442nd Regimental Combat Team – a segregated U.S. Army regiment of primarily Japanese American soldiers. The 442nd fought in Italy, France, and Germany.
Assembly Centers – temporary detention camps maintained by the Army that held Japanese Americans who were removed from their West Coast homes. Most assembly centers were located at fairgrounds, racetracks, or former Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps. By mid 1942, Japanese Americans were transferred to more permanent war relocation centers. Assembly centers are also known as “temporary incarceration camps” and “temporary prison camps.”
Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) – a Congressional commission established in 1980 to “review the facts and circumstances surrounding Executive Order 9066” and to “recommend appropriate remedies.”
Evacuation – the term used by the Army during World War II to describe the process of removing Japanese Americans from their West Coast homes located within exclusion zones. The terms “exclusion” and “removal” are more commonly used today.
Exclusion Zones – areas described in each Civilian Exclusion Order from which all Japanese Americans were removed. Civilian Exclusion Orders were issued by the Western Defense Command and Fourth Army to implement the provisions of Executive Order 9066.
Executive Order 9066 – authorized the War Department to establish military areas from which “any or all persons may be excluded...” This order was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942 and was the basis for the removal from the West Coast of anyone with 1/16 Japanese ancestry.
Family Number – a WCCA number assigned to each family unit or individual living alone during registration for “evacuation.” The numbers were used for administrative and property identification purposes.
Hoshi Dan – short for Sokuji Kikoku Hoshi Dan, a pro-Japanese group formed in Tule Lake Segregation Center. Sokuji Kikoku Hoshi Dan translates as “Organization to Return Immediately to the Homeland to Serve.”
Immigration Act of 1924 – banned further immigration from Japan to the U.S. and restricted overall immigration.
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 – also known as the McCarran-Walter Act: the statute gave immigrants from Japan and other countries the right to apply to become naturalized U.S. citizens.
Internment Camps – administered by the Department of Justice for the detention of enemy aliens (non-citizens from countries with which the U.S. was at war) considered dangerous and a threat to national security during World War II. Also referred to as “concentration camps.”
Issei – the first generation of immigrants from Japan, most of whom came to the U.S. between 1885 and 1924. Issei were not allowed to become U.S. citizens until 1952.
Japanese American Citizen League (JACL) – the largest Japanese American political organization in the U.S. The JACL was formed in 1928 and emphasized assimilation and Americanization during World War II.
Kibei – a Japanese American (born in the U.S.) who received some or all of their formal education in Japan, then returned to the U.S.
Loyalty Questionnaire – administered in February 1943 to all Japanese Americans, aged seventeen years and older, in war relocation centers. Despite serious problems with the wording of questions 27 and 28, those who refused to answer or who answered “no” to one or both of the controversial questions were considered “disloyal” to the U.S. and were sent to Tule Lake Segregation Center in northern California. Those who answered “yes” became eligible for service in the U.S. Army and for release and resettlement to the Midwest and eastern U.S.
Military Intelligence Service (MIS) – a branch of the United States Army in which many Japanese Americans served during World War II, using their language skills in the Pacific to translate enemy documents, interrogate Japanese prisoners of war, and persuade enemy units to surrender.
Nisei – second generation Japanese Americans, U.S. citizens by birth, born to Japanese immigrants (Issei).
Non-alien – a term used by the Army during World War II to describe a U.S. citizen of Japanese ancestry. The U.S. government often referred to U.S. residents of Japanese ancestry as “aliens” and “non-aliens” rather than as “citizens” and “non-citizens.”
No-no boys – a term used for Japanese Americans who refused to answer the loyalty questionnaire or who answered “no” to questions 27 and 28.
Reception Centers – temporary areas established and maintained by the WCCA, intended to house Japanese Americans after “evacuation.” While the WCCA planned many reception centers, only one was established, Owens Valley, and it ultimately became Manzanar War Relocation Center.
Redress and reparations – terms used to refer to compensation made by the U.S. government to Japanese Americans for their wartime detention in war relocation centers. Reparations refer to monetary compensation, while redress also includes the official apology from the U.S. government.
Relocation – term used during World War II to describe the settlement of Japanese Americans who were removed from their homes into war relocation centers. “Relocation” also referred to the process of leaving war relocation centers and settling in the Midwest and East before the evacuation orders for the West Coast were lifted by the War Department.
Renunciation – the process by which more than 5,500 Japanese Americans surrendered their American citizenship during World War II. Citizens of the U.S. were permitted to renounce their citizenship under Public Law 405, signed by President Roosevelt on July 1, 1944.
Repatriation – the process by which Japanese Americans returned to Japan during World War II. Repatriation was also used to refer to Japanese Americans who were exchanged for Americans held in Japan.
Resettlement – the term used by the WRA to describe the process for Japanese Americans to migrate from war relocation centers to the Midwest and East before the evacuation orders were lifted. The term was also used to refer to the return of Japanese Americans to the West Coast after the evacuation orders were lifted in January 1945.
Sansei – third generation Japanese Americans; children of the Nisei and grandchildren of the Issei..
Segregation – the removal of Japanese Americans considered “disloyal” because of their answers to the loyalty questionnaire from the war relocation centers to Tule Lake, California which became a “segregation center” on July 31, 1943.
Voluntary Resettlement – the “voluntary” moving and resettlement of Japanese Americans from designated West Coast military areas. Voluntary resettlement occurred for a three-week period in March 1942 after the exclusion of Japanese Americans from the West Coast and before the creation of war relocation centers.
War Relocation Authority (WRA) – the government agency responsible for the administration of the War Relocation Centers where Japanese Americans were held during World War II. The WRA was created by Executive Order 9102 on March 18, 1942. It was an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
War Relocation Centers – the term used by the WRA to describe the camps in which most Japanese Americans were held during World War II. The WRA administered ten such centers, most surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by military police. War Relocation centers are also referred to as “incarceration camps,” “prison camps,” “internment camps,” and “concentration camps.”
Wartime Civilian Control Administration (WCCA) – a “civilian affairs” branch of the Western Defense Command (part of the War Department established to oversee the defense of the U.S. West Coast). Established on March 11, 1942 by General Order No. 34, the WCCA supervised the removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast as part of their responsibilities for the “formulation of policies, plans and directives” pertaining to “control and exclusion of civilians” during World War II.
For more information on Tule Lake, please call (530) 260-0537 or visit www.nps.gov/tule
Last updated: September 16, 2021