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United States War Relocation Authority Reports, 1942-1946

By Trevor Sandgathe

Collection Overview

Title: United States War Relocation Authority Reports, 1942-1946

ID: MSS WRA

Primary Creator: United States. War Relocation Authority

Extent: 0.5 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The United States War Relocation Authority Reports are arranged into four series: Series 1: Community Analysis Reports, 1942-1946; Series 2: Community Analysis Notes, 1944-1945; Series 3: Project Analysis Series, 1943-1946; and Series 4: Quarterly and Semi-Annual Reports, 1942-1946.

Date Acquired: 00/00/2016

Languages of Materials: English [eng]

Abstract

The United States War Relocation Authority Reports are comprised of more than fifty mimeographed reports  detailing the operation of War Relocation Authority (WRA) internment camps used to house Japanese American internees during World War II. These reports analyze social, behavioral, and linguistic trends in the camps, document the traditions and customs of internees, and explore logistical issues including unrest in the camps and resettlement. The collection also includes a series of quarterly and semi-annual reports featuring detailed documentation of the activities of the WRA.

Scope and Content Notes

The United States War Relocation Authority Reports are comprised of four sets of mimeographed reports: Community Analysis Reports, Community Analysis Notes, a Project Analysis Series, and Quarterly and Semi-Annual Reports. Series 1 through 3 were produced by the War Relocation Authority's (WRA) Community Analysis Section (CAS). CAS was predominately staffed by sociologists and anthropologists who studied the Japanese internment camps and their internees. These reports reflect the interests of CAS and include topics such as Japanese culture in the United States (organizations, holidays, healing practices, and religion); internee behavior including participation in WRA programs,  assimilation, and unrest; resettlement; and white American attitudes toward internees. Also included are detailed reports on the operations and challenges faced by individual camps.

Series 4 is comprised of bound reports created by the WRA to document its activities at a high level. These reports include budgetary data, information about camp organization and operation, reports on internee behavior, and population data, among other topics. Many of these reports are supplemented with maps, organizational charts, and other data visualizations.

Biographical / Historical Notes

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States Western Defense Command created two "exclusion zones," encompassing all of California and large portions of Washington, Oregon, and Arizona. Because of the perceived security threat posed by individuals of Japanese ancestry within these zones, Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from these zones and relocated to internment camps.

In March 1942, the War Relocation Authority (WRA) was created by executive order to oversee the internment of Japanese Americans removed from the exclusion zone. That spring, more than 100,000 Japanese Americans were relocated to ten WRA-operated internment camps located on public lands in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. These camps were typically crude and lacking in many basic amenities. Work opportunities were available for many internees, but compensation was minimal. Education programs were offered in the camps, often with the intent to foster pro-American sentiments among the interned population.

The Community Analysis Section (CAS) of the WRA was established in 1943. It was composed of social scientists assigned to study the functioning of the internees within the camps. The CAS staff took a broad approach to the analysis of the camps and produced reports on a wide variety of topics including customs within the camps, self-government, education, language learning, labor, religion, and conflict, among others.

The exclusion zone was eliminated in January 1945 and the WRA began closing camps in October of that year. The WRA was officially eliminated on June 26, 1946.



Author: Trevor Sandgathe

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 2 boxes

Statement on Access: This collection is open for use.

Physical Access Note: Many of the items in this collection are printed on brittle paper susceptible to damage. Handling and scanning access may be limited accordingly.

Acquisition Note: The United States War Relocation Authority Reports were transferred from the OSU Libraries general holdings to the Special Collections and Archives Research Center in December 2016.

Related Materials:

Materials related to Japanese American internment during World War II can be found in the Japanese-American Association of Lane County, Oregon, Oral History Collection (OH 015). The OSU Sesquicentennial Oral History Collection (OH 026) includes an interview with Aya Fujii in which she describes her experience as an internee and an interview with Andy Landforce during which he describes the impact of internment on Japanese American students at Oregon State College.  Additional materials documenting the operation of the War Relocation Authority can be found in the general OSU Libraries holdings. The Mildred and Frank Miles Scrapbook of the Santo Tomas Internment Camp (MSS Miles) documents the experience of Americans interned at a Japanese camp in the Philippines.

Other collections with materials related to World War II include the Wesley Ross Memoir of World War II (MSS RossW), the Oregon State College History of World War II Project Records (MSS OSCWW2), the Oregon State Yank Collection (MSS Yank), and the Oregon State University Military Photographs Collection (P 002).

Preferred Citation: United States War Relocation Authority Reports (MSS WRA), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Creators

United States. War Relocation Authority

People, Places, and Topics

Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945.
United States. War Relocation Authority
World War, 1939-1945--Prisoners and prisons, Japanese.


Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: Community Analysis Reports, 1942-1946

Series 1 is comprised of 19 Community Analysis Reports generated by the WRA's Community Analysis Section (CAS) between 1942 and 1946. The series is comprised of reports on a broad set of issues facing the internees and camp administrators. Topics include cultural activities, religion, education, labor, assimilation, unrest in the centers, and reintegration (including analysis of community attitudes in California and Hood River, Oregon). The authors of the reports are largely anonymous, though the first two reports are attributed to anthropologist John F. Embree.The series also includes a six-part annotated bibliography of CAS reports.

Reports 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, and 12 include cover letters authored by Dillon S. Myer, Director of the WRA. Report 7 includes a cover letter from Leland Barrows, Acting Director. A stamp on Report 11 indicates it was circulated to the Heart Mountain War Relocation Center.

Box-Folder 1.1: Report No. 1: "Dealing with Japanese Americans", October 1942
Box-Folder 1.2: Report No. 2: "Causes of Unrest at Relocation Centers", 1942
Box-Folder 1.3: Report No. 3: "Japanese Groups and Associations in the United States", March 1943
Box-Folder 1.4: Report No. 4: "Notes on Japanese Holidays", April 2, 1943
Box-Folder 1.5: Report No. 5: "Evacuee Resistance to Relocation", June 1943
Box-Folder 1.6: Report No. 6: "Nisei Assimilation", July 21, 1943
Box-Folder 1.7: Report No. 7: "An Analysis of the Segregation Program", October 16, 1943
Box-Folder 1.8: Report No. 8: "Japanese Americans Educated in Japan", January 28, 1944
Box-Folder 1.9: Report No. 9: "Buddhism in the United States", May 15, 1944
Box-Folder 1.10: Report No. 10: "Labor Relations in Relocation Centers", October 28, 1944
Box-Folder 1.11: Report No. 11: "Exploratory Survey of California Attitudes Toward the Return of the Japanese", April 4, 1945
Box-Folder 1.12: Report No. 12: "Effect of the Housing Shortage on Central Valley, California", May 14, 1945
Box-Folder 1.13: Report No. 13: "Prejudice in Hood River Valley: A Case Study in Race Relations", June 6, 1945
Box-Folder 1.14: Report No. 14: "Annotated Bibliography of the Community Analysis Section, Part I: Community Analysis Trend Reports from the Relocation Centers", November 19, 1945
Box-Folder 1.15: Report No. 15: "Annotated Bibliography of the Community Analysis Section, Part II: Community Analysis Mimeographed Series", February 28, 1946
Box-Folder 1.16: Report No. 16: "Annotated Bibliography of the Community Analysis Section, Part III: Community Analysis Reports from the Central Utah, Jerome, Rohwer, Gila River, and Heart Mountain Relocation Centers", February 7, 1946
Box-Folder 1.17: Report No. 17: "Annotated Bibliography of the Community Analysis Section, Part IV: Community Analysis Reports from Granada, Minidoka, and Manzanar Relocation Centers", April 23, 1946
Box-Folder 1.18: Report No. 18: "Annotated Bibliography of the Community Analysis Section, Part V: Community Analysis Reports from Colorado River and Tule Lake Centers", 1946
Box-Folder 1.19: Report No. 19: "Annotated Bibliography of the Community Analysis Section, Part VI: Washington Community Analysis Section Reports", June 30, 1946
Series 2: Community Analysis Notes, 1944-1945
Series 2 is composed of 14 "notes" published by the Community Analysis Section (CAS) between 1944 and 1945. The notes are short reports on a variety of subjects including marriage customs, healing practices, and "block" organization within the camps. The notes series includes several reports documenting interviews with internees. It also includes a series of reports on areas within the exclusion zone including Fresno County, Imperial Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area, and San Joaquin County.
Box-Folder 1.20: Note No. 1: "From a Nisei Who Said 'No'", January 15, 1944
Box-Folder 1.21: Note No. 2: "Engagement and Marriage Customs in a Relocation Center", February 29, 1944
Box-Folder 1.22: Note No. 3: "Traditional Japanese Therapeutics Practiced at Minidoka", April 7, 1944
Box-Folder 1.23: Note No. 4: "Social and Political Organization of the Block at Manzanar", March 7, 1944
Box-Folder 1.24: Note No. 5: "A Nisei Requests Expatriation", November 10, 1944
Box-Folder 1.25: Note No. 6: "Biography of a Nisei Celery Farmer from Venice, California", December 11, 1944
Box-Folder 1.26: Note No. 7: "Nisei Report on Their Adjustment to Tule Lake", December 20, 1944
Box-Folder 1.27: Note No. 8: "West Coast Localities: Sacramento County and City", March 1, 1945
Box-Folder 1.28: Note No. 10: "Boys' Day", March 13, 1945
Box-Folder 1.29: Note No. 11: "West Coast Localities: Fresno County", April 2, 1945
Box-Folder 1.30: Note No. 12: "West Coast Localities: Imperial Valley", April 9, 1945
Box-Folder 1.31: Note No. 13: "West coast Localities: San Francisco Bay Area", April 9, 1945
Box-Folder 1.32: Note No. 14: "West Coast Localities: San Joaquin County", April 16, 1945
Box-Folder 1.33: Note No. 15: "A Lexicon of Center Terms", July 18, 1945
Series 3: Project Analysis Series Reports, 1943-1946

Series 3 is comprised of 23 Project Analysis Series reports produced by the Community Analysis section. Topics include registration processes, security, resettlement, social structures, linguistics, and incidents of unrest in the camps. Report 21 is attributed to Margaret L. Latnis. Reports 23 and 24 are attributed to G. Gordon Brown and J. Ralph McFaring, respectively. Report 7 was circulated to the Poston War Relocation Center and Report 21 was received by the Heart Mountain War Relocation Center.

This series also includes a memorandum to the head project director concerning the Project Analysis Series.

Box-Folder 1.34: Report No. 1: "Registration at Central Utah: 14-17, February, 1943", February 1943
Box-Folder 1.35: Report No. 2: "Army Registration at Granada", March 19, 1943
Box-Folder 1.36: Report No. 3: "Registration at Manzanar", April 3, 1943
Box-Folder 1.37: Report No. 4: "The Fence at Minidoka", April 1943
Box-Folder 1.38: Report No. 5: "Preliminary Evaluation of the Resettlement Program at Jerome Relocation Center", May 1943
Box-Folder 1.39: Report No. 6: "Report on an Unorganized Relocation Center", June 1943
Box-Folder 1.40: Report No. 7: "Notes on Some Religious Cults at Topaz", June 15, 1943
Box-Folder 1.41: Report No. 8: "Factors Influencing Low Enrollment in Certain Adult Education Courses", July 1943
Box-Folder 1.42: Report No. 9: "Preliminary Survey of Resistances to Resettlement at Tule Lake Relocation Center", June 23, 1943
Box-Folder 1.43: Report No. 10: "English Words in Current Use at Minidoka Center That Have Been Given a 'Japanized-English' Pronunciation or Have Been Translated into a Japanese Equivalent", July 1943
Box-Folder 1.44: Report No. 11: "Notes on Evacuee Family Patterns", November 24, 1943
Box-Folder 1.45: Report No. 12: "Studies of Segregants at Manzanar", February 3, 1944
Box-Folder 1.46: Report No. 13: "A Preliminary Survey of the Boilermen's Dispute at Minidoka", March 3, 1944
Box-Folder 1.47: Report No. 14: "The Tule Lake Incident", March 27, 1944
Box-Folder 1.48: Report No. 15: "The Reaction of Heart Mountain to the Opening of Selective Service to Nisei", April 1, 1944
Box-Folder 1.49: Report No. 16: "The Significant Factors in Requests for Repatriation and Expatriation", April 19, 1944
Box-Folder 1.50: Report No. 17: "Relocation at Rohwer Center, Part I: The Relocated Population", July 24, 1944
Box-Folder 1.51: Report No. 18: "Relocation at Rohwer Center, Part II: Issei Relocation Problems", September 2, 1944
Box-Folder 1.52: Report No. 19: "Community Government in the Relocation Centers, Part I: One Year of Community Government at the Gila River Relocation Center", November 6, 1944
Box-Folder 1.53: Report No. 21: "Relocation at Rohwer Center, Part IV: Prospects for Resettlement of Rohwer Farmers", February 22, 1945
Box-Folder 1.54: Report No. 22: "A Typical Block at Tule Lake Center", April 17, 1945
Box-Folder 1.55: Report No. 23: "Final Report on the Gila River Relocation Center as of May 20, 1945", September 24, 1945
Box-Folder 1.56: Report No. 24: "Stresses and Strains of Center Life", February 20, 1946
Box-Folder 1.57: Memoranda to Wade Head, Project Director, re: Project Analysis Series, May 11, 1943
Series 4: Quarterly and Semi-Annual Reports, 1942-1946
Series 4 is comprised of 10 bound quarterly and semi-annual reports documenting the activities of the War Relocation Authority from its genesis in 1942 to its dissolution in 1946. The reports include information on the WRA's work and educational programs, camp organization and operation, activities and behavior of internees, population data, property issues, unrest, and camp management, among other topics. The reports also include organizational charts, timelines, maps, graphs, and data tables detailing the work of the WRA. The first two reports in this series also include manuscript annotations.
Box 2
Item 1: "First Quarterly Report: March 18 to June 30, 1942", 1942
Item 2: "Second Quarterly Report: July 1 to September 30, 1942", 1942
Item 3: "Quarterly Report: October 1 to December 31, 1942", 1943
Item 4: "Semi-Annual Report: January 1 to June 30, 1946", 1946
Item 5: "Semi-Annual Report: January 1 to June 30, 1943", 1943
Item 6: "Semi-Annual Report: July 1 to December 31, 1943", 1944
Item 7: "Semi-Annual Report: January 1 to June 30, 1944", 1944
Item 8: "Semi-Annual Report: July 1 to December 31, 1944", 1945
Item 9: "Semi-Annual Report: January 1 to June 30, 1945", 1945
Item 10: "Semi-Annual Report: July 1 to December 31, 1945", 1946

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