Historic Resource Study/Special History Study
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Community Welfare

Under the WCCA.

Organization — According to the Final Report, Manzanar, community welfare at Manzanar "was organized to give attention primarily to the family life in the Center." [49] The "basic conditions of life in individual families had been disrupted" with evacuation. The report stated further:

.... Some families had been separated in the evacuation. Heads of many families, often those who had been community leaders, were interned. Related family groups which had not before been living together had elected to evacuate together because of feelings of insecurity, and were even living in the same apartments. Young married couples were housed for the first time with their parents. Because of inadequate housing space, the Center was over crowded.

Normal family life seemed almost impossible. In the beginning there were no partitions in the apartments, and no privacy was possible. In contrast meals were in mess halls, and families could not easily arrange to eat together as families. Normal family discipline was difficult. Previous patterns of work, school, and church life were broken.

Although the evacuees had before lived in somewhat segregated districts, they had been part of American communities. In coming to Manzanar on the basis of their Japanese ancestry, they were forced to live with others of similar ancestry in an artificial community whose members had not come together by choice, either economic or social. There was a wide range of background, habits, and social status.

On April 6,1942, slightly over two weeks after the first evacuees arrived at Manzanar, the first consultation was arranged with the Chief of Community Services regarding the creation of a Family Relations Section to function under the Community Services Division. The work of the Family Relations Section was tentatively outlined as the task of looking after the "sociological needs and problems of Manzanar families."

The Family Relations Section was established on April 22. Staff, including one evacuee supervisor, Mrs. Miya Kikuchi, and field and office workers, were selected. The duties of the section were noted as "responsibility for Information Centers, notices, and bulletins, consideration of family relations, care of lost and found department, and voluntary helpers' corps."

By May 26, the Supervisor of the Family Relations Section reported a staff of 21 — five social workers, one stationed at each of the five information offices in the camp, four field workers, and two stenographers. The staff was approximately one-half Issei and one-half Nisei, all of whom had been college students.

The section's organization outlined six information officers, each to cover six blocks. In each Information Office, one social worker and three field workers would be placed. A central office would be established for the supervisor, her assistant, and two stenographers.

Early Duties — Soon after organization of the Family Relations Section, the unit determined that the unit would focus on six principal divisions of work. These were juvenile problems, family problems, inter-family problems, aged persons and invalids, personal service, and assistance to needy families. In addition, the section had to deal with many other problems related to stabilization of family life and establishment of minimum normal conditions of housing, food, clothing, work, and health.

Assistance to needy families concerned the section employees immediately. They began to study family budgets, and since no funds for grants were as yet available, they received voluntary contributions, which they dispensed as loans. They established an advisory committee to aid in selecting loan recipients.

By May 1942, the section estimated that about 200 families were in need of public assistance. Many of these were families in which the father was interned after Pearl Harbor. Of these cases, 30 were considered to be major cases — one morals case, 12 family quarrels, and two divorce cases. In addition to these families, it was reported that 700-800 single persons who had come to Manzanar as volunteers to help establish the center in March, and who had as yet received no wages, were without money for daily personal expenditures. The need for clothing, especially children's clothes, shoes, babies' diapers, layettes for expectant mothers, and work clothes for men was already apparent. To help care for the blind, infirm, and convalescent cases, the section worked with the hospital and public health staff to develop a housekeeping aide system.

The Family Relations Section met daily for discussion, consultation, and training. The section worked with the camp administration and the evacuees and block leaders to cope with the crowded housing conditions. Other daily problems that affected daily family life, and that the section was expected to resolve, included questions relating to mess hall procedures, lack of sweets for children, lack of food appropriate for invalids and babies, permits for milk, teaching young girls to cook, issuance of four bars of soap per half month to each apartment, need for clothes, sewing machines, and clothes lines, lack of partitions in latrines, and high prices at the camp canteen.

Although there was no provision for schools under the WCCA, the Family Relations Section made a preliminary educational survey in May 1942 that indicated that there were 3,123 persons from infants to college age in the camp. The section enrolled voluntary teachers, corresponded with schools about textbooks, and started some voluntary classes.

Under the WRA.

Establishment of Community Welfare Section — On June 5, Thomas Temple arrived at Manzanar to become Chief of Community Services, a WRA organizational unit that would provide supervision for the WCCA's former Family Relations Section. Two weeks later, Dr. Genevieve Carter became the new Superintendent of Education at Manzanar, and the Family Relations Section relinquished its responsibility for a voluntary school program to her organization.

As the WRA took over Manzanar, one of the principal problems facing the Family Relations Section concerned the need of many evacuee families for clothing and public assistance. When these needs were publicized, the San Francisco YMCA, Christian Church Federation, various womens' groups, American Friends Service Committee, and interested individuals sent new and used clothing, blankets, and comforters to Manzanar. In addition, out-dated army uniforms were sent to the camp in late June.

During late June, the centers former information offices were disbanded, and the social workers in these offices was discontinued. On June 26, the Family Relations Section staff was consolidated in one office with their duties "concentrated on strictly welfare matters."

On July 6, Mrs. Margaret D'Ille arrived to become Supervisor of the Family Relations Section, Mrs. Miya Kikuchi having resigned because of family responsibilities. Two days later, on July 8, the name of the section was changed to the Community Welfare Section, and placed under the Chief of Community Services.

The central office of the Community Welfare Section was established in Block 1, Building 10, Apartment 1. This small office, which served as the central office for four months, was equipped with "one cupboard, two long tables, and benches, with a corner for private interviews behind two screens." There were no desks, chairs, files, or telephone, and only one typewriter.

During 1942 the Community Welfare staff usually met each day to discuss its work and policies. A training course with lectures and discussion about social work philosophy and policy was conducted by Harry and Lillian Matsumoto, superintendents of the Children's Village, which was opened at Manzanar in June to house Japanese American orphans and abandoned children. [50]

According to the Final Report, Manzanar, the staff meetings and training programs of the Community Welfare Section were hampered by "the language handicap." In "a community where the older persons spoke or read for the most part only Japanese, while many of the younger persons spoke and read only English, a bi-lingual Welfare staff would have been desirable." Since this was "not possible," the "nearest approach to this was a combination of Issei and Nisei staff, and the use of translation where it was especially important." "Even so, perfect understanding was tardy, open and free discussions hard, and much time had to be allowed to accomplish results."

Language and cultural questions, according to the Community Welfare Section's portion of the Final Report, Manzanar, was "a constant consideration for staff and for residents." The report stated further:

.... How far Japanese language, culture, ideals, and manners should be recognized in a community whose background was Japanese but which should increasingly be a part of American life, came up for repeated consideration. The Welfare Section had to attempt to unite both cultural patterns but had constantly to work toward future American understanding.

In the early days of Center life, the Nisei took a very active part in community leadership. Many Issei leaders were still interned when the Center started. Many were paroled to Manzanar during 1942. To get a combination of Issei and Nisei leadership was extremely difficult. At meetings where Issei were present. Nisei felt loath to speak, since their Japanese was inadequate. Issei found it hard to accept any Nisei advice or opinion on its merits. At the same time many Issei were fearful of their future and unwilling to express their ideas or take responsibility.

The Welfare Section encountered great difficulty in the realm of the conflict in families between old Japanese cultural ideas and those of modern young Japanese Americans. The close life under crowded housing conditions aggravated this clash of ideas. Grandparents wished to control their grandchildren in discipline, manners, food, and sleeping habits. Parents' control of selection of their children's mates was accentuated in the Center. Young peoples' social life was constantly under the eye of older persons, their parents and others. Children had difficulty about space, time, and quiet for homework for school. There were strong differences of opinion between the older and younger groups in churches.

In some cases conflicts between old cultural patterns and new ideas resulted in family separations and tragedy. In certain cases wives used the opportunity of economic freedom to insist upon actual separation from their husbands. There were disagreements about questions such as repatriation and relocation. In difficult triangle cases, in cases of the future of illegitimate children, in questions of divorce, it was very difficult to get families to discuss and decide questions on the basis of what seemed right or best. It was even hard to get a recognition of American codes of law. The tendency always was to discuss what had been the old Japanese way or what was understood to be the American or modern way, and to contrast these two ideas. . . .

The Welfare staff had to stand between the old Japanese thinking and extremes of modern ideas, with an effort to unite family life and development. They tried to urge preservation of the best in both ways, and the need for preparation for the future on the basis of reality and not prejudice. . . .

Activities During 1942: Clothing — The work of the Community Welfare Section during the summer and autumn of 1942 emphasized family visiting and counseling, with daily staff meetings for reports and training. As a result of daily visitation, two principal programs developed — one was concerned with clothing while the other focused on grants in aid. Other functions that normally would have fallen under welfare were directly administered by the head of Community Services and not turned over to welfare until early 1943.

To meet the pressing clothing needs at Manzanar during 1942, the Community Welfare Section first developed a system to distribute new and used clothing privately contributed to the center. A small amount of clothing was purchased and distributed, and donated surplus out-dated army clothing was distributed. Since virtually all military clothing was too large, a sewing room was established for the alteration of garments as well as for making new garments. Although all army clothing was for men, women of the center were as needy as the men, especially as the autumn cold approached. Thus, "pea-coats" that required alteration were also issued to women.

A warehouse and distributing center was assigned to the Community Welfare Section. An ironing room was equipped as a sewing room with electric machines. Two sewing machines were assigned to each block for family use.

In November 1942, the WRA announced a new program for clothing allowances and grants. This program provided for an automatic monthly clothing allowance for workers and their dependents, supplemented by a clothing grant for unemployable families based on a monthly determination of need. Thus, the surplus stock in the Community Welfare Section's warehouse was offered to the Cooperative Enterprises at cost. What they did not take was later turned over to Property Control for purchase by workers in the camp. Later, the Welfare sewing room workers were transferred to the Industrial Section where they worked and received training as power machine operatives.

About November 15 the Community Welfare Section began preparation of Basic Family Fact sheets to provide the necessary information to implement the new clothing program. A "new physical house-to-house check" was conducted "by blocks, barracks and apartments." Before the completion of the cards, the "Manzanar Incident" on December 6 interrupted the life of the center. The cards were taken over and completed by the Fiscal Section, thus delaying authorization of the first clothing allowances until December 31, 1942.

Activities During 1942: Public Assistance Grants and Unemployment Compensation — The first public assistance grants were authorized at Manzanar in July 1942, but they were not paid until September. The grants were issued to each of the children in the Children's Village and to center families on the basis of need (e.g., illness, father interned, insufficient income, separated from husband, six minor children, etc.). Under a policy adopted on August 24, the WRA provided for grants to deserving evacuees who were not in a position to benefit either from the center's employment program or from unemployment compensation. These evacuees included: (1) persons who were unable to work because of illness or incapacity; (2) dependents of physically incapacitated evacuees; (3) orphans and other children under 18 without means of support; and (4) heads of families with a total income from all sources inadequate to meet their needs. By the end of 1942, public assistance cases at Manzanar numbered 162, in addition to 63 children at the Children's Village. [51]

Under WRA employment and compensation policies adopted on September 1, 1942, provision was made for unemployment compensation. Any evacuee who applied for work and was assigned a job or who was laid off through no fault of his own could apply to the WRA for unemployment compensation covering himself and his dependents. Rates of unemployment compensation were established at $4.75 per month for men age 18 and older; $4.25 for women 18 and older; $2.50 for dependent children between 13 and 17, inclusive; and $1.50 for dependent children under 13. [52]

Administration of the public assistance program at Manzanar was affected by traditional Japanese attitudes toward public assistance and their acceptance of conditions for granting aid. Prior to the war, Japanese communities in the United States had generally taken care of their own needy cases. As a result, almost no Japanese were on public relief rolls before evacuation except for chronic patients in hospitals and mental institutions and children in orphanages.

After evacuation to Manzanar, when it was discovered that some evacuee families and some aged persons without relatives and widows with children were in need, the welfare staff "followed the traditional Japanese method to relieve them temporarily." A small fund was privately collected and dispensed as loans. Throughout the operation of Manzanar there would be a small fund at the disposal of the welfare staff made up of voluntary contributions by people in the center. This fund was used in cases of need that did not come under rules of eligibility for public assistance grants.

At the beginning of the authorization of grants in aid, it was necessary, through careful work of the family visitors with evacuees, to explain that the acceptance of public assistance did not carry a stigma, and that it was "essentially an extension of the old idea, familiar to them all, of the responsibility of family members for their own relatives, of friends for each other and community members jointly." Despite these efforts, however, some needy families refused to apply or to accept grants.

Activities During 1942: Handicapped Children — In October 1942, family visitors from the Community Welfare Section met with personnel of the Health Section and school officials to consider the question of what should be done with deaf, handicapped, and crippled children. As a result, a crippled children's diagnostic clinic was established on November 16. Appointments were scheduled for 38 children, the oldest being 20 years of age. The types of conditions to be evaluated included orthopedic, heart, eye, hearing, spastic, and orthodontic. Attempts to have deaf children sent out of the center for instruction were unsuccessful. Later a school for handicapped children was developed by Miss Eleanor Thomas of the Education Section in one ward of the hospital.

Activities During 1942: Churches — Soon after the first evacuees reached Manzanar, outside churches assisted the residents in both material and spiritual ways. As soon as the camp was established, key persons from many religious groups visited Manzanar to find out what could be done and later assisted the evacuees in the centers as well as with relocation outside. In late March 1942 the Federal Council of Churches of Los Angeles and the Maryknoll fathers, sent church equipment, money, and other items to assist the evacuees in establishment of church life.

It was realized by many religious groups that public sentiment for the evacuees throughout the nation should be improved. It was important that the outside church become expert in public relations. Prominent clergymen went on record as deploring attacks on the Japanese population on the basis of ancestry. An early movement sponsored by outside churches consisted of programs, such as scholarships, housing, and employment, to relocate college students from the relocation centers.

The first religious group to hold services in the center were the Methodists. They met on March 29 with Rev. Frank Herron Smith of the Methodist Board of Home Missions preaching in Japanese and Rev. Hideo Hashimoto translating in English. Later the Catholic and Protestant groups began holding services and organizing activities often under lay leadership. Under the WCCA, the only religious services permitted at Manzanar were those "of the Catholic faith and under the direction of such Protestant ministers as were certified by the Federated Church Council." No Buddhist worship was permitted, and all services were required to be conducted in the English language. Religious services were held in the recreation halls. [53]

The WRA issued a policy statement regarding religious worship at the relocation centers on May 29, just prior to assuming administrative control of Manzanar, and again on August 24. The policy stated that "the right or freedom of religious worship in WRA centers is recognized and shall be respected." Under this policy, evacuees of all religious groups, including Buddhists, were permitted to hold services in the centers and to invite outside pastors in for temporary visits with the approval of the Project Director and the community council. Despite the policy permitting religious freedom. State Shinto was barred on the grounds that it involved worship of the Japanese Emperor. Restrictions against the use of the Japanese language in religious services were removed by the WRA. [54]

Early provisions for religious worship at Manzanar were hardly adequate for a community of 10,000 people. Administrative Instruction No. 32 stated WRA policy for church facilities:

At each relocation project the WRA will provide material for the construction of one building to be used as a general center of worship by the several denominations represented in the community. Suitable altar furnishings will have to be provided by each denomination and a schedule or periods of worship will have to be arranged.

In compliance with this directive, WRA camp administrators planned to construct one church building at Manzanar, but because of the difficulty of procuring building materials and a lack of agreement regarding the joint use of the building when it would be constructed, it was decided temporarily to continue allotment of recreation buildings for church use. Later the plans for building a joint church were abandoned, and block recreation buildings and mess halls became permanent churches.

The connection between church groups and the camp administration was effected at Manzanar through the Community Welfare Section, because many functions of welfare were closely connected with church life. On September 30, 1942, the Community Welfare Section made several decisions regarding the establishment and operation of churches at Manzanar. It was agreed that facilities for Buddhist, Catholic, and Protestant churches would be provided, and it was determined that the various sects of the Buddhist faith would function jointly and the various Protestant denominations would meet as a Community Protestant Church.

Until January 1944 ministers, priests, and sisters were listed on the Community Welfare Section payroll as family counselors, thus entitling them to compensation for their services. As professionals, they were paid 19 dollars a month. These religious leaders met frequently with the rest of the welfare staff, and they were called upon particularly when special cases indicated that advice from an appropriate church leader would be helpful.

A religious affiliation census was conducted at Manzanar in August 1942. The results were: Buddhist, 4,048; Catholic, 454; Protestant, 2,684; Shinto, 21; Other, 21; No religion, 2,321. Several months later, weekly attendance statistics showed that 1,800-1,900 persons were attending Buddhist services, while approximately 500 and 1,550 were attending Catholic and Protestant services, respectively. Appointed personnel attended and took part in services.

The Buddhist Church was at first under suspicion regarding allegiance to the United States because Caucasians knew little about its religious beliefs and values. Over time the community-conscious Buddhists participated in many events in the life of the camp, interpreting their church programs and thus disproving suspicions of special allegiance to Japan.

On June 21, the Buddhists held their first services. The congregation consisted of Buddhist followers, principally from Southern California, the Sacramento area, and Bainbridge Island, Washington. Mr. L. Mihara acted as chairman on the opening day and sermons were delivered by Mr. Junzo Izmuida and Mr. Sangoro Mayeda, while Mr. Eizo Masuyama participated as the ceremonial speaker. In August, the Rev. Shinjo Nagatomi arrived from the Tanforan Assembly Center in response to an invitation from the Manzanar Buddhists, accepting pastoral responsibility of the Buddhist Church activities and duties at Manzanar. The Nyubutsu ceremony, or the dedication of the church shrine, was held on September 13, 1942, with Rev. Nagatomi as the dedication speaker.

The Buddhist Church was divided into four sects. The Shinshu sect, for which the Rev. Nagatomi officiated as head and was assisted by Mr. Mayeda, held its services at the head church. The Nichiren Shu held its services in Block 27, Building 15. The other sects, Daishi Ko and Kannon Ko, held their services in Block 13, Building 15.

The regular services of the church represented a combination of American and Japanese influences. Two regular Sunday services were held morning and evening. The morning service was for the young people and the evening service for adults. Sunday school classes were held regularly for children and young persons. Besides the regular services, memorial services, funerals, and weddings were conducted as necessary.

Three organizations were affiliated with the Buddhist Church. These included the Buddhists Block Representatives Council with 150 members, the Young Buddhist Association with 900 members, and the Buddhists Women's organization with 1,000 members. The Buddhists were community-conscious and contributed to many social, cultural, and ceremonial events in the life of the camp.

Father Clement arrived with the first large contingent of volunteers at Manzanar in late March 1942 and conducted the first Catholic mass before the end of the month. Although Father Clement returned to the camp periodically to hold masses, the Manzanar Catholic Church did not receive a regular pastor until July 1942 when Father Steinback returned from internment in Japan. He remained at the center until it cloyed in November 1945.

Father Steinback was assisted by Sisters Bernadette and Suzanne, Japanese nuns. They held study clubs, taught classes for all ages, organized a choir, and counseled families and individuals. They established two membership clubs — the Senior Sodality and the Holy Name Society.

The Catholic Church was the smallest religious group at Manzanar, but it was reportedly "the one most closely knit." During the three-year internment period, more than 230 persons in the camp were converted to Catholicism.

As there were many followers of various Protestant denominations at Manzanar, the Community Welfare Section determined that all would be united under one organization called the Manzanar Christian Church. The stated purpose of the church was "to make God a reality in daily living."

With the arrival of the evacuated pastors from the West Coast and the WRA's lifting of restrictions against the use of the Japanese language in preaching, organized Protestant church work began to take shape. The first official body formed was the Christian Council. At the opening meeting in June 1942 more than 70 members were assigned as representatives of the adult council. In August, the church was dedicated in Block 15, Building 15. Later three additional worship centers were located conveniently in the center. The program included services in English and Japanese on Sunday morning and evening. During week days, the program included prayer meetings, club meetings, Bible study, and choir practice. A church school was established, the upper division open to children of elementary and high school age and the lower division to children of preschool age. Church-related social clubs included the Young People's Fellowship, the Young Adult Forum, and the Adult Council.

Activities During 1942: YWCA and YMCA — As early as April 1942 correspondence was carried on between the Business and Professional Girls Club of Los Angeles and some older girls at Manzanar, former members of the club, regarding establishment of a "Y" in the center. As a result of the efforts of interested individuals, a group of women concerned with the formation of Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) chapter at Manzanar met in the center with two secretaries from the National YWCA and one from Los Angeles on August 5. Mrs. Miya Kikuchi was chosen as the first president of the YWCA board and Miss Alice Asaka the first general secretary. Additional officers included an office secretary, a Girl Reserve secretary, older girls' secretary, and a house mother for the organization's dormitory. At first, all personnel of the organization were paid through the Community Welfare Section at the regular camp wages of $19 and $16. The administrative board was composed of evacuee and appointed personnel.

To encourage the membership of Buddhists and Catholic girls in the "Y", it was decided that the matter of religion would be left to the church and its officials. Thus, this organization was at first known in Manzanar at the Young Women's Association (YWA). The WRA allotted one barrack, Block 19, Building 15, for the office and club rooms of the YWA. Furnishings were contributed by the Japanese branch YWCA in Los Angeles, the national office, and individual YWCA branches throughout the country.

By October 1942, the YWA had established seven older girls' clubs and nine Girl Reserve clubs at Manzanar. A dormitory for single girls had also been started. The clubs began playing an active role in various community programs at the camp, including assistance to school committees and PTA groups, as well as the adult education program, Community Activities Section, and churches. That month a national secretary led a conference at the camp under the theme "To Give and Find the Best." In November the YWA played a significant role in World Fellowship Week activities at Manzanar with Miss Ruth Woodsmall, World YWCA general secretary, and Mrs. Edna Moore of the national staff present.

The Manzanar Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) was organized in the early autumn of 1942 at the request of men and boys who had been members of the YMCA before coming to Manzanar. The first meetings on organization were held in the apartment of the Chief of Community Services, and the formation of the groups was sponsored by him and aided by the girls interested in a sister organization for the YWA. A clubhouse and dormitory were assigned to the YMCA. A board, consisting of Issei and Nisei and appointed personnel, was established. Clubs were organized, and two secretaries were employed. These staff members, like those of the YWA, were at first carried on the payroll of the Community Welfare Section.

The YMCA activities at Manzanar never became as extensive as those of the YWA, primarily because young men were generally the first to leave the center on seasonal leave, trial leave, and final relocation. Thus, the YMCA leadership and membership at the camp were constantly changing.

Activities During 1942: Red Cross Unit — The first meeting to organize a Red Cross unit at Manzanar was held in April 1942. It was decided to request assistance from the Los Angeles Red Cross in establishment of the unit. Many of the evacuees in the camp had been members of various Red Cross chapters in Los Angeles before evacuation. However, Los Angeles would take no responsibility for Red Cross work in the camp. Thus, authority to organize a Red Cross unit was provided by the San Francisco area office.

By early autumn of 1942, interest in Red Cross activities at Manzanar had decreased except for request for first-aid and home-nursing classes. Home nursing was taught by a Red Cross itinerant nurse from the San Francisco area office. Camp administrators encouraged the home nursing course because women who passed the course could serve in the Manzanar hospital as nurses' aides as well as provide home nursing services for patients dismissed from the hospital. Of the 200 persons who attended these classes, several continued as nurses' aides until the hospital closed in October 1945. Several home nursing classes were taught by public health nurses at the camp. These classes were registered with the San Francisco area office, and students who passed were issued certificates.

First aid courses were encouraged by the camp administration, because there were few telephones at Manzanar and medical services were hampered by limited staff. During the fall of 1942, the center's schools required that one teacher in each block have a first aid certificate. All nursery and kindergarten teachers were required to have certificates, while firemen and policemen were encouraged to have them. Although the Red Cross unit experienced difficulty in finding teachers who were fluent in both Japanese and English or translators who could understand the subject to make teaching practical, more than 100 persons completed the first aid course. First aid and home nursing text books were sold to those taking the courses by the local Red Cross unit.


When the WRA took over administrative control of Manzanar on June 1, the organizational unit that would later become known as the Statistics Section existed as two separate units. A group of clerks in the Housing and Employment Division formed one unit, while the other, the Census Office, was an independent unit that had just been established by Washington.

Registration and Records Unit. At first, no special subdivision of the Housing and Employment Division was in charge of record keeping, but on June 18 a memorandum from the Employment Officer to an evacuee on his staff placed her in charge of a unit to be responsible for this work. During the summer of 1942, this unit was known by various names (chiefly as Personnel), but in August it became known as the Registration and Records Unit. No standards were set up for the guidance of this work either by the WRA offices in Washington or San Francisco. Thus, methods and procedures were adapted from the former office experience of the local staff.

The first records kept were family folders, family record cards, and individual cards with work classification information for the use of the Employment Section. The family folders contained documents pertaining to the family or individuals within the family group, papers concerning the release of a parolee from an internment center, travel permits, and correspondence. As each family arrived in Manzanar, it was assigned an identification number, and data regarding the group was entered by hand on a family record card (824-M). Besides the family name, head, identification number, Manzanar residence, and previous address, these cards noted family relationship, sex, citizenship, date and place of birth, schooling, and health data for each member. On the reverse side of the card was space for pre-evacuation work history and names of those required to continue at school. This information was later typed on WCCA Form R-l, a card "practically identical with 824-M except rearranged with a space for remarks." These cards contained the notation, "Old Id. #— These were numbers given groups when they-registered preparatory to evacuation, which had become known as Social Data Registration numbers.

From the beginning, the Registration and Records Unit functioned as a depository and disbursing center for information concerning evacuees to other units at Manzanar as well as various WRA offices. While a part of Housing and Employment, the unit occupied desk space in the office of the division, "a 20- by 24-foot apartment designated as 1-2-1" (Block 1, Building 2, Apartment 1). About September 1, the second-hand desks and files were moved to Block 1, Building 5, Apartment 2, where the unit became the sole occupant or a 20-foot x 20-foot apartment. The work was under the general supervision of the Employment Officer and more directly under the junior placement officer. About the time the office was moved to 1-5-2, it was placed, together with the Census, under the direction of an Employment Officer from the WRA Regional Office in San Francisco.

Census. The Census was a temporary project initiated by the WRA's Washington office to gather information about the evacuees. A mimeographed pamphlet of instructions for interviewers was prepared on May 30, and the work began in June. Appointed personnel from the Regional Office selected and trained the evacuee interviewers, and one remained for some time to supervise the work. After her departure, an evacuee was placed in charge. As of July 9, the Census employed a staff of 67 evacuees.

While the interviewing was in progress, the Census moved from block to block for the convenience of the residents. Master housing lists were compiled and maintained as a means of obtaining complete coverage of the blocks. Interviews were scheduled for all family members 14 years of age or older.

After all 36 blocks had been visited by the Census, the office was established at 1-5-1 about September 1. A selected corps of interviewers translated the occupational histories into the terms and codes used by the U.S. Employment Service and filled out an Employee Record Card for the use of the Employment Section. This service to Employment, later known as Personnel, was continued by the interviewers as long as interviewing was underway. The work was not completed until January 1943. [55]

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Last Updated: 01-Jan-2002