On-line Book
Book Cover
Cover Page


Table of Contents





Brief History

Gila River


Heart Mountain







Tule Lake

Isolation Centers

Add'l Facilities

Assembly Centers

DoJ and
US Army Facilities



Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Confinement and Ethnicity:
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An Overview of World War II
Japanese American Relocation Sites

by J. Burton, M. Farrell, F. Lord, and R. Lord

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Chapter 17
Department of Justice and U.S. Army Facilities

Most Japanese Americans interned during World War II were held in facilities run by the War Relocation Authority (WRA) and Wartime Civilian Control Agency (WCCA) described in previous chapters. However, other facilities were also used to imprison Japanese Americans during the war. In all, over 7,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese from Latin America were held in internment camps run by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Army. Eight of these facilities were visited for this project.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor and prior to Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, about 4,000 individuals from all over the U.S. were detained by the FBI. Over half of these were Japanese immigrants who were long-term U.S. residents denied U.S. citizenship by discriminatory laws. These Issei, now classified as "enemy aliens," were first sent to temporary detention stations, then transferred to locations known generally as "Justice Department Camps." The camps were run by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, part of the Department of Justice. After hearings, most of the Issei were then sent to U.S. Army internment camps where they remained through May 1943. After that time the internees were returned to Department of Justice control for the duration of the war.

Published literature provides few details about the Japanese American experiences at these facilities. Weglyn (1976:176) notes that most of the U.S. Army and Department of Justice internment camps were considered temporary, and even a complete listing of the camps and internees is not available. Weglyn collected information on the distribution of relief goods sent by the Japanese government through the Red Cross to estimate relative numbers of persons of Japanese ancestry held at various locations. However, as Weglyn notes, these camps often included not only Japanese American Issei who were long-term residents of the United States, but also persons of Japanese ancestry from Latin America.

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Last Modified: Fri, Sep 1 2000 07:08:48 pm PDT

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