently twofold: the hope of gaining 
the support of residents by championing a popular cause, and the 
desire to win the detained Daihyo Sha Kai leaders to their side and 
thus consolidate their position by forestalling the formation of an 
opposition group. The Resegregationist leaders had no more suc- 
cess in wringing concessions from the project administration than 
had the Tada group. By unceasing propaganda to the effect that 
peace would not come to the camp unless the detainees were re- 
leased, they managed, however, to keep popular interest in the 
stockade issue alive. 

Failing in his attempt to press the administration for release of 
the detainees, Tada decided to bring the matter before the Ameri- 
can courts. The plan for legal action had been initiated by George 
Kuratomi and his close friends in March while Tada was still in 
the stockade. Kuratomi, Abe, Tada and others had agreed that 
the only hope of release for all of them would be through court 
action, and they made a pact that if any one of them were released 
he would seek legal aid. After he was released from the stockade in 
April, Tada approached Yamashita and Kira for advice and sup- 
port in this plan, but he received little encouragement from them. 
Yamashita, who had hoped to incorporate the released detainees 
into the Resegregation Group, made a counterapproach to Tada 


pointing out that the organization had 9,000 members and promis- 
ing "great power" if he would join it. Tada refused, stating later 
that he disapproved of the Resegregationists, doubted that they 
actually represented the wishes of the people, and disliked their 
policy of setting themselves apart from all other residents as the 
only "true Japanese" in camp. 230 When Tada refused to join them, 
the Resegregationist leaders used the most powerful weapon at 
their command: they flooded the camp with rumors that he and 
his associates were inu. Coinciding as they did with the wave of 
general inu hatred in camp, these rumors brought Tada's overt 
activities to an effective end. 

Shortly after Tada's unsuccessful attempt to obtain support for 
his plan of legal intervention, Kato and his intimates sent out a 
message to their relatives in the camp instructing them to hire a 
lawyer. The relatives, all of whom were Resegregationists, there- 
upon formed a loosely-knit organization called the Saiban-iin (Law- 
suit Committee) and invited other prominent Resegregationists to 
join them. Because of its auspices Kira and Yamashita now threw 
their support behind the proposal, and it was agreed to ask the 
American Civil Liberties Union 24 to intercede on behalf of the 

The Saiban-iin approached Ernest Besig, Director of the North- 
ern California Branch of the A.C.L.U., who agreed to investigate 
the situation. He, however, met with considerable antagonism from 
WRA, at both the Washington and the project level, and did not 
obtain permission for a visit to Tule Lake until July 11. At this 
time meetings with relatives of the detainees were arranged, but 
Besig was not allowed to interview the stockade detainees them- 
selves in private, being required to conduct all such interviews 
in the presence of members of the WRA Internal Security staff. 
Mr. Besig protested vigorously against this interference with the 
customary right of an attorney to interview his clients privately. 
The reason given by the project administration for its policy was 
the proximity of the time of Besig's arrival to the Noma murder. 

*** Field Notes, March 6, 1945. 

24 The American Civil Liberties Union had recently been retained by Haruo 
Akahoshi, a brother-in-law of one of the members of the Saiban-iin, for defense 
in a case of alleged obstruction of Selective Service at Heart Mountain. Akahoshi 
had been transferred to Tule Lake, and it was upon his advice that help from 
the Union was sought also by the Saiban-iin. 


It will be remembered that the detainees, who were now Besig's 
clients, were suspected by the administration of complicity in the 
murder. On July 1 2, before he could complete his interviews, Besig 
was forced to withdraw from the project. 25 

After returning to San Francisco Mr. Besig protested against 
WRA tactics in a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ickes, in which 
he outlined the problems arising from the continued detention of 
men against whom no charges had been filed. He also suggested to 
the detainees that one of them file an application for a writ of 
habeas corpus. At the same time the A.C.L.U. attorney brought the 
matter into the open through the public press: 

Besig said . . . that he spent two days at the center interviewing his 
clients but that he was ordered out before he could finish the work. 

"The project director, R. R. Best," Besig said, "simply decided he didn't 
want [my secretary and myself] around. ..." 

Besig explained that he was not concerned with the morals, guilt or 
innocence of any of the Japanese involved. He said, however, that they 
have been held in the stockade for some eight months without charges or 

"These people are entitled to a hearing and a trial," he said. "If they 
are guilty, put them in prison or anywhere. But they have the basic right 
of every citizen for a fair trial." 28 

The American Civil Liberties Union-News elaborated on these 
complaints in an article headed "Tyranny Reigns at Tule Lake," 27 
in which it was stated that "two armed members of the Internal 
Security (Caucasian) police escorted the Union's representatives 
from the center"; that the right of counsel had been violated; 
and that "eighteen citizens" 28 had been imprisoned for over eight 
months "without the filing of charges or the granting of a hearing 
or trial of any kind." 

"During these eight months," said Mr. Besig, "these citizens have not 
been allowed visits from their wives and children (some born since their 

25 The Project Attorney stated, in an interview, that Mr. Besig had not been 
forced out but had been asked to leave on the grounds that his presence inter- 
fered with the WRA investigation of the Noma murder. He claimed that Mr. 
Besig's visit had not been authorized by the central office of the American Civil 
Liberties Union. He said, further, that some evacuees had complained to Mr. 
Best that they were being threatened with beatings by their fellow residents 
unless they agreed to see Mr. Besig. Field Notes, July 14, 1944. 

28 San Francisco Chronicle, July 15, 1944. 

27 August, 1944. 

28 According to Kuratomi there were only sixteen citizens in the stockade at 
this time. 


incarceration) and the War Relocation Authority only during the past 
month erected a beaver board wall around the Stockade to prevent the 
relatives of the men from occasionally waving to them from behind a wire 
fence about a hundred yards away." 

WRA was then building a new stockade. Kuratomi said that 
Pearson, Internal Security officer in charge, told him (about July 15) 
the new stockade was to be a permanent one "to keep you there for 
the duration of the war." Best also had said repeatedly that he 
would not release the remaining detainees. According to Kuratomi: 

I was able to see Mr. Best from time to time after May and almost every 
time he would repeat that the incident of November 4 and the demonstra- 
tion of November i had resulted in such tremendous publicity. He would 
say "If I were to release any of you and anything should happen in the 
camp, the immediate cry from the public on the outside would be 'What 
was Kuratomi doing in the camp at large?' Or 'Why was Abe released?' " 
In other words, Mr. Best always seemed to be afraid that our release, 
instead of bringing peace and harmony to the camp, might become a 
source of further trouble and disturbances. 29 

By this time most of those still detained had been incarcerated 
for more than eight months, and, in spite of the efforts of several 
factions in camp and the interest of the American Civil Liberties 
Union, there seemed to be no hope of immediate release. Discour- 
aged by Besig's reception on the project and by the evidences of 
WRA's intention to incarcerate them indefinitely, the detainees on 
July 19 took matters into their own hands and again embarked 
upon a hunger strike. Kato, who kept a diary, enumerated their 
grievances as follows: 

After a most serious consideration we have finally decided that the only 
weapon and the only solution to let known our sincerity to all that we 
are not a trouble maker such as the WRA has branded us we plan to 
undergo another hunger strike. I shall refrain from writing minor reason 
for undertaking such steps. Some of the numerous grievances are: 

1. Imprisoned for over eight months without the filing of charges or the 
granting of a hearing or trial of any kind. 

2. No proof or evidence substantiating our guilt. 

3. Living in a world of infamy for no reasons whatsoever. 

4. During the entire time we have been in the stockade we have been 
denied all visiting privileges from our wives, children, fiancees or anyone 

5. 1 was denied visits from my fiancee whom I was schedule to marry the 
day after my arrest on November 13. 

29 George Kuratomi, Statement, November 16, 1945. 


6. Children born since our incarceration but to even see our wives 
were denied. 

7. Third degree methods used on many of us. 

8. Censorship of mails, including that coming from outside the center. 

9. Since July 2, we were not permitted to receive cigarettes, toilet 
articles, and our daily needs. 

10. Beaver board erected for no reasons whatsoever since July 2. Soli- 
tary confinement cannot be any worse. 

11. Constant abusive words from the attending Internal Security staffs. 

12. No medical or first aid facilities. Service to the base hospital denied. 

13. Denied the constitutional right to counsel. Denial of due process of 
law to all of us. 

14. In connection with the interview which we had with Mr. Ernest 
Besig of the American Civil Liberties Union, all right of privacy was 
denied to us. 30 

The hunger strike was undertaken by all sixteen citizens in the 
stockade. WRA shortly released two of them, claiming that the 
releases were granted "without regard for the hunger demonstra- 
tion" after the cases in question had been thoroughly "reviewed." 81 

The attitude of project officials is described in a WRA-prepared 
manuscript as follows: 

The hunger strike was not recognized as such by the administration for 
several days. In the first place, there was no formal declaration as there 
had been in January even though the leaders were the same as then. 
Secondly, there was an undetermined amount of food in the Area B 
Kitchen and missing supplies were unaccounted for. The administration 
had no way of knowing whether any of the men were eating as the Internal 
Security did not check minutely the food left at all times in the kitchen 
nor did they comb the premises of Area B, about 175 square yards, and 
they did not consider it important to do so and thereby build up a situa- 
tion that harrassed the administration. Thirdly, it was hoped that the 
demonstration would be short-lived if no official recognition were taken 
of it. 

On July 24, the 14 men were pursuing their fast and the Project Director 
and Reports Officer decided it was time to release the information to the 
public. This was done and thereafter the newspapers were informed of 
developments. The story was not given undue prominence in any paper. 32 

Unlike the Army, the WRA did not make daily medical checks of the 
men in the area. It was decided to consider the men in Area B on the same 
basis as the other evacuee residents of the Tule Lake Center. The WRA 

30 Bill Kato, "Diary since the Hunger Strike" (manuscript), July-August, 1944. 

31 WRA, "History of Area B at Tule Lake 'The Stockade'" (manuscript), 
September 12, 1944. 

32 The strike was, however, reported in most West Coast newspapers. The 


considered Area B a part of the whole center, not a place of imprisonment 
to which a man was committed for a definite length of time. 83 

The striking detainees hoped that their action would serve as 
an effective protest to the administration against the injustices to 
which they had been subjected and as a demonstration to their 
fellow residents of their ability to undergo the ultimate in martyr- 
dom. Kato's diary entries exemplify this dual motivation. On the 
first day, he recorded that Internal Security officers "entered all 
armed with clubs and pistols." On the third day, he attempted 
to establish contact with the American Civil Liberties Union; and 
various other detainees conferred with Internal Security officers. 
On the fourth day, he felt "very lousy"; and on the fifth day he 
and others "packed all our belongings, for most of us are really 
getting weak . . . and too messy rooms gets on our nerves." One of 
the detainees had to be carried to the washroom. On the sixth day, 
interviews were again held with Internal Security officers and Kato 
felt "that we cannot last toe long." On the seventh day (July 25), 
Sadao Endo fainted and was taken to the base hospital, while two 
others went for treatment but returned. On the ninth day, Kato 
and others requested that four ailing detainees be taken to the hos- 
pital "but my request denied." On the tenth day, the request was 
granted, but others who had been taken to the hospital earlier for 
treatment were returned "because they have refused to eat any 
food." Endo, who had yielded to treatment and recovered, was also 
returned. Seki was "permitted to see his wife." On the eleventh day 
(July 29), all the strikers were ordered "to the hospital for a physical 

San Francisco Examiner, for example, carried a two-column article on July 25, 


Isolated as trouble makers, the Japanese, all men, have not eaten since last 
Wednesday night, a spokesman for the group reported to camp officials. 

And further, said the group's ultimatum, they will continue their self-imposed 
fast until they are released from confinement in the isolated area. 

Despite the declaration, however, Ray R. Best, project director, said food will 
continue to be delivered to the strikers on the same basis as to other internees 
in the camp. 

"The day's supply of food is being left in the kitchen and will continue to be 
delivered so that the men may resume eating if they wish," Best said. WRA, he 
added, will take no further steps to force the fourteen to eat. 

Best said that until yesterday he had been unable to obtain a definite state- 
ment from the group concerning their intentions. He expressed some doubt that 
the strikers had gone completely without food since their kitchen contained 
rice and other supplies at the time the strike assertedly started. This food, he 
said, was gone after the men began refusing their daily rations. 

83 WRA, op. cit. 


checkup," stimulants were administered, and the strike was tem- 
porarily broken. 

Details of the sort recorded by Kato reached the residents, and 
were magnified as they passed from one person to another. Expres- 
sions of sympathy for and identification with the strikers were fre- 
quent, although some residents deplored the strike as a foolish and 
useless gesture. J. Y. Kurihara said: 

I think the hunger strike has made a very strong impression on the 
people. Those boys have been kept in there unjustly when they should 
have been released. The only solution which would bring the camp back 
to normal is release from the stockade. 34 

Yamashita stated: 

I don't understand why Mr. Best is so stubborn in not releasing them. 35 

Tsuruda, discussing the strike at a later date, regarded the situa- 
tion with mixed feelings: 

I don't see why they went on a hunger strike. They weren't doing the 
WRA any harm. They were just harming themselves. It made us sad 
though. I kind of pitied them. 30 

While the strike was in progress, relatives and close friends of the 
detainees addressed frantic appeals to WRA officials in Washing- 
ton and to the project administration; and they sought the advice 
of various evacuee leaders about steps that might be taken to bring 
the strike to an end. Responding to the appeals of these desperate 
relatives, the Resegregationist leaders prepared the following peti- 
tion and immediately circulated it for signatures on July 28: 

We were shocked to learn that fourteen residents confined in the stock- 
ade are on a Hunger Strike for their release and returned to this center. 
The Hunger Strike is on the loth day on Friday, July 28, 1944. 

Naturally we, as members of the Japanese race, are very worried and 
anxious about the lives of our racial brothers. Already several persons 
have collapsed from hunger. If any or several of our racial brothers should 
die on account of the Hunger Strike, we all would feel deeply grieved. 
Reverse the case; suppose Americans in an internment camp in Japan 
should die on a Hunger Strike, how would you feel? Would not the Ameri- 
can people be deeply grieved? So will we if our racial brothers die of a 
Hunger Strike. 

Therefore, we, the residents of the Tule Lake Center, request you, Mr. 
Raymond Best, to be merciful to our racial brothers and release the four- 

34 Field Notes, July 30, 1944. 30 Field Notes, August 19, 1944. 
3 " Field Notes, July 28, 1944. 


teen persons on a Hunger Strike from the stockade. Your mercy will never 
be forgotten. 

By the evening of the next day (Saturday), the petition was said 
to have been signed by over 8,000 residents. It was circulated at a 
crucial moment: while the strikers were being transferred from the 
stockade to the hospital, and while rumors about the seriousness of 
their condition were passing from person to person. Resegrega- 
tionist leaders, members of the Saiban-iin, and other friends of the 
strikers made announcements and speeches in various mess halls 
and exhorted the residents to sign. Concomitantly, sympathy for 
the detainees and antiadministration feeling again reached a high 
pitch. The petition was ready to be submitted to the administration 
on July 31 (Monday). 

On July 28 when the petition was being presented for signatures, 
the Spanish Vice-Consul arrived from San Francisco on a routine 
inspection tour. Most residents, discouraged by the meager results 
of earlier appeals to the Consul, viewed his visit with indifference. 
A young Nisei remarked: 

People believe that up to now the Spanish Consul hasn't been able to 
do anything. He hasn't been able to help the Nisei. They have lost interest 
in him. 37 

And Mr. Kira commented: 

I don't think people have much confidence in him. He is a representa- 
tive of such a small country especially Spain. 58 

In spite of popular indifference, an evacuee committee was 
formed to meet with the Spanish representative. When the com- 
mittee brought up the matter of the hunger strike, the Vice-Consul 
agreed to exert his utmost influence, although "he had hitherto 
maintained the point of view that the problems of Nisei were be- 
yond his authority." 39 He pleaded with Mr. Best to free the detainees 
but to no avail. It is said that Mr. Best told the Vice-Consul that he 
could not release the men until the community returned to normal. 
While he was negotiating, the Vice-Consul received word that the 
hunger strike had ended. He left the center believing that the 
problem had been solved. 

On July 30 (Sunday), the day after the Vice-Consul's departure, 

37 Field Notes, July 30, 1944. 

38 Ibid. 

30 Newell Star, Japanese Section, August 3, 1944. 


Besig visited the project. He was refused permission to interview 
the stockade detainees, but was allowed to meet with some members 
of the Saiban-iin. He assured them that the contemplated habeas 
corpus proceedings would almost certainly result in freedom for 
the incarcerated men. 

Besig's assurance immediately created a schism among the Re- 
segregationists: the more extreme among them, such as Yamashita, 
Kira, Ishikawa, and Mrs. Tsuchikawa, tried to withhold the already 
completed petition, while the moderates, who had taken the more 
active role in the campaign for signatures, insisted that the petition 
be presented to the administration. The latter felt that for the 
benefit of the detainees the matter should be solved as expeditiously 
as possible by any means at their disposal. The former, however, 
did not want to give the administration an easy way out of the 
dilemma, and preferred to force it to an unwilling decision through 
legal action. They hoped that their prestige with the residents 
would be enhanced by the winning of a publicized victory over the 
administration. Kuratomi later commented: 

Yamashita and those people were afraid that the petition might suc- 
cessfully bring our releases. They didn't want that. They wanted the 
lawsuit so that they could say, "We got releases for those detainees." They 
were after laurels for themselves. They didn't care if we were kept in the 
stockade and suffered. 40 

Other informants attributed the extremists' shift in tactics to 
their apprehension of the possibility of capitalizing on popular 
sympathy for the detainees to raise a fund for defraying operating 
expenses of their Resegregationist organization. There is some evi- 
dence to support this contention, for a drive initiated at this time 
by Mrs. Tsuchikawa, Yamashita, and others is said to have yielded 
a fund of from $2,000 to $3,000, only $500 of which was allocated to 
the Saiban-iin for the attorney's fee. 

The extremists succeeded in having the petition withheld for 
three days. 41 Meanwhile, on July 30, Yamashita managed to trans- 
mit a message to Besig surreptitiously, requesting him to initiate 
the lawsuit immediately and assuring him that a camp-wide drive 
to obtain funds was being undertaken. 

40 George Kuratomi, Statement, November 21, 1945. 

41 As a matter of fact, the petition was never submitted to the administration, 
for Ishikawa and an associate snatched it from its custodian and threw part of 
it into the fire. 


Between August 4 and 8 all the detainees, having yielded to 
medical treatment, were discharged from the hospital and were 
again confined in the stockade. Upon being told by the Internal 
Security staff that they would not be released from the stockade, 
they immediately resumed the hunger strike. To inform their rela- 
tives of the situation they followed out a prearranged plan of nail- 
ing two red handkerchiefs to the outside walls of their barracks. 
The strike lasted from August 5 to August 13. Kato again kept a 
detailed diary, recording the progressive stages of physical weak- 
ness of himself and the other strikers. On the seventh day (August 
11), he recorded that the strikers were informed "that there will 
be no hospital and medical service for us"; and that, on the ninth 
day, after promises from Internal Security officers that releases 
would be forthcoming in short order, an "amicable understanding" 
was reached and the strike ended. He wrote: 

Rev. Abe and Mr. Seki conferred with Mr. Schmidt and we came to an 
amicable understanding whereby we agreed to eat commencing tonight. 
Dr. Sleath 42 came to check our physical condition. Six of us were consulted. 
One of the detainees was immediately transferred to the hospital. Dr. 
Sleath stated that we were on edge and that we probably will not last 
another day. The doctor recommended our transfer to the hospital but 
was denied by the Internal Securities. Mr. Schmidt stated that four or five 
will be released in about a day. The rest will eventually be released in 
about two weeks. Furthermore, he stated that all foods will be distributed 
from the hospital because we are all too weak to do anything. At 1 130 A.M. 
Mr. Schmidt and Dr. Sleath brought us warm milk and a baby's mush. 
Thus ended the nine-day hunger strike for me. I could not sleep all 
morning. 43 

Releases followed one another in quick order after the cessation 
of the strike. According to a WRA report, "Conditions in the center 
at the present time are such that isolation of individuals is no 
longer considered necessary." 44 One man was released on August 
14, one on August 16, two on August 17, three on August 23, and 
the remaining seven on August 24. The WRA stated at this time 
that "the administration was considering the release of all the men 
in Area B at the time they started the hunger strike." 45 

42 The chief medical officer, who succeeded Dr. Pedicord. 

43 Bill Kato, "Diary since the Hunger Strike" (manuscript), July-August, 1944. 

44 Newell Star, August 3 1 , 1943. 

45 WRA, "History of Area B at Tule Lake 'The Stockade"' (manuscript), 
September 12, 1944. 


According to the American Civil Liberties Union, however, 
WRA took this action to avoid defeat in the planned habeas corpus 

Faced with the prospect of habeas corpus proceedings, the War Reloca- 
tion Authority . . . very quietly released 18 United States citizens of Japa- 
nese ancestry who had been imprisoned in the Stockade at the Tule Lake 
Segregation Center for more than eight months without charges or hear- 
ings, and without the privilege of receiving visits from their parents, wives, 
children and friends. The releases followed a conference on August 22 
between Wayne M. Collins, American Civil Liberties Union Attorney, 
and WRA officials, including Dillon S. Myer, national director of the 
WRA, Philip Click, solicitor, Robert Cozzens, area director, and Raymond 
Best, project director at Tule Lake. . . . 

We venture to say that even the WRA is glad to be rid of the "Stockade 
problem" for that agency has acted as though it had a bear by the tail and 
did not know how to let go. 40 

It is impossible to determine the precise cause-effect relationships 
on the basis of these conflicting reports. There is, however, little 
evidence to support WRA's contention that improved conditions 
in the center led to liquidation of the stockade. That the action of 
the American Civil Liberties Union was an important factor in the 
conclusion of the matter seems clear; and the stockade detainees 
felt that this was the primary reason for their release. Kuratomi, 
for example, said: 

As a result of the threat of a law suit from the ACLU, WRA turned us 
loose. 47 

News of the releases spread quickly throughout the camp and 
was received with universal approval. Kurihara said: 

It makes the people feel much better. It releases a great deal of tension. 
Mr. Best should have released the men when the Army turned over the 
stockade to WRA. 48 

A young Nisei girl stated: 

I think it's better that they were released. I don't see why they should 
be punished. They thought they were doing something good for the camp. 
I feel very relieved. It's a good thing they were released. 4 ' 

48 American Civil Liberties Union-Neivs, September, 1944. 

47 Field Notes, March 6, 1945. 

48 Field Notes, August 21, 1944. 
411 Field Notes, August 30, 1944. 


Administrative suspicion of the detainees did not, however, abate 
with their release. During the first week in September, the old 
matter of their alleged complicity in the Noma murder was raised 
once more. An investigator from the office of the District Attorney 
in Modoc County came to the project and undertook intensive 
questioning of Abe, Kuratomi, and Tada as well as such Resegrega- 
tionist leaders as Mrs. Tsuchikawa, Kira, and Kubo. Several of 
them were taken to the County seat for further questioning. The 
belief that they would be indicted by the Grand Jury for complicity 
in the murder became widespread. They again appealed to Ernest 
Besig for legal counsel in a letter dated September 1 2, which in part 

We were informed that sometime next week the Grand Jury of Modoc 
County will indict about half a dozen evacuees on charges of murder and 
conspiracy to murder. . . . We are not in receipt of summons or subpoena 
as yet but we should expect it any day. 50 

Kuratomi reacted to the threatened indictment as follows: 

When I was questioned, I saw the statement accusing me of murder and 
conspiracy of murder and asking the County Grand Jury to indict me. 
One thing I am on the lookout for is a frameup. I'm playing safe and am 
going to have a lawyer come in and go over the situation. 51 

Legal intervention proved unnecessary, however, for no indict- 
ment was made and the matter was dropped. 

In the latter part of September the released men issued a public 
statement called "Our Gratitude and Wishes," in which they said, 
in part: 

During our long confinement we had two hunger strikes, never being 
fearful of fighting for just cause and always upholding our virtues as true 

Now that we are back in the colony, we solemnly pledge ourselves, 
however insignificant our efforts may be, to our fundamental objective of 
establishing a constructive and peaceful community here at Tule Lake. . . . 
We sincerely hope that every resident of this center, manifesting the tra- 
ditional high ideal of our race will cooperate and work in unison for the 
peaceful functioning of this center. 

Furthermore, in conclusion, we wish to express our most heartfelt grati- 
tude to all the justice-loving residents who had given us such diligent and 
sacrificial support. 

50 Mrs. Tsuchikawa-Tomoichi Kubo, Letter, September 12, 1944. An almost 
identical letter was sent by Abe, Kuratomi, Tada, and others. 
01 Field Notes, September 18, 1944. 


The men who were released at this time were Nisei and Kibei 
who had been incarcerated shortly after the November 4 incident. 
Their Issei counterparts had long since been removed to the Santa 
Fe detention camp for enemy aliens. The freed citizen detainees, 
recognizing the injustice of this discriminatory treatment of the 
alien members of their group, therefore added the following pledge 
to their statement: 

In order that this incident [of November] which became international 
in significance and scope, come to a formal conclusion, we will give our 
most earnest efforts in uniting the families of the Issei sent to Santa Fe 
Detention Station in connection with this affair. 

In this matter factions again competed against each other: on the 
one hand, Abe, Kuratomi, and Seki worked as a committee, and on 
the other hand Kato worked as a representative of the Resegrega- 
tion Group. Both factions had meetings with Mr. Best to press for 
the return of the internees. They also made inquiries to Mr. Besig 
relative to obtaining the intervention of the American Civil Liber- 
ties Union. While these negotiations were proceeding, however, 
they discovered that the Issei internees did not wish to return to 
Tule Lake, having been promised reunion with their families in 
Crystal City, the Department of Justice internment camp for fam- 
ilies. The issue was resolved when the family members of the Issei 
Daihyo Sha Kai representatives at Santa Fe left for Crystal City on 
the night of November 20, 1944. 




Pressure Tactics of the "Disloyal" 

.HAT THE WRA PROGRAM of segregating evacuees 
into two groups "those who wish to follow the American way 
of life" and "those whose interests are not in harmony with those 
of the United States" was a failure, from the standpoint of the 
second of these groups, became apparent almost from the moment 
the first contingent of "disloyals" arrived at the Tule Lake Segre- 
gation Center from other projects. The cultural, behavioral, and 
attitudinal heterogeneity of the group administratively defined as 
having interests "not in harmony with the United States" has been 
discussed in preceding chapters. This heterogeneity arose from the 
fact that possession of "disharmonious interests" and eligibility 
for residence in the Tule Lake Segregation Center for the "disloyal" 
were determined on the basis (i) of a negative answer to a question 
regarding political allegiance, or (2) of refusal to answer this ques- 
tion, or (3) of an application for repatriation or expatriation to 
Japan, or (4) of an expressed desire to accompany or remain with 
a relative in any of the three preceding categories and thus preserve 
the family unit, or (5) in the case of the original Tulean population, 
of a mere refusal to move out of the center to a project designated 
for the "loyal." The loose definition of the group to be segregated 
as "disloyal" made it possible for many people, whose attitudes 
toward the future were quite undetermined, to wait out the war 
in the security of Tule Lake. Furthermore, the administrative 
practice of allowing, or even encouraging, changes of answers to 
the registration questionnaire prior to segregation led to a wide- 
spread belief that status as a "disloyal" could be transformed at will 
and at a more convenient time to status as a "loyal." 



That the bulk of the evacuees at the Tule Lake Segregation 
Center were undetermined "disloyals" with little appreciation of 
the political implications of their status is a reasonable deduction 
from their behavior and expressions of attitudes. Among those 
segregated there was, however, a relatively small but very aggressive 
group, with a more positive appreciation of their status as "dis- 
loyals," who were determined to reject the America which had 
subjected them to the indignities of evacuation and confinement 
in concentration camps, to seek the earliest possible return to a vic- 
torious Japan, to give in the meantime all possible aid and comfort 
to the mother country, and to pursue to the limit the Japanese way 
of life which, the administration had implied, would be appro- 
priate for "disloyal" segregants. This small group was overweighted 
with transferees, underweighted with old Tuleans. Many of the 
former had had to make a more definite commitment with respect 
to "disloyalty," and all of them had been forced to undergo the 
inconvenience and hardship of what was, in effect, another evac- 
uation. The latter had, in large numbers, by mere refusal to answer 
the questionnaire or refusal to leave the project, avoided both the 
physical inconvenience of moving and the psychic distress of a defi- 
nite commitment of future allegiance. 

The new transferees, both the undetermined and the determined 
"disloyals," found themselves at an immediate disadvantage with 
respect to the old Tuleans, who had the best housing and the best 
jobs, were in positions of power and prestige and were favored by 
the administration. The resulting jealousies and dissatisfactions 
proved fertile ground for the growth of the belief, fostered by the 
more determined "disloyals," that the essential difficulty was that 
Tule Lake was not composed entirely of "like-minded" people or 
"true disloyals" who had cast themselves off from America and were 
devoted to the pursuit of the Japanese way of life. Soon, even the 
least determined "disloyals" among the transferees were blaming 
the lack of determined "disloyalty" among the old Tuleans for the 
frictions in camp. They felt that these undetermined "disloyals," 
whom some of them estimated in the thousands, should be forced 
to join others of like predispositions either in camps for the "loyal" 
or in the "outside world.*' A further clarification of status and a 
more rigid definition of "disloyalty" were called for, with a resegre- 
gation of "dissident elements." Accomplishment of this program 


would result in a community of "like-minded" people, strictly 
defined as "disloyal," who would be free to behave disloyally. 

In describing their initial reactions to Tule Lake, statements 
such as the following were frequently made by transferees: 

When we came to Tule Lake, we learned that the WRA had failed to 
carry out its program and to make this as a segregation center for disloyals. 
There were many loyal ones who remained here in large numbers and 
many uncertain ones in status, the No-Yes, the Yes-No, the nonregistrants. 
I thought that this dump certainly was no place for us. 1 

I was disappointed when I found a great number of Yes-Yes people and 
people who hadn't registered in camp. We had expected just one group 
and had expected to run this camp as we wanted to. We had had high 
hopes for that. 3 

As early as October 26, 1943, the desirability of working out a 
plan for the resegregation of the residents, involving the separation 
of the "sincere repatriates" and "others," was proposed by the 
Negotiating Committee of the Daihyo Sha Kai, the protest faction 
then in power. The question was again urgently raised by this fac- 
tion at its meeting with Dillon Myer on November i, when chair- 
man Kuratomi attributed the unrest in camp to the fact that the 
population had not been differentiated rigidly into those "still loyal 
to this country" and those "who want to return to Japan sooner 
or later." 

The matter was taken up repeatedly and unsuccessfully in meet- 
ings between Daihyo Sha Kai representatives and the Spanish Con- 
sul. On November 3, for example, the chairman of the Negotiating 
Committee told the Consul: 

There are still some people here who are loyal and, naturally, are 
different from us. There are a number of volunteers who came with their 
relatives. A survey reveals that two to four thousand people are loyal 
Americans within this center. They asked that segregation be conducted 
as soon as possible. One thing they asked was, if possible, they would like 
to have some definite announcement made from Washington to this 
respect, and the date, anytime convenient after the date, this center 
would be designated for only those persons who have intentions of going 
back to Japan. 3 

On November 4 a Gila transferee, a supporter of. Daihyo Sha Kai, 
wrote the following editorial in the Tulean Dispatch. 

1 Statement by Mrs. Tsuchikawa, Field Notes, July 18, 1944. 

2 Statement by a young Nisei girl from Topaz, Ibid. 

3 Minutes of the meeting, November 3, 1943. 


Is the reason why we were segregated into this center clear in the minds 
of all residents? If not, why not? 

The WRA has definitely made this clear in our minds when they defined 
segregation as a movement to separate those who want to be JAPANESE 
from those who want to be AMERICAN. 

We are here because we wish to be JAPANESE, because we desire to 
do things as Japanese. Our future does NOT lie in the American way of 
life; our future is in the Japanese way of life! 

However, there are still many who by their actions and thoughts, insist 
upon reverting to the life they led prior to their decision! Are you one of 
those residents? If you are, it is about time that you have decided and 
act accordingly! 

After the referendum and the narrow defeat of status quo in 
January, 1944, Daihyo Sha Kai remnants operated underground as 
proponents of plans (of unspecified details) for resifting the resi- 
dents on the basis of loyalty and intention of early repatriation. 
Their efforts to win over the Manzanar contingent in March, 1944, 
emphasized that "nonclarification of status was the root of all 
center troubles" and implied strongly that further segregation 
would be the only solution of these troubles. Gaining strength and 
support from these and later transferees, they made an open bid for 
popular support of resegregation and preferential treatment of 
true "disloyals" in the Ishikawa petition in April, 1944. At the 
same time they emerged from the underground and adopted the 
name Saikakuri Seigan for their movement. 4 

The Ishikawa petition was specific in its demands that (i) the 
petitioners, being sincere repatriates, be given priority on the ear- 
liest exchange boat to Japan, and (2) in the meantime, they be per- 
mitted to segregate themselves within the Tule Lake center in a 
"designated section [of camp] among others of like inclination." 
In exhorting the residents to sign the petition, leaders of the move- 
ment urged separation from "a large number of heterogeneous ele- 
ments, with whose thoughts our ideas could never harmonize." 

The Ishikawa petition obtained some 6,500 signatures, 5 many 
of them as a result of pressure. The proponents in many cases 
silenced their critics by physical violence, or threat of violence, or 
by inu branding, or by the subtle use of cliches such as "We are all 
in the same boat. We are all Japanese, and should therefore act like 
true Japanese. Sign, if you are Japanese." 

1 See p. 235. 

5 Including, as noted previously, those of many young children for whom their 
parents signed. 


On April 24 the completed petition was sent to the Spanish 
Embassy in Washington with a request for immediate considera- 
tion. And in May, when the Spanish Consul in San Francisco asked 
for an active list of applicants for repatriation and expatriation, 
the Resegregation Group sent him a more elaborate plea for resegre- 
gation, to which were attached the names on the Ishikawa petition, 
and a "supplementary list thereto." It was claimed that the two 
lists combined contained 7,500 names. Thereafter, Ishikawa and 
his cosigners, with such persons as Kira and Yamashita guiding 
them behind the scene, claimed the backing of these signers and 
assumed the authority of representing them as spokesmen. 

As described in Chapter XI, the underground devoted its efforts 
for several months after the circulation of the Ishikawa petition 
toward pressing the administration and seeking the intervention 
of outside agencies for the release of the stockade detainees. At the 
same time, however, its leaders lost no opportunity of keeping the 
resegregation issue alive, and they put out a constant stream of 
propaganda to the effect that a peaceful and orderly way of life 
could not be attained until resegregation was carried out. They 
utilized the unrest and suspicion during the wave of violence 
against inu by branding their critics as "loyals" and informers. 
Because of the general belief that the "strong-arm boys" among the 
Resegregationists had been responsible for the inu beatings and 
murder, residents were reluctant to antagonize this group by report- 
ing its activities. As a result the administration failed to obtain 
concrete evidence of the source of the terroristic tactics and the 
Resegregationists were enabled to proceed with their program 
without hindrance. 

By the beginning of July the underground group had become a 
powerful and systematically integrated organization. Representa- 
tives had been appointed in every block and had been coordinated 
under ward representatives, who in turn formed a central com- 
mittee. Ishikawa acted as the chairman of this committee, called 
Jochi-iin (Standing Committee), with Kira and Yamashita as ad- 
visors. The Jochi-iin met regularly and formulated policies, pro- 
grams and propaganda which were passed along to the block 
representatives. Meetings of the Jochi-iin were soon dominated by 
Kira and Yamashita. Each of them had a well-organized group of 
"strong-arm boys," who frequently surrounded the barracks in 


which Jochi-iin meetings were being held. It is reported that, when- 
ever any dissent from Kira's or Yamashita's predetermined policies 
was manifested in the audience, these boys would mill around, stick 
their heads in the windows of the barracks, and make threatening 
gestures until the dissent was withdrawn. 

At about this time Kira and Yamashita also embarked upon a 
series of "educational" lectures, which were held regularly in a 
number of blocks. They expounded Japanese political ideology, 
emphasized the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity ideas, and re- 
counted "news items" from Radio Tokyo. They convincingly pre- 
sented Japan as victorious in the Pacific, 6 and exhorted the listeners 
to be "true Japanese." Additional speakers were recruited and 
similar lectures were given throughout the camp. This move was an 
implementation of one of the arguments presented in the Ishi- 
kawa petition that "the discipline and education of our children 
adapted to the system of wartime Motherland are absolutely neces- 
sary." Such opportunities of "Japanization," resegregation pro- 
ponents expected, would be a strong attraction for those "disloyals" 
who hoped to pursue the Japanese way of life in Tule Lake, and 
who had, soon after segregation, and with the consent of WRA, 
established Japanese language schools to prepare their children 
for a future in Japan. Most of these schools had adopted text books 
used in Japan in recent years. In recreational activities emphasis 
was more and more being placed on things Japanese, while typical 
American activities were discouraged. 

Meantime, the Resegregationists had failed to invoke any action 
from the Spanish authorities on their appeals, and they decided to 
reopen the issue of resegregation with WRA. On June 7 the nom- 
inal leaders addressed a letter to Dillon Myer, reiterating their 
desire for separation from the "loyal" until they could achieve 
their ultimate aim of repatriation. In this plea, the leaders advo- 
cated the removal of themselves and other like-minded "disloyals" 
to another camp where they could wait for the exchange ship to 
Japan. Without waiting for Myer's reply, they reported this move 
to the residents through their organizational channels, and con- 
veyed the impression that WRA would soon undertake resegrega- 
tion. The effectiveness of their communication system was soon 

6 The Japanese reverses in the Pacific were presented as a part of the grand 
strategy conceived by Japan, by which she was drawing the American forces 
nearer to her home bases in order to achieve "decisive victory with one blow." 


evidenced by the resultant wave of rumor of imminent resegrega- 
tion that swept the camp. But the new plan of resegregation was 
contrary to the wishes of many of the signers of the Ishikawa peti- 
tion, who had no desire to undergo the hardships of another move 
or the distress of resulting separation of family members and who 
wanted not themselves but the fence sitters and "loyals" removed. 

There were many conflicting rumors about the probable desti- 
nation of the "disloyal." Some claimed they would be sent to one 
of the existing WRA projects. Poston and Jerome were promi- 
nently mentioned. Others were sure they would be moved to 
Alaska. "Reliable" sources were quoted in detail, including news- 
paper and radio reports. Kurusu stated, "For more than two weeks 
everybody is saying we might be segregated again. First they said 
we would be sent to Poston, then they said Alaska." 7 Mrs. Kurusu 
added, "They told me that they had heard it over the radio and 
seen it in the San Francisco Examiner that the people are going to 
be sent to Jerome. It is the disloyal people who are going to be 
moved." 8 An elderly Issei woman said, "People heard it over the 
radio and the blocks are very upset. Children are crying. I have 
moved four times already and I don't want to move again. Jerome 
is bad, they say, too much rain." 

While these rumors were circulating, 10 the Resegregationists ex- 
tended their program: (i) to advocate the renunciation of Ameri- 
can citizenship; (2) to proselytize new members and enlarge the 

The question of renunciation had been brought up as early as 
December 13, 1943, in the meeting of the Daihyo Sha Kai remnants 
with the Spanish Consul, when a plea was made that "truly disloyal 
Nisei" be given the status of Japanese nationals and thus come 
within the jurisdiction of the protecting Spanish authorities. The 
plea was rejected by a representative of the State Department who 
accompanied the Consul, on the following grounds: 

I would like to explain the status of the Nisei who have both Japanese 
and American citizenship. When you are in the United States you are an 
American citizen. When you are in Japan, you are a Japanese subject. 
When you are in Japan as Japanese subject, the American Government 

7 Field Notes, August 8, 1944. 

8 Ibid. 

9 Field Notes, August 10, 1944. 

10 The rumors did not die down until September, 1944. 


does not protect you, and when you are in America as American subjects 
the Japanese Government does not protect you or in this case the Spanish 
Government will not protect you. You cannot by saying so throw off 
your American citizenship. You must do a specific act such as renouncing 
your citizenship. But you can do it in time of peace, but not in time of 
war. No American subject can throw off his citizenship. 11 

The question of renunciation remained dormant throughout the 
first half of 1944, although expressions such as "What's the use of 
having American citizenship?" were constantly heard. In July, how- 
ever, the passage of the Denationalization Bill by Congress revi- 
talized the issue. The Newell Star of July 13 reported that 

a new law dealing with the relinquishment of their citizenship by Ameri- 
can citizens has been passed by the Congress of the United States and 
signed by the President . . . 

The new law provides that an American citizen may expatriate by 
"making in the United States a formal written renunciation of nationality 
in such form as may be prescribed by, and before such officer as may be 
designated by, the Attorney General, whenever the United States shall be 
in a state of war and the Attorney General shall approve such renuncia- 
tion as not contrary to the interests of national defense." 

It should be noted that a formal written renunciation of citizenship 
under the new law must be approved by the Attorney General before 
citizenship can be removed. The Department of Justice has indicated that 
the Attorney General will scrutinize each such renunciation with greatest 
care before an American citizen will be permitted to relinquish his citizen- 
ship under this law. 12 

Although the report added that detailed procedures had not yet 
been formulated, it was clear that the passage of the bill meant that 
American citizens could relinquish their citizenship, during war- 
time, while they were still on American soij. It also meant that "dis- 
loyal" Nisei and Kibei could achieve the status of "true Japanese" 
and come under the protection of the Japanese government. 

The Resegregationists immediately made renunciation a focal 
point in their policies. On July 28, when the evacuee representa- 
tives met the Spanish Vice-Consul, Yamashita, Ishikawa, Tsuchi- 
kawa, and others among the representatives pressed the Vice-Consul 

11 Minutes of the meeting, December 13, 1943. 

12 It is to be noted that "the measure, which had the support of Attorney 
General Francis Biddle, was designed to provide legal means to denationalize 
between '300 to 1,000' persons of Japanese ancestry at the Tule Lake segregation 
center who had expressed a desire to renounce their United States citizenship 
and have asked for expatriation." (Pacific Citizen, July 8, 1944.) 


for information as to whether those Japanese Americans in Tule 
Lake who renounced would be treated as Japanese nationals, what 
steps should be taken to restore Japanese citizenship for those 
who had been dual citizens and had subsequently canceled Japa- 
nese citizenship, and what procedure should be taken by those who 
had only American citizenship. The Vice-Consul merely stated that 
he had not received official interpretation of the bill and he there- 
fore refused to answer the questions. 

In their plans for expansion of their organization, Kira and 
Yamashita soon recognized the weakness of the plan of moving 
their followers to another center, and reverted to the earlier plan 
of removal of "loyals," whereby they and their followers could 
remain in Tule Lake, behave like "true Japanese," defy the admin- 
istration and, if necessary, utilize force to expel from the camp those 
residents who did not share their views. Their proselytizing program 
was initiated with the organization of a young men's group, the 
Sokoku Kenkyu Seinen-dan, usually referred to merely as Sokoku 
(Young Men's Association for the Study of the Mother Country). 
The first meeting of the Sokoku was held on the night of August 12 
in the high school auditorium, 13 with the permission of WRA. 
Approximately 500 youths, some older men and a few women 
attended this meeting and heard a lecture by Reverend Aramaki, 
the nominal founder, 14 behind whom Kira and Yamashita con- 
tinued to manipulate the activities of the organization. The ex- 
pressed aim of this organization was to prepare the members to be 
useful citizens of Japan after their expatriation. To this end they 
resolved to devote themselves to a study of Japanese language, 
Japanese history and Japanese political ideology. The formal aims 
of the group were announced in a manifesto on August 12 as 

Since the outbreak of war between Japan and America, citizens of Japa- 
nese ancestry have moved along two separate paths: (i) for the defense of 
their civil rights on legal principles, and (2) for the renunciation of their 
citizenship on moral principles. Each group has constantly expended its 
efforts for the fulfillment of its own aims. 

13 Subsequently, important ceremonies of the group were held on the eighth 
of each month, in commemoration of the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, which in 
Japan fell on that date. 

14 Some informants claimed that Kira and Yamashita appointed Aramaki as 
the leader so that his followers from Jerome could be brought into the organiza- 


After we were segregated to this center, we have, on moral principles, 
stood for renunciation, and have awakened the consciousness of racial 
heritage. Fortunately, the government, whose national policies are" based 
on democracy, humanity and liberty, has now proclaimed by legislation 
that it officially approves our inclination. We are, indeed, delighted with 
this recognition. With the three principles listed below, we hereby organ- 
ize the Sokoku Kenkyu Seinen-dan and resolve to devote ourselves for the 
achievement of our original aims. 

1. To increase the appreciation of our racial heritage by a study of the 
incomparable culture of our mother country. 

2. To abide by the project regulations and to refrain from any involve- 
ment in center politics. To be interested only in improving our moral 
life and in building our character. 

3. To participate in physical exercises in order to keep ourselves in good 

The important points in this manifesto are (i) emphasis on re- 
nunciation of citizenship by its members; (2) emphasis on the non- 
political nature of the organization, and on the purely cultural 
context of its proposed activities. This second point was an attempt 
both to avert administrative objections which, it was believed, 
would be raised immediately if a political organization were 
formed, and also to allay the fears of potential members who would 
hesitate to join, since previous experience had shown that political 
activities were likely to lead to administrative repression. 

To naive residents who believed the organization's contention 
that it had no political aims, the proposed activities had a strong 
attraction. Many of the young Nisei who were contemplating ex- 
patriation had never been in Japan and had a very imperfect 
knowledge even of the rudiments of the language. It would ob- 
viously be of great practical value to them in their future if they 
learned something of the way of life which they would be expected 
to pursue. Their Issei parents were wholeheartedly behind such an 
endeavor, hoping thus to improve the young people's chances for 
economic and social acceptance in Japan. At the same time the 
pattern of life in Tule Lake was tending more and more to exalt 
the Japanese way of life and to disparage the American. To enter 
wholeheartedly into a study of Japanese culture was to act in con- 
formity with this pattern and to erect a defense against being con- 
sidered "loyal" to America by suspicious fellow residents. 

The Sokoku scheduled frequent lectures for its members. On 
these occasions, emphasis was placed on Yamato Damashii, em- 


peror worship and glorification of the war aims of Japan. Morning 
outdoor exercises were initiated and participation was made com- 
pulsory for the members. These exercises gradually became more 
and more exhibitionistically militaristic. Bugles and uniforms were 
purchased and the young men, wearing grey sweat shirts and head 
bands, stamped with the emblem of the rising sun, marched out 
to the firebreaks, goose-stepping, and shouting "Wash-sho! Wash- 
sho!" ("Hip! Hip!"), and drilled to the accompaniment of patri- 
otic bugling. These exercises took place before six o'clock each 
morning and, week by week, additional Japanese militaristic fea- 
tures were added to the routine. 

The initial acceptance of the Sokoku's aims by residents was 
widespread; if there was any disapproval, it was not openly ex- 
pressed for fear of reprisal from the young members. Many residents 
considered the expressed aims worthwhile. Some were articulate in 
support of the organization. For example, Kurusu said, "The So- 
koku is not a pressure group; they are not going into politics. They 
are for the study of Japanese culture. That's why I joined them." 1 "' 
And a Nisei woman remarked: 

The Sokoku men have worked out some good things to educate young 
men. Take these zoot-suiters, for instance, they're going to have a heck 
of a time when they go to Japan. The Sokoku says, "We must train these 
boys." And I think that's right. You must do something with these zoot- 
suiters. 10 

There were, however, some who expressed their skepticism about 
the sincerity of the organization. Kurihara, for example, said, "I 
don't know the true motive behind it. I don't care to have any part 
in it." 17 

And Wakida commented: 

The Sokoku is big. It's well organized. It's good and strong. But if they 
get too much power and can't control themselves, they might cause some 
trouble. A lot of people are against it, but they are afraid to say anything. 18 

The administration was cognizant of the wave of resegregation 
rumors and of the inception and subsequent overt activities of the 
Sokoku. Although it was apparently unwilling to inhibit the forma- 
tion of the organization or to interfere with its activities, which 

ir> Field Notes, September 15, 1944. :7 Field Notes, August 14, 1944. 

J " Field Notes, September 14, 1944. ls Field Notes, September 1 1, 1944. 


were ostensibly in line with WRA-sanctioned "pursuance of the 
Japanese way of life," it made some effort to identify the leaders. 
The administration decided also to publicize Myer's communica- 
tion dated July 14, which replied to the Resegregationists' letter 
of June 7 and denied any intention of resegregation. 10 Assistant 
Project Director Black, on August 30, called Ishikawa, Kubo and 
others, who signed the June 7 letter, into conference and an- 
nounced emphatically that WRA would not embark upon such a 
program. It is reported that during this conference Black and the 
Resegregationists, who considered they had been "double crossed," 
engaged in heated arguments and parted with ill feeling. 

Following this, the Resegregationists not only failed to make 
public the administrative denial, but they also, without knowledge 
of project officials, mimeographed and distributed Mr. Myer's letter 
and, in the Japanese translation, distorted it to their advantage 
and conveyed the false impression that their group was officially 
sanctioned and that plans for resegregation were under considera- 
tion by the administration. Myer's letter said in part: 

The policies under which the Tule Lake segregation center is operated 
have been carefully studied, both by Washington officials and by the 
Project Director at Tule Lake, and the policies presently in force are 
considered fair and equitable. 

Mr. Best, Project Director, will be glad to take up with representatives 
of the residents of Tule Lake, any specific problems relating to the admin- 
istration of the Project. If necessary, Mr. Best will take such questions up 
with Washington, where you may be assured of considerate attention. I 
am sure Mr. Best will be glad to discuss with you the question of re- 
segregation to which your communication refers. 

The Japanese translation of the last paragraph read: 

However, I am sure that all problems in the Tule Lake segregation 
center that need attention and improvement will be studied and remedied 
in consultation with the representatives of the Resegregation Group. 20 Fur- 
thermore, whenever Director Best refers to the WRA headquarters in 
Washington any specific problem for consideration and approval, you may 
now be assured of considerate attention. Needless to say, I am sure Director 
Best will be glad to discuss frankly with you the question of resegregation 
about which your representatives have communicated. 

19 According to an Assistant Project Director, Meyer, Best, and others conferred 
in San Francisco on or about August 21 and agreed that WRA would not enter- 
tain any plan for resegregation. (Field Notes, August 24, 1944.) 

20 Italics ours. 


After circulating this communication, the Resegregationists re- 
sumed pressure to force an administrative reconsideration of reseg- 
regation. On September 24 they brought forward a new petition 
accompanied by an explanatory pamphlet, written in both English 
and Japanese, and requested those who truly desired to return to 
Japan at the first opportunity to sign the petition. All who had 
signed the Ishikawa petition were urged to sign again; anyone who 
had not signed was impressed with the fact that this might be his 
last chance to join the group. In fact, the pamphlet stated that the 
group was preparing is final list of proposed repatriates and ex- 
patriates, and the list was to be presented to "both the American 
and the Japanese governments." 

After reiterating the charge that WRA had failed to "clarify the 
distinctions between the loyals and the disloyals" and to make Tule 
Lake a segregation center for the latter, the pamphlet elaborated 
upon the aims of the Resegregationists. Pending repatriation to 
Japan they were prepared "to sacrifice everything ... to the coun- 
try we dearly love." Realizing "the uselessness of our American 
citizenship" they were ready to renounce it "as soon as possible." 
Their future being in Japan, they "do not desire to return ever . . . 
to the State of California or to others of our original places [of 
residence, but] instead we insist to remain within the center pro- 
vided by the government." Determined as they were to "uphold 
highly our Japanese spirits and increasingly endeavor to cultivate 
ourselves both mentally and physically in order to fulfill the prin- 
ciple of being nothing but a real Japanese" they were prepared to 
expel from membership "those who act un-Japanese and who bring 
disgrace to other Japanese." And in stressing their determination 
to remain in camp until they were repatriated, the leaders played 
upon the constant fear of being forced to leave camp and resettle, 
which had recently been revitalized by rumors of imminent rescis- 
sion of the orders excluding them from the West Coast and the 
possibility of closure of the relocation centers. 

Several days before the distribution of the pamphlet, Mr. 
Yamashita, the Resegregationist leader, explained its purpose: 

This petition will tell the administration exactly where we stand. We 
are certain that the administration and WRA cannot distinguish between 
the loyal and the disloyal people congregated in this camp. This is the 
reason for so much restlessness and unfortunate disturbances in camp. 


We residents the wiser people among us cannot wait for the adminis- 
tration to act. The time has come when the Japanese residents wish to 
formulate their beliefs. 

You know that the people behind resegregation have been working 
underground for a long time. Anyone who would have come out openly 
for this earlier would have been put in the stockade. We have been work- 
ing on this since April, awaiting the moment; but we had to keep it a 
secret. Now the time has come. 

We are of the opinion that we cannot be loyal to two countries. As long 
as we are living here, why not make up our minds whether to be real 
Japanese or not? When this is fully impressed on the residents, this camp 
will become more peaceful than ever, and the loyal and the fence sitters 
will relocate according to WRA policy. 

Those who refuse to sign this will have people asking them, "Are you 
loyal to Japan or not? If you are not loyal to Japan, why don't you go out?" 

If they don't sign this they will be known to be not loyal to Japan and 
will be so told in public. Of course, many people who don't want to go 
back to Japan will sign, but then they will go in a corner and keep quiet. 1 ' 1 

This is a revealing statement of the aims and outlook of the 
leader of the Resegregation Group, and is explicit in respect to the 
pressure which the petition was intended to put upon the residents. 

The circulation of this petition was begun on Sunday, September 
24, but the administration took no action on the matter for several 
days. On September 27 the Caucasian supervisor warned the block 
managers that the petition had no administrative sanction. Mr. 
Black, on September 30, followed with a memorandum emphasiz- 
ing once more that "there will be no further segregation at Tule 
Lake or elsewhere because such a program is impractical and 
infeasible. . . . Contrary to a statement contained therein, resegre- 
gation is receiving no consideration, serious or otherwise, from 
WRA, either here or in Washington." He added a warning against 
signing the petition, pointing out that it was anonymous and unau- 
thorized; that nothing could be gained by further petition since 
those who looked forward to a future in Japan and had applied for 
repatriation had "complied with all the requirements of either the 
American or the Japanese government" to achieve this end; and 
that "preferential treatment would not be obtained by further 
petition." He condemned scathingly the activities of the leaders 
which were, he said, detrimental to the residents and tended to 
"incite unrest, produce confusion, upset peace of mind, and con- 

21 Field Notes, September 21, 1944. 


tribute to tension and nervousness." By this time, however, the 
Resegregationists had nearly completed the circulation of the peti- 
tion. They paid no attention to the warning, but, on the contrary, 
increased their efforts to get more signatures. 

When the petition was submitted to the Spanish Embassy and 
the State Department, it was said to have contained some 10,000 
names, including those of minors and infants." Itabashi, who did 
not sign it, explained: 

My family of five have already applied through the Spanish Embassy 
to go back to Japan. So what more do we need? Resegregation means 
nothing when you analyze what the Resegregationists say. But the majority 
of people signed the petition under intimidation and ignorance. 23 

Wakida said: 

When they circulated this petition, they said, "If you sign this paper, 
you won't be drafted into the Army and you'll be the first to get on the 
exchange boat. So everybody signed it. 21 

Many people were influenced to sign by a rumor, persistent at 
this time, that the Department of Justice would take over the 
operation of Tule Lake from WRA soon after the presidential 
election. This rumor is said to have originated with the Caucasian 
personnel but Resegregationists actively spread the story 25 among 
the evacuees and stated repeatedly that the pending transfer of the 
camp to the Department of Justice had been accomplished because 
of their activities, and would result ipso facto in resegregation. The 
Department of Justice, they pointed out, had custodial authority 
only over potentially dangerous aliens. If the Department took 
over Tule Lake it would certainly throw out "loyal" aliens and all 
citizens. The only people who would be allowed to remain would 
be aliens who had overtly demonstrated their loyalty to Japan and 
citizens who had renounced their American citizenship. 

In soliciting signatures for the petition, the Resegregationists 
are also said to have used coercion and intimidation frequently. 

22 Less than a half of the persons whose names appeared on the petition were 
171/2 years of age or older. 

23 Field Notes, October 10, 1944. 

24 Field Notes, October 12, 1944. 

25 Dillon Myer denied the rumor publicly during a visit to the center on 
October 10. Resegregationists, however, continued to spread the story through 
out the following month. 


Some of the specific cases were reported by a Nisei transferee from 

I was pressured into signing up with the Resegregationist Group along 
with many others. We signed in order to prevent physical harm to our- 
selves and to the members of our family. 26 

By a Nisei anti-Sokoku girl, an old Tulean: 

The Sokoku men had, in some wards, barred the children of parents 
who refused to sign the petition from participating in the morning exer- 
cises. The children were shamed in front of their friends. 27 

And by the Community Analyst: 

Feeling ran so high in ward VII, that vocal anti-resegregationists or 
residents of "tough" blocks who had refused to sign were definitely on the 
spot. In block 73, the block manager . . . was forced by public opinion to 
move quietly out of his block and later resign; his secretary did likewise. 
In block 74, adjoining, in ward VII, we learned that one aged anti-reseg- 
regationist was hit over the back of the head and knocked unconscious 
(October 7). 28 

The general condition in camp was summarized by a high-rank- 
ing project official as follows: 

There seems to be a very definite tension, worse than it has been since 
the Noma killing. Some groups are making threats against evacuee work- 
ers. My key workers resigned. It looks as if the young Kibei are doing the 
rough stuff now. They are hitting from several different angles. 29 

As was true in other periods of general tension in Tule Lake, the 
resurgence of violence was accompanied by widespread demoraliza- 
tion of the young people. Many cases of theft, vandalism, party 
crashing, and fist fights were reported. On the night of October 15, 
three elderly Issei returning from a meeting of a religious cult, were 
set upon by a gang of half a dozen young men. The men had refused 
to sign the resegregation petition and had advised other residents 
not to sign. At a meeting of the sect some time in September, they 
had made speeches calling upon the young men present to abstain 
from radical activities which might meet with administrative dis- 
approval. One of them, Mr. Itabashi, had pointed out that nothing 

28 Field Notes, February 15, 1945. 

27 Field Notes, October 5, 1944. 

28 WRA, Community Analysis "Report on Center Trends (Oct. 8-16)" (manu- 
script), October 16, 1944. 

29 Field Notes, October 4, 1944. 


would be gained by making trouble and that agitation only brought 
suffering upon the women and children in camp. He exhorted the 
Nisei to follow the higher ideals of Japan which, he stated, were 
not compatible with agitation or the making of unreasonable 

I said that this camp is no place for young men to make trouble. They 
should study. I said, "Young men, behave yourselves." What I said there 
was reported to the Resegregationist headquarters. 80 

The attack was described by Itabashi as follows: 

The three of us were coming home from a religious meeting at block 52. 
I heard noisy footsteps. One of my friends was at my side, the other was 
15 feet ahead. The first man who was attacked yelled. I turned around and 
saw that big stick. I can still see the club like a frozen picture, but I didn't 
know anything after that. 81 

Since the victims refused to name their assailants or give any 
description of them, the Caucasian Internal Security was able to 
accomplish nothing, and the evacuee police, following precedent, 
refused to handle the case. 

On October 30 another case of violence, resulting from differ- 
ences over the resegregation issue, was reported in Block 78, a 
strong proresegregation block in Ward VIII. Shinkichi Iwamoto, 
known to be Kira's right-hand man, knifed the son of a block resi- 
dent who was said to be hostile to Kira and had criticized him. 
Presumably because of fear of the Resegregationists, the victim 
gave less and less incriminating evidence every time he testified in 
the hearings held by the Internal Security. The assailant was, how- 
ever, turned over to Modoc County authorities, by whom he was 
sentenced to ninety days in jail. The Resegregationists claimed that 
their intervention on Iwamoto's behalf was responsible for the light 

Meanwhile, Resegregationist leaders became increasingly arro- 
gant. At the Sokoku ceremony held in Block 84 (Ward VIII) on 
October 21, Kira is said to have incited the young men to violence 
and to have promised that he would take care of them if they got 
into trouble. He quoted a Japanese proverb which, while charac- 
teristically flexible in interpretation, could be translated to mean: 
"To help the great cause, we have to kill those who stand in its 

30 Field Notes, November 9, 1944. 31 Ibid. 


way." The connotation to most of the residents seemed to be that 
the opponents of the Resegregationists would be liquidated. 

The Sokoku had, together with the older Resegregationists, set 
up a staff in an office in Block 54. They plastered the walls with 
patriotic mottoes, Japanese flags and a sign to the effect that any 
person speaking English in the office would be fined at the rate of 
one cent a word. Its branches in various wards started publishing 
mimeographed weeklies or monthlies. With active support of the 
Resegregationist leaders the Sokoku continued, but now more 
overtly, with further elaboration of morning ceremonies, including 
drills, marching in goose step, and judo practice. Lectures with 
Yamashita, Kira, Aramaki, and other leaders as speakers, were given 
wide publicity, the most important taking place in the school audi- 
torium on the eighth of each month. Group exercises of a more 
highly nationalistic character were initiated, including an early 
morning outdoor ceremony on the eighth of the month, at which 
prayers for Japanese victory were offered. The nature of such cere- 
monies is exemplified in the following announcement: 

Hissho Kigan Shiki [Ceremony to Pray for Victory] is observed in Japan 
on every eighth day of the month. This is the day our motherland declared 
war against the allied nations. On this day the people of Japan offer a 
fervent prayer for total victory at any cost. 

As Japanese subjects we shall observe Hissho Kigan Shiki this Sunday, 
October 8, 1944. Commencing at 6:30 A.M. at the outdoor stage. A request 
for all members to assemble at block 14 between barracks i and 13 by 
6:00 A.M. is issued by the physical chairman. . . . 

To purify the mind and body before attending the ceremony, the cabi- 
net and block representatives shall take a cold shower Sunday morning at 
block 14 shower room at 5:00 A.M. Other members who are willing, are 
requested to meet at the same time and place. 32 

Yamashita discussed in detail the effects he and the other leaders 
hoped to obtain by encouraging these ceremonies and exercises. 
The young men, he said, were "preparing themselves physically 
and mentally" so that they could be utilized by the Japanese gov- 
ernment "if they go on the exchange boat." He added that "by 
getting up early in the morning, by exercise and training after 
worshiping, and praying for victory and eternal life for our Japa- 
nese soldiers, these young people can be deeply impressed." He 
stated further that since the soldiers and civilians of Japan were 

32 Sokoku Kenkyu Seinen-dan Ward 1 Weekly, October 6, 1944. 


making great sacrifices, it behooved the "true Japanese" in Tule 
Lake to give up their luxuries and show themselves willing to sacri- 
fice also. "We must act parallel with what our brothers in Japan 
are doing." 33 

The ceremonies sponsored by the Resegregationists reached a 
climax in connection with Meiji Setsn on November 3. Although 
Meiji Setsu had been proclaimed a holiday by the administration 
and was celebrated by the general population, with each of the 
language schools as well as most blocks sponsoring festivals in the 
traditional manner, the Sokoku and the older Resegregationist 
members, pursuant to their policy of special dedication to Japan, 
held a separate ceremony. This ceremony was held on the outdoor 
stage of the main firebreak, with great solemnity and reverence. The 
young men marched in and ranged themselves in rows, standing 
without overcoats in the bitter November weather for more than 
an hour. Most of the older participants also lined up in rows. All 
the 2,ooo-odd participants bowed toward the rising sun, while a 
corps of buglers played Japanese national music. 

In spite of the extensive proselytization and the apparent pop- 
ular support of their activities, the Resegregationists at the end of 
October still constituted a minority in the center. Although they 
claimed 10,000 names on the resegregation petition of September, 
the active membership could not at the most have exceeded 2,000 
evacuees, mostly transferees, and a few old Tuleans. Of these, about 
750 evacuees belonged to the Sokoku, the young men's organiza- 
tion, which had gained some 200 new members during October. In 
the beginning of the month the Sokoku probably had only 550 
members, as estimated by Wakida, who had 

made a pretty thorough study of the strength of the Sokoku. They do not 
have more than sixty or seventy members in each ward, which would give 
them a membership of 550 at the outside. My ward, ward VII, has the 
largest membership, and they are also very strong in my block, block 68. 
Ward I has 52 members and ward III has only 5o. yt 

The increase of membership during the month was largely cred- 
ited to Kira, who decided at this time to affiliate his "Manzanar 
Gang" with the Sokoku. On October 2 1 a branch of the Sokoku was 

"" Field Notes, October 30, 1944. 

34 Field Notes, October 2, 1944. Reverend Aramaki, however, claimed that 
"the Sokoku has 1,000 members." (Field Notes, October 13, 1944.) 


for the first time established in Ward VIII, which subsequently 
became the strongest proresegregation ward in the center. 

Resegregationist leaders took further steps to increase their mem- 
bership and to strengthen their group cohesion. They first replaced 
Reverend Aramaki with Nobuo Yamada as head of Sokoku. This 
move was an attempt by Kira and Yamashita to gain more complete 
control over the organization. They had, for some time, met diffi- 
culties in persuading Aramaki 35 to carry through some of their 
policies, while Yamada, a former member of the Negotiating Com- 
mittee, an ex-stockade detainee, and chief instructor in judo for 
the Sokoku, was bound in closely with the leaders and was consid- 
ered a more pliable instrument for their purposes. 

The leaders then proceeded formally to organize the older Reseg- 
regationists who, up to this time, were still loosely organized as the 
Saikakuri Seigan into an association paralleling the Sokoku. In the 
Jochi-iin meeting on November 10 a plan to form a dues-paying 
organization called the Sokuji Kikoku Hoshi-dan, usually abbrevi- 
ated to Hoshi-dan (Organization to Return Immediately to the 
Homeland to Serve), was formally adopted. Membership was lim- 
ited to those who had signed the resegregation petition, who wished 
immediate return to Japan, who had pledged absolute loyalty to 
Japan, and who were willing "to sacrifice life and property in order 
to serve our mother country in time of unparalleled emergency." 
Officers were elected, and the interlocking relations ot Jochi-iin, the 
highest ranking committee, with the Sokoku were described as 
follows: "The members of the Jochi-iin shall attend the meetings 
of the Central Executive Committee of the Sokoku Kenkyu Seinen- 
dan and shall guide the officers." Subscriptions were solicited for a 
mimeographed monthly magazine called the Hokoku (Service to 
Mother Country). 

At about the same time, Sokoku changed its name to Hokoku 
Seinen-dan, usually abbreviated to Hokoku (Young Men's Organi- 
zation to Serve Our Mother Country). This change of name re- 
flected a change of the stated purpose of the organization from 
study of the culture (Sokoku Kenkyu} to service of the mother 
country. Resegregationists explained that the change of name sig- 

35 Aramaki submitted his resignation because of the circulation of widespread 
rumors imputing immorality. It is said that these rumors were started by Reseg- 
regationist leaders as a means of forcing Aramaki's resignation. 


nified that the period of cultural preparation had been completed 
and that the young men were now ready to serve the mother country. 

Thusi by September, the Resegregationists had emerged from the 
underground pressure group to a highly formalized, institutional- 
ized organization, with a frankly nationalistic and exhibitionistic- 
ally disloyal program. In the latter part of October they were 
enabled to push their program toward its ultimate goal renuncia- 
tion of American citizenship by the young men as a symbol of their 
complete rejection of America and identification with Japan. 

The Newell Star of October 26 reported that the Department of 
Justice had, at last, set up procedures for accepting and processing 
applications for renunciation: 

The Citizenship Renunciation Law ... is now operative. . . . Only indi- 
vidual applications will be considered. . . . The Department of Justice 
has indicated that no renunciation will be granted without careful exam- 
ination of the facts and the reasons motivating the application. Request 
for renunciation from citizens who are motivated by a desire to avoid 
Selective Service or other legal obligations, will be subject to particular 
scrutiny. . . . 

The applicant forwards to the Attorney General his application for 
renunciation of citizenship, on the prescribed form, together with speci- 
fied citizenship documents. Forms may be secured from the Attorney 
General as soon as they are printed. In the event the requested renuncia- 
tion does not appear contrary to the interests of national defense, a 
hearing is conducted by a hearing officer whom the Attorney General desig- 
nates. The applicant is notified of the time and place of hearing. 

After the hearing the applicant may file formal renunciation of citizen- 
ship on a prescribed form and request its approval. The hearing officer 
recommends approval or disapproval to the Attorney General. ... A 
renunciation of citizenship does not become effective until the Attorney 
General approves it. Notice of approval or disapproval is given the 
applicant. 30 

As soon as the official procedures were announced, strong pres- 
sure was applied by the extremists within the organization to fur- 

36 Several proposals for deportation and denationalization of persons of 
Japanese ancestry were introduced in the 78th Congress. Of these only the 
denationalization bill, H.R. 4103, was enacted into law. This bill, however, did 
not have a provision for deportation, although, during the debate in the House 
of Representatives, Congressman J. L. Johnson from California stated, "If we 
get these people denaturalized, then deportation will follow after the war, as a 
matter of course. We will have conquered Japan so successfully that we can 
dictate the terms of the treaty which will undoubtedly include a provision that 
all these people shall be taken back to Japan." (Congressional Record, Volume 
90, p. 2003, February 23, 1944.) 


ther the symbolic repudiation of all things American by having 
Hokoku members renounce. When a few official forms for renun- 
ciation were received from Washington in November, Hokoku 
officers made dozens of carbon copies in order that the members 
might renounce immediately en masse. Some minors also filed 
applications. Both the applications on the typed forms'' 7 and those 
by minors 38 were, however, soon declared invalid. 

Delays in receiving prescribed forms slowed up the process of 
renunciation, and during the whole of November the Department 
of Justice received only 107 valid applications. By the middle of 
December, it is estimated that the total number of applications 
received approximated 600. Since Hokoku membership early in 
December is estimated at about 1,500, it is clear that at most 40 
per cent of the members were, at this time, willing to take the step 
that would ultimately cut them off from America." Thus, it is 
evident that the new program, although accepted enthusiastically 
by a large minority of Hokoku members, was as yet unsuccessful in 
overcoming the inertia of the majority of the members. 

Pressure for a wider acceptance of the program of renunciation 
was now stepped up by an intensification of the nationalistic activi- 
ties which became more ceremonial and more strictly regimented. 
The number of buglers multiplied and bugling was indulged in 
more loudly and more frequently. Morning exercises were elabo- 
rated. The short-clipped bozu haircut, in imitation of that required 

37 A WRA report states that approximately 117 applications were sent to the 
Department of Justice on such typed forms. (WRA, Community Analysis Sec- 
tion, "Center Trend Report November 17 to 25, 1944," manuscript, November 

25. 1944-) 

38 Analysis of renunciants by age shows that "minors" were defined as those 
under 171/2 years of age. 

39 These estimates are based on data supplied by Assistant Attorney General 
Herbert Wechsler (letter, August 4, 1945). Unfortunately the number of applica- 
tions is tabulated only by calendar months, and the date refers to date of receipt 
in Washington. During November, 107 applications were received, while the 
December figure was 1,106. Including the invalidated forms, we estimate the 
probable November total at 200. By graphic interpolation, we estimate some 500 
applications during the first half of December. Deducting 100 from this figure 
for substitution of valid forms in December for invalid forms received in Novem- 
ber, we arrive at a figure of 400 for early December, or a total of 600 up to the 
date of rescission of exclusion orders. (See pp. 358-361 for more complete analysis 
of renunciation data.) 

Documentary evidence leads us to believe that practically all these early appli- 
cations for renunciation were from Hokoku members. 


of Japanese soldiers, was made obligatory for the members as a 
symbol to set them off from dissenters. Members otHoshi-dan tried 
to induce their children to leave the American schools and concen- 
trate on Japanese studies. Young women relatives of members of 
the two organizations began to wear longer skirts, braid their hair 
in pigtails, and even to adopt the dress customary in Japan for 
working in the fields. Later these women were formally organized 
as a third Resegregationist group called Hokoku Joshi Semen-dan, 
usually abbreviated to Joshi-dan (Young Women's Organization to 
Serve Our Mother Country), and, after a formal initiation cere- 
mony on January 8, took up morning exercises similar to those of 
the Hokoku. 

By December many nonmembers in certain blocks, especially 
those in wards VII and VIII and some blocks in Ward VI, where 
Resegregationists were numerous and strong, had begun to adopt 
these fashions in an attempt to act and look as much like "true 
Japanese" as possible, in order to give the impression that they had 
applied or would apply for renunciation, and thus avoid being 
called un-Japanese in their blocks. In these blocks this behavior 
was contagious, and it soon became difficult to differentiate from 
outward appearance the Resegregationists from their opponents. 
The underlying cause of this collective reaction was intimidation 
by the Resegregationists and fear of violence. 

Propaganda took the form of spreading news of great Japanase 
naval victories, which were discussed avidly in almost every house- 
hold. Among the items reported was the Japanese communique on 
October 1 6 from Radio Tokyo to the effect that the American fleet 
had fled from the scene of a naval engagement off the Philippines 
and that American losses included ten carriers, two battleships, 
three cruisers, and one destroyer sunk, and three carriers, one battle- 
ship, four cruisers, and eleven warships of unknown types damaged. 
Another popular short-wave news item reported that an American 
task force was annihilated off the coast of Formosa. Still another 
Radio Tokyo broadcast (November 28) claimed that the Japanese 
had launched a counterattack in Leyte, bombed Saipan and in- 
vaded Morotai Island. Despite quite contrary reports from Ameri- 
can sources, many evacuees accepted these and other Japanese 
claims, interpreted them as "the last and final blow," which Japan 
had long been publicizing. 


Rumors developed, also, bearing on the rewards of renouncing 
and the penalties of failure to renounce citizenship: (i) that those 
who did not renounce would be drafted into the Army; (2) that 
nonrenunciants would be ineligible for expatriation to Japan, and 
could not therefore accompany their repatriating parents; (3) that 
the Department of Justice would take over the administration of 
the Tule Lake center on January 15, 1945 (according to another 
version, January i, 1945) and that after this transfer applications 
for renunciation would not be accepted and nonrenunciants would 
be forced to resettle. 

Those who believed firmly in a future in victorious Japan were 
greatly influenced by these rumors of gains that would accrue to 
them by renunciation. And those who still held some unexpressed 
doubts about the outcome of the war or about the desirability of 
a future in Japan were comforted by a fourth prevalent rumor to 
the effect that after the war, renunciants would not be deported, 
but would be permitted to remain in the United States as aliens, if 
they so desired. This rumor was particularly attractive to many 
Issei parents who felt that their Nisei children had nothing to lose 
and perhaps much to gain by renouncing citizenship. The utili- 
tarian view of denationalization was propounded by Yamashita and 
Kira, the Resegregationist leaders in the following terms. The for- 
mer said: 

Certainly, those who wish for immediate expatriation to Japan and at 
the same time don't wish to be inducted into the United States Army or 
don't wish to be forced to resettle should renounce their citizenship. 40 

And the latter: 

The Denationalization Bill is a wartime law, and I think it's unconstitu- 
tional, because you can't discriminate against a certain portion of the 
people just because of their color and race. They evacuated us, and then 
they try to pin us down to a citizen's duties. Once a person is thrown into 
camp and pushed around, he looks at things emotionally. We cannot be 
held responsible for what we do in camp. 

After the war the entire picture will be changed. The United States will 
not deport those who renounced their citizenship. 41 

In spite of the proselytizing activities of the leaders and the 
spread of rumors favorable to their program, the Resegregationists 
failed to win over the bulk of the population. As noted, appreciably 

40 Field Notes, September 7, 1944. 41 Field Notes, September 21, 1944. 


less than half of the young men members had yielded to their 
exhortations to renounce citizenship by the middle of December. 
Many of the other residents were irritated by the fanfare of bugles, 
the flag waving, the exhibitionistic performances of the young men 
and the constant stream of propaganda to which they were sub- 
jected. 42 Criticisms of Resegregationist activities began to be voiced, 
in spite of fear of terroristic tactics. 

In November Mr. Kurusu, who had earlier been enthusiastic 
about the Sokoku activities, said: 

I try to avoid the Sokoku. I haven't been going to the meetings. I'm 
afraid if that organization goes on as it is, it will get involved in more 
troubles.* 3 

Similarly, Kurihara: 

Resegregationists are not leading the residents in the right way. Just 
because I don't join their organization, they say I'm not loyal to Japan. 
How could they measure my loyalty that way? They have carried things 
too far. Knocking in the heads of people who are not for them is too 
much. 44 

And in the beginning of December, the daughter of a Hoshi-dan 
member, remarked: 

They are not acting for the good of the people. They are trying to do 
everything in a spectacular way, such as cutting their hair. I believe there 
are lots of people in camp who wish more sincerely to return to Japan but 
aren't making such a noise about it. 45 

At about the same time, Murakami, the evacuee aide in the Legal 
Department of the project, said: 

The Hokoku bunch is really the Kibei who returned to the United 
States in 1935-1937. They left Japan to escape the Japanese army draft. 
Japan doesn't want them. You can't deport them to Japan, because Japan 
won't take them. 46 

And Wakida, who taught in a Japanese language school: 

After the Sokoku was organized, my students changed. They got very 
bad to teach. I don't care what the Sokoku do, but I don't like the fact that 
kids are not led right. The Sokoku boys are too hot headed. They say, 
"The Yes- Yes must get out of camp." But who can tell what the Sokoku 
boys think in their hearts? Who can tell whether they aren't dodging the 
draft. 47 

12 See pp. 312-313. 45 Field Notes, December 11, 1944. 

43 Field Notes, November 7, 1944. 4e Field Notes, December 18, 1944. 

44 Field Notes, November 6, 1944. 47 Field Notes, December 9, 1944. 


By late 1944, only about 32 per cent of the population aged 171/2 
or older were listed as members of the combined Resegregationist 
organizations. The membership was, as indicated in Chart VIII, 
spread most unevenly throughout the project. Concentrations oc- 
curred in wards VIII and VII. In the former, nine out of ten blocks 
counted more than 50 per cent of the adult residents as members; 
in the latter, two out of nine. Extremes were reached in blocks 75 



Percent Hoshi- 
dan and Hokoku 

Wards "31 and TZHL 

Ward m includes Blocks 49 through 59 
Ward 3ZEL includes Bocks 75 through 84 

Chart VIII 

and 82, where more than three quarters of; the residents were Re- 
segregationists. The lowest proportions were reached in wards II 
and V: in the former, six out of nine, and in the latter, five out of 
nine blocks had fewer than 20 per cent membership. Three blocks 
(12, 25, and 28) had 5 per cent or less of their adult residents among 
the Resegregationists. In large part, these locational variations 
reflected the full-fledged emergence of the transferees as a protest 
faction and, correspondingly, the resistance of old Tuleans to 
pressure-group tactics, for 45 per cent of all transferees (40 per cent 
of the group entering in the first segregation movements, 56 per 
cent of those in the later movements) were Resegregationists, com- 
pared with scarcely more than 8 per cent of the old Tuleans. Cleav- 
ages that had begun shortly after segregation had not only persisted, 


but had widened, and resegregation had become the goal of the 
originally disadvantaged, still disgruntled transferees, who hoped 
thereby to force the removal of their advantaged competitors from 
the segregation center. 

At the same time, a number of influential transferees and their 
followers developed informal, loosely-knit counterorganizations to 
combat Resegregationist pressure. Among these groups the more 
influential were the Abe-Kuratomi-Tada faction, Kurihara and his 
Manzanar friends, Wakida and his followers from Gila, and a group 
of moderate Resegregationists, including some old Tuleans who 
had entered the movement with Ishikawa but had subsequently 
broken away. 

Of these groups the Abe-Kuratomi-Tada faction was the largest 
and the most effective force opposing the Resegregationists. Their 
opposition had begun as early as April, when the Resegregationists 
were operating underground. The animosity between Tada and 
the leaders of the Resegregation Group on the matter of obtain- 
ing the release of the members of the Negotiating Committee from 
the stockade, the Resegregation Group's unsuccessful attempt to 
make a convert of Tada, the campaign of gossip, which forced 
Tada's retirement from overt political activities, have already been 

When Abe and Kuratomi were released from the stockade in late 
August, the Resegregationists did all in their power to draw them 
into the group, offering them positions of nominal leadership. Both 
Abe and Kuratomi, however, remained aloof and refused the posi- 
tions offered them. Furthermore, they issued a statement of grati- 
tude to "justice-loving residents" and gave no specific credit to the 
Resegregationists for their release from the stockade. The Resegre- 
gation Group was, in the end, able to. induce only four of the 
fourteen released detainees to take an active part in their organi- 
zation, among whom were Kato and Yamada, young "strong-arm" 

Early in September, relations between the factions were further 
strained when leaders of both (Kubo, Mrs. Tsuchikawa and others 
from the Resegregationists; Abe, Kuratomi, and Tada from the 
other faction) were threatened with indictment for complicity in 
the Noma murder. 4 " Instead of bringing the two factions together, 

48 See p. 301. 


this mutual trouble led to further disagreements. Deciding to ini- 
tiate action which would bring them the services of a criminal 
lawyer, Kuratomi drafted a letter to Besig of the A.C.L.U., but after 
appending their signatures, the Resegregationists refused to act 
jointly in any situation involving Tada. The letter was therefore 
prepared in duplicate: Abe, Kuratomi, and Tada signing one copy, 
the Resegregationists the other. Nothing came of this incident and 
from this point on the two factions abandoned all pretense of 
cooperation or amicability. 

Meanwhile, the Abe-Kuratomi faction had begun to organize its 
followers, but with great secrecy and caution. The Resegregation- 
ists, nevertheless, heard of the move, and saw to it that rumors of 
the consolidation of this "dangerous group," which, they claimed, 
was called Dai Nippon Seinen-dan (Great Japan Young Men's Or- 
ganization), 49 reached the ears of the administration. 

At the end of November, the Abe-Kuratomi group came into the 
open in opposition to the Resegregationists. The underlying cause 
was probably cumulative resentment over the gossip and the inu 
accusations to which they had been subjected by the Resegregation- 
ists. The immediate cause seems to have been a recently developed 
policy of the Resegregationists of expelling members who, in the 
opinion of the leaders, were obstructing their movement and were 
therefore un-Japanese. Among those expelled were the moderate 
charter members who had broken away from the more aggressive 
leaders of Saikakuri, and Hamaguchi and other friends of Abe 
and Kuratomi. Since a regulation of the Resegregation Group 
stipulated that the Japanese government, through the Spanish 
Consul, would be kept informed about changes in its membership 
list, the members expelled feared that they might not be eligible 
for repatriation. 

The hostility resulting from expulsion came to a head on the 
evening of November 20, when the fifty-six relatives of Issei mem- 
bers of Daihyo Sha Kai, who had been interned, left Tule Lake 
for Crystal City. The Resegregation Group, the Abe-Kuratomi 
group, and the Ward VI language school all participated in an 
elaborate farewell ceremony. When the farewells were over, Tetsuo 
Kodama, a noted judo champion, some of whose close friends had 

49 Kuratomi denies both the appellation and the fact of formal organization, 
but admits that a strong informal group had been formed. 


recently been expelled from Hokoku, accused Yamada, head of the 
organization, of having called him an inu. This was a challenge to 
fight, which Yamada ignored, but the news spread rapidly through 
the camp and interest in the state of open hostility which now 
existed between the rival groups ran high. Kodama's spectacular 
challenge was followed by similar incidents, in which groups of 
young men approached prominent Resegregationists and de- 
manded to know the reason for the expulsion of some individual 
or other. 

On December 15 the hostility resulted in violence. Tokuichi 
Matsubara, Ishikawa's successor as head of Hoshi-dan and a mem- 
ber of its inner clique, was attacked in Block 54 (headquarters of 
the Resegregationists) by Mr. Hamaguchi (a member of the Abe- 
Kuratomi faction) who had been expelled from Hokoku. Although 
the fight lasted only a few minutes, strong-arm boys of both factions 
and a crowd of several hundred spectators assembled. Called on for 
an explanation, Hamaguchi made a lengthy speech, denouncing the 
Hokoku for gangster tactics and for degradation of "the true spirit 
of Japan." 

Presumably because they feared administrative suppression if 
they took the matter of vengeance into their own hands, Resegre- 
gationist leaders drew up a complaint against Hamaguchi and ten 
other men, who were forthwith arrested by the Caucasian police 
and taken to the jail at Klamath Falls. 

The trial began on the project on December 19. In the short in- 
terval between attack and trial, the Resegregationists plastered 
latrines and laundry rooms with mimeographed statements to the 
general effect that their "peaceful organization" had been attacked 
by "gangsters." Yamashita is said to have reported to the adminis- 
tration that the attack was plotted by Abe, Kuratomi and Tada. 
The trial itself was marked by extreme hesitancy on the part of 
witnesses to make statements that might incriminate members of 
the Hokoku. Some of Hamaguchi's witnesses even failed to appear. 
So flagrant was the misrepresentation of facts that the Caucasian 
in charge warned, at the end of the trial, that those who had testi- 
fied might be arrested for perjury. The verdict, announced ten days 
later, imposed a light sentence on Hamaguchi, two defendants were 
given suspended sentences, and the others were acquitted. 

The fight and its aftermath did much to weaken the prestige and 


position of the Resegregationists. A number of members submitted 
resignations from the organization. 

Meantime, the position of the Resegregationists had been threat- 
ened from another source. John Burling, representing the Depart- 
ment of Justice, had arrived on the project on December 6 to open 
hearings for renunciants. Hokoku members had taken the occasion 
to step up their militaristic ceremonies, apparently in an attempt 
to convince both Burling and their fellow-residents of their status 
as true renunciants. Burling, however, proceeded to investigate the 
group and to interview the leaders. He made it apparent, both to 
them and to other residents, that their activities were subversive 
and, if continued, would lead to internment in a Department of 
Justice camp for potentially dangerous enemy aliens. 


Chapter XIII 


Mass Relinquishment of American 


.IjLs DESCRIBED IN THE preceding chapter, the 
Resegregationists had become an overtly organized pressure group 
during the fall of 1944. The parent group, Hoshi-dan, was op- 
erating in the main through the medium of the young men's or- 
ganization, Hokoku. Members of these organizations had set for 
themselves, as the only "true Japanese" in America, the aim of 
immediate expatriation. The leaders had welcomed the recently 
passed Denationalization Bill and were attempting to have the 
Nisei and Kibei members renounce American citizenship en masse, 
and thus solidify their status as "disloyals." 

Two administrative decisions announced simultaneously on De- 
cember 17 transformed general reluctance to accept the pressure 
group program as a whole to popular support of the main Resegre- 
gationist issue renunciation of American citizenship. The first of 
these decisions was the rescission by the Western Defense Command 
of the orders excluding Japanese Americans from the West Coast. 
The second was the decision by the War Relocation Authority 
to force resettlement by liquidating all relocation projects within 
a year. 

Following the rescinding of the exclusion orders, the Western 
Defense Command made an extensive reclassification of Japanese 
Americans in camps and elsewhere. 1 As in other WRA camps, resi- 
dents of Tule Lake were to be divided into two groups: (i) those 

1 Including not only evacuees still residing in relocation projects, but also 
those who had obtained leave clearance and resettled, as well as those who had 
been living continuously in areas not affected by evacuation orders. 


free to resettle anywhere in the United States, and (2) those who 
would, after individual notification, continue to be restricted in 
their movements and places of residence. 

The Newell Star announced, in an extra edition on December 19, 
that "the new system will permit the great majority of persons of 
Japanese ancestry to move freely anywhere in the U.S. that they 
wish to go." It added that "after January 20 all restrictions will be 
lifted except in the cases of individuals who will be specifically and 
individually notified." 

No explanation of the basis of classification was made to the 
evacuees 2 other than that "those who have definitely indicated that 
they are not loyal to the U.S. or are considered potentially danger- 
ous to the military security . . . will continue to be excluded." 3 

WRA's decision to force resettlement of persons classified by the 
Army as "free to move" was transmitted to the residents through 
a mimeographed statement by Dillon Myer, to the effect that 

all relocation centers will be closed within a period of six months to one 
year after the revocation of the exclusion orders. 

And Best announced, on the same day, that 

the Tule Lake Center will be considered both a relocation center and a 
segregation center for some time to come. Those whom the Army author- 
ities designate as free to leave here will be in the same status as residents 
of a relocation center. 4 

Thus Tule Lake residents were informed by the Army that most 
of them would presumably be free to move, by the Project Director 
that those free to move had the same status as residents of relocation 

2 On December 29, a document, which was never publicized in the camps, 
covering an "Understanding of Interior, Justice and War Departments on 
Japanese Relocation Program" was drawn up and, on January 2, 1945, was 
signed by representatives of the three departments. It specified that exclusion 
orders would be issued individually to about 10,000 persons, that about 5,000 
others would be on a "detention" list, and not to be released from camps until 
their cases had been individually reviewed; that those still on the detention list, 
after review, would be segregated "at Tule Lake or elsewhere," together with 
"members of [their] . . . families who remain on a voluntary basis"; that all indi- 
vidual exclusion orders must be reviewed by Army hearing boards and were 
subject to revocation upon favorable recommendation; that all legal restrictions 
upon the departure of other than detainees be rescinded by WRA; that the 
Department of Justice would, in the course of time, take over responsibility for 
the detainees. 

3 Newell Star, December 19, 1944. * Ibid. 


projects, and by the National Director of WRA that all relocation 
projects would be closed within a year. These statements taken to- 
gether imperiled the security of thousands of residents who, at the 
price of being branded "disloyal," believed they had attained a 
war-duration refuge. For all of them, forced resettlement, and for 
the young men of draft age induction into the armed forces, loomed 
if not as certainties at least as disturbingly high probabilities. 

The immediate reaction of the Tule Lake residents was com- 
pounded of surprise, anxiety, doubt, and complacent rationaliza- 
tion. Most of them refused to accept the fact that they themselves 
might be obliged to leave the center. They expressed the conviction 
that they would be classified among those "who have definitely in- 
dicated that they are not loyal to the United States" and thus would 
"continue to be excluded." They assumed that exclusion would 
mean their continued detention by the Army or the Department 
of Justice at Tule Lake or some other segregation center. 

Rationalizations regarding the security that Tule Lake segre- 
gants, compared with residents of other projects, would still enjoy 
are exemplified by the following statements: 

By Murakami, a Nisei who worked in the Legal Department: 

The announcement will mostly affect other relocation projects. The big 
trouble is going to be in those centers, where people will be afraid that 
now the WRA will force them to get out of the camps. It will disturb them 
very much. 5 

By Kurusu: 

It's too late for WRA to change its policies regarding Tule Lake. I was 
segregated and I made up my mind to stay here for the duration. 6 

By a Nisei girl: 

I and my family aren't really worrying, because we consider ourselves 
genuine segregants and are sure that we will be among those who will be 
left at Tule Lake. 7 

By a Nisei transferee from Manzanar: 

We don't anticipate any special changes here. It will be just a change 
of people in Tule Lake. Some people will just go out, and other people 
will be sent in. I think that will make a strong turn toward betterment in 
this camp. Those who do not belong in this camp should go out. Then the 

5 Field Notes, December 19, 1944. 7 Field Notes, December 24, 1944. 

6 Ibid. 


people here will all be of one mind and it will be easier for the administra- 
tion to oversee the camp. 8 

But that others could not accept these complacent rationaliza- 
tions is suggested by such anxious questions as: 
By Wakida: 

Will the people who were excluded by the Army be allowed to remain 
in Tule Lake? Or will they be sent to some other center? People seem to 
be talking about this a great deal. I heard a rumor that only 4,000 people 
are expected to stay in Tule Lake. 9 

By a Nisei Hokoku member: 

Does this mean that they're quickly going to call off the whole party; 
that the last few years [they] have just been kidding around; that repatria- 
tion and segregation, . . . which we were told to take seriously, is just a 
big joke? 10 

The Army moved quickly to notify residents of their status. The 
Newell Star of December 19 announced: 

Representatives of the Western Defense Command have arrived at the 
center. . . . Starting tomorrow [they] will individually notify any individ- 
uals who are to be excluded. They will also notify those individuals whose 
cases have not yet been determined and will interview such individuals 
in order to determine their final status. 

The Army team of some twenty officers immediately began to 
hold hearings at the rate of 400 to 500 a day, and, as the hearings 
progressed, anxiety of the residents about their security increased. 
"Loyalty" questions asked by some of the Army officers were iden- 
tical with those on the registration questionnaire. 11 As at Military 
Registration, most aliens answered affirmatively, while most citizens 
reiterated the negative position they had taken on the earlier occa- 
sion. Reports quickly spread that irrespective of the statements 
made or the answers given, almost everybody called for a hearing 
was issued an individual exclusion order, 12 and that contrary to 

8 Field Notes, December 23, 1944. 
Field Notes, December 19, 1944. 

10 WRA, Community Analysis, "Center Trend Report (December 8-26)" (man- 
uscript), December 26, 1944. 

11 See p. 58. 

12 There was a small number of cases where the individual exclusion orders 
were withheld. These were very unusual cases. For example, no order was issued 
to a person so long as he: declared himself loyal, expressed no intention of re- 
nouncing his citizenship, and had a brother or sister serving in the armed forces 
of the United States. 


expectation individual exclusion orders did not involve continued 
detention, but meant that the persons concerned would be expected 
to resettle outside the zones of exclusion. 
Informants reported: 

A friend of my brother told the soldier that he was a repatriate and 
loyal to Japan, but he was still handed a permit to leave camp provided 
he does not go to certain excluded areas. 13 

One of the boys was saying he told the Army officer that he didn't know 
what country he wanted to live in after the war. He received a permit to 
leave the center anyway. 1 * 

I am worried by the results of the hearings of some of the young men 
I know. In spite of their pro-Japan statements, they were not told that 
they would be detained. 15 

Many of those who had not yet had their hearings reiterated that 
since they had originally been segregated as "disloyal" they would, 
when they had their hearings, certainly be given detention orders. 
But when the people who were making these self-reassuring state- 
ments were called in by the Army officers for hearings, most of 
them discovered that they, too, were "free" to resettle anywhere 
except in specified zones. 16 It was becoming apparent that Tule 
Lake residents were to have the same status as people in other 
relocation centers and correspondingly that they would be forced 
to leave camp and resettle. Furthermore, since only males 17 were 
given hearings, some residents inferred that induction via Selective 
Service was once more imminent. 18 

The means by which security could be safeguarded was suggested 

:3 Statement by a Nisei girl, Field Notes, December 24, 1944. 

14 Statement by Mrs. Tsuchikawa, Field Notes, December 23, 1944. 

15 Statement by a Nisei girl, Field Notes, December 24, 1944. 

16 About the end of December, the project administration received a list of 
approximately 95,000 names of persons that were free to go out anywhere in the 
United States. There was no way of ascertaining the names of those to be de- 
tained in Tule Lake unless each name was checked with this voluminous list. Not 
until late January did the project receive a separate list of detainees, and the 
names on this list were not revealed to the residents. 

17 The Army issued no exclusion orders and held no hearings for females. It 
was apparently assumed that females would stay with or follow the males in the 

18 Selective Service procedures had been suspended for Tule Lake residents 
after the U.S. District Court in Eureka had dismissed an indictment against 
violators in July, 1944. (See pp. 239-240.) 


by reports that the Army officers were asking citizens whether they 
wished to leave camp and resettle or to renounce their citizenship. 19 
For example, an informant reported: 

Four men whom I knew were called today by the Army. They asked 
them questions like "Do you want to go out or do you want to renounce 
citizenship?" 20 

Reports of this sort confirmed the belief that resettlement and 
renunciation were not compatible: a renunciant would not be 
forced to resettle; rather, he would be prevented from resettling 
and detained in camp. 21 The implication of choice between re- 
settlement and renunciation was revealed by many other inform- 

They can't force us out if we have signed for renunciation, can they?" 

The majority of people who talked to me are convinced that renuncia- 
tion of citizenship will keep them in Tule Lake. 23 

My brother said, at his hearing, that he wanted to renounce his citizen- 
ship, because he figured he could then stay in Tule Lake. 24 

Are they going to kick us out? What good will that do, when we don't 
want to get out? My mother said that segregation was a dirty trick, bring- 
ing us here with so much trouble and now it doesn't mean a thing. We 
hope that by renouncing citizenship, we will be allowed to stay here, but 
we are not sure. WRA should inform us about this. 25 

Since only Nisei and Kibei could renounce citizenship, Issei 
hoped and believed that security for the whole family could be 

10 Officers of the Western Defense Command, familiar with the hearing pro- 
cedures, deny categorically that any question about resettlement was asked. The 
Project Attorney, however, reported that "Best talked to Army officers about 
the renunciation and resettlement questions. When Best inquired about the 
significance of asking if the evacuee had applied for renunciation of citizenship, 
they answered that it was instructions from the Presidio. And they said that 
they asked about resettlement just to be human." (Field Notes, April 17, 1945.) 

20 Statement by Kurusu, Field Notes, December 19, 1944. 

21 While the Army officers were uncommunicative on the subject WRA officials 
believed that "those who will be frozen in Tule Lake will be the ones who have 
renounced their citizenship, undesirable or dangerous aliens, and those w r ho 
have been paroled from Department of Justice detention camps." (Field Notes, 
December 24, 1944.) 

^Statement by Mrs. Wakida, Field Notes, December 27, 1944. 

23 Statement by a Caucasian social worker, Field Notes, December 24, 1944. 

24 Statement by a Nisei girl, Field Notes, December 24, 1944. 

25 Statement by a Nisei girl, Field Notes, December 29, 1944. 


achieved by having their children renounce. They assumed that 
policies followed at the time of evacuation and segregation of keep- 
ing the family intact would operate again: Renunciation of even 
one citizen member in a family should provide a safeguard for all 
close relatives. 

An Issei remarked: 

People are going to swing in the direction which will keep them safe 
here. Then, when they're asked if they intend to renounce citizenship, a 
good many of the Nisei and Kibei will say yes . . . Put it this way. If you're 
a Hakujin (Caucasian), you take this matter of soiling your loyalty record 
seriously and would never say anything to [soil] it. But if you're a Jap and 
nobody believes your loyalty in this country anyway, you'll think about 
your future and your family. . . . We're going to have [our children] re- 
nounce citizenship just to stay here. 26 

The emerging belief that renunciation would solidify status as 
"disloyals" strengthened the hold of the Resegregationists on the 
residents, for pressure group leaders had been claiming for some 
time that membership in Hokoku was a sure means of obtaining 
preferential treatment on applications for renunciation. It was 
known that Burling of the Department of Justice had, during his 
visit in early December, recommended to the Attorney General 
immediate acceptance of applications for renunciation from Ho- 
koku leaders. Hokoku's position in this matter was further strength- 
ened when, on December 27, seventy of the members of the two 
Resegregationist organizations (64 of whom were officers) 27 were 
removed to the detention camp at Santa Fe for internment as "un- 
desirable enemy aliens." Most of those removed were Hokoku 
renunciants. This "punishment" of the leaders by the Department 
of Justice seemed to many of the residents to have many elements of 
undeserved reward: Hokoku leaders, among others, had applied 
to renounce their citizenship; their applications were being given 
priority in hearings and were receiving "favorable" action; they, 
and they alone, were being removed from the now insecure Tule 
Lake to the haven of an internment camp from which resettlement 
and military induction were alike impossible. 

The removal of the internees was accomplished with an impres- 

26 WRA, Community Analysis, "Center Trend Report (December 8-26)" (man- 
uscript), December 26, 1944. 

27 Among those removed were Yamashita, Kira, Matsubara, Tsuchikawa, 
Yamada, Aramaki, and Kato. 


sive display of force on the part of the Department of Justice, forty- 
one armed guards removing the seventy men. On the part of the 
evacuees, it was accompanied by a spectacular farewell demonstra- 
tion in which the Resegregationist organizations participated en 
masse, the young men marching up to the gate, standing in forma- 
tion, singing patriotic songs, blowing bugles, and shouting loud 

Immediately after the send-off, representatives of the Resegrega- 
tionists met and selected a complete slate of new officers to replace 
the interned leaders. 28 These new officers issued a series of mimeo- 
graphed statements, publicizing the internment and the elaborate 
farewell, and exhorting the members to carry out, "with the deter- 
mination of being true Japanese, the aims and policies that had 
been laid out by our leaders." 29 They declared that "the internment 
of our leaders is the first step which will make possible for all of 
us ... to become true Japanese nationals," 30 and that the aim of 
resegregation for which they had been fighting so long was at last 
about to be achieved. Relatives of the internees reiterated these 

The parents of the people taken to Santa Fe are saying, "My child has 
now become a Japanese." 31 

People who went to sympathize with Mrs. Aramaki told me that she was 
happy about his internment, because it made him a real Japanese. They 
say every one of the wives is like that. 32 

My next door neighbor was a big shot in the Hoshi-dan. As soon as I 
heard he was picked up, I went to see his wife to say a few words of sym- 
pathy. Boy, she got mad and bawled me out for sympathizing. She said, 
"This is not sad. You should congratulate me." So, like a fool, I offered 
words of felicitation. It became a custom. Everytime anyone was picked 
up, we had to congratulate his relatives. 33 

After the internment, Resegregationists began to increase their 
pressure in two directions upon the administration and upon the 

28 It was reported that, anticipating arrests, the interned leaders had named 
their successors (Field Notes, January 2, 1945). 

29 Sokuji Kikoku Hoshi-dan and Hokoku Seinen-dan, mimeographed state- 
ment, December 30, 1944. 

30 Ibid. 

31 Statement by Niiyama, Field Notes, January 8, 1945. 

32 Statement by Mrs. Wakida, Field Notes, January 4, 1945. 

33 Statement by June Yamaguchi, Field Notes, December 18, 1945. 


general population. Hokoku members made repeated attempts to 
get administrative assurance that their applications for renuncia- 
tion would be acted upon immediately and that they and members 
of Hoshi-dan would be forthwith interned. On December 28, the 
day after the leaders were removed, their representatives appealed 
to the project administration to intervene with the Department of 
Justice. To this request the Project Attorney replied, 

Mr. Best explained that he will consider your request that he tell Mr. 
Burling you and your entire group of the Sokuji and the Hokoku Seinen- 
Dan desire a preferential right to be taken to Santa Fe. . . . Mr. Best stated 
that although his recommendation may not make any difference to the 
Department of Justice, still he will make that recommendation to them. 
He will tell them that your whole group feels the same way they [the 
interned men] do, and that you desire to go to Santa Fe with them. 3 * 

And on January 2, they made a similar appeal: 

RESEGREGATIONIST REPRESENTATIVE: We definitely want to renounce our 
citizenship. Even though the Department of Justice does not recognize it, 
we consider ourselves Japanese and as far as our faith and fidelity is con- 
cerned, it is for the Japanese Government only. Therefore ... we stress 
again, if you see Mr. Burling, will you please express to him how we feel 
about renouncing our citizenship? The members want preferential hear- 
ings so they can go to Santa Fe. 

PROJECT ATTORNEY: I will be very glad to do that. . . . 

RESEGREGATIONIST REPRESENTATIVE: We want to state again that our 
intentions are to be interned in one place as a group. You see there has 
been a lot of friction among the Japanese here. There is a certain Japanese 
group that seems to be loyal to both Japan and United States, others who 
are loyal to United States and unfaithful to Japan. Our only wish is to 
live with the Japanese whose intentions are the same with faith only 
toward the Japanese Government. 35 

Resegregationist pressure upon the general population involved 
intensification of nationalistic activities, coercive and terroristic 
tactics directed aganst dissenters, and extensive propaganda. Under 
their new leadership, Resegregationists discarded all restraint and 
became openly defiant. Morning exercises, goose-stepping, "Wash- 
sho" chants, bugling, were stepped up to fantastic proportions. Par- 
ticipants often numbered more than 1,500 daily and included 
women, children of elementary school age, and elderly Issei. 

34 Minutes of the meeting of the Project Attorney and representatives of the 
Resegregation Group, December 28, 1944. 

35 Minutes of the meeting of the Project Attorney and representatives of the 
Resegregation Group, January 2, 1945. 


They are blasting their bugles louder than ever. And even old ladies 
are running around in slacks yelling "Wash-sho!" 30 

They used to march by my apartment. I would be wakened by the noise. 
They were all serious. They said they were training themselves to be useful 
to Japan when they go back. They were showing off that they alone were 
true Japanese, and we should act like they did if we wanted to be true 
Japanese, too. We were scared of them, we didn't dare complain about 
the noise. 37 

All of us wanted to get away from this pressure. So we shaved our heads 
to act as if we belonged to the Hokoku. At one time, there were only three 
long-haired men in my block. Even Issei shaved their heads, you know. 38 

When Hokoku members received notices from Washington ap- 
proving their applications for denationalization they waved them 
ostentatiously in front of their friends and neighbors and exhorted 
them to send in their own applications without delay. They elabo- 
rated upon the advantages of renunciation and internment. Fami- 
lies of internees would soon be reunited. Resegregation would be 
accomplished, with the "true Japanese" enjoying the security of 
an internment camp, while the "loyals" and "fence sitters" would 
be forced by WRA to resettle. 

The Hoshi-dan and Hokoku people are spreading the news that in less 
than fifty days the families of the interned men are to be united. 39 

They say they are glad to be picked up. They say we, who are left behind 
in camp, are going to be kicked around, while they will be safe and sound 
in internment camp/ 

They keep on saying that anybody sent to Santa Fe is taking a step 
forward to becoming a real Japanese. If this propaganda takes effect, it 
will cause great trouble. A lot of people will start looking for trouble, try- 
ing to be sent to Santa Fe. 41 

I heard the rumor that all those who renounce their citizenship will be 
taken to Santa Fe. 42 

I heard a rumor that the Department of Justice is going to take over 
the camp on the 2ist of January. 43 

38 Statement by Mrs. Wakida, Field Notes, January 18, 1945. 

37 Statement by June Yamaguchi, Field Notes, December 18, 1945. 

38 Statement by a Kibei man, Field Notes, December 19, 1945. 

39 Statement by George Kuratomi, Field Notes, January 17, 1945. 

40 Statement by a Nisei woman, Field Notes, January 3, 1945. 

41 Statement by George Kuratomi, Field Notes, January 2, 1945. 

42 Statement by a Nisei girl, Field Notes, December 29, 1944. 

43 Statement by a prominent Hoshi-dan member, Field Notes, January 15, 
1945. The Pacific Citizen also reported, on December 30, 1944, that "the Justice 


There is a widespread rumor that all those persons who have not re- 
nounced their citizenship by January 20 will summarily be kicked out of 
camp. 41 

Meanwhile, WRA officials reiterated their intention of getting 
all "free" or "cleared" evacuees out of all centers. An official pamph- 
let containing information on WRA policies and procedures on 
the liquidation of centers, was distributed throughout the com- 
munity on January 5. In it Mr. Myer reaffirmed his earlier state- 
ment that 

the lifting of the blanket exclusion orders . . . signifies the beginning of 
the final phase of the relocation program. . . . Our prime objective in 
WRA, as always, is to restore the people residing in relocation centers to 
private life in normal communities. . . . 

It is fortunate . . . that the WRA program enters its final phase at a time 
when there is a good demand for workers in war plants, in civilian goods 
production, in service occupations, and on the farms. Both from the 
standpoint of the national welfare and the evacuees' long-range economic 
security, it is highly important that the people now residing at the reloca- 
tion centers make the transition back to private life at a time when em- 
ployment opportunities are still plentiful. ... In view of the funds that 
are available and the arrangements that are being made, the War Reloca- 
tion Authority feels wholly confident that no evacuee will be deprived of 
adequate means of subsistence by reason of the closing of the centers. . . / 

Reactions of the residents to the "benefits" of WRA's program 
were almost universally unfavorable: 

I have noticed that people are stiffening in their attitude. Last week 
some were saying, "If they make us get out, we'll go." Now they are deter- 
mined not to leave. 40 

We wouldn't mind going back to San Francisco if we had everything 
as when we left. We'd jump right out. But we've lost everything. 17 

Department is expected to take over and operate the Tule Lake, California, 
segregation center." 

44 Statement by George Kuratomi, Field Notes, January 17, 1945. 

45 Travel grants and resettlement grants available to evacuees were defined as 
follows: "The maximum of assistance will be coach fare for each member of the 
family, plus $3.00 per person per day of travel for meals en route, plus five dol- 
lars per day for five days ($25.00) for each member of the family, the latter sum 
being designated to meet initial subsistence expenses at the place of destination. 
This maximum of assistance shall be given in all cases in which the family's 
resources in cash amount to $100 per family member or less." (WRA, Handbook, 
"Leave Assistance Grants," Section Go.ig.a.A, March 4, 1944. Italics theirs.) 

40 Statement by Kurihara, Field Notes, January 5, 1945. 
47 Statement by a Nisei girl, Field Notes, January 2, 1945. 


I heard that the German people who were interned during the first 
world war were paid $1,000 each when they were allowed to leave camp. 

We have nothing now to depend on. We aren't sure of getting jobs. 
I feel the WRA plans for closing the camp will be a total failure, unless 
it increases financial assistance. I don't know one person who wants to 
go out. 48 

WRA wants us to get out with twenty-five dollars. But that's not going 
to get us anywhere. They've got a lot of nerve to offer us that. 4 " 

I don't know what's going to happen to us! It's very confusing. I think 
everybody feels that. They don't know what's what yet. In the first place, 
why do they want to kick us out? It was their fault we came here. They 
can't say, "We'll give you 25 dollars and coach fare. Get out by such and 
such day." 

Since the people have been in camp three years, their funds are ex- 
hausted. It's all right for people who can afford it. 50 

The people are very much at a loss due to the fact that they can't make 
a decision. The WRA officials admit they're in the dark themselves. They 
don't know what to do or what it's all about. 

I've got six children and my wife. Also my father and mother. To go 
outside you have to have a certain kind of home. If they want me to go 
out, the least they can do is to give me some kind of housing and say, 
"Now, you will take this?" Instead, they are saying, "America's going to 
help you. So you go out and do what you can." That's not dependable. We 
want some assurance, if we're to go out. By staying here, I'll have a roof 
over my children's heads and enough to eat, although I don't like the 
food. 51 

People with large families are worrying themselves to death. After all 
the wrongs they have done to the Japanese, nothing they do now will do 
any good. 52 

The decision to end all uncertainty by renunciation was more 
and more frequently being made: 

When the Army came out to ask us to make this decision, I told the 
colonel, "If you set a deadline, I will renounce my citizenship due to the 
fact that I have no place to go." 53 

If this place becomes a relocation center, they'll draft us. In that case 
we must get busy and send in our renunciation of citizenship. 54 

48 Statement by Hibashi, Field Notes, January 5, 1945. 
40 Statement by Murakami, Field Notes, January 9, 1945. 
50 Statement by a Nisei woman, Field Notes, January 3, 1945. 
61 Statement by Niiyama, Field Notes, January 8, 1945. 

52 Statement by Kurihara, Field Notes, January 15, 1945. 

53 Statement by Niiyama, Field Notes, January 8, 1945. 

54 Statement by Kurusu, Field Notes, January 12, 1945. 


Quite a few of my girl friends are renouncing. I guess it's because they 
have applied for repatriation and want to accompany their families. Most 
of my friends at Japanese school all have the same sort of feeling. You 
know why the boys are renouncing? They are dodging the Army draft. 55 

Under the international agreement, they can't kick the aliens out of 
camp. That's the reason that so many people are renouncing their citizen- 
ship. If they were sincere about restoring our rights of citizenship, why 
didn't they call the women for Army hearings? They just want to get us 
in the Army. The trouble is that minority races always suffer one way or 
another. 56 

The ordinary resident of Tule Lake faced with "evacuation in 
reverse" had now become thoroughly disoriented. In confinement 
for more than two and a half years, he knew of the world outside 
only through newspapers 57 and radio reports. These reports led 
him to believe that the outside world was even more hostile and 
dangerous than it had been when he was evacuated. Just before 
rescission of the exclusion orders he was reading items such as the 

President Roosevelt, Western Defense Command and the War Depart- 
ment yesterday were "strongly" urged by the State Senate's Committee on 
Japanese Resettlement "not to permit the return of Japanese to the Pacific 
Coast, and particularly California, tor the duration of war. . . ." 

The people of California, the committee declared, "are overwhelmingly 
opposed to the return of any Japanese during the war." 

"We believe that because California is required to make an all-out war 
effort, that to allow the Japanese to return during the war is inadvisable 
because it would cause riots, turmoil, bloodshed and endanger the war 
effort." 58 

Return of Japanese Americans to the west coast is apt to result in 
"wholesale bloodshed and violence," Representative Engle, Democrat of 
California, said today. 50 

When rescission was announced, reports of statements by friendly 
government officials tended to reinforce his fears of violence: 

Governor Warren yesterday called upon "all Americans" to comply "loy- 
ally, cheerfully and carefully" with the War Department order revoking 

5r> Statement by a Nisei girl, Field Notes, January 24, 1945. 
Btt Statement by Murakami, Field Notes, January 9, 1945. 

57 The San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner were most 
widely read in Tule Lake, along with the three vernacular newspapers, Utah 
Nippo, Rocky Shimpo, and Colorado Times. The Pacific Citizen (the JACL 
organ) also had many readers 

58 .San Francisco Chronicle, December 13, 1944. 
511 .S'an Francisco Examiner, December 13, 1944. 


the mass Japanese evacuation, and notified chiefs of police, sheriffs and 
all public officials to join in developing uniform plans to prevent intem- 
perate actions and civil disorder. . . . 0<> 

Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes yesterday . . . warned . . . that 
any interference with [evacuees'] "right" to resettle on the west coast 
would be met with the full force of the Government. 01 

With the first of thousands of evacuated Japanese now trickling back 
into California, the State Advisory Committee on law enforcement today 
reiterated and reemphasized a previous plea to refrain from intemperate 
words or acts as the evacuees return. 62 

As the first contingent of evacuees returned to the Coast, after 
rescission, numerous "intemperate" acts were reported, e.g., 

Members of the anti-Nisei "Remember Pearl Harbor" League today 
were on record as determined to boycott all Japanese returned to the 
Puyallup and White river valleys [Washington] and anyone catering to 
them. 63 

At Auburn, approximately 300 residents of Placer county [California] 
signed a petition circulated under direction of Deputy Sheriff Jack 
Hannon, commander of Donner Post 1942, Veterans of Foreign Wars, 
according to United Press, agreeing not to do business or fraternize with 
returning Japanese. 64 

Steps were taken in Salinas [California] last week to organize the Mon- 
terey Bay Council on Japanese Relations, with officers and directors to be 
named from representative groups in Monterey, San Benito and Santa 
Cruz counties. 

The purpose of the organization, according to E. M. Seifert, Jr., tempo- 
rary chairman, will be for "sincere, unselfish and unprejudiced thinking" 
to "discourage the return" of persons of Japanese ancestry to the area. 65 

An unoccupied house at the Yamasaki nursery was destroyed by fire 
on the night of January 3, the third building owned or formerly occupied 
by persons of Japanese ancestry to burn in Placer county in the last six 
weeks. 68 

[In Caldwell, Idaho] three ruffians, accompanied by seventeen or eight- 
een persons, attacked three Nisei soldiers and their friends and relatives, 
who numbered about forty persons ... at 1:30 A.M. [January 7, 1945], 

60 San Francisco Chronicle, December 18, 1944. 

01 San Francisco Examiner, December 22, 1944. 

62 San Francisco Examiner, January 5, 1945. 

03 San Francisco Chronicle, December 30, 1944. 

(U San Francisco Chronicle, January 18, 1945. 

^ Pacific Citizen, January 27, 1945. 

60 Pacific Citizen, January 13, 1945. See also Rocky Shimpo, January 17, 1945. 


while they were waiting for a train. . . . They rushed into the waiting 
room, and socked a Nisei soldier . . . who was standing at the entrance. 
The attackers shouted obscene words, and some of them said, "God 
damned Japs! I'm gonna kill all." They beat the Japanese at random and 
created a scene of utter confusion. 67 

[In Wells, Nevada], angered by the refusal of a loan of cash, a Cauca- 
sian, working for a railroad, shot and seriously injured three Japanese on 
January 2O. CS 

Efforts to blow up the packing shed of a returned Japanese-American 
farmer with dynamite and to intimidate him and his family with gun- 
shots were disclosed yesterday by Sheriff Charles Silva of Placer county. 

[Sumio] Doi, who returned to his place near Newcastle recently from 
Lamar, Colo., with his parents, called the sheriff's office early yesterday to 
report that several carloads of persons had parked on his property. Shots 
were being fired at the house, he said, in an effort to keep him and his 
family indoors. 6 " 

These and similar reports were distorted by rumor, and fears 
about the reception awaiting returnees increased: 

Rumor is being circulated that five Japanese were killed in Fresno 
[California]. 70 

People are saying that some Japanese were killed around Stockton [Cal- 
ifornia]. Reading the papers and considering ail other facts, the people 
have a feeling of not wanting to return to the Pacific Coast, even though 
the exclusion orders were lifted. California is not exactly dangerous, but 
still, it's not favorable to the Japanese. 71 

California is the last place I'd want to go back to, with all I've been 
reading. They say the Army will back us up. But that's only against mob 
violence, and not against what an individual might do. If some person 
beats us up, we can't do anything about it. 72 

What do they want us to do? Go back to California and get filled full of 
lead? I'm going to sit here and watch. 73 

Thus the residents were driven day by day nearer to the accept- 
ance of the Hokoku program of renunciation as the only solution 
of their problems, and by January, renunciation had become a mass 

67 Rocky Shimpo, Japanese Section, January 24, 1945. 
6 * Colorado Times, Japanese Section, January 27, 1945. 

6(1 San Francisco Chronicle, January 20, 1945. The Doi case was also sensation- 
ally reported in the vernacular press. 

70 Statement by Kurihara, Field Notes, January 15, 1945. 

71 Statement by Kurusu, Field Notes, January 12, 1945. 

~- Statement by a Nisei woman, Field Notes, January 3, 1945. 
73 Statement by a Nisei woman, Field Notes, January 14, 1945. 


movement. In that month alone, 3,400 Nisei and Kibei in Tule 
Lake applied for denationalization. This number represented 40 
per cent of the total citizen population over 171^ years of age, and 
combined with approximately 1,200 whose applications had been 
received earlier, meant that by this time one out of every two Nisei 
and Kibei in the center had attempted to withdraw from American 
citizenship. The reasons behind this act were rarely verbalized at 
the time. Months later, when the war was over and when the re- 
nunciants were threatened with deportation to a defeated Japan, 
retrospective explanations of the reasons for having given up citi- 
zenship poured in to the offices of all of the government agencies 
concerned. Although these explanations contain, of course, a cer- 
tain amount of rationalization, they afford, as does no other source, 
an insight into the mental confusion and the social pressure that 
existed at this time. 

Many of the letters, 74 and other documents prepared after the 
war had ended, show the extent to which brooding over the wrongs 
of evacuation and the "betrayal" of a minority group by a racially 
prejudiced majority, resulted in feelings of bitterness and hope- 

I attended East Florin Grammar School in the County of Sacramento, 
State of California. Even at this early age we were subject to discrimina- 
tion for the school was for Japanese and Chinese only and apart from the 
Caucasians' school. We felt out of place and memories such as these remain 
deeply imbedded even at this time. We were not treated equally, we were 
inferior, and as children we felt lost and unwanted. 

In 1935 I entered Elk Grove Union High in the County of Sacramento, 
State of California, and for the first time in our life we were able to mingle 
with the Caucasians, but this was to a limited extent, because we already 
had 3 strikes against us, as we were apart since grammar school . . . 

War and evacuation forced us American citizens to leave everything we 
had worked and slaved for. Yes, we were bitter, can you blame us? 75 

My American friends ... no doubt must have wondered why I re- 
nounced my citizenship. This decision was not that of today or yesterday. 
It dates back to the day when General DeWitt ordered evacuation. It was 
confirmed when he flatly refused to listen even to the voices of the former 

74 Letters cited in subsequent footnotes as from "the files of an attorney" were 
made available through the courtesy of a San Francisco law firm. Most of them 
were addressed to officials of the Department of Justice, and were written before 
the cases came into the hands of the attorney. 

75 Letter from the files of the American Civil Liberties Union, Northern Cali- 
fornia Branch, September 4, 1945. Italics his. 


World War Veterans and it was doubly confirmed when I entered Man- 
zanar. We who already had proven our loyalty by serving in the last World 
War should have been spared. The veterans asked for special considera- 
tion but their requests were denied. They too had to evacuate like the 
rest of the Japanese people, as if they were aliens. 

I did not expect this of the Army. When the Western Defense Com- 
mand assumed the responsibilities of the West Coast, I expected that at 
least the Nisei would be allowed to remain. But to General DeWitt, we 
were all alike. "A Jap's a Jap. Once a Jap, always a Jap." ... I swore to 
become a Jap 100 percent, and never do another day's work to help 
this country fight this war. My decision to renounce my citizenship there 
and then was absolute. 70 

Please believe me I had renunciated because of the rash racial discrimi- 
nation against us Japanese toward us citizens of the United States also 
and had turned them into camps without giving them any chance to store 
their valuable possessions or properties while the Germans and Italians 
were free and as we at the Tule Lake Center were disloyal citizens of the 
United States, I did not want to be greedy enough to keep my United 
States citizenship and use it when necessary when necessity claimed me. 
Since I was disloyal to the United States I wanted to be honest about it. 77 

Others, as might be expected, emphasized the fear of the outside 
world and the desire for the continued security of Tule Lake. 

The rumors were that we would be forced out of here; whereas, the 
people outside would take arms and harm us. ... As I am alone here, I 
was upset . . . The columns in the San Francisco newspaper spoke of vio- 
lence displayed toward the returning evacuee. 

Everybody told me that I must renounce my citizenship of the United 
States, otherwise I will be forced to go outside of the camp to be murdered. 
Believe me, Sir, honest, I was scared and I applied for renouncement. 71 * 

With our large family nothing on hand, and no money to support our- 
selves, we have to do without foods, no house to live in. So I thought it 
was alright to renounce it for the duration. 80 

I have served in the U.S. Army for fifteen months and was given an 
Honorable Discharge ... on account of my stomach ulcer. . . . 

When I was discharged from the Army, I was quite sick and my wife . . . 

70 J. Y. Kurihara, manuscript, December, 1945. 

77 Letter from the files of the American Civil Liberties Union, Northern Cali- 
fornia Branch, September 5, 1945. 

iIbid., August 31, 1945. 

7!) Letter from the files of an attorney, September 6, 1945. 

80 Letter from the files of the American Civil Liberties Union, Northern Cali- 
fornia Branch, September 13, 1945. 


was pregnant, so both of us were unable to work; therefore, we could not 
do anything to earn our living. I had no money or a home to return to 
and take care of myself as my folks were evacuated to Tule Lake Center. 
As my parents were earning only $16.00 per month, it was impossible for 
me to plead for their help; therefore my wife and I decided to come to 
this center, thinking that this was the only place for us to make a living. 
During our residence here a great many persons began encouraging us 
to renounce our citizenships, and . . . rumors . . . confused us altogether. 
One of these rumors was that if we did not renounce our citizenships, we 
would be forced out of this center. I believed that. Thinking that we 
would encounter hardships in earning our living because of my physical 
condition, in addition to our two little children, we applied for the renun- 
ciation of our citizenships in the confusion of our thoughts. 81 

Closely allied with the fear of forced resettlement was the oft- 
repeated fear of separation of family members. Many citizen chil- 
dren and citizen wives believed that their "disloyal" alien parents 
or husbands would be deported, and that only by becoming aliens 
through denationalization could they maintain family unity. 

My Issei parents believed that all aliens here would be deported to 
Japan, while all the citizens would be forced to remain here. We were 
therefore confronted with the problem of preventing family separation. 82 

The reason for my renounciation was so that I'll be in the same classifi- 
cation as my alien husband. I feared, if in case there is a separation of 
aliens from the citizens, I will naturally be placed separate. I wouldn't 
mind if it was just myself, but I did not want to bring unhappiness to my 
little daughter. 83 

We were transferred [to Tule Lake] . . . because my stepfather was con- 
sidered a "disloyal" alien not permitted to leave this camp under any 

After our arrival here, we were told that if an alien parent desired to 
return to Japan with his family, he must request for repatriation for him- 
self and his family. So, on April 24, 1944, we sent our request to the Spanish 

Then, at the beginning of this year, we were told that if the parents 
are aliens and the children are citizens of this country, when the time 
came, the parents would be deported and the children detained in this 
country unless the citizens had requested for the renunciation of their 
citizenship. Or, if we chose to remain here, only the children could remain, 
but the parents would be deported due to their alien status. What choice 

81 Ibid., August 22, 1945. 

82 Letter from the files of an attorney, August 31, 1945. 

83 Letter from the files of the American Civil Liberties Union, Northern Cali- 
fornia Branch, August 28, 1945. 


did we have but to seek repatriation and renounce our citizenship because 
we do not have any desire whatsoever to have the family separated. 84 

I had no knowledge of the true consequence in renouncing; just as it is 
still indefinite. Before I went to hearing I understood that if I renounced 
I would be treated just like my parents, as an alien. By renouncing I had 
the impression that I would be just another alien hence would not be 
compelled to part from my parents who are also aliens. 85 

In other cases, there was evidence of reluctant yielding to family 

I had the hardest time to make myself sign my signature on the special 
paper which meant that I was throwing away my citizenship. . . . Finally 
I signed it against my will due to the fact that whatever my husband do 
I have to be loyal to him. 86 

I never wished to renounce my citizenship but to stop my parents plead- 
ing and sobbing I went to an interview for renounciation. 87 

Communal pressure, often vague and ill-defined, was cited in a 
number of communications. 

Everybody around me renounced. At least they said they did. They 
wouldn't speak to me. They treated me like an outcast. I felt alone and 
powerless in a huge dark place. I was afraid. Aloneness and powerlessness 
got worse and worse. What else could I do but renounce? 88 

We have been evacuated from Seattle, Washington . . . We did not 
transfer from one center to the other, but have remained here for the past 
three years and over. Before segregation took place the residents remained 
quiet and minded their own business but since the influx of segregants 
from the other centers the peoples' attitude and sentiment totally changed. 
The pressures, personal disturbances, and false rumors widely spread and 
aroused the innocents to obey and take commands or otherwise threat- 
ened. The atmosphere became uncomfortable and helpless. 80 

As in the case for mass request for renunciation, we were under strong 
pressure and the action, and with the upset minds followed through the 
hearing with the Department of Justice. I did not think the outcome 
would be so serious as to have our citizenship stripped from us. ... You 
must believe me when I state that the camp pressures, rumors and built-up 

84 Ibid., September 8, 1945. 

83 Letter from the files of an attorney, October 7, 1945. 

86 Ibid., August 22, 1945. 

87 Letter from the files of the American Civil Liberties Union, Northern Cali- 
fornia Branch, August 21, 1945. 

85 Statement by a Kibei woman, Field Notes, December 19, 1945. 

89 Letter from the files of the American Civil Liberties Union, Northern Cali- 
fornia Branch, August 27, 1945. 


advice led me into this confused situation. Under normal condition we 
would never think of doing what we have done. 00 

The following extract from a long letter illustrates the interplay 
of bitterness, fear of family separation, parental and communal 

I am a Nisei girl, age 20, born and raised in Alameda, California, until 
the time of evacuation in Feb. 1942. My father passed away in May 1940. 
So there is my mother ... 56 years old, and my brother [now] 18 years old. 
We were living a normal American life until we were uprooted from our 
beloved home. It was the home and security my father and mother worked 
so hard for when they came to America. This America was strange to them 
but they wanted to make their home here and raise us as good American 
citizens. Not knowing the language they had a hard time . . . My mother 
was especially taken back by [evacuation] since my father passed away, so 
you can imagine her bitterness. Being pushed from one WRA camp to 
another (Pleasanton, Turlock Assembly Center, Gila Center and Tule 
Center) only hardened her bitterness and I myself got pretty disgusted 
being shoved around but I reasoned that this would not happen under 
normal conditions. Life was not too hard up to Gila Center, but since 
segregation and coming here it has been a life of turmoil, anxiety and fear. 
My brother and I did not want to come here but we could not go against 
the wishes of our mother. She isn't young anymore so this life of moving 
about hasn't been easy for her so we obeyed her, thinking it was the only 
way to make up to all her unhappiness. We had life before us but mother's 
life is closer to end. ... so we couldn't hurt her with any more worries. 
Since coming here I found out it was wrong in coming here. There are too 
many pro-Japanese organizations with too much influence. Naturally 
mother in the state of mind she was in would be greatly taken in by them. 
She had the family name in one of the organizations but we (my brother 
and I) absolutely refused to acknowledge it so she reluctantly withdrew 
our name. . . . When the renunciation citizenship came mother again 
wanted us to renounce. My brother luckily was under age but I could not 
fight against her this time. One [thing] that put a scare into me was that 
families would be separated. To me, I just had to sign on that paper, so 
I piled lies upon lies at the renunciation hearing. All horrid and untruth- 
ful lies they were. I didn't mean anything I said at that time, but fear and 
anxiety was too strong. I have regretted that I took such a drastic step- 
in fact I knew I would regret it before I went into it but I was afraid if 
I was torn away from the family I would never see them again in this 
uncertain world. I should have had more confidence in America but being 
torn away from my home and all made things so uncertain. I would never 
have renounced if ... Administration made it clear that there would be 
no family separation. But the Administration could not assure us there 
would be no separation. 91 

80 Ibid., August 22, 1945. 91 Ibid., September 1 1, 1945. 


The most prevalent explanation dealt with the pressure tactics 
of Hokoku and Hoshi-dan in forcing decisions to renounce upon 
members and unwilling nonmembers alike. 

During the time of my hearing I was forced to [renounce] or else the 
"Pressure Group" continuously spoke evil of my family which I could 
not bear it. 03 

Some Hokoku boys threw rocks at our roof and windows after we had 
gone to sleep. It happened several times. I was really scared. We didn't 
have anyone to turn to for protection. 03 

Those Hokoku men somehow kept track of who had renounced and 
who had not. They knew that I had not. Everyday some of those men in 
my block would ask whether I had renounced or when I would renounce. 
In a short time block people refused to talk to me; it seemed that everyone 
was shunning me. When I finally decided to renounce, pressure was off 
me. I didn't get cold stares any more/ 14 

Because of my completely American background and democratic prin- 
ciples, I began to get labeled ... as a "loyal American," "informer," and 
whatnot ... I was practically labeled as a sort of "voluntary segregant" 
who was on the American side. I lived in Block 50, which was unfortu- 
nately right next to Block 54, the headquarters of the fanatical Hoshidan. 
While I and the members of my family were able to withstand pressure 
to join the organization, I particularly was suspect to them. . . . During 
the mass renunciation program, they suspected anyone who did not request 
renunciation forms from Washington. And everyday watchers were sta- 
tioned in the block office to check the incoming mail. They seemed to 
know . . . where everyone stood. I was practically told what to do and how 
to answer. There was no holding back at the hearing. At the height of 
the hysteria, they claimed they knew who would be accepted or not, and 
at the period they knew I was not a renouncee and they would activate 
even non-members who failed to do their biddings. I was so visibly upset 
during the hearing that it was hard to be myself as the hearing officer- 
noted. 95 

There seemed to be a certain powerful group ruling the people of the 
center whom everyone feared. They were later called the Hoshi Dan and 
Hokoku Seinen Dan. . . . No one was free to act and think for himself. 
No one in our family was involved in these organizations until that fatal 
night of October, 1944. ... As my friend, brother and I were on our way 
to night school, we came upon a man standing between the mess hall and 

92 Ibid., August 30, 1945. 

93 Statement by a young Nisei man, Field Notes, December 19, 1945. 

94 Statement by a Kibei man, Field Notes, December 19, 1945. 

ra Letter from the files of the American Civil Liberties Union, Northern Cali- 
fornia Branch, August 21, 1945. 


the barrack. His motions caused us to stop and investigate. Before I could 
call away my friend, he was slashed by a sharp knife on the left side of 
his face. Soon thereafter I learned that the man was influential in the 
Hoshi Dan and was a resident of the same block as our family. The brutal- 
ity of the attack placed dreadful fear upon everyone in our block who 
were not connected with the Hoshi Dan for it was obvious what one may 
expect if one refused to recognize the organization as my friend, my brother 
and I had done. Hysteria of terrorism spread to other blocks in the colony 
and those who were nonmembers were helplessly driven to submit them- 
selves to the influence of the Hoshi Dan members for fears of physical 
injuries. The knifer was soon apprehended but the rest of us w r ere help- 
lessly left in the colony with immediate fears of being the next prey of 
this merciless group in which this knifer was a member. Despite mother's 
pleas to stay out of this knifing case, I went to the trials as a witness of the 
incident because I felt it was my duty to prosecute the violator and to 
enforce peace in the center. I was placed in a dangerous position by acting 
as witness for I was eyed as an inu or informer of all the activities within 
this camp by the members of this group. Our whole family was wrapped 
in fears. Mother, who is forty-nine years old, was so nervous and upset 
about my safety so in the meantime she registered as a member of the 
Hoshi Dan to save me from possible beating or knifing. It wasn't long 
before everyone who had no intention at first, were coerced to become a 
member of the Hoshi Dan for fear of physical violence. We had no other 
choice for we had no way of moving out or away from terrorism in this 
fenced-in concentration camp. There were no other ways out because 
relocation was not permitted in Tule Lake at that time and also in such 
frenzy it was impossible to even mention the word "relocation." It was 
just maddening how much power that group was able to exert upon us 
against our wishes. Even at the trials, I was inhibited to express myself 
freely for fear of violence upon my immediate family as well as my inno- 
cent friends. After he was sentenced he later returned to our block which 
just added more horrifying mental strain upon us all. 

The year ended quietly without another incident for we were super- 
ficially members of the organization. We complied by clipping our hair 
and abiding to the regulations of that organization. I was married in Feb- 
ruary, 1945, to a girl from the same block as ours whose family were 
members of the organization for the same reason as we w r ere. Then on the 
i2th of February, my brother [Jack] was interned at Bismarck Internment 
Camp in North Dakota. At the time of his apprehension, he had just 
become a member but since he was listed on a membership list which was 
confiscated by WRA, he was taken. I remember he had his renunciation 
hearing just before mine. He was eighteen years old then having graduated 
in December, 1944, from Tri-State High on the project. Since he was only 
a kid, he was afraid to withdraw from the organization since the pressure 
placed upon him was too great. I regret very much that I sent my brother 
as a member of the [Hokoku] Seinen Dan but that was the only way out 
at that time, for he had sacrificed himself in order to protect our family. 


He recently wrote that he will attempt to be released from Bismarck and 
join the family in Tule Lake. 

As I recall now, I appeared at the renunciation hearing the first part 
of March when the camp was livelier than usual by the activities of the 
radical organizations to make us all renounce our citizenship. Their power 
was augmented by the fervor aroused by periodic removal of these agi- 
tators by the Department of Justice. Once a member of the organization, 
there was no way of withdrawing from that organization and of feeling 
safe to roam in the colony. It was so bad that those who did not renounce 
stated in public they had renounced in order to avoid the consequences 
of a person who did not renounce. During the time hearings were con- 
ducted in this center, these organizations were permitted to display their 
might and power so ostentatiously as though their selfish aim was the 
intention of everyone in this camp. It is just disgusting to believe that 
the Justice Department and the WRA remained on the sideline to watch 
us all renounce against our wishes when we couldn't act freely and express 
our true feelings toward this country. It may seem as though the hearings 
were conducted in privacy; however, when others within the block kept 
curious watch to see who did or who did not receive letters from the 
Justice Department, or who did or did not receive special hearing notices, 
there was the sad predicament of being eyed as a doublecrosser. I've never 
believed that such gangsterism could ever have been tolerated by any 
law-enforcing body. 

Before I appeared at the hearing, I debated about appearing and pon- 
dered if there wasn't some way to avoid renunciation. There really was 
no way out with so much fear harassing me with additional worries over 
my brother [Jack's] apprehension, so I was compelled to appear at that 
hearing. At my hearing I was unable to express myself thoroughly except 
to say that I wanted to take mother to Japan so she will be able to join 
her daughter. I regret that I did not tell . . . my reasons for renouncing at 
that time. My hearing was about 2 minutes long. No doubt the Hearing 
Officer was aggravated by my hair clipped short which was no fault of 
mine. I avoided wearing regulation sweaters with the rising sun emblem. 06 

As the applications for renunciation continued to pour in, offi- 
cials of the Department of Justice became alarmed at the momen- 
tum of the trend. The Department of Justice had sanctioned the 
Denationalization Bill for the following reasons: (i) the belief that 
continued detention in camps of American citizens not charged 
with crime would be declared unconstitutional; (2) the fear that, 
under these circumstances, the "militantly disloyal" (i.e., Hokoku 
members) would be forthwith released, contrary to "the real and 
demonstrable interests of national safety"; (3) the hope that the 

96 Letter from the files of an attorney, September 25, 1945. The assault and 
trial referred to in this letter have been described in Chapter XII. 


Bill "would induce the members of the group to renounce their 
citizenship if given an opportunity to do so" and thus "permit the 
detention of that group which clearly had to be detained." 97 The 
Department had not expected other classes of the population to 

When it became apparent that renunciation was by no means 
limited to the ardent Hokoku members but was also being used by 
the residents in general just as opportunistically as earlier declara- 
tions of "disloyalty" had been used, officials expressed fear that, 
within a short time, "about every family in Tule Lake would be 
involved in renunciation." 98 Burling, the Justice Department rep- 
resentative, attempted to stem the flood of applications by two 
devices: (i) to obtain a declaration from the National officials of 
WRA that Tule Lake would be a "refuge center" from which no 
one would be forced to resettle for the duration of the war, and 
(2) to stamp out the Resegregationist organizations. 

WRA refused to yield in the matter of forced resettlement or 
to exempt Tule Lake from its plan of liquidating all relocation 
projects. The only concession Myer was willing to make was an 
assurance that "those who do not wish to leave the [Tule Lake] 
center at this time are not required to do so and may continue to 
live here or at some similar center until January i, 1946."" 

In an effort to stamp out Resegregationist pressure, Burling 
issued, on behalf of the Attorney General, an open letter to the 
chairmen of Hoshi-dan and Hokoku. Mimeographed copies of this 
letter, with a Japanese translation, were posted in all mess halls on 
January 24. In this letter he condemned the activities of Hokoku 
members, and of Hoshi-dan elders who "encourage the activities 
of the young men." Burling concluded with the warning that "since 
these activities are intolerable, they will not be tolerated but, on 
the contrary, will cease." 

On the same day, January 24, Burling announced plans for a 
second internment, and two days later 171 more men were taken 
out of camp. At five-thirty in the morning, in a spectacular gesture 
of defiance, Hokoku bugles were blown loudly at dawn, and the 

97 Edward J. Ennis, Chief of Department of Justice Alien Enemy Control Unit, 
to Ernest Besig, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Northern Cali- 
fornia Branch, August 22, 1945. 

98 Statement by John Burling, Field Notes, January 17, 1945. 

99 Newell Star, January 29, 1945. Italics ours. 


young members who were not being interned drilled and ordered 
themselves in ranks facing the fence. As each truck of internees left 
the gate a farewell shout of "Banzai!" arose. 

On February 1 1, the Department of Justice ordered the arrest of 
another contingent of about 650 Hokoku and Hoshi-dan members. 
On this occasion the president of Hokoku was authorized to call an 
emergency meeting of the members. Answering bugle calls, the 
young men of the organization assembled immediately and each 
of those listed for removal accepted personal notice of internment. 

On March 4 the Department of Justice arrested and interned a 
fourth contingent of 125 men. 

On March 16 WRA decreed belatedly that all Resegregationist 
activities were unlawful and punishable by imprisonment: 

It had been the WRA policy at the Tule Lake Center to permit Japa- 
nese social and cultural activities except where they may lead to disturb- 
ances of the peace of the community. This policy will continue in effect. 
However, activities which are carried on under the guise of social or cul- 
tural objectives and which lead directly or indirectly through inducement, 
persuasion, coercion, intimidation and other action in the promotion of 
Japanese nationalistic and anti-American activities and the disruption of 
peace and security within the center, whether by individuals, groups or 
organizations, will not be tolerated. 100 

Bugling, wearing of Japanese emblems, and "assemblies, gather- 
ings, parades, and group exercises, drilling or similar activities, 
designed to promote Japanese nationalistic" sentiment were pro- 

All of these official actions came too late. Mass withdrawal from 
American citizenship had already taken place. Over a thousand 
applications were received in February. By this time, an overwhelm- 
ing majority of those eligible to renounce citizenship 101 had at- 
tempted to do so, and only slightly over a hundred additions to 
the list were made in March. Most of these applications were 
approved, 102 and the final accounting for Tule Lake resulted in the 
denationalization of seven out of every ten citizens. 

Whereas renunciation did not, as Burling had predicted, involve 

100 Tule Lake Segregation Center, Special Project Regulations, March 16, 


101 Nisei and Kibei 171/2 years of age or older as of December 31, 1944. 

3 "- Renunciants were, however, often not notified of the approval of their 
applications for months. 


"about every family in Tule Lake," it did involve a very large pro- 
portion. As Chart IX shows, there were some 4,390 families 103 con- 
taining at least one citizen member old enough to apply for 
renunciation. In 73 per cent of these families, at least one member 
renounced, and in only 27 per cent did no one renounce. The chart 
also shows strikingly that renunciation was, for the average family, 


Possible Renunciants per Family 


Families with 
No Renunciants 

Families with Fewer than 
Possible Renunciants 

Families with Maximum 
Possible Renuncianls 

* Less than .5 per 1000 

Chart IX 

an "all or none" matter. In 80 per cent of the families where anyone 
renounced, every member who could renounce did so. 104 

That renunciation of any member was viewed as a protection 
for the whole family from forced resettlement, and that denational- 
ization of all citizen members was often considered necessary to 
avoid separation of families containing both aliens and citizens, 
has been documented earlier in this chapter. These statistics show 

103 There were also 1,840 families containing no person who could renounce, 
i.e., no citizen member 171/2 years of age or over. Of these families, 1,312 (71 per 
cent) consisted of only one person, usually a bachelor Issei. The other 528 con- 
sisted for the most part of elderly Issei couples. In an undetermined number of 
these cases, the family was "protected" by the renunciation of a citizen relative 
who did not live in the household. 

104 Leaving out of account the families where there was only one potential 
renunciant, and confining analysis to multiple-potential families, the proportion 
where all potentials renounced is still 70 per cent. 


how extensively this protective device was used to achieve family 

Within the individual family, however, there was greater need 
for the protection of the citizen husband or son than of the citizen 
wife or daughter because of the fear that nonrenunciant males 
would be inducted into the armed services. It is, therefore, not 
surprising to find that in families where all who could renounce 
did so, males comprised 65 per cent of the potential renunciants, 
and that in families where no one renounced, their proportion was 
only 49 per cent. Within the split families, 103 where there was evi- 
dently an attempt to keep a foothold in both America and Japan, 
males comprised 55 per cent of the potential renunciants. In these 
families, the daughter most frequently kept her foot in America, 
the son in Japan: 74 per cent of the males in such families re- 
nounced, compared with only 30 per cent of the females. 

Family analysis indicated also the persistence of the old Tulean- 
transferee dichotomy, for 49 per cent of the families where no one 
renounced consisted of old Tuleans, as did 36 per cent of the 
"fence-sitting" split families, contrasted with only 19 per cent of 
the families where every one possible renounced. 

Proceeding to more detailed analysis of renunciants, without 
regard to family composition, the most striking characteristic of 
the renunciant group is its youth. One out of five of the male re- 
nunciants and one out of four of the females were under 21 at the 
time of renunciation. Family security was thus achieved by the 
action of children who had been between 14 and 18 years old when 
they were removed from the outside world. 

The punishment meted out by the Department of Justice also 
bore most heavily on the young, for 23 per cent of the male renun- 
ciants who were interned as "potentially dangerous enemy aliens" 
or "militantly disloyal" were under 21 years old when interned. 

The second characteristic of the renunciant group was, as sug- 
gested by the family analysis, a concentration of males: 77 per cent 
of all males on the project renounced, as against 59 per cent of all 

The third characteristic was the predominance of transferees 
among renunciants: for both sexes combined, 78 per cent of the 
transferees renounced, but only 49 per cent of the old Tuleans. 

105 Families where some but not all of those who could renounce did so. 


The fourth characteristic was membership in one of the Resegre- 
gationist organizations: 91 per cent of the members of Hokoku and 
Joshi-dan renounced, compared with 59 per cent of nonmembers. 

The fifth characteristic was locational concentration, which is 
illustrated in Chart X. The extremes are represented by Block 54 1 "" 
where 91 per cent renounced and Block 12 where the proportion 
was 34 per cent. 107 



Pr cnt 


Word 3ZE 

Word EC 

irdZ Wards 21 and 3ZHL 

Ward ZI includes Blocks 49 through 59 
Word Zm includes Blocks 75 through 84 

Chart X 

The fact that these marked concentrations existed should not, 
however, draw attention from the equally remarkable fact that 
renunciation was a collective phenomenon, involving, in large 
proportions, all classes of the Tule Lake population. No quinquen- 
nial age group of male citizens from ages 20 to 24 to ages 35 to 39 
contained less than 69 per cent renunciants; no comparable group 
of females less than 35 per cent. As noted, no block had less than 
34 per cent renunciants, and in 68 out of the total 74 blocks at least 

100 Block 54 was headquarters of the Resegregationist organizations. 

107 The statistics cited are based on our own complete tabulations of data sup- 
plied by the Army. These data did not include information on the renunciants' 
education in Japan. Manuscript tables from WRA, based on a lo-per-cent sam- 
ple, show, however, that over 80 per cent of the Kibei renounced, compared 
with 60 per cent of the "pure" Nisei. 


50 per cent of the citizens were denationalized. Even among the 
old Tuleans, resistant as they were to pressure group tactics, the 
lowest proportion renouncing in any one block was 21 per cent in 
Block 48, and there were only two other blocks (12 and 29) in 
which the Tulean segment of the population had less than 30 per 
cent renunciants. 

With mass renunciation of citizenship by Nisei and Kibei, the 
cycle which began with evacuation was complete. Their parents 
had lost their hard-won foothold in the economic structure of 
America. They, themselves, had been deprived of rights which 
indoctrination in American schools had led them to believe invio- 
lable. Charged with no offense, but victims of a military miscon- 
ception, they had suffered confinement behind barbed wire. They 
had been stigmatized as disloyal on grounds often far removed 
from any criterion of political allegiance. They had been at the 
mercy of administrative agencies working at cross-purposes. They 
had yielded to parental compulsion in order to hold the family 
intact. They had been intimidated by the ruthless tactics of pres- 
sure groups in camp. They had become terrified by reports of the 
continuing hostility of the American public, and they had finally 
renounced their irreparably depreciated American citizenship. 

Many of them have since left the country, voluntarily, to take 
up life in defeated Japan. Others will remain in America, in the 
unprecedented and ambiguous status of citizens who became aliens 
ineligible for citizenship in the land of their birth. 108 

108 Manuscript tables, obtained through the courtesy of WRA, show that about 
half of the renunciants had been released by February, 1946, to resettle in Amer- 
ican communities. The total number of these "citizens with alien status" remain 
ing in America will probably exceed 3,000. 



The Life History of a "Disloyal" 

THE PRECEDING CHAPTERS have dealt with the collective aspects of 
the spoilage of evacuation. The process of attitude formation under 
the stress of racial discrimination, expulsion and detention has 
been analyzed cross-sectionally so far as the experience of individ- 
uals is concerned. The cumulative impact of circumstances in trans- 
forming attitudes of "loyalty" to those of "disloyalty" is also clearly 
evident in the life histories of individuals. This is illustrated by the 
following life history of a Nisei, who was highly articulate, intel- 
lectually honest, and embittered. 

Joseph Yoshisuke Kurihara, a Hawaiian-born Nisei, was almost 
fifty years old at the time of evacuation. He had achieved a high 
measure of success in business and commercial activities in southern 
California. He had enlisted in the American Army during the first 
World War and served with an occupation unit in Germany. His 
political behavior and attitudes prior to evacuation are a matter 
of record, and all informants agree that he had no interest in and 
no connection with Japan. He had in fact never even visited the 
country. Although extremely sensitive to racial discrimination and 
slights to the minority group to which he belonged, he was known 
to be a firm advocate of democratic principles. He was a contrib- 
utor to a vernacular newspaper with a pronounced "flag-waving" 
policy, and his contributions conformed to this policy. Following 
the outbreak of war between Japan and America, he made strenu- 
ous but unsuccessful efforts to participate actively in this country's 
war program. When evacuation came, Kurihara gave vehement 
expression to the embitterment he felt at his "betrayal" by America 
and, correspondingly, began to voice pro-Japan sentiments. He was 
a leader in the Manzanar riot. He was arrested and incarcerated, as 
described in Chapter II. He applied for expatriation to Japan in 
1943. In Tule Lake, to which he was transferred in December, 1943, 
he was among the first to renounce American citizenship, and he 



successfully pressed immigration officials to be in the first contin- 
gent of voluntary deportees to Japan. 

Kurihara agreed to prepare his life history for this study. Ex- 
cerpts from this document, which are revealing of the emotional 
stress under which he made his decisions, will follow a brief, more 
formal account of his career. 

Biographical Notes: Born in 1895 on Kauai Island, Hawaii. 
Single; no relatives in the United States. Short, stout and balding; 
square face, large jaw, resonant voice. Warm and friendly in man- 
ner, but self-assertive. Proud of his honesty and integrity and 
regarded by others as a man of his word. A devout Catholic. 

Family moved to Honolulu when Kurihara was two years old. 
There he completed elementary school and graduated from a Cath- 
olic high school. Concurrently attended Japanese language schools 
for ten years. Hoped to become a doctor, and worked for a time in 
a road-construction crew to earn money to attend college. 

Came to California in 1915; worked as fruit picker in Sacramento 
Valley prior to entrance in St. Ignatius College in San Francisco. 
Discouraged by evidence of racial discrimination on West Coast; 
migrated to middle west in early 1917. 

Enlisted in U.S. Army while in Michigan in 1917. Served abroad. 
Honorably discharged in San Francisco in 1919. Visited Hawaii for 
brief period. Returned to California; entered a commercial college 
in Los Angeles and later Southwestern University from which he 
graduated in accounting in 1924. 

Opened an accounting firm, serving Japanese community in Los 
Angeles, in 1924. In 1925, became partner in a wholesale produce 
firm and, at same time, operated retail fruit and vegetable store in 
Hollywood, which he sold at profit in 1927. Auditor and manager 
of Japanese-owned seafood packing company 1927-1928; salesman 
for a wholesale hardware company 1929-1931, earning on the 
average five hundred dollars a month. Opened retail fruit and 
vegetable store in Berkeley in an attempt to carry over to northern 
California a form of merchandising successful in Los Angeles area. 
Failed in this venture. 

Studied navigation and television in Los Angeles. From 1 934 to 
onset of war, employed as navigator of tuna-fishing boat. Arrived 
in San Diego from fishing expedition December 29, 1941. Re- 
mained there through January in effort to get clearance to navigate, 


which was denied. Went to San Pedro in attempt to enter merchant 
marine. Unsuccessful. Sought employment in two shipbuilding 
firms and was refused because of ancestry. 

Witnessed expulsion of Japanese from Terminal Island on orders 
of Eleventh Naval District in February, 1942. Entered Manzanar 
with second volunteer contingent on March 23, 1942. Soon became 
active. in antiadministration and anti-JACL movements. Arrested 
on December 7, 1942, during Manzanar riot. Sent to Moab and 
later to Leupp isolation camps. Transferred to Tule Lake in De- 
cember, 1943, as segregant; inactive politically in Tule Lake, al- 
though had personal following. Renounced his citizenship; sailed 
for Japan in February, 1946. 

Verbatim Excerpts from Kurihara's Manuscripts 
His appraisal of his own personality: 

I go from one extreme to the other. I sympathize, cry, and give my last 
penny to save a person in a worthy cause, but I can be mean and devilish 
when aroused. 

Memories of Hawaii: 

We, the boys of conglomerated races, were brought up under the careful 
guidance of American teachers, strictly following the principle of Ameri- 
can Democracy. Let it be white, black, brown, or yellow, we were all treated 
alike. This glorious Paradise of the Pacific was the true melting pot of 
human races. 

Early experiences of racial discrimination in California (around 

My early experiences in Sacramento were of appalling nature. While 
walking on K Street from the Depot toward the Japanese district, suddenly 
a fairly well-dressed person came and kicked me in the stomach for no 
reason whatever. Luckily it glanced as I instinctively avoided it. 

I watched his next move, maneuvering into position to fight it out the 
best I could. A crowd started to gather but no sooner than it did, another 
person coming out of a saloon in front of which we were about to tackle, 
stopped this public show. I went my way feeling terribly hurt. 

In this same city of Sacramento, as my friend and I were walking in the 
residential district, a short distance away from the Japanese center, some- 
thing came whizzing by, and then another and another. We noticed they 
were rocks being thrown at us by a number of youngsters. As we went 
toward them, the boys ran and hid. Feeling perplexed, I asked my friend, 
"Why do they attack us in such a manner?" He answered, "It's discrimina- 


tion." No such thing ever happened where I came from. It was disgusting. 
I felt homesick for my good old native land, Hawaii. 

Enlistment in and experiences in American Army of occupation 

While in Michigan I was seized with an intense desire to join the Army. 
I felt rather ashamed of myself in civilian attire. I had purchased $500 
worth of Liberty Bonds to send to my five nieces and nephews in Hawaii, 
but still not feeling satisfied, I finally went and enlisted. During the train- 
ing period, I was befriended by many Caucasians. I made several visits to 
their homes. I felt very happy. Knowing that they were going out of the 
way to make me happy, I solemnly vowed to fight and die for the U.S. and 
these good people, whose genuine kindness touched the very bottom of 
my heart. In California my animosities against the Californians were grow- 
ing with ever-increasing intensity, but in Michigan, my liking for the 
American people was getting the best of me. 

In the summer of 1918 I was sent to France with a medical corps. After 
the armistice, I was assigned to Coblenz, Germany, with a medical corps 
of the army of occupation. During my stay in Coblenz, I found out that 
the German people were just as human as any other race. I learned to like 
these people because they were kind and sincere. At every meal time, the 
little German girls and boys would line the walk to the garbage can for 
whatever scraps the boys were throwing away. I could not bear to see these 
little ones suffer, so I always made it my duty to ask for as much as my 
plate would hold and gave it to them. O Lord my God, so this is the price 
of War. Why should these innocent children be made to suffer the hard- 
ships of war? 

Experiences and attitudes immediately following Pearl Harbor: 

After a fishing expedition off Mexico, we entered San Diego Bay imme- 
diately at daybreak on December 29. In the bay, the boat was stopped and 
several officers in naval uniform came aboard. They scrutinized the papers, 
and finding them satisfactory they left, but they took three of us (two 
Portuguese and myself) along. 

We were taken to the naval wharf and waited for orders but none came. 
Around nine thirty, we again were asked to board the official launch and 
this time were taken back to our own ship. No sooner when I boarded the 
ship than a plain clothes man yelled, "Hey! you Jap, I want some informa- 
tion. You better tell me everything, or I'll kick you in the ." My 

blood boiled. I felt like clubbing his head off. It was just a hat rack and 
nothing more. 

Another gentleman came aboard, and seeing that I was an Oriental, he 
said, "I want you to come with me to the Immigration Office." 

At the office, I was told to take a seat in plain view of several officers. 
Noon came, so they went for lunch while I sat there waiting. Three o'clock 
came, I was feeling hungry and irritated. Finally I asked one of the officers 


w,hy they apprehended me and why they were keeping me waiting without 
lunch. He said the instruction was to bring all Japanese nationals in for 

One of the officers obligingly took out some papers, called me to his side 
and started to ask the following questions: 

"What do you think of the war?" 


"Who do you think will win this war?" 

"Who knows? God only knows." 

"Do you think Japan has the materials she needs to wage this war?" 

"I never was there; so your guess is just as good as mine." 

"Are you a navigator?" 

"Yes, I navigated boats for the last eight years." 

"Are you good at it?" 

"Never missed my mark." 

"Do you know all the bays along the coast?" 

"Yes, nearly all the bays and coves along the entire coast from Seattle 
to Ecuador, South America." 

"Have you been a good American citizen?" 

"I was and I am." 

"Will you fight for this country?" 

"If I am needed, I am ready." 

"Were you a soldier of any country?" 

"Yes, I am Veteran of the Foreign Wars, U.S. Army." 

I was released that evening. 

Attempts to participate in the war effort: 

I went to see the Port Master in San Diego to get a permit to sail the 
sea. Seeing that I was a Japanese, he said, "No permit for any Jap." We 
argued awhile. Losing his temper he said, "Get out or I'll throw you out." 
So I told him, "Say officer I wore that uniform when you were still unborn. 
I served in the U.S. Army and fought for Democracy. I may be a Jap in 
feature but I am an American. Understand!" I saw fire in his eyes, but he 
had no further words to say. 

In San Pedro, when I applied at one shipbuilding company, I was told 
it would be better for me to try elsewhere because I will not enjoy working 
here. They said the fellow workmen were very antagonistic. They said 
they had two Japanese boys working as welders, but they did not think 
they would be here very long because of discrimination of the fellow 

The Terminal Island evacuation: 

It was really cruel and harsh. To pack and evacuate in forty-eight hours 
was an impossibility. Seeing mothers completely bewildered with children 
crying from want and peddlers taking advantage and offering prices next 
to robbery made me feel like murdering those responsible without the 
slightest compunction in my heart. 


The parents may be aliens but the children are all American citizens. 
Did the government of the United States intend to ignore their rights re- 
gardless of their citizenship? Those beautiful furnitures which the parents 
bought to please their sons and daughters, costing hundreds of dollars were 
robbed of them at the single command, "Evacuate!" Here my first doubt 
of American Democracy crept into the far corners of my heart with the 
sting that I could not forget. Having had absolute confidence in Democ- 
racy, I could not believe my very eyes what I had seen that day. America, 
the standard bearer of Democracy had committed the most heinous crime 
in its history. 

The beginnings of his hatred of JACL leaders and other collab- 
orators in the evacuation procedure: 

Truly it was my intention to fight this evacuation. On the night of my 
return to Los Angeles from San Diego was the second meeting which the 
Citizens Federation of Southern California [sponsored by JACL] held to 
discuss evacuation. I attended it with a firm determination to join the 
committee representing the Nisei and carry the fight to the bitter end. I 
found the goose was already cooked. The Field Secretary of the JACL 
instead of reporting what actually transpired at a meeting they had had 
with General DeWitt just tried to intimidate the Nisei to comply with 
evacuation by stories of threats he claimed to have received from various 
parts of the State. 

I felt sick at the result. They'd accomplished not a thing. All they did 
was to meet General DeWitt and be told what to do. These boys claiming 
to be the leaders of the Nisei were a bunch of spineless Americans. Here 
I decided to fight them and crush them in whatever camp I happened to 
find them. I vowed that they would never again be permitted to disgrace 
the name of the Nisei as long as I was about. 

Initial experiences in and reactions to Manzanar: 

The desert was bad enough. The mushroom barracks made it worse. 
The constant cyclonic storms loaded with sand and dust made it worst. 
After living in well furnished homes with every modern convenience and 
suddenly forced to live the life of a dog is something which one can not 
so readily forget. Down in our hearts we cried and cursed this government 
every time when we were showered with sand. We slept in the dust; we 
breathed the dust; and we ate the dust. Such abominable existence one 
could not forget, no matter how much we tried to be patient, understand 
the situation, and take it bravely. Why did not the government permit 
us to remain where we were? Was it because the government was unable 
to give us the protection? I have my doubt. The government could have 
easily declared Martial Law to protect us. It was not the question of 
protection. It was because we were Japs! Yes, Japs! 

After corralling us like a bunch of sheep in a hellish country, did the 
government treat us like citizens? No! We were treated like aliens regard- 


less of our rights. Did the government think we were so without pride to 
work for $16.00 a month when people outside were paid $40.00 to $50.00 
a week in the defense plants? Responsible government officials further 
told us to be loyal and that to enjoy our rights as American citizens we 
must be ready to die for the country. We must show our loyalty. If such 
is the case, why are the veterans corralled like the rest of us in the camps? 
Have they not proven their loyalty already? This matter of proving one's 
loyalty to enjoy the rights of an American citizen was nothing but a 

Decision to renounce citizenship: 1 

My American friends ... no doubt must have wondered why I renounced 
my citizenship. This decision was not that of today or yesterday. It dates 
back the day when General DeWitt ordered evacuation. It was confirmed 
when he flatly refused to listen even to the voices of the former World 
War Veterans and it was doubly confirmed when I entered Manzanar. 
We who already had proven our loyalty by serving in the last World War 
should have been spared. The veterans asked for special consideration 
but their requests were denied. They too had to evacuate like the rest of 
the Japanese people, as if they were aliens. 

I did not expect this of the Army. When the Western Defense Command 
assumed the responsibilities of the West Coast, I expected that at least 
the Nisei would be allowed to remain. But to General DeWitt, we were all 
alike. "A Jap's a Jap. Once a Jap, always a Jap." ... I swore to become a 
Jap 100 percent, and never to do another day's work to help this country 
fight this war. My decision to renounce my citizenship there and then 
was absolute. 

Just before he left for Japan, Kurihara wrote: 

It is my sincere desire to get over there as soon as possible to help rebuild 
Japan politically and economically. The American Democracy with which 
I was infused in my childhood is still unshaken. My life is dedicated to 
Japan with Democracy my goal. 

In connection with Kurihara's own account of the development 
of his attitudes, it is of interest to quote the opinions of adminis- 
trators from our own field notes, recorded by Togo Tanaka in 
Manzanar during the fall of 1942: 

WRA administrators familiar with Kurihara's case were, in general, 
sympathetic with him. In August, 1942, after Kurihara had made several 
public speeches which some listeners considered "subversive" and "anti- 
American" one project administrative officer said he had a talk with 
Kurihara. "I find Joe Kurihara very bitter about the entire situation, but 

1 This excerpt is also quoted in Chapter XIII but is repeated here for the sake 
of context. 


he is bitter and sore in quite an American way," was his observation. The 
Assistant Project Director, in a conversation with a group at which Kuri- 
hara was not present, remarked: "If I were Joe Kurihara, I'd be mad too. 
He was a veteran of the World War, was discharged from the United 
States Army honorably, had done his part as a citizen. It's just as if I had 
saved one of you guys from getting stabbed or killed in a street brawl, and 
you rewarded me by kicking me into the gutter. Hell, sure I'd be bitter." 

Biographical Notes 

MOST OF THE political leaders who emerged in the Tule Lake Segre- 
gation Center were Kibei. This situation is partly to be explained 
by the high proportions of Kibei who were segregated. In normal 
Japanese American communities just before the war, and in reloca- 
tion projects after evacuation, the ratio of Kibei to "pure" Nisei 
over 15 years of age was about i to 4. In the segregation center, 
however, the ratio was almost i to i. 

Kibei had leadership advantages over both Nisei and Issei. They 
were, on the average, older than the Nisei and, although they were 
much younger than the Issei, the recency of their education in 
Japan tended to make them more vigorous and effective exponents 
of the newer Japanese ideologies. Their superior bilingualism also 
operated in their favor. The medium of communication among 
the older residents was mainly Japanese (of which most Nisei had 
imperfect control), while a thorough working knowledge of Eng- 
lish (which most Issei lacked) was essential in negotiating with the 

The following biographical notes on political leaders, grouped 
in terms of their main affiliation (Daihyo Sha Kai, Coordinating 
Committee and Coop, Resegregationists) suggest the extent to 
which Kibei attained political leadership. 

For reference purposes we include similar biographical notes on 
some of the less conspicuous residents who, along with the leaders, 
were among the informants for the study. 

Daihyo Sha Kai Leaders 

Abe, Shozo (pseudonym). A Kibei, and Buddhist priest. Born in 
1912 in Hawaii. Married; two children. Of medium height and 
slender; physically unattractive. Manner forbidding in general and 


arrogant toward WRA officials and other Caucasians. Spoke little 
English, but reputed to be a good orator in Japanese. 

Taken to Japan in 1913 and remained there until the age of 
nineteen. Thirteen years' schooling in Japan, including education 
at a Buddhist seminary and a college. Came to the United States, 
and attended Fresno State College for two years. 

Served as a Buddhist priest in Seattle for two years, in Yakima 
for two years, in Fresno for a year and a half. 

Evacuated to the Fresno Assembly Center in May, 1942, and later 
transferred to the Jerome Relocation Project. In both these camps, 
worked as a priest of the Buddhist church and gained a following, 
particularly among Kibei Buddhists. In Jerome, as noted in Chap- 
ter III, was a leader of group opposing military registration. Segre- 
gated to Tule Lake in the early transfer movement to that center. 
Did not renounce citizenship. Was released from Tule Lake late in 
1945 for permanent resettlement in a city in the Pacific Northwest, 
where he resumed activities as a Buddhist priest. 

Kuratomi, George Toshio. A Kibei, born in 1915 in San Diego, 
California. Married in Tule Lake; one child. Of medium height 
and slender. Quick intelligence; somewhat high-strung; dignified 
manner; an effective speaker, both in English and in Japanese. A 
devout Buddhist. 

Taken to Japan at age of seven; returned to United States at age 
of fifteen in 1930. About seven years schooling in Japan. Graduated 
from high school in San Diego with honors. 

Worked as helper and sales clerk in a fruit and vegetable store 
until November, 1937, when he made another short trip to Japan. 
Upon return to America, worked in San Diego successively as man- 
ager of a retail fruit and vegetable store, as salesman and truck 
driver in a wholesale produce store, as operator of his own produce 
store. Worked in spare time as Sunday school teacher and group 
leader in Buddhist church. 

Evacuated in April, 1942, to the Santa Anita Assembly Center, 
and transferred in October to the Jerome Relocation Project. At 
Santa Anita, worked as translator and interpreter, at Jerome as 
foreman of a lumberjack crew. Continued Buddhist activities. 

At Jerome, associated with Reverend Shozo Abe as a leader op- 
posing military registration. Association with Abe continued in 
Tule Lake after segregation in September, 1943. 


Did not renounce citizenship. Was released from Tule Lake in 
January, 1946, for resettlement in an Eastern city. Regarded evac- 
uation as evidence of second-class American citizenship and, from 
time to time, considered possibility of career in the Orient. 

Kato, Bill (pseudonym). A Kibei, born in 1918 in San Juan 
Batista, California. No relatives in America; claimed his family 
owned considerable property in Japan. In 1944, married daughter 
of prominent Resegregationist at Tule Lake. Of medium height, 
heavy set; affected bozu haircut. Boastful of leadership qualities, 
which were disputed by other informants. Conscientious and me- 
ticulous worker; unusually good command of both English and 

Elementary school education in Salinas. Taken to Japan at age 
of twelve; about eight years education there, including one year 
at a well-known Tokyo university. Returned to the United States 
in 1938 at the age of nineteen. Enrolled in 1938 in San Francisco 
Junior College, and in 1941 in San Francisco State College, major- 
ing in economics. 

Employed as a houseboy by a Caucasian woman while attending 
college in San Francisco, earning eighteen dollars a month. 

Evacuated to the Santa Anita Assembly Center; claimed to have 
participated in Santa Anita "incident." Transferred to Topaz 
Relocation Project. Segregated to Tule Lake in September, 1943. 
Active in politics; aligned first with Taro Watanabe; later with 
pressure-group leaders. 

Among the first to renounce his citizenship; an active propa- 
gandist for renunciation. Arrested in December, 1944, by the De- 
partment of Justice and interned. Left for Japan early in 1946. 

Seki, Johnny (pseudonym). A Kibei, born in 1906 near Sacra- 
mento, California. Married; no children. Short and plump; gentle- 
mannered; genial and courteous; well liked by fellow evacuees. 
Good command of both English and Japanese. A Buddhist. 

Taken to Japan in 1912; remained there until 1922; graduated 
from a middle school. Returning to the United States, entered high 
school in Courtland, California, and graduated in 1927. Later, 
enrolled in the Sacramento Junior College, majoring in electrical 
engineering; graduated in 1929. 

Operated truck farms, first at Davis, later at Clarksburg, Cali- 


Moved to San Bernardino County just before the war and was 
evacuated directly to Poston Relocation Project in May, 1942. 
Immediately became influential in politics; served on Temporary 
Community Council. Active role in the Poston strike; later ap- 
pointed to evacuee board in advisory capacity to administration. 

Segregated to Tule Lake in 1943; renounced citizenship in late 


Tada, Mitsugu (pseudonym). A Kibei, born in 1902 in Sacra- 
mento, California. Married; one child. Slender and extremely tall 
for a Japanese; often addressed by nickname, "Slim." High-bridged 
nose; moustache; in appearance more like a person of Mexican 
extraction than a Japanese. Had pleasant manner and spoke excel- 
lent English. A Buddhist. 

Taken to Japan in 1912; returned to the United States in 1920. 
Attended schools in Japan for seven years. In America attended 
evening school about six months. 

Worked as a clerk in a Japanese general merchandise store in 
Sacramento. Moved in 1924 to Isleton and operated a large celery 
farm for two years. Later opened a wholesale fruit and vegetable 
store of his own in Sacramento. 

Evacuated to the Walerga Assembly Center in May, 1942, and 
transferred to the Tule Lake Relocation Project in June. At Tule 
Lake served as head of the evacuee police force until arrested and 
incarcerated in the stockade in November, 1943. Associated with 
George Kuratomi and the Reverend Abe. Politically inactive after 
Resegregationists came into power; steadfastly refused to renounce 
his citizenship. Resettled in Sacramento with his family in 1945. 

Coordinating Committee and Coop Leaders 

Sasaki, Milton (pseudonym). A Kibei, born in 191 1 in Walla Walla, 
Washington. Married; two children. Short and slender; distin- 
guished appearance; dressy and dandified. Good speaker in both 
English and Japanese; colorful and forceful style of English writ- 
ing. Claimed also to be versed in Chinese, Spanish, Latin, and 

Sent to Japan at age of five; about six years' schooling there. 
Graduated from high school in Seattle; attended University of 
Denver for two years; received A.B. degree from University of 
Chicago in 1931. 


Various jobs in California cities in Sacramento and Los Angeles 
areas: bookkeeper, salesman, for retail hardware and grocery; 
buyer; grocery clerk; private tutor for Caucasian high school stu- 
dent; interviewer for Japanese-owned employment agency; man- 
ager of a Japanese grocery store. 

Evacuated from Sacramento in May, 1942, to Walerga Assembly 
Center. Transferred in June to Tule Lake Relocation Project. 

Politically inactive in presegregation period, except as member 
of hospital committee, which in the summer of 1943 submitted a 
complaint listing alleged misdeeds and malpractice of Caucasian 
Chief Medical Officer. 

Employed as coal analyst in Tule Lake until shortly before first 
segregation movement. Was then appointed as the executive secre- 
tary of the Coop. After dissolution of Coordinating Committee, 
again became inactive politically. Did not renounce citizenship, 
although his wife did. Resettled to Chicago in 1945. 

Watanabe, Taro (pseudonym). An Issei, born in Japan in 1879. 
Entered United States in 1905. Heavy set; of medium height; im- 
pressive manner. Married; two grown daughters and one son of 
draft age. A Buddhist. 

Twelve years' schooling in Japan, including three years in col- 
lege, with major in law. 

Employed in various menial jobs. Operated a laundry in Menlo 
Park, California, from 1925 until evacuation. Considered a leader 
of the Japanese community; at one time president of the Japanese 

Evacuated to Tanforan Assembly Center in May, 1942; trans- 
ferred to Topaz Relocation Project in September. Reported to 
have occupied position of considerable prestige in Topaz. Segre- 
gated to Tule Lake in September, 1943. Elected to Daihyo Sha Kai 
from his block, but soon deserted the protest movement and joined 
Coordinating Committee group. After resignation of this body in 
the spring of 1943, became inactive politically. His son renounced 
his citizenship. 

Noma, Takeo (pseudonym). An Issei, born in Japan in 1900; 
entered the United States at the age of eighteen. Married; three 
children. Taller than average and well built. Considered arrogant 
and blunt in manner; was said to have a number of enemies. A 


Eleven years' education in Japan; graduated from a California 
high school. 

From 1930 to evacuation acted as agent for a nationally known 
insurance company in Sacramento; claimed to have earned $300 
a month. 

Evacuated to the Walerga Assembly Center in May, 1942; trans- 
ferred to the Tule Lake Relocation Project in June. 

Not well known among evacuees in Tule Lake until shortly 
before the first segregation movement when he became general 
manager of the Coop. Murdered during the wave of inu hatred in 


Resegregationist and Pressure-Group Leaders 

Yamashita, Koshiro (pseudonym). An Issei, born in Japan in 1904. 
Entered the United States at age of twenty. Married; no children. 
Of medium height and stout; large "handle-bar" moustache. Pom- 
pous and condescending manner; said to have tried unsuccessfully 
to achieve political career in Japan. Spoke and wrote Japanese 
well; fair command of English. A Christian. 

Twelve years' schooling in Japan, including equivalent of junior 
college. Graduated from high school in Portland, Oregon; entered 
Stanford University in 1928; transferred to University of San Fran- 
cisco, receiving A.B. degree. Returned to Stanford; received A.B. 
there in 1933. Claimed M.A. Stanford, but report denied by in- 

Teacher Japanese language school (Hawthorne); helper in 
wholesale fruit and vegetable store (Los Angeles); operator own 
fruit and vegetable store (San Gabriel). 

Evacuated to Salinas Assembly Center, May, 1942; transferred 
to the Poston Relocation Project during the summer. Block man- 
ager and influential politically in Poston. Arrested by the FBI in 
February, 1943, for alleged obstruction of the registration program 
and complicity in beating the national president of JACL. In- 
terned by the Department of Justice at Santa Fe, New Mexico. 
Released to Tule Lake Segregation Center in spring of 1943. Again 
arrested by the Department of Justice in December, 1943, and 

Kir a, Stanley Masanobu (pseudonym). A Kibei, born in Hawaii 
in 1897. Married; two children. Short and stout; effeminate appear- 
ance; small features; beard. Soft spoken and courteous to Cauca- 


sians; boastful and egotistical with fellow evacuees. Good command 
of both English and Japanese. Member of the American Legion 
and A. F. of L. 

Attended elementary school and high school in Hawaii. Brief 
visit to Japan at the age of fifteen. Served in Medical Corps of the 
United States Army 1918 to 1919. Employed from 1920 to 1924 as 
assistant cashier in a bank in Hawaii; and until 1935 as postmaster 
at a monthly salary of eighty dollars. 

In Japan 1935-1938; studied political science in a well-known 
Tokyo university. 

Came to California in 1938; secretary of union local of Japanese 
fishermen in Terminal Island. 

Filed suit against General DeWitt, contesting legality of evacua- 

Evacuated to Santa Anita Assembly Center in May, 1942. Re- 
ported by several informants to have been a leading participant in 
Santa Anita incident. Transferred to Manzanar Relocation Center 
in August, 1942. Claimed to have organized a gang of young strong- 
arm boys there. Involved in the Manzanar riot of December, 1942. 
Segregated to Tule Lake in February, 1944. Renounced his citizen- 
ship in the fall of 1944; interned by the Department of Justice. 

Ishikawa, Torakichi (pseudonym). An Issei, born in Japan in 
1893. Came to United States in 1912. Married; six young children. 
Tall and well built. Argumentative and self-assertive. Spoke Eng- 
lish fairly well. 

Thirteen years' schooling in Japan. Received B.S. degree in agri- 
culture from College of Agriculture, University of California, 
Davis, in 1918. 

Grower of tomatoes and apricots in Merced from 1920 to 1934. 
Employed concurrently as manager of a growers' association for 
three years. Ta'ught Japanese language school in Mt. Eden, Cali- 
fornia, from 1934 to evacuation. 

Evacuated to Tanforan Assembly Center in May, 1942. Worked 
as a police warden. Transferred to the Topaz Relocation Project 
in September, 1942. Segregated to Tule Lake in September, 1943. 
Not well known among evacuees until Ishikawa petition (Chapter 
VIII). Interned by Department of Justice in December, 1944. 

Yamada, Nobuo (pseudonym). A Kibei, born in Imperial County, 
California, in 1915. Single; three brothers, one of whom serving in 


the United States Army. Of medium height and slender. Arrogant 
and self-assertive. Boastful of his physical prowess and skill in 
judo. Claimed a large personal following. English defective. A 

Taken to Japan in 1920 and remained there until the age of 
thirteen; eight years' schooling in Japan, 1920-1928. Graduated 
high school in Orange County, California, in 1936. 

Helped on father's farm in Orange County until evacuation. 

Evacuated directly to Poston Relocation Project in May, 1942. 
Worked as judo instructor and organized informal group of young 
Kibei. Role in Poston strike is described in Chapter II. Segregated 
to Tule Lake in October, 1943. Renounced his citizenship; interned 
by Department of Justice in December, 1944. 

Tsuchikawa, Mrs. Hanako (pseudonym). A Kibei, born in Ha- 
waii in 1914. Married to an Issei; three children. Sister of Sadao 
Endo, who was imprisoned in the stockade for complicity in the 
November disturbance at Tule Lake. Another brother in the U.S. 
Army. Very short and slender; physically attractive; often called 
"Madame Chiang Kai-shek" by fellow evacuees. Proud and stub- 
born; argumentative. Spoke English with accent. A Buddhist. 

In Japan 1924-1931 and 1939-1941; attended schools there. 
Three years of schooling in Fresno, California. 

Evacuated to Fresno Assembly Center in May, 1942; transferred 
to Jerome Relocation Project in October; segregated to Tule Lake 
in September, 1943. Renounced her citizenship. 

Other Informants 

Wakida, George (pseudonym). A Kibei, born in 1914 in Stockton, 
California. Married; no children. Short and well built. A Buddhist. 

In Japan 1916-1931; eleven years' schooling there. Graduated 
elementary school and high school in Stockton; also attended San 
Francisco State College 1938-1939. 

Operated tomato farm in northern California from 1940 until 

Evacuated to Turlock Assembly Center in May, 1942; employed 
as recreational director; also taught English to Issei. Transferred 
to Gila Relocation Project in August, 1942. Became block man- 
ager. Influential among the Kibei faction and organized a powerful 
Kibei club. Arrested and sent to the Leupp Isolation Center in 


February, 1943, for antiregistration activities. Segregated to Tule 
Lake in December, 1943. Politically inconspicuous in Tule Lake, 
although influential among many Gila transferees. Renounced his 

Niiyama, Sam (pseudonym). A Nisei, born in Seattle in 1908. 
Married; five children. Lived with aged parents. Short and some- 
what stout. Practical and cynical. A Buddhist. 

Finished second year high school in Winslow, Washington. Also 
attended Japanese language school for five years. 

Worked in Portland as salesman for a wholesale produce com- 
pany. Later operated berry farms in Oregon and Washington. 

Evacuated directly to Tule Lake Relocation Project in June, 
1942. Became a block manager; influential among evacuee admin- 
istrative workers. Remained in Tule Lake after segregation. Be- 
came head of Civic Organizations in 1944. Did not renounce his 

Tsuruda, Bob (pseudonym). A Nisei, born in Sacramento, Cali- 
fornia, in 1914. Married; one child. Medium height and slender; 
attractive in appearance. Conceited, but good sense of humor; 
talkative. Spoke Japanese fairly well, but could not read or write it. 
No religious affiliation. 

Graduated from junior college in Sacramento. 

Worked in drug store and soda fountain in Stockton and Sacra- 

Evacuated to Turlock Assembly Center in May, 1942; transferred 
to Gila Relocation Project in August, 1942; segregated to Tule 
Lake in October, 1943. Was permitted to resettle to a town in the 
Middle West in September, 1944. 

Kurusu, Isamu (pseudonym). A Kibei, born in Sacramento, Cali- 
fornia, in 1913. Married; no children. Tall and slender. Gentle in 
manner and courteous. Spoke English with accent. A Buddhist. 

In Japan 1920-1932; attended schools for twelve years. Gradu- 
ated Pasadena (California) Junior College; one year in California 
Institute of Technology studying engineering. 

Employed as draftsman. 

Evacuated from San Marino, California, to Tulare Assembly 
Center in May, 1942; transferred to Gila Relocation Project in 
September, 1942; segregated to Tule Lake in October, 1943. Re- 
nounced his citizenship. 


Higashi, Thomas (pseudonym). A Nisei, born in Monterey, Cali- 
fornia, in 1918. Married; one child. Short, medium build. 

Attended schools in San Pedro, California. Five months in 
Compton Junior College. Twelve years' attendance Japanese lan- 
guage school. 

Employed as radio operator on fishing boat, and as clerk in fruit 
and vegetable store in Los Angeles Harbor district. 

Evacuated to Tulare Assembly Center in April, 1942; transferred 
to Gila Relocation Project in September, 1942; segregated to Tule 
Lake in October, 1943. Both he and his wife renounced citizenship. 

Itabashi, Kazuhiko (pseudonym). An Issei, born in Japan in 1887. 
Married; three children. Short and slender. Neat in appearance; 
spry and alert. Straightforward; kind manner. Spoke English fairly 

Segregated to Tule Lake from Manzanar in February, 1943. All 
three of his children renounced citizenship. 

A Note on Terminology 

ASSEMBLY CENTERS, relocation projects, and the segregation center 
are referred to in documents indiscriminately as camp, project, 
center, and community. The evacuee section in Tule Lake is occa- 
sionally called the colony or the village. 

The primary physical unit in the evacuee section of each project 
was the block, composed of barracks, divided into apartments. Each 
block had communal facilities, including mess hall, latrine and 
washroom, laundry room, and recreation hall. Blocks were grouped 
into sections, quads, or wards, separated by wide firebreaks. 

Project administration was in charge of Caucasian employees, 
sometimes referred to as appointed personnel. The chief officer was 
the Project Director. Under him were various assistants in charge 
of such functions as Community Management (including welfare, 
education, internal security); Operations (including agriculture, 
industry); and Administrative Management (including finance, 
personnel, mess operations, supply). 

Evacuee residents of the projects are referred to in the text and 
documents as evacuees or residents. After segregation, residents of 
Tule Lake are also called segregants. Segregants remaining in Tule 
Lake are called old Tuleans; those transferring to Tule Lake from 


other projects, transferees. Internee is used in the text to apply only 
to persons interned in enemy alien camps administered by the 
Department of Justice. Occasionally, however, documentary quo- 
tations use the word indiscriminately as synonymous with either 
"resident" or "a person confined in the stockade." The latter are 
properly called detainees. After rescission of the exclusion orders, 
however, detainees refers, in official documents, to persons pro- 
hibited by the Army from leaving camps; and exclude es to persons 
prohibited from residing in specified areas but free to resettle 

Liaison between administration and residents was accomplished 
by evacuee block managers, each of whom occupied a block man- 
ager's office. 

Each project had an evacuee-operated but administration-con- 
trolled newspaper, for example, the Minidoka project published 
Minidoka Irrigator; the Topaz project, Topaz Times; Tule Lake, 
prior to the period of martial law, published the Tulean Dispatch, 
and after the period of martial law the Newell Star. 




(Names in italics are pseudonyms) 

Abe,S., 71, 113, 1130, 116, 12511, 132, 137, 138, 145, 158, 160, 164, 165, 166, 
19611, 197, 231, 244, 246, 289, 290, 293, 299, 301, 3om, 302, 329, 330, 331 

Aramaki, 71, 311, 31 in, 320, 322, 32211, 33911 

Austin, V., 148, 149, 153, 153^ 155^ 157, 162, 164, 165, 173, 175, i88n, 
22on, 254 

Besig, E., 285n, 287n, 28gn, 291, 292, 292n, 294, 298, 301, 302, 330, 356n 

Best, R., 38n, 100, 101, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, i25n, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 
!33 *34> *35> !37 1 4> I 4 on > H 1 * 1 44> 1 45> J 57 l6 3> l ^> 1 9*> 1 9 Q > 1 97> 

200, 201, 212, 2l6, 217, 223, 23O, 237, 242, 248, 249, 252, 253, 254, 256, 

257, 258, 259, 278, 281, 288, 288n, 292, 2g2n, 293, 295n, 296, 297, 300, 

302, 314, 31411, 334, 338n, 341 
Billigmeier, R., 8gn, gon, g6n 

Black, H., 192, 205, 211, 218, 230, 231, 233, 234, 241, 256, 258, 314, 316 
Burling, J. L., 332, 339, 341, 356, 356n, 357 
Coverley, H. M., 38n, 73 
Cozzens, R. B., 134, 155, 15511, 157, 162, 300 

DeWitt, J. L., 7, 8n, 9, gn, 10, ion, 1 1, 12, 19, 2on, 348, 349, 367, 368 
Doi,H., 113, ii3n, 116, 119 
Eisenhower, M. S., 24, 25, 33n, 34, 38 
Endo,S., 137, 138, 223, 295 
Higashi,!., 177, 207, 209, 237, 239, 245 
Huycke, L., 188, 189, 190, 211 

Ishikawa, T., 230, 231, 234, 298, 2g8n, 306, 307, 309, 310, 314, 331 
Itabashi,K., 247, 278, 279, 281, 282, 317, 318, 319 

Kami, 160, 161, 179, i79n, 180, 196, 205, 212, 259, 261, 269, 270, 276, 276n 
Kato,B., 113, H3n, 116, i2on, i2in, i22n, 140, i4on, 158, 161, i6in, 173, 

174, 175, 291, 293, 294n, 295, 296, 299, 302, 329, 33gn 
Kira, S., 259, 290, 291, 297, 298, 301, 307, 308, 311, 311 n, 319, 320, 321, 322, 

326, 33gn 

Kitagawa, 178, 180, 195, 259, 261, 262 
Kodama, T., 71, 146, 158, 198, 203, 289, 330, 331 
Koike, 164, 198 

Kubo, T., 234, 301, 30in, 314, 329 
Kuratomi, G., 71, 7in, 119, i22n, 124, 125, i25n, 126, 127, 128, 133, 134, 

135/136, 137, 138, 141, 142, 146, i46n, 149, 154, 155, 158, 160, 164, 165, 

173, 174, i75n, i78n, i88n, ig6n, 197, 223, 246, 288n, 289, 290, 2g2n, 

293, 293n, 298, 2g8n, 301, 30in, 302, 305, 329, 330, 33on, 331, 342n, 

3$2 INDEX 

Kurihara, J. Y., 49, 52, 186, 209, 210, 219, 229, 236, 244, 245, 246, 253, 256, 

260, 265, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 272, 276, 277, 279, 296, 300, 313, 327, 

329, 343n, 347n, 349^ 362, 363, 368, 369 
Kurokawa, 263, 268, 276, 276n 
Kurusu,!., 187, 219, 244, 247, 257, 257n, 278n, 279, 309, 313, 327, 335, 338n, 

344n, 347n 

Leighton, A. H., 31, 33n 
Matsubara, T., 234, 331, 33911 
Murakami, 327, 335, 344n, 345n 
Myer, D. S., 34, 38, 54, 55, 56, 65, 71, 81, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 

136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 163, 165, 169, 203, 216, 230, 241, 243, 259, 

300, 305, 308, 314, 314^ 317^ 334, 343, 356 
Niiyama, S., 176, 178, 179, 218, 261, 262, 34on, 344n 
Noma, M., 264, 269 
Noma, T., non, 179, 261, 264, 270, 271, 272, 274, 277, 281, 282, 291, 2g2n, 


Okaraoto, S. J., 249, 250, 251, 252, 252n, 253, 254, 258, 260, 266 
Opler, M., 7on, 91, gin, 94, 96 
Oyama, 179, 180, 196, 261, 262 
Pedicord, R., 127, 132, 135, 139, 140, i4on, 165, 2ggn 
Robertson, P., 212, 222, 223, 223n, 256 
Sasaki, M., no, non, 169, 179, i7gn, 180, i83n, 188, 191, 192, 193, 194, 

195, 197, 202, 203, 2O4n, 209, 210, 211, 212, 218, 219, 229, 232, 236, 237, 

259, 261, 262, 276n, 277 
Schmidt, 138, 143, 144, 202, 278, 288, 299 
Seki.J.,, 136, i36n, 154, 158, 162, 289, 295, 299, 302 
Shiba,H., 206, 2i3n, 224 
Shirrell, E. L., 38, 38n 
Spencer, R. F., 68n 

Suzukawa, 82n, 263, 265, 276, 276n, 277 
Tada,M., 142, 146, 148, i48n, 149, 150, i5on, 154, 174, 289, 290, 291, 301, 

3om, 329, 330, 331 
Takanashi, H., 250, 251, 266 
Tanaka, T., 50, 51, 52, 52n, 368 
Tsuchikawa,H., 206, 234, 248, 267, 310, 33gn 

Tsuchikawa, Mrs. H., 223, 267, 277, 298, 301, 3oin, 305^ 329, 337n 
Tsuchiyama, T., 4911, 67n 

Tsuruda,B., 177, 187, 215, 229, 237, 240, 246, 254, 267, 296 
Wakida, G., 69, 209, 215, 239, 243, 246, 255, 256, 267, 278, 313, 317, 321, 

32?' 329. 336 
Watanabe, T., 113, ii3n, 116, 119, 122, 123, 155, i58n, i5gn, 161, 167, 179, 

200, 201, 202, 212, 214, 261, 262, 269, 276n, 277 
Yamada,, N., 45, 45n, 47, 48, 175, 322, 329, 331, 33911 
Yamaguchi, J., 187, 218, 236, 246, 254, 259, 34on, 342n 
Yamashita, K., 247, 256, 266, 273, 290, 291, 296, 298, 307, 308, 310, 311, 

31 in, 315, 320, 322, 326, 331, 33gn 
Yokota, K., 164, 166, 167, 194, 195, 198, 199, 201, 202, 202n, 203, 223n, 289 

INDEX 383 


A.C.L.U. and stockade issue, 291-393, 297-298, 299-300 
Administration at Tule Lake Segregation Center: and farm strike, 127, 
128-129; attempt to break status quo, 178-179; and resignation of Co- 
ordinating Committee, 220; and resegregationists, 229-235; attempt to 
form representative body, 241-248; stockade issue, 248-249, 292, 293, 
299-300; and Okamoto shooting, 251-258; and Police Commission, 266- 
268; and hunger strike, 294-295; and resegregation issue, 313-314, 316- 

3 J 7357 

Administrative officials: alleged corruption among, 40-41, 168; requests 
for dismissal of, 43, 135, 137; attack on, 123; and "Tule Lake Incident." 
131-132, 139, 140 

Advisory Council, 178-179, 183, 196, 203, 204-206, 218, 224 

Agricultural furloughs, 34-35, 54 

American Civil Liberties Union. See A.C.L.U. 

Apartment. See Living quarters 

Army: and War Relocation Authority, 2627; rescission of exclusion 
orders, 333-334, 334n; hearings for resettlement clearance, 336-338; for 
participation in registration, see Registration 

Assembly Center: description, 22; disturbances in, 23, 23n 

Barrack. See Living quarters 

Block: description, 29; meetings, 44-45; managers, at Tule Lake, 30, 116 

Bozu haircut, 324325 

California State Personnel Board, actions of, against Nisei, 6-7 

Camp. See Relocation projects; assembly centers 

Canteens. See Cooperative enterprises 

Censorship of mail, 40, 285 

Civic Organizations, 115, 116, 178-179 

Civil Exclusion Orders. See Evacuation 

Clothing allowance, 35, 35n 

Community Council, 33, 36-37, 44-45, 46; at Tule Lake, 43-44; at Poston, 

Conflicts among groups, 40, 41, 44-45, 49-52 

Cooperative enterprises, 29, 36, 41, 45; suspicion of inu in, 168, 262, 264- 
265; luxury issue, 168-170, 170-172; alleged graft in, 269-271; reor- 
ganization after Noma murder, 274-275 

Coordinating Committee: organization, 179-180; and status quo issue, 
180-181; official recognition, 183-18311; suspicion of inu among, 187, 
262; policies, 187; and reemployment issue, 188-194, 201; and Daihyo 
Sha Kai, 190, 204-206, 207-208, 213-214; and stockade issue, 194-200, 
202-204, 209-210, 288-289; and plan for self-liquidation, 201-202, 211- 
213, 214-215; propaganda among Manzanar transferees, 206; and reseg- 
regation petition, 216-217; resignation, 217-219; dissolution of Divi- 
sional Responsible Men, 219-220; and Okamoto shooting, 258-259 

384 INDEX 

Daihyo Sha Kai: election, 1 16; membership, 117-1 18; and living-condition 
issue, 124, 126; and Spanish Consul, 151, 160; control of Tulean Dis- 
patch, 152-153; factionalism, 153, 159-160, 161; and November 13 mass 
meeting, 153-155, 157; arrests of members, 157-158; and status quo 
issue, 165-167, 181-182; and Coop issue, 168-170; arrests of supporters, 
179; Coordinating Committee, 190, 204-206, 207-208, 213-214; propa- 
ganda among Manzanar transferees, 207-208; and stockade issue, 288; 
and resegregation, 305 

Denationalization Bill, 310, 3ion; and Justice Department, 355-356 

"Disloyals," 59-60, 84, 85-87, 108, 124, 225-229; No-Noes, 84, 85n; at pre- 
segregation Tule Lake, 102-104; and resegregation, 232-234; and mili- 
tary service, 239-240 

"Disloyalty," 87, 303-305 

"Disloyalty," criteria. See Registration, refusal; No-Noes; Repatriation 

Disturbance, at Santa Anita, 23, 23n 

Disturbances at Tule Lake Segregation Center, November 4 riot, 142-146 

Divisional Responsible Men. See Coordinating Committee 

"Dog." See Inu 

Espionage Act, 69, 75 

Evacuation: recommendations for, by DeWitt, 8; voluntary, 8, 10-11, 
24-25, 53; authorization of, 9; and Civil Exclusion Orders 11-12, i2n, 
13; WCCA policies for, 13; mechanics of, 13-14; demands for, by pres- 
sure groups, 19; opposition to, by pressure groups, 19, ign; and JACL 
leaders, 21. See also Military Area No. 2, evacuation 

Evacuees, population characteristics of, 30-3 1 

Exclusion orders: individual, 333-334, 334n; rescission of, 333-334, 334n, 

Expatriation. See Repatriation 

"Farm Incident," 114, 125-126 

FBI: arrests by, 5n-6n, 67n-68n; and registration, 81 

Firebreak, 29 

Food: in relocation projects, 40-41, 42-43; in Tule Lake Segregation 
Center, 124, 126, 136, i36n 

Free Zone. See Military Area No. 2 

Hokoku Joshi Seinen-dan, 325 

Hokoku Seinen-dan: organization, 322-323; and renunciation, 324; pres- 
sure tactics, 324; morning exercises, 324 

Hoshi-dan. See Sokuji Kikoku Hoshi-dan 

Hunger strike. See Stockade 

Informer. See Inu 

Internal Security at Tule Lake Segregation Center, 138, 142-146 

Inu, 20, 41, 42, 153, i53n, 187, 225, 261; beatings, 43, 45-52, 78-79, 264- 
266, 268-269; and Daihyo Sha Kai, 261-262; social ostracism, 264; pro- 
tective measures, 276-277; for Inu murder, see Noma murder 

Ishikawa petition. See Resegregation petition 

Issei proportion, 1-2; definition, 1-2; year of immigration, 1-2; age, 4; 
and "loyalty" questions, 100-101 

INDEX 385 

Japanese Americans (see also Issei; Nisei; Kibei): population, i; educa- 
tion in Japan, gn; occupations, 4, 4n; demography, 4; restrictions 
against, 4-5, 7-8, 27, 27n; sabotage committed by, n; arrests by FBI, 
5n-6n; discrimination against, 21; population characteristics of, in relo- 
cation projects, 3031 

Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) : leaders, 49-52, 79; resent- 
ment against, 7gn, 75 

Joshi-dan. See Hokoku Joshi Seinen-dan 

Justice Department: restrictions imposed by, 7-8; renunciation hearings, 
332; arrests, of resegregationists, 339-340, 356-357; propaganda against 
resegregationists, 356 

Kashima, death of, 120, 121-123 

Kibei: definition, 3, 3n; proportion, 3n; biculturalism, 3n; education, 3n; 
opposition to registration, 69, 78-79, 80-81; and "loyalty" questions, 

Living quarters, 29-30, 3gn, iogn 

"Loyals": 59-60, 87, 124, 225-229; Yes- Yeses, 84; refusal of, to leave Tule 
Lake, 104, io4n; strike-breaking harvesters, 128, i28n, 129, 134 

"Loyalty": 54, 55, 87, 303-305; questions, for aliens, 61; questions, Army 
interpretation of, 79-80 

"Loyalty," criteria. See "Loyals," Yes- Yeses 

Loyalty pledge, 34, 35 

Luxury issue, 168172 

Manzanar "riot," 49-52 

Martial law, 156-157, 188 

Military Area No. 2: voluntary migration into, 9, 12; evacuation from, 
12, i2n 

Military Police, 26-27, 28-29, 40, 51, 77, 106 

Military Police at Tule Lake Segregation Center, 138, 145; lockout by, 
147-148; reemployment issue, 150, i87n-i88n; and Negotiating Com- 
mittee, 153154, 155; and November 13 mass meeting, 153, 155156; 
arrests by, 157-158, i58n, 162, 179; attempt to break status quo, 162; 
searches by, 162; patrols, 22on; and Okamoto shooting, 249251, 254, 

Mixed marriages, 53 

National Student Relocation Council, 5354 

Negotiating Committee: organization, 120; meeting with Best, 124-127; 
and hospital, 127; meeting with Myer and Best, 130-139; meeting with 
Spanish Consul, 141-142, 173; and entrance of Army, 146; and military 
police, 149-150, 153-154; vote of confidence in, 158-159, 163-164; sur- 
render of hiding members, 164-165; opposition to resegregationists, 

Newspapers, articles on Japanese Americans in, 17-19 

Nisei: definition, 2, 2n; proportion, 2, 6n; education, 2, sn; biculturalism, 
3; age, 4; restrictions against, 6, 10; and military service, 56, 56n, 60 

Noma murder, 271-273, 301 

No-Noes. See "Disloyals" 

386 INDEX 

Okamoto shooting, 248-260 

Old Tuleans, 108-109, 117-118, 227-229 

OWI incident, 44 

Planning Board, 45, 112, 116 

Police Force (evacuee) at Tule Lake Segregation Center: suspected as inu, 
263, 265; and Police Commission, 266-268; resignation, 277-278; reor- 
ganization, 278-280, 281 

Prohibited zone, 7-8 

Property: protection of, 8; by Federal Reserve Bank, 14-16; by Farm 
Security Administration, 16-17; and Tolan Committee, 16-17; ship- 
ment of, to relocation projects, 40 

Public Law 503, 26-27, 27n 

Questions 27 and 28. See Registration questionnaires. 

Radio commentators, on Japanese Americans, 17 

Reception Center, 10 

Registration: purpose, 55-56; age limit, 56; mechanics, 57, 58; participa- 
tion by Army in, 57, 59-60; questionnaires, 57, 60-61; results, 61-63; at 
Tule Lake, 61, 72-83; at Manzanar, 61, 70-71; at Jerome, 61, 71-72; at 
Granada, 61; contrast between Issei and Nisei in, 61-63; at Topaz, 64- 
65; at Minidoka, 65-66; at Poston, 67-68; at Gila, 67-68; refusal, 74-75, 
77, 85-87 

Relocation. See Resettlement 

Relocation projects: policies for, 25-26; public works in, 25-26; site, 
26, 27; capacity, 27; size, 28; soil, 28, 28n; climate, 28; physical layout, 
28-30, 39n; social activities in, 30, 38-40, 41; characteristics of popula- 
tion in, 30-31; arrival of evacuees in, 31-33, 38, 3gn, 40; agriculture in, 
35-36, 40; industries in, 35-36, 40; schools in, 37; evacuees' reactions to, 
38; initial adjustments in, 38-40; disturbances in, 45-52; for relocation 
projects and Military Police, see Military Police 

Renunciants, characteristics, 357-361 

Renunciation: Denationalization Bill, 310, 3 ion, 323n; procedures, 323; 
number of applications, 324, 324.n, 347-348; resegregationist propa- 
ganda, 326; hearings by Justice Department, 332; effect of rescission 
of exclusion orders on, 338-339; rumors, 342-343; effect of family pres- 
sures on, 351; effect of communal pressure on, 351-352; effect of pres- 
sure groups on, 352-355 

Renunciation motives: fear of outside, 345-347, 349-35; embitterment, 
348-349; fear of family separation, 350-351 

Repatriation, 58, 58n~59n, 72, 73, 76, 85, 86; and resegregation petition, 
216-217, 229-235 

Reports Officer (John D. Cook), 123, i23n 

Resegregation: and Negotiating Committee, 125, 137; petition, 216217, 
229-235, 233n, 306-307, 314-316, 317-318; rumors, 308-309 

Resegregationists: and Spanish Consul, 229-235; and stockade issue, 289- 
291, 297-298; and hunger strike, 296-297; and ACLU, 297-298; organi- 
zation, 307-308; propaganda, 308, 3o8n, 325-326, 339; and renunciation, 
309-310, 326; pressure tactics, 314-316, 319-321, 340-342; membership, 

INDEX 387 

321-322, 328-329; criticisms against, 326-327; opposition to, 329-332; 

factionalism, 331-332; arrests by Justice Department, 339-340, 356-357 

Resettlement, 25-26, 34-35; eligibility for, 54, 55; and FBI clearance, 


Restricted zone, 7-8 

Restrictions: by Justice Department, 4-5, 7; on travel, 6-7; against Nisei, 
6, 10; by Army, 10, 27, 27n 

Schools in relocation projects, 29, 37 

Segregants, description, 85-87 

Segregation Center. See Tule Lake Segregation Center 

Segregation: demand by Congress for, 84; purpose, 85; and resettlement, 
88, 102, 103; motivations for, 87-103, 108, 225-227; and military serv- 
ice, 103; transfers, 106-108 

Selective Service, at Tule Lake Segregation Center, 239-240 

Self-government. See Community Council 

Social Activities. See Relocation projects, social activities 

Sokoku Kenkyu Seinen-dan: organization, 311; aims, 311-312; morning 
exercises, 312313, 320321; pressure tactics, 319321; membership, 

Sokuji Kikoku Hoshi-dan: organization, 322; and public schools, 325 

Spanish Consul: and stockade issue, 151, 172-173, 297; and resegregation, 
229-235, 310-311; and hunger strike, 297 

Status quo: description, 161; and Daihyo Sha Kai, 165-167; block elec- 
tions, 167; effect of, on residents, 176-178, 186-187; referendum on, 

Stockade: early detainees in, 150-151; purpose, 150-151; physical layout, 
150151, 284; and Negotiating Committee, 151; population, 165, 188, 
i88n; hunger strike, 174-176, 293-297; releases, 194-200, 202-204, 220, 
238, 293, 299300; factionalism within, 197198; transfer of authority 
over, 248-249; transfers to Santa Fe, 268; living conditions, 284-285; 
mail censorship, 285; administrative regulations, 285-287; grievances 
of detainees in, 287-288, 293-294; and resegregationists, 289-291; inter- 
vention by ACLU, 291-293, 297-298 

Strike: of farmers at Tule Lake, 41-42; of construction workers at Tule 
Lake, 43; at Poston, 45-49; of coal crew, at post-segregation Tule 
Lake, 1 13-1 14; of farmers at post-segregation Tule Lake, 114-115, 119, 
120-121, 127, 128-129, 133-134 

Student relocation, 53-54, 55, 5511 

Theater incident, 4546 

Transferees, 108; grievances of, 109-1 1 1; activities of, for dominance, 1 1 1- 
112; blockwise distribution, 116-1 17; among Daihyo Sha Kai, 117-118; 
antagonism against old Tuleans, 227-229 

"Tule Lake Incident," 130-139; disturbance in hospital, 132-133, 135, 
i35n; reactions of administrative officials to, 138-139; newspaper arti- 
cles on, 139; November 4 riot, 142-146 

Tule Lake Segregation Center: classes of segregants in, 85-86; restrictions 
in, 87, 87n; population, 106-108; employment, 109-110, 188-194, 238- 

388 INDEX 

239; housing, 109, iogn; social activities, 111112; community govern- 
ment, 126; arrival of Manzanar segregants, 206; factionalism, 227-229; 
arrival of Jerome and Rohwer segregants, 240 

Underground: and stockade issue, 222224; and the arrival of Manzanar 
segregants, 224; and resegregationists, 229-235, 306-307; and Okamoto 
shooting, 259 

Unemployment compensation, 35 

Wage rate, 33, 35, 35n, 40, 41, 42 

Ward, 29 

War Relocation Authority: functions, 24; policies, 2526, 33, 35, 35n; and 
War Department, 26-27; and Army, 55-56, 57; and Army, in registra- 
tion crisis, 81; plan for liquidation of projects, 334-335, 343~345 

War Relocation Authority, officials; personnel. See Administrative offi- 

Wartime Civil Control Administration, 10, 13, 16, 17, 58n~5gn 

WCCA. See Wartime Civil Control Administration 

White zone. See Military Area No. 2 

Work Corps, 33-34, 35 

Workmen's Compensation, 124, i24n 

WRA. See War Relocation Authority 

Yes- Yeses. See "Loyals"