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Response to Jenoch (Reply #95)

Sun Jul 7, 2013, 09:48 AM

99. Tulelake Relocation Center

jenoch: The Japanese-Americans (many naturalized citizens and even more American born citizens) 'enjoyed' their prison camps??? You mean like the slaves 'enjoyed' their plantation life?

This is what I mean by pejorative transmogrification - comparing jap/am internment camps with southern cotton plantations & slavery. Yes, some japanese americans did stay on after the war, either because they'd grown accustomed to them or had no better place to go (as I previously wrote). Or they could go eastward US & relocate away from west coast hysteria, as some did.

Many, especially the old (most of the Japanese citizens were quite old), having lost nearly everything in the disruption and fearing war hostility outside, remained in the camps voluntarily until after the end of the war. In general, the camps were so different from the camps of Nazi Germany that it is extremely misleading to refer to them as "concentration camps".
Tulelake Relocation Center, was opened on May 27 1942, ten miles from Tulelake, Calif, just south of Oregon border. On a clear day, prisoners could see 14,000-foot Mt. Shasta to the south. Located on a dry lake bed, winters at Tulelake are long and cold and the summers hot and dry, but the weather is relatively mild compared with the other camp locations.
Residents lived among 66 blocks at Tulelake and, as difficult as it was, did their best to maintain a normal day-to-day life. Each block had multi-purpose recreation buildings used for offices, stores, canteens, a beauty parlor, a barber shop, and judo halls. The Christian, Buddhist and Catholic churches held worship services in these buildings. There were 3 fire stations, an outdoor stage, a funeral parlor and cemetery. Sports venues included 31 baseball fields and a sumo wrestling pit. The community staff organized cultural programs, recreation sports and youth activities. Performances were given by the
Tulelake Symphony and the Downbeats, a popular dance band.
Most students attended Japanese school for half a day and American school for the other half of the day. The school was not completed until Feb 1944, and it was used for both high school and elementary school classes. It included an auditorium/gym, a shop, a science and crafts building, a library and an administration building. 3,000 acres were used for the farm operations known as the "colony." Internees produced barley, potatoes, onions, carrots, grains, rutabagas and other vegetables. Hogs and chickens were also raised. http://www.siskiyou-county-online.com/Japanese_Internment_Camp.html Jobs in the camp paid from 12 (for women) to $19 per month.
{note you could leave the camps & relocate east, just not to west coast): My oldest brother left camp to work in a factory in Cleveland, Ohio. My two sisters moved to St. Paul, Minnesota to work as maids in a private home. All my brothers eventually moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota. The rest of us joined them when the camp was closed in 1945.
http://www.uwec.edu/geography/ivogeler/w188/life.htm

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