This exhibition examines the federal internment facilities in Arizona. Two of the nation's ten Relocation Centers, Poston and Gila River, were placed on Native American lands in the state. An Isolation Center (for so-called troublemakers) was housed in what was previously a Navajo school in Leupp. A former CCC camp, in the town of Mayer, was used as an Assembly Center, and held internees from exclusion areas in Arizona who were soon sent to Poston. The Tucson Federal Prison Camp, also known as the Catalina Federal Honor Camp, and now the Gordon Hirabayshi Recreation Site, on Mount Lemmon, held the men resisting military service. A near-by guest ranch was used by the government to house officials of the Japanese Consulate in Hawaii, safeguarding these men so they could be traded for Americans captured in Axis countries.
This exhibition also includes photos and details of the Japanese American men and women who served during WWII. The Japanese American soldiers of the 100th infantry, the 442nd battalion, and the Japanese American Military Service (MIS) made invaluable contributions and incredible sacrifices defending a country that denied them and their families their constitutional rights as American citizens. Their patriotism, bravery and loyalty helped mitigate the racists feelings of many in the U.S.
Behind Barbed Wire: Japanese American Incarceration in Arizona
German soldiers surrender to riflemen of K Company, 3rd Battalion, of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team after a short but rather sharp exchange of fire. July 15, 1944. Rudy Tokiwa is the soldier shown on the extreme right
Orciano area, Italy, July 15, 1944
Poston, Arizona. A little evacuee of Japanese descent gets a ride on her brother's shoulders at this War Relocation Authority center where they are spending the duration.
Photographer: Stewart Frances
Copyright © Tucson Desert Art Museum. Permission to reproduce photos and paintings in this online catalog secured by the Tucson Desert Art Museum. All rights reserved. No portion of this online catalog may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the Tucson Desert Art Museum.