During World War II, approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans were evacuated from theirhomes and businesses to internment camps scattered throughout the interior of the United States.Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in February of 1942, ordered thatall Japanese Americans be evacuated from the West Coast. This order was carried out quickly, asJapanese Americans from all of California, Arizona, Oregon and Washington, sold what they couldnot carry and boarded trains to 16 assembly centers. There they would live in temporary housing formuch of the spring and summer of 1942 until permanent camps were built. These permanentinternment camps were constructed in rural areas where life was made more difficult by the harsh
temperatures and desert and swamp-like environments. The barracks where the JapaneseAmericans would have to live were hastily built without consideration for the brutal climate or theneed for privacy. In these conditions, surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards, the JapaneseAmericans would live until the end of the war approximately 3 years later. This exhibit, on permanent display at the Japanese American Resource Center in San Jose,California’s Japantown, depicts the internment camp life of the many local Santa Clara ValleyJapanese Americans who were interned. This exhibit, not only displays some of the difficulties theyexperienced, but also the Japanese Americans’ efforts to recreate some part of the life they had leftbehind.