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The Journal of San Diego History
SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY
Summer 1996, Volume 42, Number 3
Richard W. Crawford, Editor

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Cover image

Cover image: A vista of Poston, Camp III as it appeared in the autumn of 1942 just after the arrival of the San Diego Nikkei.

Page 126. Map of the western United States with the locations of the WRA Assembly Centers, Internment Camps and Detention Centers.

Page 128. Lt. General John L. DeWitt (far left), Commander of the Fourth U.S. Army, was one of the leading personalities involved in the decision to expel all West Coast Nikkei. Courtesy Hearst Newspaper Collection, Special Collections, University of Southern California Library.

Page 129. After four months detention at the Santa Anita Assembly Center San Diego’s Nikkei community entrained for the journey to Poston.

Page 130. With Poston’s construction behind schedule the evacuees were pressed into completing what were to be their new homes.

Tetsuo Hirasaki's first letter

Page 131. A portion Tetsuo Hirasaki’s first letter from Poston to his friend, city librarian Clara Breed.

Page 132. The block plan for the ten War Relocation Authority centers, including Poston, tended to follow a standardized model.

Page 133. Tetsuo Hirasaki illustrates the ground plan of Block 322 at Poston, and describes his first meal for Clara Breed.

Page 135. While family living spaces at Poston were slightly larger than those at Santa Anita, conditions remained crowded and crude.

Page 137. Former members of San Diego’s Japanese Congregational Church gather on Easter, 1945. Front row center in dark suit, Reverend Kenji Kikuchi with his wife Yoshiko to his right.

Page 138. School dances and scouting were popular youth activities at Poston as parents endeavored to provide for their children’s environment behind the barbed wire.

Page 138. School dances and scouting were popular youth activities at Poston as parents endeavored to provide for their children’s environment behind the barbed wire.

Page 139. Mrs. Francis Cushman; standing center, fought long and ultimately successfully for the accreditation of Poston’s high school.

Page 140. Work passes were available for Parker on a daily basis, but Parker was distinctly unfriendly when it came to residents of Poston.

Page 141. Top: The sign painted on the front of Parker’s Grand View Hotel remained in place until the building burned to the ground in 1973. Above: A view of Block 322’s utility buildings in September, 1942 just after the San Diego Nikkei moved in.

Page 141. Top: The sign painted on the front of Parker’s Grand View Hotel remained in place until the building burned to the ground in 1973. Above: A view of Block 322’s utility buildings in September, 1942 just after the San Diego Nikkei moved in.

Page 142. Built of native adobe bricks by evacuee labor, Camp III’s high school auditorium became the center of youth and community activities.

Page 145. On January 19,1943 San Diego’s Buddhist Temple sustained extensive damage when a fire was set to cover a break-in and theft of evacuee property stored there.

Page 149. An Issei Gold Star Mother receives her son’s posthumous Silver Star at a Poston ceremony..

Page 150. Private John Ono with a friend at Poston III just prior to his departure for Europe where he would be awarded a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts for gallantry in action.

Page 151. Mail from Issei fathers held at INS and Justice Department facilities frequently arrived at Poston heavily censored.

Page 152. Hachisaku and Osamu Asakawa, who operated the tea house in Balboa Park before the war, stand with friends Yutaka and Hama Fujii in front of their Poston III residence, 1945.

Page 154. Opposite: The degree of the anti-Nikkei editorial posture assumed by the San Diego Union can be seen in this editorial protesting the impending release of Nikkei from the camps.

Page 156. The formal text of the San Diego City Council’s resolution decrying the WRA’s proposed release policy

Page 161. In 1945 the road out of Poston, and towards San Diego, began with a twenty-five mile bus trip to the rail head in Parker.

Page 162. Each camp at Poston was encouraged to grow their own vegetables to supplement the mess hall menus.

Page 163. By 1944 the residents of Camp III had made the desert bloom.

Page 166-167. On October 6, 1992; fifty years after the exile, an evacuee financed and built monument was dedicated on the site of Poston’s camp headquarters.