Thank-you Letter

Date:
6-Apr-42
Creator:
Ruth Brockhouse

Letter from Ruth Brockhouse of Emerson Junior High School to the Honda family. Personal relationships, as well as economic livelihoods were impacted by the removal of Japanese Americans. Rose Honda had turned 13 and entered 7th grade at Emerson Junior High in West Los Angeles when she received the shocking news that her family would be uprooted and confined at Manzanar. The impact of this separation affected not only Rose, but her teachers and school mates at Emerson. They took the opportunity, through this letter, to express their gratitude and respect for Rose and her family and urged her “to be Emersonian loyal to all our ideals.”

Location:
5001 Hwy. 395 Independence,California 93526
Identifier:
MANZ 0216 02-001
Institution:
Manzanar National Historic Site

Sandals [geta]

Date:
c. 1943

Geta, traditional Japanese footware, were made in camp. A cross between a clog and a sandal, the raised base kept the feet off the ground. At Manzanar, geta were commonly used to go from the barracks to the latrine buildings which might be several hundred feet away.

Description (physical):

Wood, cotton. H 24.0, W 9.5, T 4.1 cm

Location:
5001 Hwy. 395 Independence,California 93526
Identifier:
MANZ 4124
Institution:
Manzanar National Historic Site

Razor

Date:
28-Apr-05

The Manzanar Cooperative Enterprises operated a canteen and a general store which sold a variety of items, including toiletries, such as this razor.

Description (physical):

Metal. L 3.9, W 2.3, H 2.5 cm

Location:
5001 Hwy. 395 Independence,California 93526
Identifier:
MANZ 473
Institution:
Manzanar National Historic Site

Bookcase

Date:
c. 1943-1944
Creator:
Yoshihisa Yamanaka

Internees reused wood from fruit and packing crates to build furniture. To provide work opportunities for those with manual skills, the War Relocation Authority [WRA] established both a clothing and furniture factory. A homemaking and building class created a model apartment in Block 7 as part of a project they called, "How a Barracks Becomes a Home." Some people brought books but there were also several libraries in camp. The Manzanar Library expanded to include a collection of 24,000 volumes (20,000 volumes were donated by other libraries), and a periodical subscription of 157 magazines. Popular books of the time included John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath (Pulitzer 1940), and The Yearling by Majorie Kinnan Rawlings (Pulitzer 1939).

Description (physical):

Wood, plastic. H 109.2 W 49.5 D 27.9 cm

Location:
5001 Hwy. 395 Independence,California 93526
Identifier:
MANZ 3296
Institution:
Manzanar National Historic Site

Sauceboat

Creator:
Smerango China New Castle, PA

When Manzanar first opened in March 1942, internees used standard metal military mess kits. Later, dishes including Tepco china were provided to feed up to 10,000 people. Many dishes were tossed in the landfill after the war. This sauceboat carries the following lettering: "U.S.Q.M.C. Smerango China New Castle, PA."

Description (physical):

Ironstone. L 25.3, W 9.5, H 11.7 cm

Location:
5001 Hwy. 395 Independence,California 93526
Identifier:
MANZ 3291
Institution:
Manzanar National Historic Site

Vase

Date:
1940s

This vase may have contained fresh flowers as gardens were abundant around the barracks and classes were taught in the art of making silk and paper flowers.

Description (physical):

Glass. H 15.2, Dia 8.2 cm

Location:
5001 Hwy. 395 Independence,California 93526
Identifier:
MANZ 2255
Institution:
Manzanar National Historic Site

Toy Cannon

One of the ironies of camp life is illustrated by the popularity of war toys.

Description (physical):

Metal. L 8.0, W 11.0, TH 1.6 cm

Location:
5001 Hwy. 395 Independence,California 93526
Identifier:
MANZ 7508
Institution:
Manzanar National Historic Site

Dog Figurine

People were not allowed to bring their pets to camp. A few were smuggled in. Later, some local people dumped puppies and kittens along the highway, providing domestic pets in camp. Today a pet cemetery remains at Manzanar. Dogs had special significance for internees born in 1898, 1910, 1922, and 1934, the "Year of the Dog" according to the "Chinese Zodiac."

Description (physical):

L 11.9, W 4, H 6 cm

Location:
5001 Hwy. 395 Independence,California 93526
Identifier:
MANZ 4224
Institution:
Manzanar National Historic Site

Camera [replica]

Date:
c. 1980
Creator:
Archie Miyatake

Toyo Miyatake was a successful commercial photographer in Los Angeles before the World War II. When war broke out, Japanese Americans were banned from having cameras. Miyatake smuggled a lens and film holder into Manzanar and constructed a makeshift camera to look like a lunch box. Eventually, Project Director Ralph Merritt discovered that Miyatake was photographing the camp, but allowed Miyatake to continue. In his more than three years in camp, Toyo Miyatake produced about 1500 images. Archie Miyatake built this wooden box camera as an exact replica of the one his father Toyo crafted at camp.

Description (physical):

Steel, wood, aluminum. H 14, W 14, D 19 cm

Location:
5001 Hwy. 395 Independence,California 93526
Identifier:
MANZ 3331
Institution:
Manzanar National Historic Site

Manzanar Free Press Japanese Pictorial Edition

Date:
Sep-43

From the outset of its publication, many Issei internees complained that the Manzanar Free Press was irrelevant to them since they could not read English. In July, 1942 a Japanese language edition was created with but had to pass a board of censors and could only carry translations of the English edition. Eventually the policy shifted and a four page Japanese language supplement published original material with striking Japanese calligraphy and original art work as shown in the Pictorial Edition.

Description (physical):

Page 1 of 8.

Location:
5001 Hwy. 395 Independence,California 93526
Identifier:
MANZ 12345
Institution:
Manzanar National Historic Site