Camp Activists

Some Japanese Americans resisted their incarceration. 
 
Some refused to register for the draft, and some refused to pledge loyalty to the United States. Others renounced their American citizenship. Many participated in strikes and demonstrations within the camps. Many considered disloyal or troublemakers were sent to a higher-security segregation center inside the Tule Lake camp in California.
Draft resisters from the Heart Mountain camp in Wyoming, 1944
Courtesy of Department of Special Collections and University Archives, University Library, California State University, Sacramento
Tule Lake resisters board buses for deportation, around 1944.
Courtesy of National Archives
The War Relocation Authority asked adult camp residents to complete this questionnaire. Those who answered “No” to either Question 27 or Question 28 (known as No-Nos) were considered disloyal to the United States and sent to the higher-security camp at Tule Lake. Due to its provocative loyalty questions, the form built resentment and spurred resistance among camp residents. 

Iwao and Fusako Shimizu tried to renounce their American citizenship and return to Japan. They were branded as disloyal and sent to the Tule Lake Segregation Center.

This handmade New Year’s card shows the Shimizu’s return address from the Crystal City, Texas, camp complete with the block, barrack, and apartment number.