Skip to main content

Landscapes of Japanese American Internment

Abstract

The archaeology of Japanese and Japanese American internment has burgeoned in recent years, in large part developing out of research conducted by the National Park Service, and, to a more limited extent, cultural resource management firms and archaeologists working within the context of academia. This article places these previously conducted research projects in dialogue by looking at the challenges inherent in studying both demographically large and small internment camps. In particular, it focuses on the challenge of reconstructing context and provenience information, as well as consumption and depositional practices within internment camps.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Beisaw, April M., and James G. Gibb (editors) 2009 The Archaeology of Institutional Life. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

  2. Branton, Nicole Louise 2000 Rice Bowls and Resistance: Cultural Persistence at the Manzanar War Relocation Center, California, 1942–1945. Master’s thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson.

    Google Scholar 

  3. 2004 Drawing the Line: Places of Power in the Japanese-American Internment Eventscape. Doctoral dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson. University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, MI.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Brown, Kate 1996 The Eclipse of History: Japanese America and a Treasure Chest of Forgetting. Public Culture 9(1):69–91.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Buchli, Victor, and Gavin Lucas 2001a Presencing Absence. In Archaeologies of the Contemporary Past, Victor Buchli and Gavin Lucas, editors, pp. 171–174. Routledge, New York, NY.

    Google Scholar 

  6. 2001b The Absent Present: Archaeologies of the Contemporary Past. In Archaeologies of the Contemporary Past, Victor Buchli and Gavin Lucas, editors, pp. 3–18. Routledge, New York, NY.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Burton, Jeffery F. 1996 Three Farewells to Manzanar: The Archeology of Manzanar National Historic Site, California. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Western Archeological and Conservation Center, Publications in Anthropology 67. Tucson, AZ.

    Google Scholar 

  8. 2002 The Archaeology of Block 8, Manzanar National Historic Site. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Western Archeological and Conservation Center, Tucson, AZ.

  9. 2005a Archaeological Investigations at the Administration Block and Entrance, Manzanar National Historic Site. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Western Archeological and Conservation Center, Tucson, AZ.

  10. 2005b The Fate of Things: Archeological Investigations at the Minidoka Relocation Center Dump, Jerome County, Idaho. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Western Archeological and Conservation Center, Publications in Anthropology 90. Tucson, AZ.

  11. Burton, Jeffrey F., and Mary M. Farrell 2001 This is Minidoka: An Archeological Survey of Minidoka Internment National Monument, Idaho. National Park Service, Department of the Interior, Western Archeological and Conservation Center, Publications in Anthropology 80. Tucson, AZ.

    Google Scholar 

  12. 2007 World War II Japanese American Internment Sites in Hawai’i. Trans-Sierran Archaeological Research, Tucson, AZ.

    Google Scholar 

  13. 2013 “Life in Manzanar Where There Is a Spring Breeze”: Graffiti at a World War II Japanese American Internment. In Prisoners of War: Archaeology, Memory, and Heritage of 19th and 20th Century Mass Internment, Harold Mytum and Gilly Carr, editors, pp. 239–269. Springer, New York, NY.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  14. 2014 A Place of Beauty and Serenity: Excavation and Restoration of the Arai Family Fish Pond. National Park Service, Manzanar National Historic Site, Manzanar, CA.

  15. Burton, Jeffery F., Mary M. Farrell, Richard W. Lord, and Florence B. Lord 1999 Confinement and Ethnicity: An Overview of World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites. University of Washington Press, Seattle.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Burton, Jeffery F., Jeremy D. Haines, and Mary M. Farrell 2001 I Rei To: Archeological Investigations at the Manzanar Relocation Center Cemetery, Manzanar National Historic Site, California. National Park Service, Department of the Interior, Western Archeological and Conservation Center, Publications in Anthropology 79. Tucson, AZ.

    Google Scholar 

  17. 2011 The Utility of Comparative Research in Historical Archaeology. In Historical Archaeology and the Importance of Material Things II, Julie M. Schablitsky and Mark P. Leone, editors, pp. 13–28. Society for Historical Archaeology, Special Publication Series No. 9. California, PA.

    Google Scholar 

  18. 2013 The Archaeology of Citizenship. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

  19. Carr, Gilly, and Harold Mytum (editors) 2012 Cultural Heritage and Prisoners of War: Creativity behind Barbed Wire. Routledge, New York, NY.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Casella, Eleanor Conlin 2007 The Archaeology of Institutional Confinement. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Clark, Bonnie J. 2008 Artifact versus Relic: Ethics and the Archaeology of the Recent Past. Anthropology News 49(7):23.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 2010 The Tangible History of Amache, Phase II: Archaeology Research Design and Methodology for Field Investigations, Summer 2010. Manuscript, Department of Anthropology, University of Denver, Denver, CO.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Daniels, Roger 1993 Prisoners without Trial: Japanese Americans in World War II. Hill & Wang, New York, NY.

    Google Scholar 

  24. 2004 Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigrants since 1882. Hill & Wang, New York, NY.

    Google Scholar 

  25. De Cunzo, Lu Ann 2009 The Future of the Archaeology of Institutions. In The Archaeology of Institutional Life, April M. Beisaw and James G. Gibb, editors, pp. 206–213. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Farrell, Mary M., and Jeffrey F. Burton 2004 Civil Rights and Moral Wrongs: World War II Japanese American Relocation Sites. SAA Archaeological Record 4(5):22–25.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Francks, Penelope 2009 The Japanese Consumer: An Alternative Economic History of Modern Japan. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Francks, Penelope, and Janet Hunter (editors) 2012 The Historical Consumer: Consumption and Everyday Life in Japan, 1850–2000. Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK.

  29. Hall, Martin 2000 Archaeology and the Modern World: Colonial Transcripts in South Africa and the Chesapeake. Routledge, London, UK.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Hanley, Susan B. 1997 Everyday Things in Premodern Japan: The Hidden Legacy of Material Culture. University of California Press, Berkeley.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Harrison, Faye 1995 The Persistent Power of “Race” in the Cultural and Political Economy of Racism. Annual Review of Anthropology 24:47–74.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Hirabayashi, James 1994 “Concentration Camp” or “Relocation Center”: What’s in a Name? Japanese American National Museum Quarterly 9(3):5–10.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Hodder, Ian 2001 Epilogue. In Archaeologies of the Contemporary Past, Victor Buchli and Gavin Lucas, editors, pp. 189–191. Routledge, New York, NY.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Johnson, Matthew 1996 An Archaeology of Capitalism. Blackwell, Oxford, UK.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Kamp-Whittaker, April 2010 Through the Eyes of a Child: The Archaeology of WWII Japanese American Internment at Amache. Master’s thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Denver, Denver, CO.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Leone, Mark P., and Parker B. Potter, Jr. (editors) 1999 Historical Archaeologies of Capitalism. Kluwer Academic/Plenum, New York, NY.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  37. Lyon, Cherstin M. 2012 Prisons and Patriots: Japanese American Wartime Citizenship, Civil Disobedience, and Historical Memory. Temple University Press, Philadelphia, PA.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Majewski, Teresa 1996 Historical Ceramics. In Three Farewells to Manzanar: The Archeology of Manzanar National Historic Site, California, Jeffrey F. Burton, editor, pp. 793–862. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Western Archeological and Conservation Center, Publications in Anthropology 67. Tucson, AZ.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Mullins, Paul 2001 Racializing the Parlor: Race and Victorian Bric-a-Brac Consumption. In Race and the Archaeology of Identity, Charles E. Orser, Jr., editor, pp. 158–178. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Myer, Dillion S. 1971 Uprooted Americans: The Japanese Americans and the War Relocation Authority during World War II. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Myers, Adrian, and Gabriel Moshenska 2011 An Introduction to Archaeologies of Internment. In Archaeologies of Internment, Adrian Myers and Gabriel Moshenska, editors, pp. 1–19. Springer, New York, NY.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  42. Mytum, Harold, and Gilly Carr (editors) 2013 Prisoners of War: Archaeology, Memory, and Heritage of 19th and 20th Century Mass Internment. Springer, New York, NY.

  43. 2014 Altered Lives, Altered Environments: Creating Home at Manzanar Relocation Center, 1942–1945 Master’s thesis, Historical Archaeology Program, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston.

  44. Ng, Laura, and Stacey L. Camp 2015 Consumerism in World War II Japanese American Incarceration Camps. In Historical Archaeologies of Capitalism, Mark P. Leone, editor, pp. 149–180. Springer, New York, NY.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  45. Ngai, Mae M. 2004 Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Okamura, Raymond Y. 1982 The American Concentration Camps: A Cover-Up through Euphemistic Terminology. Journal of Ethnic Studies 10(3):95–109.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Orser, Charles E., Jr. 1998 The Challenge of Race to American Historical Archaeology. American Anthropologist 100(3):661–668.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. 2001 Race and the Archaeology of Identity in the Modern World. In Race and the Archaeology of Identity, Charles E. Orser, Jr., editor, pp. 1–13. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.

    Google Scholar 

  49. 2004 Race and Practice in Archaeological Interpretation. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.

    Google Scholar 

  50. 2007 The Archaeology of Race and Racialization in Historic America. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Piddock, Susan 2009 John Conolly’s “Ideal” Asylum and Provisions for the Insane in Nineteenth-Century South Australia and Tasmania. In The Archaeology of Institutional Life, April M. Beisaw and James G. Gibb, editors, pp. 187–205. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Robinson, Greg 2009 A Tragedy of Democracy: Japanese Confinement in North America. Columbia University Press, New York, NY.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  53. Ross, Douglas E. 2013 An Archaeology of Asian Transnationalism. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  54. Sappington, Robert Lee, and Caroline D. Carley 1989 Archaeological Investigations at the Beaver Flat and Pete King Creek Sites, Lochsa River, North Central Idaho. Alfred W. Bowers Laboratory of Anthropology, University of Idaho Anthropological Reports, No. 89. Moscow.

    Google Scholar 

  55. Shackel, Paul A. 1993 Personal Discipline and Material Culture: An Archaeology of Annapolis, Maryland, 1695–1870. University Press of Tennessee Press, Knoxville.

    Google Scholar 

  56. Shew, Dana Ogo 2010 Feminine Identity Confined: The Archaeology of Japanese Women at Amache, a WWII Internment Camp. Master’s thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Denver, Denver, CO.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Shew, Dana Ogo, and April Elizabeth Kamp-Whittaker 2013 Perseverance and Prejudice: Maintaining Community in Amache, Colorado’s World War II Japanese Internment Camp. In Prisoners of War: Archaeology, Memory, and Heritage of 19th and 20th Century Mass Internment, Harold Mytum and Gilly Carr, editors, pp. 303–317. Springer, New York, NY.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  58. Skiles, Stephanie A. 2008 Confined Cuisine: An Archaeological and Historical Examination of Culinary Practices at Amache, Colorado’s WWII Japanese Internment Camp. Master’s thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado, Denver.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Skiles, Stephanie A., and Bonnie J. Clark 2010 When the Foreign Is Not Exotic: Ceramics at Colorado’s WWII Japanese Internment Camp. In Trade and Exchange, Carolyn D. Dillian and Carolyn L. White, editors, pp. 179–192. Springer, New York, NY.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  60. Slaughter, Michelle Ann 2006 An Archaeological and Ethnographic Examination of the Presence, Acquisition, and Consumption of Sake at Camp Amache, a World War II Japanese Internment Camp. Master’s thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado, Denver.

    Google Scholar 

  61. 2013 An Archaeological and Ethnographic Examination of the Presence, Acquisition, and Consumption of Sake Amache, a World War II Japanese Internment Camp. In Prisoners of War: Archaeology, Memory, and Heritage of 19th and 20th Century Mass Internment, Harold Mytum and Gilly Carr, editors, pp. 285–301. Springer, New York, NY.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  62. Space, Ralph S. 1981 The Clearwater Story: A History of the Clearwater National Forest. U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Forest Service, Missoula, MT, and Clearwater Historical Society, Orofino, ID.

    Google Scholar 

  63. Stitt, Irene 1974 Japanese Ceramics of the Last 100 Years. Crown, New York, NY.

    Google Scholar 

  64. Tamir, Orit, Scott C. Russell, Karolyn Jackman Jensen, and Shereen Lerner 1993 Return to Butte Camp: A Japanese-American World War II Relocation Center. Archaeological Consulting Services, Ltd., Cultural Resources Report No. 82. Tempe, AZ.

    Google Scholar 

  65. Voss, Barbara L. 2008 Between the Household and World System: Social Collectivity and Community Agency in Overseas Chinese Archaeology. Historical Archaeology 42(3):37–52.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. 2012 Curation as Research: A Case Study in Orphaned and Underreported Archaeological Collections. Archaeological Dialogues 19(2):145–169.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Wegars, Priscilla 2001 Japanese and Japanese Latin Americans at Idaho’s Kooskia Internment Camp. In Guilt by Association: Essays on Japanese Settlement, Internment, and Relocation in the Rocky Mountain West, Mike Mackey, editor, pp. 145–183. Western History, Powell, WY.

    Google Scholar 

  68. 2010 Imprisoned in Paradise: Japanese Internee Road Workers at the World War II Kooskia Internment Camp. Asian American Comparative Collection Report, No. 3. University of Idaho, Moscow.

    Google Scholar 

  69. 2013 As Rugged as the Terrain: CCC “Boys,” Federal Convicts, and World War II Alien Internees Wrestle with a Mountain Wilderness. Asian American Comparative Collection Research Report, No. 4. Caxton Press, Caldwell, ID.

    Google Scholar 

  70. Weglyn, Michi 1976 Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps. University of Washington Press, Seattle.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Stacey Lynn Camp.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Camp, S.L. Landscapes of Japanese American Internment. Hist Arch 50, 169–186 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03377183

Download citation