High-Security Camps

Arts and crafts were useful for filling idle time in prison and relocation camps. Even those who objected to their treatment and were sent to higher security camps or even federal prisons, found time to tinker.

Chiura Obata’s painting depicts James Wakasa being shot to death while walking near the fence in the Topaz camp in Utah; Wakasa was hard of hearing, and did not hear orders to stop shouted from the guard tower.
Joe Yamakido, a draft resister from the Jerome camp, made this belt from cigarette wrapper cellophane and aluminum foil while in federal prison in Texarkana, Texas.
Jingo Takeuchi, a Japanese language instructor was arrested March 1942 and sent to an enemy alien camp run by the Department of Justice in Sante Fe, New Mexico. His wife and four youngest sons were sent to the Topaz camps in Utah. After two years of appeals, the Takeuchi’s were finally reunited at the family incarceration camp in Crystal City, Texas. Takeuchi made these traditional Japanese geta sandals for his nine-year-old son Goro while they were separated.