Information sur la source Nippo-américains déportés durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, États-Unis, 1942 à 1946 [base de données en ligne]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2005.
Données originales : Japanese-American Internee Data File, 1942-1946 [Archival Database]; Records About Japanese Americans Relocated During World War II, 1988-1989; Records of the War Relocation Authority, Record Group 210; National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD.

 Nippo-américains déportés durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, États-Unis, 1942 à 1946

Cette base de données contient les informations collectées par le War Relocation Authority (WRA) sur les plus de 100 000 Nippo-américains qui ont été déportés durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Ces Nippo-américains, déportés des États de Washington, de l’Oregon et de la Californie on été incarcéré dans des Centres de relogement.

About the U.S., Japanese Americans Relocated During World War II, 1942-1946

General collection information

This collection contains information collected by the War Relocation Authority (WRA) on more than 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry who were forcibly detained during World War II. Information was collected on individual records, referred to as Form WRA-26, and used to conduct various statistical reports. The data from Form WRA-26 was coded onto computer punch cards by detainees at the Tule Lake detention center.

People of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast were forcibly removed from their homes and placed in the following incarceration camps:

  • Colorado River Center (aka Poston), Arizona
  • Gila River Center, Arizona
  • Rohwer Center, Arkansas
  • Jerome Center, Arkansas
  • Tule Lake Center, California
  • Manzanar Center, California
  • Granada Center (aka Amache), Colorado
  • Minidoka Center, Idaho
  • Central Utah Center (aka Topaz), Utah
  • Heart Mountain Center, Wyoming
  • Using this collection

    Records in the collection may include the following details:

  • Name of detainee
  • Name of "relocation project" and "assembly center"
  • Sex
  • Occupation
  • Marital status
  • Birth year
  • Age
  • Birthplace
  • Race(s) of detainee and spouse
  • Previous address
  • Birthplace of parents
  • Father's occupation
  • Religion
  • Level of education
  • Whether attended Japanese language school
  • Language proficiency
  • Foreign residence
  • Indication of military service
  • Public assistance received
  • Pensions
  • Physical disabilities
  • "Alien" registration number and/or Social Security Number
  • There were multiple types of incarceration sites and your family member was likely to have been detained in multiple locations. Detainees first went to "Assembly Centers"–temporary sites used while the long-term camps were built. These temporary sites included:

  • Mayer, Arizona
  • Fresno, California
  • Merced, California
  • Maryville, California
  • Pinedale, California
  • Pomona, California
  • Sacramento, California
  • Santa Anita, California
  • Stockton, California
  • Tanforan, California
  • Tulare, California
  • Turlock, California
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Puyallup, Washington
  • Depending on their perceived status, detainees may also have been sent to immigration detention stations, Department of Justice Internment Camps, U.S. Army Internment Camps, Citizen Isolation Centers, or U.S. Federal Prisons. Knowing where your family member was sent can tell you much about their experience. For example, after the controversial "loyalty questions" 27 and 28 of 1943, Tule Lake Camp became a "segregation center" where those who were considered "disloyal" were held. Many "dissidents" simply answered a poorly written questionnaire in a way that the government branded them disloyal.

    While highly unusual, there were people of Japanese heritage who managed to avoid the incarceration camps. If you can't find a record, consider whether your family member may have volunteered for military service, attended one of the few colleges that didn't racially disqualify students, moved to areas outside the "exclusion zone," or lived in Hawaii. While people of Japanese descent in Hawaii during this time faced additional discrimination and restrictions, most Japanese Hawaiians were spared mass incarceration. Despite this, over a thousand Hawaii-born Japanese and Japanese immigrant leaders were incarcerated in the islands and on the US continent.

    If your family member was born in 1942, you may find their records in this collection. After 1942, records were generally not created for those born in camps though they are listed in documents such as the Final Accountability Rosters, available in the Ancestry collection.

    Please note, that the terms in this collection are from the original government documents, which often diminished the hardships faced by those in these records and may include offensive language.

    Collection in context

    Immediately after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Japanese immigrants, who like all Asian immigrants were barred from becoming naturalized, were classified as "enemy aliens" and thousands were immediately arrested by the Department of Justice and local law enforcement agencies and taken to inland internment camps. German and Italian immigrants who had not naturalized were also considered enemy aliens and subject to the same loss of freedoms.

    On February 19, 1942, about two months later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 that led to the incarceration of all people of Japanese descent on the West Coast. Most were U.S. citizens by birth. Altogether, more than 120,000 persons of Japanese descent, citizens and non-citizens, were incarcerated.

    People of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast were forced out of their homes with only a week to gather what they could carry. They were taken to incarceration camps, where they were met with barbed wire fences, communal living spaces with little-to-no privacy, extreme temperatures, and food shortages. Many were even initially forced to sleep on dirt floors.

    To combat the hardships of the camps, they established newspapers, markets, and schools. Some camps also had post offices, work facilities, and land to grow food and raise livestock. Detainees protested when there were food shortages and overcrowded living conditions. Most people of Japanese ancestry remained incarcerated in these camps throughout the war, and it took several months after the war ended for the last camps to be closed in March 1946. Some Japanese Americans were released to serve in the U.S. military, and others were allowed to attend college in the midwest and east coast.

    Japanese Americans lost about $400 million in property during their four years of internment. In 1948, the U.S. government paid $38 million in reparations. In 1988, after a long campaign led by incarcerees and their descendants, the government began paying $20,000 to each surviving detainee. Japanese Latin Americans who were forcibly removed from their homes and sent to the United States were excluded from these reparations, although many stayed in the country after being released. A 1982 Congressional study found that the incarceration camp system was based on a false premise because there was never evidence of espionage or sabotage by Japanese Americans during the war. The Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Citizens, appointed by the U.S. Congress, said the broad historical causes of incarceration were "race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership."


    Densho. "Assembly Centers." Last Modified August 24, 2020.

    Densho. "Form WRA-26." Last Modified August 10, 2022.

    Densho. "WWII Incarceration: Part Three." Last Modified June 8, 2023. "Japanese Internment Camps." Last Modified October 29, 2021.

    Ho, Connie. "Enlisting to Escape Internment: A Japanese American's Story." Discover Nikkei. Last Modified July 30, 2013.

    Hunter, Brittany. "The Government's Internment of Japanese Americans Was A Grave Violation of Human Rights." Pacific Legal Foundation. Last Modified May 13, 2021.

    Library of Congress. "Behind the Wire." Accessed October 5, 2023.

    National Archives. "Japanese-Americans Incarceration During World War II." Last Modified January 24, 2022.

    National Archives. "Series Description - Record Group 210." Accessed October 4, 2023.

    National World War II Museum. "Japanese American Incarceration." Last Modified February 18, 2022.

    National World War II Museum. "The Return of Japanese Americans to the West Coast in 1945." Last Modified March 26, 2021.

    National Park Service. "Tule Lake." Last Modified August 14, 2022.

    National Park Service. "A Brief History of Japanese American Relocation During World War II." Last Modified March 20, 2023.

    UCI Libraries. "The War Within." Last Modified 2008.