Photograph of Members of the Mochida Family Awaiting Evacuation

Lange

Hayward, California. Members of the Mochida family awaiting evacuation bus. Identification tags are used to aid in keeping the family unit intact during all phases of evacuation. Mochida operated a nursery and five greenhouses on a two-acre site in Eden Township. He raised snapdragons and sweet peas. Evacuees of Japanese ancestry will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration. (Department of the Interior, War Relocation Authority, 2/16/1944-6/30/1946)

Farewell to Manzanar

Lange

That night Papa burned the flag he had brought with him from Hiroshima thirty-five years earlier. It was such a beautiful piece of material, I couldn’t believe he was doing that. He burned a lot of papers too, documents, anything that might suggest he still had some connection with Japan. These precautions didn’t do him much good. He was not only an alien; he held a commercial fishing license, and in the early days of the war the FBI was picking up all such men, for fear they were somehow making contact with enemy ships off the coast. Papa himself knew it would only be a matter of time. (Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston)

An Autobiography

Lange

It was very disturbing to witness the arrival of the young army-uniformed Nisei when on leave for a visit to their families. It must have been most difficult for them to be confronted by their parents, incarcerated American citizens—a severe contradiction of the principles for which they were fighting the war. Germans and Italians of American descent were not impounded, nor was the large population of Nisei in Hawaii. It was a nightmare situation. (Ansel Adams)

Letters to Memory

Lange

History, gently you remind me and urge me back. I have told myself, since I am prone to write fiction, that history and knowing what really happened is necessary because someone has to be accountable. Yet how close can anyone get to history even if you live it? Reading these letters, I still don’t know. Stories blossom as a kaleidoscope, a space where events aggregate in infinite designs. You, Homer, hold history, its archaeology and physical evidence, with profound respect. This is the real stuff from which social systems are made.  (Karen Tei Yamashita)

The Making of a Documentary Photographer

Lange

All these proclamations, all over town, on the telephone poles. I have some of them—big proclamations telling the people where to go, announcing the fact. And then when the day of removal came they all had to be at a certain place. Part of the people in San Francisco had to be at Van Ness Avenue in one of the great big automobile salesrooms, you know. Many of those were empty at the time and they took them over. These people came, with all their luggage and their best clothes and their children dressed as though they were going to an important event. New clothes. That was characteristic. But always off in a little group by themselves were the teenage boys. They were the ones that really hurt me the most, the teenage boys who didn’t know what they were. The older people have more of a way of being very dignified in such a situation and not asking questions. But these Americanized boys, they were loud and they were rowdy and they were frightened. (Dorothea Lange)