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An archaeological and ethnographic examination of the presence, acquisition, and consumption of sake„ at Camp Amache, a World War II Japanese internment camp

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Title:
An archaeological and ethnographic examination of the presence, acquisition, and consumption of sake„ at Camp Amache, a World War II Japanese internment camp
Creator:
Slaughter, Michelle Ann
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xii, 180 leaves : illustrations ; 28 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Rice wines -- Colorado -- Amache ( lcsh )
Rice wines ( fast )
Colorado -- Amache ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 172-180).
General Note:
Department of Anthropology
Statement of Responsibility:
by Michelle Ann Slaughter.

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Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
|Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
75183039 ( OCLC )
ocm75183039
Classification:
LD1193.L43 2006m S38 ( lcc )

Full Text
/
I
I
AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND ETHNOGRAPHIC EXAMINATION OF THE
PRESENCE, ACQUISITION, AND CONSUMPTION OF SAKEW CAMP AMACHE,
A WORLD WAR II JAPANESE INTERNMENT CAMP
by
Michelle Ann Slaughter
B.A., Metropolitan State College of Denver, 1999
A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado at Denver
In partial fulfillment
Of the requirements for the degree of
Masters of Arts
in Anthropology
2006


This thesis for the Masters of Anthropology
degree by
Michelle Ann Slaughter
has been approved
by
Stephen Koester
- Christopher Beekman
Date


Slaughter, Michelle Ann (M.A., Anthropology, Archaeology emphasis)
An Archaeological and Ethnographic Examination of the Presence, Acquisition,
and Consumption of Sake at Camp Amache, a World War II Japanese
Internment Camp
Thesis directed by Professor Stephen Koester.
ABSTRACT
This thesis attempts to examine one very small part of life at Camp Amache, a
World War II Japanese internment camp located on the southeastern plains of
Colorado. The questions addressed here are about sake, who was drinking it
at camp, when, why, and how it was acquired since internees were not
allowed to have or consume alcoholic beverages while living at the internment
camps. These questions were formulated after the author participated in the
archaeological survey of Camp Amache, and noted that material culture
suggested that the internees broke that particular camp rule. The question of
sake, though seemingly simple actually proved to be far more complex than
expected, and encompassed issues of ethnicity, identity, subtle rebellion, and
cultural preservation. In order to address sake related questions, an
ethnographic approach was used in conjunction with the archaeological one,
and more than a dozen former internees were interviewed for this thesis.
Their answers as to who, when, why and how, proved to be varied and
revealed a considerable amount about camp life and about attitudes of both
the camp staff and the internees.
I
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Signed
111
Stephen Koester


DEDICATION
This is dedicated to the former internees--all of you who lived this experience,
and to their descendants and others whose lives were directly touched and
impacted by the internment.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
A project of this sort cannot happen without a cast of thousands. I would like
to express my appreciation and gratitude to the following people (listed in no
particular order):
Dave Killam, Wade Broadhead, and Richard Carrillo, my co-archaeologists at
Amache. Dave and Richard, thank you for your assistance and support
beyond the initial project.
Jon Kent, a former professor who has become a friend. Jon has greatly
influenced my life, as a teacher, archaeologist, and friend.
Nichole Branton, a fellow archaeologist whose knowledge of the internment
camps and her willingness to share her ideas (and her thesis and dissertation
bibliographies) helped get this project started.
Tammy Stone and Steve Koester, two of my thesis committee members.
Tammy, you challenged me to be the best I could be throughout grad school.
Though it was difficult at times, you helped me become a better
archaeologist. Thank you so much for your support in this! Steve, you have
been THE BEST. You have helped make a long and difficult process easier.
The enthusiasm and support from both of you, on matters both academic and
personal, have helped me on a multitude of levels.
Jonathan Till and Joe Pachak, two Southwestern archaeologists who were
initially complete strangers to me but who were key in making the writing of
this thesis possible. The kindness of strangers (who are now friends) is truly
amazing.at times.
Thanks to Mike Montano, Shawn Harr, Diana Harris, and Erika Herreria, the
best friends anyone could have. They made it possible for me to leave town
(over and over) during the course of this project. I could not BE an
archaeologist Without them.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS (CONT.)
Many thanks to Becky Peterson and Dave Thomas who helped make this
LOOK the way it should when I was not able to manage on my own. Thank
you to my proofreaders, my fabulous brother, Steve Slaughter, and colleague
Judy King. And Chris Bevilacqua, THANK YOU, for making the map for Figure
3.1.
John Hopper, Granada High School teacher, coach, and director of the
Amache Preservation Society. His help during this project was invaluable, and
his unflagging efforts over the years to make the public aware of the
interment and its presence in Colorado are beyond commendable.
Finally, I must thank all the former internees who spoke to me and supported
me during this project. It is with great gratitude that I thank the people who
I formally interviewed and those who emailed me after the reunion. These
wonderful people include: Cal Kitazumi, Mas Takano, Min Tonai, George
"Knobby" Watanabe, Howard Taniguchi, Rumi (Tonai) Uragami, Robert "Bob"
Uragami, James "Jim" Shoji, Tom Nakashima, Masaku "Mako" (Morimoto)
Nakae, Alice (Makita) Okazaki, Marion Bernardo, Eugene "Eumo" Moritani,
Lorna Uno, Amy Sugimoto, and Mas Sugimoto. Special thanks to the two
Masses (Takano and Sugimoto) and Min Tonai for acting as key informants,
friends, and supporters during the life of this project. The honor and privilege
of talking to all of these people was mine. I cannot express my gratitude to
you all for sharing your stories, as personal and sometimes painful as they
were. And thank you to those former internees who spoke to me in passing
or who requested anonymity and shared their thoughts with me but who
remain nameless in this final product. Your insights were extremely important
contributions!


CONTENTS
FIGURES ..........................................................x
TABLES..........................................................xii
DEFINITIONS..................................................... 1
PROLOGUE..........................................................2
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION................................................7
Why Ethnography and Archaeology?...............;.........10
Goals for this Thesis....................................15
2. THEORY IDEAS THAT GUIDED THIS PROJECT....................23
Issues of Power..........................................25
Critical TheoryA Marriage Between Archaeology and
Ethnography............................................ 33
The Symbolic Approach and Sake......................... 37
Beyond Theory; Applying Theory to Practice...............44
3. HISTORY OF THE INTERNMENT AND CAMP AMACHE..................47
A Brief History of Anti-Asian Sentiment in the United
States................................................. 48
Prejudice, Fear, and Hysteria: The War's Effect on
Japanese in the United States............................52
Mobilizing for Internment................................57
Life at Camp Amache ................................... 64
Life After Amache...................................... 84
4. PROJECT METHODOLOGY........................................88
Archaeological Survey Methodology........................90
vii


Ethnographic Methodology................................ 95
5. OTHER JAPANESE FEATURES AND ARTIFACTS AT THE CAMPS..........101
Japanese Artifacts and Features at Amache................102
General Survey Results At Other Camps....................114
Conclusion...............................................118
6. PROJECT RESULTS.............................................120
Amache Archaeology Survey Limitations....................120
Sake.....................................................124
Sake Consumption Who Was Consuming It and When........128
Sake Acquisition at Amache...............................137
The Hawaiians.........................................138
Home Brewing..........................................139
Shopping in Granada...................................142
Gifts From Outside the Camp...........................144
The Presence of Sake and Comparisons at Other Camps......146
Conclusion...............................................149
7. CONCLUSIONS.................................................151
Attempting to Right Some Wrongs; What Has Occurred
Since the War............................................152
Final Thoughts...........................................156
APPENDIX
A. ARTIFACT TALLY FORM...................................158
B. INDIVIDUAL BLOCK MAP..................................165
Vlll


C. CONSENT FORM.................................167
REFERENCES CUED........................................172
IX


FIGURES
Figure
3.1 MAP SHOWING THE LOCATIONS OF THE TEN INTERNMENT CAMPS. 59
3.2 LOCATION OF CAMP AMACHE...................................66
3.3 MAP OF CAMP AMACHE AS IT EXISTS TODAY ....................69
3.4 MAP OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE AND STORAGE AREA AT CAMP
AMACHE TODAY..............................................70
3.5 WESTERN PORTION OF CAMP AMACHE TODAY, INCLUDING THE
CAMP DUMP AND THE CAMP CEMETERY...........................71
3.6 THE ROOT CELLAR TODAY.....................................72
3.7 THE MAIN DUMP AT CAMP AMACHE AS IT APPEARS NOW............72
5.1 THE LARGER POND FEATURE IN BLOCK 6H, AS IT APPEARS NOW.. 105
5.2 THE POND FEATURE IN BLOCK 6H AS IT APPEARED DURING
OCCUPATION OF THE CAMP...................................106
5.3 A GETA FOUND AT CAMP AMACHE............................ 108
-5.4 THE A/0C7/7BASIN FOUND AT CAMP AMACHE....................109
5.5 PHOTO OF THE PORCELAIN TOKKURIFRAGMENTS FOUND AT
AMACHE ................................................ 112
5.6 NAME'S OF INTERNEES CARVED INTO A CEMENT PEDESTAL IN
BLOCK 7G.................................................113
5.7 INTERNEES NAMES CARVED INTO A CONCRETE BLOCK ON THE
BATHHOUSE FOUNDATION IN BLOCK 9L.........................114
6.1 OCTOBER 31, 1942 CAMP NEWSPAPER ARTICLE THAT ADDRESSED
THE PROHIBITION ON INTERNEE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION.....125
X


FIGURES
Figure
6.2 "HONOLULU SAKE BREWERY AND ICE COMPANY" S4/0FJUG BASE
FROM AMACHE........................................135
6.3 "FUJI SAKE BREWING CO LTD, HONOLULU HAWAII" S4AFJUG BASE
FROM AMACHE........................................136
XI


TABLES
Table
6.1 Sake artifact distribution at Amache, Manzanar, and Butte Camp............147
Xll


DEFINITIONS
Issei- The first Japanese in America. Isseiwere Japanese born and
more traditionally Japanese than the generations that would follow. During
the internment period the Issei were adults and the respected elders.
Nisei- The first generation of Japanese-Americans born in the United
States. This generation was American by birth and may have been raised in
traditional Japanese households to Japanese speaking parents, but were also
westernized, English speakers. Most Nisei were children or young adults
during the internment.
Kebei- Peers of the Nisei. The Kebeiwere American born, but
educated in Japan. This group, although the same generation as the Nisei,
were in many ways more like the Issei due to their time spent in Japan.
Shikata ga nai- A common Japanese saying. Similar to the French
saying C'estia vie, the term means "it cannot be helped" or "there is nothing
that can be done." For many, this phrase summarized their point of view
during the wartime internment.
Tokkuri- The small porcelain bottles traditionally used for serving
sake.
O-choko -- Used in conjunction with tokkuri, one drinks sake from
these small porcelain cups. Tokkuri and o-choko make serving sake a
pleasant ritual, and it is tradition for one person to pour for everyone else.
This ritual is an act of social bonding.
Intern To confine or impound especially during a war (Merriam-
Webster 1998:275).
l


PROLOGUE
When I initially set out to write this thesis, it took considerable thought
and a good deal of brainstorming with another archaeologist who had written
her thesis and dissertation on a different internment camp. I was committed
to doing my thesis on some aspect of life at Amache, and I had already spent
the summer of 2003 in the field doing the archaeological survey at Amache.
Exasperated while at lunch with her one day, I jokingly commented that I
wished I could find a way to write a thesis length document about something
unusual and unexpected, like sake. I laughed, but we started to discuss it
and realized that I could indeed write an entire thesis on something as
seemingly simple as sake at Camp Amache. Suddenly I realized that what
might appear to be an uncomplicated topic could actually be incredibly
nuanced and might possibly tell us a great deal about cultural preservation,
ethnicity, social interactions, resistance, and rebellionthe list of possibilities
grew. There was much that this one thing could tell us about many aspects
of camp life, and of people's attitudes. I could use sake (and sake related
artifacts) to write a thesis that was both archaeological as well as
ethnographic. As a historical archaeologist, I found the idea intriguing.
I presented my thesis proposal to my professors, half expecting them
to tell me to get serious, but was met with surprising enthusiasm and
encouragement. The project snowballed after that and I was awarded grant
money from the college to attend the 2004 Amache High School reunion so
that I could interview former internees. At the reunion, a number of internees
met me and talked to me with interest and eagerness, and I was treated with
great warmth, although some seem puzzled why I chose a topic like sake.
. Nonetheless, people spoke with me candidly and with passion.
2


By the spring of 2005 I had made little progress on my thesis in the
year since the reunion, even though I had almost all that I needed in order to
sit and write. Professionally, work was slow during the transitional period
between the pervious field season and the coming season, which would not
start for another month or two. With renewed energy, I decided to take a
good portion of April and May of 2005 off from work to escape to the Utah
desert and write in solitude. A friend of a friend offered to let me stay in his
small one room trailer in southeast Utah. There was no electricity or running
water, but there were also few distractions other than the sweeping desert
views outside the trailer windows.
My time in Utah was incredibly productive. I had hauled my laptop,
interview tapes, and stacks of books and journal articles with me. Every
available surface in the tiny trailer was stacked with my reference materials
and notes. After awhile the solitude gave way to not only hours of endless
stream-of-consciousness writing, but also long, quiet moments musing about
the internees. As I listened to my interview tapes over and over searching for
just the right quotes, and listening to stories I had not heard since the
previous year, I started to become plagued by a nagging feeling that my hard
work and hours of writing were really quite insignificant, considering the
bigger picture. "What am I doing?" was a thought that kept coming back to
haunt me, and worse "why?" I began to feel as if my thesis was fairly
inconsequential considering all that the internees had gone through. In fact, I
started to worry that some might view my chosen topic as a trivialization of
the internees' experiences. I drove to the closest small town one day-the
only place for at least 50 miles that had internet access--and sent an email to
my thesis advisor:
3


Original Message
From: Michelle
Sent: Fri 4/8/2005 1:17 PM
To: Koester, Steve
Subject: ANOTHER thesis question
......Iam having a .. crisis regarding all of this. My topic is so damn
trivial and meaningless in the grand scheme of things!!!!!! How does talking
about sake .. honor these people and what they've been through?! I don't
feel like I am smart enough, insightful enough, and good enough to write a
document that MAKES IT MATTER! I feel like I should have a dedication at
the beginning of my thesis that says 'To all Internees: I am so sorry .... I
apologize for trivializing your experience by writing about something so
DUMB." I listen to the [interview] tapes and there is so much emotion and so
many really heart wrenching stories, and here I am talking about sake bottles
and what they mean ....
-MS
His response:
... This is hardly trivial. You are helping record the experience. I think it
would be VERY wise to include a chapter that discusses this: "I listen to the
tapes and there is so much emotion and so many really heart wrenching
stories, and here I am talking about sake bottles and what they mean
Just sit down and write this chapter from the heart don't worry about
science etc.
SK
So I continued. And after my period in the desert I returned home
with a thesis text that was 75% to 80% complete. In the fall of 2005 I
submitted the chapters, one by one, to my thesis committee and was gratified
that my document was met with positive responses. I felt a real sense of
accomplishment as I grew closer and closer to completing my thesis. Yet, I
still feel concern that this will be met with disdain by internees and their
4


families, so I feel the need to reiterate that I realize that this topic hardly
solves the world's problems or any problems that resulted from the
internment. I realize that it is a small thing and the stories here are perhaps
not the stories that internees would consider important. I am proud and
pleased to have told their stories here because I feel that it is important to
continue to get this information out to a public that continues to be under-
informed or unaware that the internment took place. I apologize to anyone
who may feel as if I could (or should) have written about any number of other
things on Amache. It was never, in any way, my intention to minimize the
interment situation, and I hope that this thesis will be viewed as what it is:
not just a means to end (graduation from graduate school) but also a
sincerely heartfelt labor of love, written to honor the internees, their families,
and to make at least a few of their stories known.
It should be noted that this thesis is not written in what many consider
to be a typical scholarly style. Although I have made an effort to present the
material as academically correct as possible, it is not perhaps the type of
formal writing one might find in journals. This was not done with the
intention of shunning or snubbing the academic world or the many talented
and brilliant archaeologists who present their work in scholarly journals every
year. My intention was to present the material in a way that could be
understood and appreciated by a wider audience. I knew that once this thesis
was completed, the people most likely to read it in the future are internees or
friends and families of internees, so I wanted it to be something that was
accessible to all.
There is much that can still be done at Amache, not the least of which
is a more thorough archaeological examination of the camp's main dump
where a plethora of unexamined artifacts lie. Furthermore, there are plans to
5


eventually restore some of the original barracks buildings to the site, and to
have the museum on site, rather than in Granada where it is currently
located. Therefore, I hope that this thesis will not be the end of my
involvement with Camp Amache or its people. The continued need for public
education and site preservation is great and I hope that I can be a part of
future explorations there.
-Michelle Slaughter
January 29, 2006
6


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Until quite recently, I was completely ignorant of the World War II
Japanese internment situation here in the United States. The summer of
2003, 1 was given the chance to participate in an archaeological survey of
Camp Amache, a former internment camp located on the southeastern plains
of Colorado. In the process I learned about something which I had had no
previous knowledge and the experience piqued my interest to learn more
about life at Amache. As my awareness and understanding of the place and
the people grew, so did my desire to do more with this knowledge than to
simply produce a report for the Office of Archaeology and Historic
Preservation (OAHP) and for our client. I wanted to contribute something
even more tangible. Then one typically dry and hot afternoon during our
work at Amache, a car pulled up near where we were surveying. An Asian
looking man who appeared to be in his 40s or 50s got out of the driver's side
of the car. A younger man in his twenties got out of the passenger side.
They approached us. Pleasantries were exchanged, and during our discourse,
it hit home that I could do more than just be one of the archaeologists who
surveyed the site. The elder gentleman explained to us that he had been
born at Camp Amache, and that numerous family members had been interned
there. The young man accompanying him was his son who was writing a
thesis on the internment and the impact it had on his family, and how life
changed for the family after the forced relocation to Colorado. I had been
toying with the idea of switching my thesis topic to Camp Amache, and I
7


knew at that moment that devoting a thesis to this topic could be the
beginning of a larger involvement beyond our summer's work.
That encounter led me to consider exactly what the internment had
meant to those who were there, and the archaeology survey itself spurned
this interest. Finding artifacts that related to traditional Japanese culture
made me not only consider and reconsider their plight, the artifacts also made
me think about how the internees adapted to and resisted the situation that
was forced upon them. I hoped that by researching the history of Amache in
depth, I could gain further understanding of life there, more than I would
have gained simply through the straightforward process of studying the
material culture of the site. I knew that I could use my work as a means of
collaboration with the former internees and their families. I had been
presented with an opportunity to learn about the past in ways that had not
been possible for prehistoric sites I had recorded before. To be able to
conduct interviews with survivors of the site I surveyed made data available
about the site that went beyond the artifacts and the written record.
This thesis examines the internment in general and the archaeology
conducted at Camp Amache. Beyond these general observations though, I
examine resistance and adaptation. Through the use of the archaeology and
ethnographic interviews, this document examines ethnic identity and cultural
preservation, how resistance can be intricately connected with both, and how
resistance can become more than simply an act of rebellion. Rebellion and
resistance would not exist if there were not circumstances that create unequal
access to power. So much of the internment story boils down to power and
lack of power. In state level societies there is almost always unequal access
to power, and this inequality takes many forms. The Japanese/Japanese-
American internment on American soil during World War II is an example of
8


this. When President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 after the
bombing of Pearl Harborthe order that effectively sent all Japanese and
Japanese-Americans from the west coast to the internment camps
thousands of people lost the way of life they had worked hard to create.
Because of this unprecedented and legally questionable decree, this large,
homogenous group who were mostly American citizens, lost their basic rights
until well after the war ended. Certainly those affected must have been
appalled and horrified that their own government could treat them as enemies
and take away almost all they knew. They had little opportunity or ability to
openly resist the interment or protest their treatment, but they did have the
ability to resist on subtle levels (and sometimes not so subtle) once confined.
There are a myriad of ways to examine that resistance within the camps, and
even people who have been stripped of everything still find ways to resist.
Archaeology can shed light on prehistoric and historic events and life
ways. But it can also in certain circumstances be used as a tool to not only
empower people who lack power, but to also demonstrate acts of resistance
that might otherwise go unseen. Camp Amache is a perfect case study that
illustrates the above issues and importance of resistance. The archaeology at
Camp Amache provided information that helped us examine how people
resisted when deprived of their liberty. This thesis considers sake at Camp
Amache as one possible form of resistance, and shows how even during times
of extreme duress people find ways to resist the dominant group.
9


Why Ethnography and Archaeology?
Scholars concerned with Man [sic] may approach their subject
matter from one of two perspectives. They may base their
investigations on direct or indirect observation of human
behavior (an etic analysis) or they may concentrate on the
views and beliefs that the subjects hold concerning their own
behavior (an emic analysis) (Schuyler 1977:99).
My thesis seeks to explore and explain specific aspects of social
dynamics and social preservation, as well as investigate whether resistance
and subtle rebellion existed on some level at Camp Amache. For many
archaeologists, explanation and interpretation of the past can be a difficult
situation at best, and frequently assumptions and educated guesses are made
because there is no way to verify the data. At times though, we may have
the means of verifying data from the sources of history themselves-the
people who were there. Therefore, I have chosen to take both an etic and
emic approach to my research since both avenues of inquiry were available.
Of course, oral histories can be as biased as any other form of history so they
must be examined critically as well. As Schuyler states, "the desire to rewrite
one's history, along with the simple fallibility of human memory" can make
oral histories potentially problematic (Schuyler 1977:101). Even so, it is our
job to explore and present our findings in ways that do justice to those who
were affected by past events we seek to elucidate, and I believe, as Schuyler
does, that the benefits that can be gained through this emic source of
information can far outweigh any potential negative issues. We must fill in
the blanks as best we can, I would suggest, by using oral histories and the
ethnographic process to better explain the significance of the material culture
we record. This is especially important since the actual meaning of some
10


artifacts may only have been obvious or known to the culture that produced
the artifacts. Everyday things can have a multitude of meanings and
representations, some of which may be culturally or event specific, and thus
not obvious to archaeologists.
Ethnography is a potentially valuable tool that can serve to support
and add richness to what we learn through the archaeological record.
Therefore, if it is possible to conduct oral histories with people who inhabited
a site, archaeologists cannot be content to let the material culture speak for
itself. James Wilson, who has devoted his career to the study and
preservation of indigenous peoples and their lifeways, wrote a lengthy book
which conveys the breadth of the data he has collected on Native American
history (Wilson 1998). Knowing that the only way to convey this complex
history was to pursue it through all available avenues of information, he
hoped
by weaving together 'official' history and archaeology,
anthropology, oral tradition, and the voices of contemporary
Native Americans ... to illuminate for a non-Indian audience, a
history ... [that remained] oddly suppressed or hidden (Wilson
1998:xxviii).
I found archaeology and ethnography to be complimentary for this project
and by using the two approaches, in addition to the various written records, I
could triangulate my data, and thus have a richer data set from which to
work. In addition, the oral histories were helpful since a major constraint for
this thesis was the fact that the survey of Amache was just that: a project to
survey and record the entire site, rather than look for specific types of data.
At the time we conducted the survey, I had only just decided to do a thesis
on Amache and did not have a specific idea or focus in mind that would have
11


led me to look at my surroundings differently. The interviews I conducted
helped to fill some of the data gaps.
Oral histories can supplement data collected in the field, although
certainly oral histories should not trump all the other avenues from which we
can gain information about the past, nor should they take supremacy over the
archaeological record. It is true that oral histories must be undertaken with a
careful eye towards potential bias on the part of the person presenting the
oral history and on the part of the ethnographer. It is easy to let the emotion
influence one enough that he or she forgets objectivity. Nonetheless, oral
histories have the potential to add depth and multivocality to the limited
information we can glean through material culture or the written history,
which may have been biased or presented inaccurately. As Whitely points
out, if we are not careful, "over emphasis on hard science risks neglecting
vital evidence that might greatly enhance explanation of the past" (Whitely
2002:406). The use of oral histories may not be hard science but they can
compliment it.
By combining ethnography and archaeology, we can create a narrative
that otherwise might not be possible to write. This narrative is a "storya
chronologically ordered and somehow unified or related sequence of events
with a beginning, middle and end" (Pluciennik 1999:654). Of course as with
many stories, especially when one is talking about recent history, it is not only
possible, but likely that the narrative is incomplete and without a defined
ending since "the end of the story is obviously arbitrary and provisional"
(Pluciennik 1999:660). Regardless, through the use of ethnography and
archaeology we can achieve a richer understanding of the past.
Archaeologists have realized for some time now that artifacts should be
looked at in a holistic way and that artifacts go beyond just being things that
12


humans have created, but also represent concrete manifestations of ideas
(Yentsch 1992:40). McDonald et al. suggest that for historically oppressed
groups, oral histories and archaeology can be used as "tools of resistance,"
something highly applicable to the story of Amache (McDonald et al. 1991).
We should use these representations of ideas and tools of resistance, along
with a critical eye cast to the written record, in order to create narratives
about the groups we study.
There are other reasons we should look at all of our possible avenues
of information to do accurate archaeology. Many archaeologists have been
guilty, consciously or not, of creating and portraying history from our
perspective, which is often a Caucasian, scholarly perspective. Today
archaeologists are making more of a conscious effort to truly let all the
information be presented within a coherent theoretical framework in order to
accurately tell the story as it was for the participants. Ethnography and oral
histories have been used as a means to collect additional data about historic
events since "Herodotus and Thucydides interviewed survivors of the Persian
and Peloponnesian Wars" (Schuyler 1977:101), and more and more
archaeologists continue to embrace and conduct this method of data
collection and use it as a way to flesh out the archaeological record.
A recent project illustrates the above points well. Knowing that history
is usually written by the conquerors, rather than the vanquished or dominated
group, McDonald et al. used oral histories to point them to specific areas to
survey in order to determine if there was material culture in those areas that
would be proof of the Northern Cheyenne Outbreak route of escape
(McDonald et al. 1991). McDonald et al. note that the Cheyenne version of
the story and of the escape route differs dramatically from the commonly
accepted, white accounts of the eventaccounts that are documented in
13


history books and even in a movie. With the assistance of the Cheyenne
community, the archaeologists conducted surveys in previously unsurveyed
areasareas unsurveyed because the historic record said that these were not
places where the escape route may have been located. The Cheyenne
informed survey locations, however, produced a plethora of artifacts that
refute the commonly accepted, but apparently inaccurate, (white) version of
events. McDonald et al. observed,
No single article of information (the artifacts recovered, the
ethnohistoric accounts, the available literature, etc.) is alone
sufficient... although other explanations for the types and
distribution of artifacts are possible, the weight of all the types
of evidence taken together dramatically favor Northern
Cheyenne oral history (McDonald et al. 1991:72).
McDonald and his colleagues go on to make a valid point, and one which we
cannot shy away from addressing ourselves. Many people posit that oral
histories are potentially inaccurate and faulty. If we do not let the people
speak for themselves in regards to their own history and that of their
ancestors, however, we allow the voice of the dominating group, and possible
inaccuracies, to remain unchallenged. Making the voices of the dominated
group heard "undermines a vital tool of domination: the fact that victors write
the history of events, especially of the subordinated group's efforts at
resistance" (McDonald et al. 1991:74). Through Me Donald's project, the
archaeologists helped to empower the dominated culture, and assisted in
confirming the dominated culture's version of history. If living people can
provide us with additional information relevant to the material culture we find,
especially for situations involving domination and repression, we owe it to
them and to their descendants to help rewrite history (or multiple histories, as
14


it were) so that their experiences are made available to the public and are
thus validated in the process.
Goals for this Thesis
Stories about Amache exist not just in the memories of former
internees but also on video and in books, and these stories and texts have
been published sporadically over the last 45 years (e.g. Holsinger 1960, Lurie
1985). This thesis is certainly not the first document that has combined
archaeology and ethnography, but it may be one of the few that has
incorporated the material culture at Amache with the voices of the people
who lived there. This thesis investigates, addresses, and hopefully leads to an
understanding of how the internees coped with their losses, preserved
traditional cultural practices, and how they dealt with the realities of camp
life. These issues are explored specifically through an examination of the
archaeological and ethnographic record for signs of sake consumption, and
acquisition. Sake in this case is looked at in many ways, including as a means
of resistance.
The importance of sake within the Japanese (and by extension,
Japanese-American) culture goes back centuries, if not millennia. Wet-rice
agriculture dates back to 400 B.C. (Ohnuki-Tierney 1995:228), and sake is
thought to have been around at least since the third century (Gauntner
2000:11-12). Sake has close ties with Japan's indigenous religion (Shinto)
and is mentioned in association with religious figures in ancient histories and
myths (Gauntner 2000:15), and rice takes on deity status in "myth-histories"
that are almost 1,300 years old (Ohnuki-Tierney 1995:228). Sake was
enjoyed by peasants and aristocrats alike, and during the Heian Era (794-
15


1192 A.D.) sake brewers developed 15 different types of sake for the
aristocrats. The wide variety corresponded with different holidays and special
occasions. Sake's popularity continued to grow as the centuries passed and
by 1900, there were approximately 8,000 sake brewers in Japan. Today, sake
continues to be a key part of religious events, celebrations, and holidays, and
Shinto priests still perform ceremonies at the beginning of the sake brewing
season in order to assure a profitable season (Gauntner 2000:15-16). Sake is
"the most appropriate drink for an elegant feast with geisha in attendance ..
[and] it is still common to see Japanese workers on their way home in the
evening standing to drink sake at the sake stalls or shops" (Hagihara
1977:186). The important role of rice and rice products within the Japanese
culture is enormous and is "the most important food for commensality
between humans and deities... and among humans" (Ohnuki-Tierney
1995:229). Ms. Ohnuki-Tierney has even emphasized this point and all of its
implications in a book titled appropriately enough, Rice as Self (Ohnuki-
Tierney 1993). Thus sake related artifacts potentially say much more about
the internees than one might think. As Brown emphasizes, "a person's
possessions can reflect not only his [sic] social and economic position, but his
value-system and world view as well" (Brown 1973:356). Given the tradition
and value placed on sake within the Japanese culture, sake related artifacts
took on a more complex meaning than initially assumed, and have perhaps
more relevance in regard to internee habits than other artifacts found, such as
soda bottles or tin cans.
For this thesis, it was important to find out who consumed sake,
where they got it, and who was selling it to them because sake is a beverage
that historically played an important role in the social and spiritual lives of the
Japanese people, yet by having it in camp the internees were willingly and
16


knowingly breaking camp rules which prohibited the possession and
consumption of alcoholic beverages. Therefore, through my research, the
goals were to gather information on, and address some of the following
issues:
To examine the various roles of sake within the Amache community.
These roles are assumed to have been social, ritual, a means of
cultural preservation, and sake may have even possibly been a subtle
form of resistance to the dominant culture's rules. Sake may have
played a role beyond that of intoxicating beverage, since there were
other types of alcohol more readily available, as evidenced through
the beer and whiskey bottles found in the administrative blocks,
throughout the internee housing blocks, and in the camp dumps.
To find out who was consuming sake, where they were drinking it,
and on what occasions. Was sake consumed on special occasions
only? If so what were those occasions? Was it available during the
entire interment period or was its availability erratic? Was it primarily
consumed by the Nisei {the younger generation, the first generation
Japanese-American citizens) or the Issei(the elders, the Japanese
residing in the United States who were born in Japan)? Was it shared
among families, or socially amongst friends?
To find out who in town imported the illegal beverage for the
internees, and who at the camp turned a blind eye to it being
smuggled into camp (evidence found archaeologically suggested that
the sake originally came from Hawaii). Did those who aided in the
importing and smuggling do it for altruistic reasons, to make a profit,
or both?
To find out through the use of comparative data whether Amache
differed from other camps when it came to the presence of sake.
Keeping in mind the importance of the complexities that ethnicity
played in all of this, I based my research on theories that deal with power and
17


resistance, such as those presented by James C. Scott (Scott 1985), and
theories about resistance and cultural preservation as explored by Ferguson
(Ferguson 1991) and others. Three assumptions guided my research:
1. People often have a strong sense of pride and "heritage" even in
prohibitive situations such as those that existed at the camps. Of
course acculturation does often occur, but if a group or individual
chooses to, they find ways to preserve their cultural heritage and
traditions.
2. People resist a dominant and domineering culture in ways that are
overt and covert.
3. At least some people within the dominating culture recognize the
injustice of the dominating regime and its rules, and thus seek to aid
and perhaps befriend those dominated, even if there is some risk to
their own well being.
With historic archaeology, there is real sense of immediacy to our
work, and a tangible connection to the past. Therefore, our work may have a
different sort of obligation to the past and to the present. Our work should
go beyond just being an exercise in proper site documentation and academic
presentation. It should also be an exercise in presenting the past in a way
that is palatable to both the academic world as well as to the world of those
directly affected by our work. Historic archaeologists are fortunate that in
some circumstances we may be able to acquire information about the past
from data sets beyond the material culture, i.e. through the ethnographic data
in conjunction with artifacts from a site. As Kathleen Deagan points out,
archaeologists have access
18


to both emic statements (documents) and etic statements
(archaeological data) about conditions in the past [which
allow] the study of human behavioral process involving human
perception, and the manipulation and means of coping with
the environment (Deagan 1982:153).
She continues that "in the pursuit of scientific principles that can help explain
the relationship between behavioral variability and the archaeological record,
historical archaeologists have turned to the study of contemporary groups"
and in the process employ among other things, the use of "oral accounts" as
a means of gaining additional information about material culture and the
behaviors that produce it (Deagan 1982:166). This is not a better approach
to archaeology, simply another kind of approach, which provides a different
sort of data.
I was extended an invitation to attend the 2004 Amache High School
and Junior High School reunion, which occurred the weekend of March 22-24,
2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hundreds of former internees who were teens
and preteens during the war attended the reunion, and many were gracious
enough to speak with me during formal interviews at the reunion. I was able
to talk to internees about my perspective and about theirs. While at the
reunion, I conducted 15 formal interviews and had numerous informal,
unrecorded conversations with other people in passing-in elevators, over
meals, and in various social situations. Some people did not want to speak on
tape or have their names used, and some simply felt like talking anonymously.
There were times when interviewees requested that the tape be stopped, and
they would continue especially difficult or delicate stories with me off the
record. At times the stories became quite emotional as the speaker recalled
painful or fond moments from so long ago. I was touched to be allowed
insight into such personal memories, and I hope that I have successfully
19


honored these speakers by sharing their stories accurately and with
compassion.
My thesis focuses on a very specific, small aspect of camp life.
Without veering too far off my topic, I have chosen not only to share those
sake specific stories, but also to interject into this document some of the
internees' other experiences and thoughts on different aspects of camp life.
What I learned from the internees went far beyond my initial questions. This
thesis weaves together the voices of the many people I spoke to that
weekend. Portions of recorded conversations are dispersed throughout this
document and the speakers are identified as appropriate, according to their
wishes. Other casual conversations or comments are mentioned throughout
as relevant, although the speaker remains an anonymous voice since his or
her thoughts were often shared in passing. The various voices and stories are
especially represented in Chapters 3 and 6, the chapters that outline the
history of the internment and of Camp Amache, and that explore the
archaeological and ethnographic results.
Why is sake relevant in the larger picture? Kelly and Kelly state that
when one examines material culture at sites with the goal of exploring and
describing the ethnicity of the occupants of that site,
elements of material culture which are shown to have primary
roles in facilitating social persistence or adaptation will be
more sensitive to ethnic identification purposes than other
categories such as survival, recreation/entertainment, and so
forth (Kelly and Kelly 1980:138).
Thus, I wanted to choose material culture that would be distinctly Japanese
in nature. Other things could have possibly been the focus of my study, such
as Japanese tea sets, soy sauce bottles, evidence of games such as shogior
20


mahjong, or gardens that exhibited a Japanese aesthetic and were clearly
representations of internees' national identity. I chose sake for two primary
reasons. The first reason was that its presence was highly conspicuous in the
material record, more so than many other types of Japanese material culture.
For instance we found 20 sake jugs or fragments that we were able to
positively identify as such. Eighteen were located in the internee housing
area, two in the camp dump. We also recorded two porcelain sake bottle
fragments (tokkuri) and one sake cup (o-choko) fragment at Amache, but
only found one geta (wooden Japanese sandal), one concrete basin used for
mochi making, and less than two-dozen porcelain fragments featuring
Japanese designs, and which represented far fewer than two dozen actual
dishes or cups. The second reason that sake acquisition and consumption
fascinated me was because obtaining it, possessing it, and consuming it was
against camp rules, which raises a whole host of questions about rebellion,
cultural preservation, and resistance. Additional reasons for focusing on sake
include the fact that sake is representative of a small part of a culture and
traditional lifestyle that one assumes was radically transformed by the forced
interment. From an administrative point of view, sake likely denoted a
deliberate, albeit subtle, revolt against established and known rules set by the
administration for the internees. Beyond the fact that it was a violation of the
rules, inebriation was probably a problem with which administrators would
have rather not dealt since drunkenness in such an environment could have
easily escalated into rebellion and violence. Finally, the other larger camps
such as Manzanar, which housed over 10,000 people at its peak (several
thousand more than Amache), showed little archaeological evidence of sake,
even after extensive surveys and/or excavations. Thus, through the
exploration of the presence of sake I hoped to learn more about life at camp,
21


traditions, cultural specific practices, and about how the internees dealt with
the drastic changes they were forced to endure.
With a nod to Deetz, archaeologists Mary Ferrell and Jeffery Burton,
possibly the two foremost authorities on the archaeology of Japanese
internment camps, state it most eloquently,
The archaeological studies at the camps testify not only to the
national political environment but also to the 'small things
forgotten' of everyday life. It is the small things that show how
the internees maintained their ethnicity, in the face of adversity
(Ferrell and Burton 2004:22).
The presence of sake at the camp and what its presence means, may seem
like small things, but in actuality they are not, for the reason Ferrell and
Burton mention, and for many others. Deagan also makes a point that seems
highly applicable not just to archaeology in general, but to the goals of this
thesis; "if historical archaeology is a humanistic discipline, it should impart an
aesthetic appreciation of and an empathy with the human condition of the
past" (Deagan 1982:157).
22


CHAPTER 2
THEORY IDEAS THAT GUIDED THIS PROJECT
Many people in the United States view history and archaeology as
events that occurred only in books, on the Discovery and History Channels, or
as something that happened to other peoples' ancestors, and thus have little
relevance or impact today. Because many in the United States, at least those
not of Native American descent, can only trace their family's history here in
the U.S. back several generations, some U.S. citizens may not feel a strong
personal local, regional, or national connection. But for people who do, a
lengthy history is not necessary in order to feel a sense of connection to or
ownership of the past. An event did not have to occur hundreds or thousands
of years ago to have archaeological, historical, or, as in the case of Camp
Amache, a very personal and tangible relevance to people today. Though
most archaeologists study people long dead, not all do. For the people who
are still living who experienced the history we study, there is meaning and a
direct link to what is for them, a personal past. As Berggren and Hodder
note, there is a growing "call for increased communication and mutual
compromises between archaeologists and stakeholder communities"
(Berggren and Hodder 2003:428). This chapter examines the anthropological
theories which guided my research, both archaeological and ethnographic.
Mark Leone states that a "dialogue between diverse perspectives on
the past is needed in a morally and politically aware archaeology" (Leone
2001:582), a point well taken in my study of Amache, and obviously relevant
in other circumstances as well. Similarly, Lynn Meskell argues that the
political and ethical issues connected with archaeology have come to the
23


forefront in recent years since archaeology has relevance for nationalism,
socio-political issues, and globalism, all hot topics of the day (Meskell
2002:279). She further states that archaeologists have been hesitant to
"embrace the politics of identity," but I share Meskell's belief that perhaps we
should overcome this reluctance (Meskell 2002:279). Exploring these issues is
something archaeologists owe to those our work may affect, and personal and
professional reflexivity should be a goal. Part of what I hope to accomplish
with this thesis is to examine to some extent the politics of identity since, in
the case of Camp Amache, the politics of identity were a pervasive and
monumental issue during the internment. One might even say that the
politics of identity were the root of the internment situation. Meskell notes
"the political is always the personal" and this was certainly the case during the
internment when personal and political were intertwined so thoroughly that it
would be almost impossible to separate the two (Meskell 2002:280).
This chapter examines the different theories that are useful for
scrutinizing a complex political and social situation like Amache. Since the
internment happened a relatively short 60 years ago (short by most
archaeologists' standards) there is a plethora of information known about
Camp Amache, which is presented not only in the written record but also via
artifacts and oral histories. Many archaeologists are "often working three or
four removes from, say, a traditional historian's text with a purported
eyewitness account or record of other people, events or conditions"
(Pluciennik 1999:660). That is not the case for this project. Since so much
information is readily available, and so little of it is actually postulation, a
number of different theoretical approaches are applicable for examining Camp
Amache and all the complexities that surround the internment period and life
in general at the camp. Archaeological theories such as symbolic theory are
24


especially useful for examining the material culture at Camp Amache, and
theories that focus on power, hegemony, and issues of control and resistance
as illustrated through the work of individuals such as Gramsci and Scott, are
applicable for examining the larger issues surrounding the internment itself.
This chapter attempts to discuss how internees interpreted and responded to
their internment and how this ultimately led to the material culture left on the
ground at the camp after it was closed and abandoned.
Issues of Power
Situations such as the internment period clearly illustrate instances of
"power over." It is tragic that our own democratic government which
supposedly honors the rights of all its citizens could justify imprisoning tens of
thousands of its own people based in part on fear and hysteria, and primarily
on prejudice. And yet it did, and even small children and the elderly and
infirm were considered, or at least treated as suspect, and were required to
be imprisoned behind barbed wire under the careful watch of armed guards.
James C. Scott astutely notes that "by controlling the public stage, the
dominant can create an appearance that approximates what ideally, they
would want subordinates to see" so the layout of the camp and the
implications of the barbed wire and guard towers probably had as much of a
psychological effect on the internees as the effect of keeping them inside
(Scott 1990:50).
One would think in such a situation that internees would lash out at
their captors or express their displeasure vocally. Resistance was subtler
though at Amache. Whereas the internees were powerless against the
internment itself, they had small ways to resist while at camp, and thus were
25


able to instigate some social/cultural reproduction and change, at least on a
small, interpersonal level. They may not have been in a position to mobilize
and overthrow the camp staff, but they could, to a certain degree adapt and
live their lives on their own terms within the camp. Sivaramakrishnan points
out that small acts of every day resistance do not seek to "overthrow the
state or even its politics but merely to mitigate or subvert their effects"
(Sivaramakrishnan 2005:350). Paynter and McGuire mention, and cite
numerous other documents to support their point, that often "subordinates
act in a compliant manner in those social spaces where they encounter
dominators, but quickly become more defiant and critical when in their own
social arena" (Paynter and McGuire 1991:9). According to interviews, it was
not the norm for the internees to complain openly about the situation at the
time, but subtle, defiant acts did occur. One can see this defiance in actions
at Amache, for instance through sake acquisition and consumption or by
internees stealing lumber to make furniture for their barracks apartments.
Perhaps the camp staff turned a blind eye to these small acts of resistance in
order to maintain the relative peace at camp and keep the camp under
control. Interestingly, internee informants told me that there was little
complaining behind the scenes, even though the internees had every reason
to complain and to be resentful.
Scott's book Weapons of the Weak examines these sorts of issues,
including "issues of resistance, class struggle, and ideological domination,"
and although his subject population (peasants in a small Malaysian village) is
entirely different than the population at Amache, similar issues of power and
resistance are relevant to both groups (Scott 1985). Scott's emphasis was
primarily on the colonial encounter, but it is not difficult to see how some of
the concepts of his resistance theories apply to smaller, repressed groups
26


within a state system. Domination of one group by another (and thus
resistance of one group to another) is not limited to colonialism. In fact, prior
to the war, the internees lived similar lifestyles along side their Caucasian
neighbors. Everyday factors for the two groups, such as economic status,
education levels, career choices, aspirations, and personal wealth did not
differ. Yet during the internment period, the differences induced by the
forced losses, relocations, and internment within their own country made the
internees a different class of citizen, so Scott's resistance theory, manifested
through acts of everyday resistance, is very much applicable to the
internment camps.
As mentioned, Camp Amache and other camps obviously were not
comprised of "peasants." In fact, quite the opposite was true in many cases
since a number of internees were successful businessmen and landowners
prior to the war. Despite the economic and social difference between the
peasants Scott wrote about and the Amache internees, resistance in camp,
covert as it usually was, was very similar to the sorts of behaviors that Scott
recognized in peasant resistance. This resistance was characterized by the
avoidance of "direct, symbolic confrontation with authority" (Scott 1985:xvi),
and was clearly present at Amache, even if resistance was more overt at
some of the other internment camps. Scott also makes clear that often times
outright revolt results in marginal (if any) benefits for the repressed class, and
"almost always creates a more coercive and hegemonic.. apparatus" (Scott
1985:29). Furthermore, Scott notes, "open insubordination in almost any
context will provoke a more rapid and ferocious response than an
insubordination that may be pervasive but never ventures to contest the
formal definition of hierarchy and power" (Scott 1985:33). This resistance
theory focuses not so much on the violent or obvious forms of resistance by
27


the dominated class, but on "passive noncompliance, subtle sabotage,
evasion, and deception," exactly the type of resistance that occurred at
Amache (Scott 1985:31).
Was sake acquisition and consumption at Amache an act of resistance
or was it something else? Did the context change from time to time? Scott
states the obvious, "inasmuch as I seek to understand the resistance of
thinking social beings, I can hardly fail to ignore their consciousnessthe
meaning they give to their acts" (Scott 1985:38). It would be easy for an
outsider though, if he or she were not careful, to misinterpret or attribute
false meaning to the acts performed by the actors themselves. Perhaps sake
acquisition and consumption was both an act of defiance as well as a
traditional act of relaxation. Or perhaps sake was enjoyed simply and solely
for the pleasure and social bonding opportunities it provided. I would posit
that the acquisition and consumption of sake at Camp Amache had multiple
meanings and among these, sake at times represented a pervasive yet subtle
form of insubordination, even if that was not always the primary intention.
Although no one I spoke to verbalized it in such a way or said, "yes, people
drank sake to be rebellious and to resist the established rules of the system,"
everyone at camp was well aware that sake was not allowed in camp, and
that smuggling it in, brewing it onsite, and drinking it, defied the prohibition
against alcohol. Every carefully concealed container of fermenting rice and
water, every contraband bottle of Hawaiian sake hidden from guards as
internees returned to camp from a shopping trip in Granada, every tokkuriof
sake shared amongst friends during visits or on New Year's, were acts of
rebellion based on the very simple fact that internees were not allowed to
possess or consume alcohol within the camps. Even if internees did not drink
28


sake as a conscious act of rebellion, an act of rebellion it was since it defied
camp rules.
Resistance can be conscious, organized, and extremely overt.
Drinking sake publicly and participating in alcohol induced rioting or drunken
acts of mayhem would have been an overt use of sake as a form of resistance
or rebellion. Conversely, resistance can be an outcome of an act that has
more immediate, and one could say entirely different end goals, such as
drinking sake in moderation in one's apartment with friends. Theories like
Scott's help us interpret a practice like sake consumption in a way that goes
beyond observing it as merely a social act. His theories provide a framework
in which one can explore whether sake consumption had more complex
ramifications and whether it also may have represented something less
apparent, like resistance.
Another observation by Scott ties in with the above ideas, as well as
with the Japanese saying (and one could even say, belief system) shikata ga
nai. The saying essentially translates to mean, "it can't be helped" or "there is
nothing to be done" and in many ways shares similarities with the Gramscian
concept of hegemony (Crehan 2002), and in some ways the Marxists concepts
of "mystification" or "false consciousness" (Scott 1985:39). As Scott explains,
the exploited group, because of hegemonic religious or social
ideology, actually accepts its situation as a normal, even
justifiable part of the social order. This explanation of passivity
assumes at least a fatalistic acceptance of that social order and
perhaps even an active complicity (Scott 1985:39).
Marx and Scott's viewpoints reflect social structures developed over
generations, and Gramsci's subaltern complacency or submissiveness to the
dominating group is something that comes about over time and becomes
29


accepted as the norm and just is. Like the saying shikata ga nai, some things
just are, and thus are accepted within the system. Shikata ga nai was an
inherent belief that developed over time and was a part of the general
Japanese psyche.
As with most societies, the internees at Amache seemed at times to
accept their fates and at other times resist the internment in small ways.
Former internee Mas Sugimoto explains the personal philosophies of the Issei,
who were predominantly Buddhist:
The [Buddhist] teachings .. include philosophies to accept
things that happen, be adaptable, and to make the best of
what life will offer, without complaint... in camp the majority
did not speak 'sour grapes' nor complain about the conditions,
or why they were here. This was left to the innermost thoughts
of the individuals (Mas Sugimoto, personal communication
2005).
This is where shikata ga naiand false consciousness differ. Since the above
quote indicates "the innermost thoughts of the individuals," this cannot be
false consciousness. As is often the case when comparing real life to theory,
sometimes the chosen theory is not a perfect fit.
A key aspect of Gramsci's ideas on hegemony and the subaltern
experience apply to the internee's situation since the internee's had little
"potential to challenge the existing hegemonic accounts (which by definition
see the world from the perspective of the dominant) in any effective way"
(Crehan 2002, emphasis in original). Certainly the internees did not accept
the situation as normal, and definitely not justifiable, but there was what
appeared to be a "fatalistic acceptance" and very little open rebellion against
the situation. This of course also could have been a reaction that had nothing
to do with fatal acceptance and everything to do with a choice made after
30


weighing the benefits versus the possible costs of acting out and rebelling.
Other camps had occasional skirmishes between the internees and the camp
staff (Burton et al. 1996a:35), but by and large at Amache there was no open
rebellion and no grand uprising or mass resistance to the situation.
In a similar vein, in a study of the resistance of slaves in eighteenth
century South Carolina, Ferguson attempted to look at the situation from a
unique perspective, one that is highly applicable to Amache (Ferguson 1991).
He examined resistance through something as seemingly simple as what he
calls the "difference in foodways" of the slaves and the white elite (Ferguson
1991:28). Differences in foodways of the camps' Caucasian staff and of the
internees were apparent at the camps. Although the internees had only
marginal influence over what was served in the mess halls (and which,
according to interviews and literature reviews, was very different then what
many internees preferred and were used to), they did manage to acquire
Japanese foods and staples such as soy sauce, rice, and Japanese vegetables.
Ferguson's goal for his foodways study was not to look for blatant acts of
rebellion, but to search for ways that the slaves preserved their heritage
under such daunting circumstances simply by preserving their own culture,
and as result, resisting the dominating class by creating a subculture
completely apart from that of the elites. As Ferguson notes, "they resisted
slavery by being themselves" (Ferguson 1991:28). They may not have
accepted their forced lot in life as slaves, but having no way to escape the
situation instead found ways to adapt and persevere. The behavior was
similar at Amache. More so, in fact, at Amache than at many other
internment camps, since Amache was known to have a very compassionate
camp director who did everything in his power to help the internees adapt
and cope.
31


The African slaves in Ferguson's study, conversely, had little control
over their day-to-day lives, but they could control simple things like their
meals and their mealtime rituals. The white elites preferred mass produced
dishware from urban centers and looked at such items as more than just
practical utilitarian items, but also as status symbols. Slaves (who presumably
did not have access to such things as transferware) often created their own
simple ceramic dishware. Where the tableware of the white elite represented
a symbol of elevated social hierarchy, no such social stratification was implied
by the dishware created and utilized by the slaves. Ferguson concluded that
the foodways of the slaves were distinctly West African in nature, and
dramatically different than the Euro-American styles of the times. The
enslaved people could have mimicked the habits of their oppressors, for
instance by choosing similar foodways, but they consciously chose not to.
At Amache, the interned population was predominantly American, not
just by citizenship but by many cultural habits as well. Even so, there were a
number of traditional Japanese traits, customs, and rituals that were observed
during the internment. One of these included the use of Japanese porcelain,
even though government issued "Shenango" hotelware was provided for the
internees' food and beverage consumption needs. Internees said that it was
worth it to bring sentimental items or prized heirlooms to camp, even if it
meant leaving behind something more practical. Continuing to use the family
porcelain at camp, although not necessarily representative of a custom or
ritual perhaps, was a preference that reflected their ethnicity and a conscious
choice. Internment may have, on some level, acted as a catalyst that
encouraged people to practice traditional Japanese rituals and habits as a way
to maintain or express their identities, even more so than they might have
outside of camp prior to the internment.
32


Two-thirds of the internees may have been American citizens, but the
third who were not were Issei, and despite at least some acculturation,
Japanese traditions were what they knew and continued to quietly, and
defiantly honor and acknowledge. They were, what Spicer refers to as a
"persistent cultural system" which he defined as "a 'nation/ 'a people,' or an
'ethnic group'" (Spicer 1971:795). Key to this is that the members of such
groups feel "personal affiliation with certain symbols, or more accurately, with
what certain symbols stand for" since these symbols (in this case sake and all
it represented) are "the essential feature of a collective identity system"
(Spicer 1971:795-796).
The internees resisted the internment to some degree "by being
themselves." This is a good example of the term "identity politics" referred to
by Hill and Wilson. One's ethnic and social identity may lead to identity
politics which are characterized as "discourse and action within public arenas
of political and civil society" (Wilson and Hill 2003:2). Identity politics, a
system that works from the "top down," depends greatly on "institutions and
application of economic and political power" but the politics of identity, a
"bottom up" system, ties in very closely and can occur in any social setting
and is initially evident in private among oppressed people and groups
attempting to "negotiate culture identity" despite rules or oppression from the
more powerful dominant group (Wilson and Hill 2003:2).
Critical TheoryA Marriage Between Archaeology and
Ethnography
Critical theory not only challenges the norm and the natural order of
things, but also challenges cultural assumptions about our own society as well
33


as others, and is concerned with issues of repression, inequality, and
domination (Fischer 1997), all things pertinent to the internment.
Archaeologists who use critical theory try to take an analytical approach to
modern interpretations of history and question, if necessary, commonly
accepted notions if they appear to be based on an uncritical interpretation of
the past (Leone and Matthews 1996). For instance, even historic events we
take to be true, may at the heart of the matter indeed be, if not false,
exaggerated or more myth than fact. Even the commonly accepted story of
the pilgrims is more fantasy than reality. The "pilgrim story" we are all
familiar with and were taught in school only developed into the sort of heroic,
against-all-odds tale it has become, at the end of the 18th century (Baker
1992). Critical research starting in the 1960s has recently led to a more
realistic interpretation of pilgrim life. Like symbolic theory, critical theory
attempts to explain the past on its own terms, which can help clarify and
explain historic archaeology and historic events.
Critical theory is useful for tackling thorny political and social issues,
and is based on Marxist ideas, though it has been modified, making it less
limiting and more applicable to contemporary life and social circumstances
beyond those dealing directly with economics and production (Leone et al.
1987). Critical theory encourages clear and analytical thinking and
examination of the archaeological record. The application of the theory, when
used to examine a site such as Amache, can be the basis of critical
archaeology, which through the use of material culture in conjunction with the
historic record, attempts to challenge and explore issues like inequality and
repression.
Critical theory "demands" self-reflexivity on the part of archaeologists
(and ethnographers), and this could serve as a bridge for some of the gaps
34


between the public, the study population, and archaeologists (Potter 1994:3).
Past experiences, knowledge base, and biases can easily affect interpretation
of material culture or oral histories, unfortunately not necessarily in beneficial
or accurate ways. Since it is most common that archaeologists and
ethnographers are outsiders in the communities in which they work,
intentionally or not, one could easily misappropriate another culture's history
for the sake of science and knowledge. Furthermore, it is the obligation of
both archaeologists and ethnographers to maintain the aforementioned self-
reflection in regard to his or her motives and interpretations. It is crucial to
maintain an awareness of the potential impact that his or her work could have
on the local community and/or descendants of the culture examineda belief
similar to that of symbolic archaeology (for examples see Potter and Leone
1988; Leone and Fry 1999; Hodder 1991; Pluciennik 1999), and one that
makes the two theories compatible for this type of research. Of course no
theory or group of theories provide a "magic bullet" or assure perfection in
one's work. Self reflection and an unbiased stance are both worthy goals to
strive for, but on the face of things may not be as easily achieved when one is
dealing with social injustice.
A "reflexive approach involves a to-and-fro between initial hypotheses,
archaeological theory, and the data. It also involves an interaction between
initial hypotheses and the social world in which data are embedded"
(Berggren and Hodder 2003:429). This is important in situations such as at
Amache where a living population still exists. In fact, some archaeologists
(Andrews et al. 2000:527) argue that we should embrace the term
interpretation rather than record when it comes to site documentation. This
point is relevant to what I have attempted to do with this thesis. Although
technically I did assist in recording what is on the ground at Amache, I
35


attempted to take that a step further by asking internees for their assistance
in interpreting the meaning of the artifacts and the past they represent. This
issue is addressed more in the following sections.
To make historic archaeology relevant to a diverse audience, Potter
advocates the use of critical theory to link three types of interpretations of the
past into one coherent whole: the modern day view of a place's history, the
historic record (the "historical version" of a place's history), and the history as
evident to historians and archaeologists (Potter 1994). This methodology can
be successfully applied to historic sites such as Amache, and Potter suggests
several steps necessary in order to merge various interpretations of the past
and to present a critical archaeological explanation. The steps that Potter
suggests are: the use of ethnographic research in order to understand how
the existing local population "uses" and interprets its past; the utilization of
archaeology to expand upon what might be missing or unclear in the
contemporary interpretation of the past; and finally, he advocates a practice
of archaeology that utilizes the "techniques, methods, and findings" derived
from ethnographic research as well as actual, hands on archaeological field
work (Potter 1994:2-3).
There are multiple interpretations and presentations of history--at the
time that history occurred as well as the way it has been viewed and
interpreted since. Additionally, knowledge and interpretation of the past is
not neutral nor is it, as Potter points out, value free. Thus a critical
archaeology and the application of critical theory is one of the most effective
means of interpreting the past in a way that at least attempts to remove bias
and value judgments as much as possible. The three steps Potter employs
were used in my research for this thesis. It is my hope that by employing
histories and other forms of written documentation, ethnographies, and
36


archaeology, I could present my material on sake acquisition and
consumption in a way that reflects the way things were at camp, based on all
the evidence. I started this project with several preconceived notions, but
sincerely hoped to use all my available options to learn more, even if what I
discovered was contrary to my initial assumptions.
The Symbolic Approach and Sake
Critical theory is well matched with a symbolic approach to archaeology
since critical theory stresses self-reflexivity on the part of the archaeologist,
and symbolic theory places great importance on finding the possible nuances
of artifacts or a past situation. The two theories both emphasize taking the
time to get to the meaning that was the accepted reality to the study
population, not the meaning imagined or presumed by the archaeologist.
Hodder points out that until very recently,
postprocessual archaeologists ... have been more concerned
with showing the validity of our theoretical apparatus. The
data have been only examples manipulated to demonstrate,
often in-adequately, some theoretical point. There has been
insufficient interpretation" (Hodder 199.1:8).
The interpretation that Hodder refers to is appropriately approached using
symbolic theory (it should be noted that Hodder rejects the term "symbolic"
and prefers instead, "contextual"). His emphasis is on doing interpretation,
rather than simply talking about interpretation. The theoretical has all too
often canceled out the human element associated with artifacts, which is
curious since artifacts are the remains of and were integral parts of human
life, activity, and ritualsboth everyday and spiritual.
37


The symbolic approach is one of the theories that Parker and Leone
have found to be useful for "the recovery of meaning" in archaeology (Potter
and Leone 1988:2). The symbolic approach compels archaeologists to look
beyond the obvious (or what may seem obvious) and to take a closer, more
open minded approach to what the material culture might truly mean or have
meant to the culture in question. This makes symbolic theory highly relevant
for situations like Amache, where an artifact such as a small porcelain sake
cup (an o-choko) ultimately can have multiple meanings and a variety of
possible narratives associated with it. An archaeologist applying symbolic
theory when examining the presence of o-chokos in the archaeological record
would not see them simply as small drinking vessels but would strive to get to
the heart of when and why these seemingly impractically small cups were
used. As Potter and Leone mention, "a symbolic analysis requires an
enormous commitment to historical documents, anthropological theory, and
patience" (Potter and Leone 1988:9). They caution that this approach can
only be truly effective if we treat the archaeological and historic records as
completely separate entities. If we look at both the archaeological record and
the historic record, we can learn new information about both rather than
developing a blind dependence on historic records as the be-all-end-all source
of accurate information about the material culture in question.
Leone and Fry used archaeology as well as biographies and narratives .
in a sort of "mutual interrogation" in order to assist in learning more about
something that was intangible through the examination of the material culture
alone (Leone and Fry 1999). Their study of African slave spiritual practices at
18th and 19th century sites in Virginia had considerable holes in the data that
they were unable to fill without the slave narratives. Leone and Fry point out
that the archaeological record in conjunction with the narratives and
38


biographies meant that the two sources of data could reflect against one
another "so as to extend the range of possible conclusions and to overcome
the limitations of each discipline" (Leone and Fry 1999:375). Although their
narratives did not come from living people as mine did, their intent and goals
were the same as mine; to use the personal histories of those who were at
their sites, and who knew what the symbolic meaning of the artifacts were,
who used the artifacts, and on what occasions. Hodder states that symbolic
(contextual) archaeology "is about constructing narratives, or telling stories"
(Hodder 1991:13). Narratives focus not just on things (the material culture),
but also on the spirit of the thing. Hodder continues, "many people do not
want a past defined as a scientific resource by us but a past that is a story to
be interpreted" (Hodder 1991:14).
Another aspect of symbolic theory that makes it applicable to historic
archaeology is that this approach also recognizes that events in the past
occurred separately from the present and within different contexts than those
of today, and thus should be viewed accordingly. The symbolic approach
emphasizes that archaeologists must acknowledge that people of the past
made sense of their world according to the standards and norms of their
culture and their time (Hodder 1991). The symbolic approach emphasizes the
need to let the past stand on its own. Today archaeologists must attempt to
find ways to allow the voices of the past to speak and tell the story rather
than allowing the story to become colored by modern day sensibilities and
rationalizations about what we might think the past was like. Even when we
have scores of books and articles on a subject such as the Japanese
internment, the literature cannot address every situation or event, and
nothing can replace a story told by one who was there. As Lynn Meskell
succinctly puts it, "individually, the past is memorycollectively it is history"
39


(Meskell 2002:293). What seems obvious to archaeologists may in actuality
not be obvious, or even correct. The symbolic approach takes a more fluid
view of culture and acknowledges that cultures are always changing and
recreating themselves (Hodder 1982). This could not have been truer than
during the internment when the United States government directly impacted
the way Japanese-Americans lived their everyday lives and expressed their
culture. Even though there had been anti-Asian sentiments to varying
degrees since the late- to mid-nineteenth century, after the bombing of Pearl
Harbor it became far more pronounced and widespread, and Japanese-
Americans were forced to deal with what it meant to be of Japanese heritage.
For many there was a very real emotional and intellectual clash between
taking pride in one's Japanese ancestry and wanting to emphasize one's
"Americaness" and support of their adopted homeland. Through the use of a
symbolic approach to the archaeology at Amache (especially in conjunction
with oral histories from internees) these struggles become more apparent. As
Hodder states, "the calls for an interpretive archaeology mirror contemporary
concerns for heritage" by introducing voices of the past and present other
than those of just the archaeologists (Hodder 1991:13). This is part of what I
.hoped to accomplish by including ethnographies as a way to bring artifacts
and scenarios to life.
Symbolic theory is useful for examining the variability between the past
and present, and also for attempting to understand variability within a past
culture. Symbolic theory acknowledges that symbols can have multiple
meanings within that society, depending on the context in which they are
encountered (Hodder 1982). If artifacts had multiple meanings within a
cultural context, then it would be easy to overlook or never even know these
meanings within an archaeological context. Additionally, according to Hodder,
40


the meanings of artifacts are not just a reflection of the culture in question,
but are an integral part of that culture. For instance, sake within the
Japanese culture was not just a beverage consumed exclusively for its
intoxicating effects; it was also symbolic of hospitality, social bonding, and of
festive times (Gauntner 2000; Hagihara 1977:186-187; Ohnuki-Tierney
1995:229). There is a mini-ritual associated with drinking sake, which will be
addressed in a later chapter. What initially seems to be a simple beverage is
more than just a beverage and was very much a part of Japanese culture and
tradition.
Leone and Potter believe that the symbolic approach when used in
archaeology, is effective for appropriately and thoroughly examining and
attempting to understand and interpret what they refer to as "native
meaning" (Leone and Potter 1988:7). They posit that for groups which were
colonized, forced into slavery, assimilated, or were otherwise dominated in
some way, native meaning is often lost, overlooked, or manipulated by the
dominant group and thus made to seem strange or irrational. Like Hodder
who emphasized the necessity to be "sensitive to the other," Leone and Potter
believe that the symbolic approach allows for an understanding of such native
meaning, but note that it is a practice more common to anthropologists
studying living populations than it is for many archaeologists (Hodder
1991:10; Leone and Potter 1988).
The ability to be sensitive to "the other" requires a careful and critical
examination and commitment to the historic record and to any other existing
documentation that might be available. This is a commitment that Potter,
Leone, and Hodder, as well as I, strongly advocate-keeping in mind that
historic documents can be biased. History is often written by the dominating
culture so it is crucial to stay cognizant of this potential bias and how it might
41


affect interpretation. Hodder points out the objective and unbiased stance
that the symbolic approach attempts to take (Hodder 1982). Though certainly
it is impossible to maintain a stance utterly free of value judgments, symbolic
theory at least encourages one to be aware of personal biases as well as
biases within that historic record that may also color interpretation. Bias in
the early historic records about Amache was the norm rather than the
exception. Fortunately, as time passed and people have recognized the
injustice of the internment, more accurate portrayals have been written of
camp life and of its impact. Camp Amache provides a good example of how
the symbolic approach is directly applicable from an archaeological
perspective. A functionalist perspective would not work as well to examine
sake and sake rituals since it would mean one might approach this discovery
by focusing more on the manufacturing and importation of the product, rather
than what this product actually meant for the internees who obtained and
consumed it in secret (Leone and Potter 1988). Deeper meaning might be
lost through a functionalist interpretation. For the Japanese internees, sake
may have represented more than just a means of achieving intoxication.
What was the true "native meaning" of sake in this circumstance? Sake might
have had a deeply symbolic meaning serving as a reminder of heritage and of
rituals denied during internment at Amache. What bigger implications did the
acquisition and consumption of sake have for the reification of Japanese social
and cultural norms? Certainly if the internees only drank it for the intoxicating
effects, they could have gone to far less trouble and consumed more readily
available beer and whiskey like the camp staff did.
James Deetz was probably one of the earliest in historic archaeology
to recognize that artifacts must be looked at in a more holistic way and that
they symbolize ideas, not simply manufactured things (Yentsch 1992:40;
42


Deetz 1977). As a processualist, Deetz never called his approach symbolic,
his methodology definitely focused on seeking the greater meanings of
artifacts. Two key aspects of Deetz's and his student's methods of thinking
about artifacts and what they truly meant to the culture in question were that
"artifact subassemblages were sensitive to social change from external and
internal variables" (Yentsch 1992:38; Deetz 1977) and that sometimes it is
more productive to look at the artifacts in such a way that interpretation does
not separate form and function, but instead looks at form and function in a
more cohesive way (or as Yentsch put it in one example, Deetz "tore down
the boundaries between ceramics and foodways") (Yentsch 1992:40). Deetz's
way of looking at artifacts is highly applicable to the assemblage of
"Japanese" artifacts at Amache. The statement that artifact assemblages are
"sensitive to social change from external and internal variables" could not be
more appropriate for Amache, where social change was radical.
Certainly one would find similar artifact assemblages in other types of
Japanese-American communities that were not of a confined nature, but the
Japanese artifacts at Amache take on perhaps a more symbolic or different
meaning than they would have outside of camp. Archaeologists like Deetz
would look deeper into what those artifacts meant to what was essentially a
community of outsiders. Dramatic cultural and social rearrangement means
the mundane can become the exceptional, and that once basic acts and
activities can become laced with meaning, especially when conducted covertly
and in defiance. Acts that perhaps would have been ordinary in another
context, tell a different tale in an environment such as Amache. For instance
in a fictitious dump outside of a fictitious mid-twentieth century Japanese-
American farming community in California's Central Valley, archaeologists
would also likely find sake cups and bottles and the jugs in which sake was
43


imported. The difference, however, is that interpretation of these sake
related artifacts would probably take on a somewhat different meaning
because the context in which they were originally used would be different
than at Amache. Rough sorts of artifacts would probably simply categorize
the vessels as food and beverage related, and perhaps would make note of
maker's marks in order to determine origin of the artifacts. When sake is an
illegal, contraband item though, and when people were highly limited to the
quantity of personal possessions that they could take with them into camp,
the presence of sake artifacts takes on an entirely new set of meanings.
Beyond Theory; Applying Theory to Practice
Although this project had as much of an ethnographic element as an
archaeological one, I am still an archaeologist, albeit an archaeologist who
strongly believes in collecting oral histories to supplement the material
culture, when possible. The interpretive archaeology I attempted to use for
this project is well suited for historic archaeology for the following reasons (as
stated by Hodder):
1) The partial objective, grounded, and material nature of the
past allows subordinate groups to empower themselves
through the evidential aspect of archaeology.
2) Interpretive approaches at least try to understand the other
in its own terms in that they look for internal rather than
external criteria of plausibility in order to support their
arguments.
3) Interpretive approaches encourage self-reflexivity and
dialogue. The past is always 'owned' by someone, in some
44


sense . Archaeologists need to retain the authority to be
able to say that a particular interpretation does not fit the data
(point 1 above), but they also need to be open to dialogue and
conflicts with vested interests other than their own (Hodder
1991:15-16).
Clearly, an interpretive (symbolic) approach is one that meshes well with all
the goals that I had for this project, and it is flexible enough to accommodate
several other theories applicable for examining the data. The multivocality
that can be achieved through a symbolic approach and through the use of
ethnographies is complimentary to traditional archaeology and is an excellent
way to engage and illustrate a variety of viewpoints. This multivocality,
though, can also contribute to perhaps one of the most difficult challenges an
archaeologist can face, especially when working with a living culture. It can
be difficult to maintain self-reflexivity and a critical awareness of the
information one gains through ethnographies, considering the strong emotion
that can be involved in collecting the stories of living people. Employing
critical theory can aid in combating this potential problem, and including the
study population as informants is another way, as long as the archaeologist
can, as Hodder said, be aware that a particular interpretation may not "fit the
data" (Hodder 1991:16). One of the struggles that I had with this project was
realizing that I could not include all the data provided by the ethnographies,
as much as I may have wanted to. Obviously not all of the information
gathered was relevant to this particular project. Even so, on an emotional
level I wanted to include all I could so it took an effort on my part to keep
things relevant and on topic and to be continuously aware of the things that
did not "fit the data." It is the obligation of the archaeologist to maintain the
aforementioned self-reflection in regard to his or her motivations and
interpretations. It is crucial that archaeologists maintain an awareness of the
45


potential impact that his or her work could have on the study population
and/or descendants of the culture examined. Certainly I want to do good
archaeology and have a well thought out and cohesive thesis, but I am also
acutely aware of my study populationwho I want to please as well. It is a
difficult tension that exists between all of these goals.
Theory is an excellent starting point when trying to make sense of the
material culture and a past event, but is only a guiding point for the on the
ground work that is done in the field, and the subsequent interpretation of
what is found during field work. Theories that focus on interpretation of
artifacts, and symbolical meaning of artifacts are the ones that I have found
to be most applicable to the artifacts at Camp Amache, especially for
Japanese artifacts such as sake cups and bottles. Theories that focus on
power issues, unequal balances of power, and of repression and resistance
are enormously useful for examining what it all meant in the bigger picture at
Amache. One cannot talk about the internment without acknowledging that
at the heart of the internment was repression and resistance, and by
extension, attempts at cultural preservation. The following chapters examine
my methodology for this thesis as well as detail the archaeological process
that was undertaken, and the subsequent ethnographies that were conducted
in order to attempt to bring more meaning to the artifacts found at the camp.
46


CHAPTER 3
HISTORY OF THE INTERNMENT AND CAMP AMACHE
I will argue that it is necessary for archaeologists to understand
the broader economic, social and cultural processes within
which archaeology and heritage are embedded. To understand
critically these wider processes is to provide a reflexive context
for archaeological reflexivity itself (Hodder 1999:148).
The truth in the above statement cannot be emphasized enough. The
primary goal for this thesis was to explore the role of resistance during the
internment situation (i.e., how internees displayed resistance to the
internment while they were being interned), and this involved the exploration
of how people resisted political domination even under incredible
circumstances. One way that resistance to political domination can be
examined based on relatively recent U.S. events is through the examination of
Camp Amache. Therefore, in order to introduce the research that I did at
Camp Amache, a clear idea of the events that led to the internment are
necessary. The Japanese-Americans forced into the camps did not just
appear there as if by magic, and the economic, social, and cultural processes
which led to their internment are complex. Those processes are presented
here.
In 1942 on the barren plains of southeastern Colorado, a facility was
built to house thousands of forcibly displaced Japanese-Americans. This camp
was not unique, and these thousands of individuals were not the only ones
forced into such camps. Nine other camps were established across the
western United States and in Arkansas. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor,
hundreds of thousands of Japanese and Japanese-Americans who were U.S.
47


citizens were forced to take up residence in these camps and to live like
criminals or refugees behind barbed wire in their own country. Though some
of these individuals were not yet American citizens, two-thirds were. How
could such injustice occur in a country that was established on noble tenants
such as freedom and equality? The following chapter examines the course of
events that led the American government to imprison its own people and
discusses the chain of events that occurred once the decision for mass
relocation was made. Finally, this chapter takes a close look at the camp that
was known both as the Granada Relocation Center as well as Camp Amache,
and examines what life was like at the camp for those forcibly sent there to
live out the war in isolation.
A Brief History of Anti-Asian Sentiment in the United States
One wonders how the Japanese-Americans became the sole focus of
government and public hysteria during the war. Why not the Italians? In
1940 there were 7,194 more foreign-born Italians in California, than there
were foreign-born Japanese and Japanese-Americans combined (Tamir et al.
1993:17). And what about those of German descent? What made those of
European heritage more trustworthy or less of a perceived threat than those
of Japanese heritage? This is a difficult question to answer, and there is likely
no one reason. Hysteria and prejudice fueled by the bombing of Pearl
Harbor, government speculation and rumors, fearful citizens, groups and
individuals envious of their Japanese-American neighbors' successes certainly
all contributed to the situation. Some say that the fact that we were at war
with Japan and those of Japanese ancestry were more easily visually
identifiable than those of European heritage made them an easier target
48


.(Burton et al. 1996a: 13). Others say that major economic considerations
came into play, and perhaps even jealousy and greed fueled some of the
prejudice (Weglyn 1976:37).
Feelings of resentment towards any Asian-Americans stemmed initially
from the earliest Chinese immigration to the United States, which happened
to coincide with the California Gold Rush in 1849 (Burton et al. 1996a:ll).
Chinese immigrants were a source of cheap tabor at mining camps and during
construction of railroads in the west in the late 1800s. The first Japanese
immigrants, the Issei (Japanese born people who were the first generation to
live in the United States) were also present in very small numbers as early as
the gold rush days due to famine in Japan, but it was not until the late 1800s
that they migrated in larger numbers (Harvey 2004). In the 1860s when
large numbers of Chinese were first immigrating to the west coast, larger
numbers of Japanese were immigrating to Hawaii. These early Japanese
inhabitants in Hawaii, as well as the small number of Japanese who inhabited
mining and railroad camps on the mainland, either initially went unnoticed or
presented no obvious reason for concern so their presence early on was of
little consequence. Meanwhile in the western United States, Chinese
resentment intensified. Prejudice abounded and bitter feelings towards the
Chinese immigrants grew because they were willing to work for little, and
because they were outsiders and obviously different (Burton et al. 1996a:13).
The Chinese working on the railroads and in the mining industry in Colorado
during the late 1800s were not exempt from harassment. In 1880 an anti-
Chinese riot in Denver completely destroyed Denver's small China Town (Endo
1985:101). As beleaguered Chinese workers fled Colorado, a gap was created
in the labor poolone that opened the door for Japanese workers. For
reasons unknown, Japanese immigrants did not face the harassment that the
49


Chinese did, at least not initially. Thus, the migration of Japanese immigrants
was a slow but steady one. The 1890 census found only 10 documented
Japanese in Colorado, but by 1910 the number had grown to 2,300, and it is
thought that these numbers may be extremely low since many of the jobs in
Colorado were transitory in nature and numerous people may have gone
uncounted. The Immigration Commission estimated that in 1909 the number
of Japanese in Colorado may have been as high as 6,000. Whatever the
numbers, by 1909 Colorado was the state with the fourth highest Japanese
population in the United States, and the highest of any inland state (Endo
1985:100).
Anti-Asian sentiment led to a series of laws starting in the late 1800s
and continuing into the early twentieth century. These laws prevented easy
assimilation for anyone of Asian descent into mainstream American culture
and barred them from owning and operating their own businesses. The
Naturalization Act of 1870 prevented people who were not of Anglo or African
descent from becoming naturalized citizens (Harvey 2004:5). To add insult to
injury, the Immigration Exclusion Bill instated by Congress in 1882 was aimed
primarily at all those of Asian ancestry. Unfortunately at the same time this
act was put into place, more and more Japanese immigrants were starting to
seek employment beyond Hawaii, and streamed not only to the west coast
but also into states like Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah, where manual labor
jobs were, as mentioned, abundant. Many Japanese immigrants were
educated farmers originally from the Japanese countryside, and those who did
not take manual labor jobs in the U.S. became farmers or started out as
manual laborers and eventually turned to farming. Not only were these
newcomers outsiders, but they also had a talent for farming land that had
been previously considered useless for such undertakings. On the west coast
50


outraged Anglos were fearful for their jobs and fearful that available land
would continue be snatched up by Asian immigrants, most of whom were
Japanese. West coast citizens were quick to lump all those of Asian heritage
into one homogenous groupa group that was perceived to be a threat to
the very livelihoods of Caucasian west coast citizens. These concerns led to
the 1913 Alien Land Law, which prohibited anyone not eligible for citizenship
(all those born outside of the United States who were not white or black) from
owning agricultural land (Burton et al. 1996a: 13). The Alien Land Act of 1920
took this one step further by preventing sharecropping or leasing. Many
found ways around these laws by making their children, the Nisei {the first
generation of Japanese-Americans who were U.S. citizens by birth) legal
landowners of family farms and businesses. At the time of the war,
approximately 85% of the small produce growers in California's Central Valley
were Japanese-Americans (Magagnini 2001). In 1924 yet another act was
passed to further alienate anyone of Asian descent. The Immigration Act was
limited to the West Coast but effectively brought to a halt the immigration of
Japanese into the United States. Asian prejudice, which had initially focused
on the Chinese, had shifted from the Chinese in the mid- to late 1800s to the
Japanese by the early twentieth century. The Japanese were easy targets
who looked and probably seemed enough like their Chinese counterparts to
evoke prejudice based primarily on their perceived commonalities. The above
laws aimed primarily at one specific group effectively set the stage for the
events that were to come once the war started and envy and resentment
grew.
51


Prejudice, Fear, and Hysteria: The War's Effect on Japanese in
the United States
On December 7,1941, the bombing of Pearl Harbor changed
Americans' lives forever. The Japanese and Japanese-Americans living on the
west coast of the United States would pay dearly for the bombing, as surely
as if they had been personally responsible. An immediate response to the
bombing was to freeze the bank accounts of "enemy aliens" (those of
Japanese, Italian, or German descent) living the United States, and to freeze
access to all accounts in American branches of Japanese banks (Burton et al.
1996a:14). In addition, over 1,500 Japanese-American community leaders
who were deemed security threats were immediately taken away by the
authorities (Simmons and Simmons 1994:Section 8:10). These people were
never charged with a crime, but nonetheless were taken into custody and
placed in internment camps. They were the first. Siblings Min Tonai and
Rumi (Tonai) Uragami, former Amache internees, remember their father being
taken away by the FBI immediately after the Pearl Harbor bombing (Min Tonai
and Rumi Uragami, personal communications 2004). The elder Mr. Tonai was
jailed and was unable to return to his family until the spring of 1944.
At first, the party line was that the camps were established for the
protection of people of Japanese descent who resided in the United States.
Perhaps some truth could be found in this since according to informants,
formerly good (Caucasian) neighbors started to turn on their Japanese-
American neighbors after Pearl Harbor (Various internee interviews, 2004).
Soon though, the government's primary motives became apparent. The U.S.
government attempted to justify a mass evacuation as necessity from a
military stand point. Paranoia thrived, and it was generally accepted that
52


there was no way to determine the loyalties of Japanese individuals or of
people of Japanese heritage, even if they were U.S. citizens. Harassment was
common in communities and in schools. Tom Shigekuni, a young person at
the time of the war, commented, "you would have thought that we bombed
them ourselves by the way everyone acted towards us" (Harvey 2004:18).
Joy Takeyama Hashimoto, a former internee, remembers that after Pearl
Harbor, in order to avoid anti-Japanese harassment, people of Chinese and
Korean descent publicly wore badges that identified them as such (Carrillo et
al. 2004a:42).
Even though many were opposed to the idea of a mass evacuation,
including FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and U.S. Attorney General Francis
Biddle, politicians and the general public, especially on the west coast (and
more specifically those in California), pushed for the mass removal of all
people of Japanese heritage. General John L. DeWitt, the commander of the
Western Defense Command, was quoted as stating to a congressional
committee, "A Jap's a Jap. They are a dangerous element .. [and] there is
no possible way to determine their loyalty" (Simmons and Simmons 1994:11).
Even DeWitt had moments of doubt though. In a memo to General
Headquarters he stated, "An American citizen is an American citizen. And
while they all may not be loyal, I think we can weed the disloyal out of the
loyal and lock them up if necessary" (Conn 1990:127). Unfortunately,
Dewitt's uncertainty was short lived. Anti-Japanese propaganda swept the
nation, and Life magazine even printed an article in December of 1941 titled,
"How to Tell the Japs From the Chinese" (Harvey 2004:16). Greatly
concerned with the possibility of traitorous behavior and sabotage, the West
Coast Congressional delegation pleaded for removal of all those of Japanese
descent from the west coast on February 13, 1942. DeWitt went so far as to
53


suggest that German and Italian immigrants be removed as well, but
interestingly, the public disapproved of the evacuation of any group other
than the Japanese (Burton et al. 1996a: 17). The West Coast Congressional
delegation's wish was ultimately granted, and President Franklin Roosevelt
issued Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, which made it legal to
remove all Japanese and Japanese Americans from their homes and send
them to internment camps for the duration of the war. Dillon S. Meyer, the
second director of the War Relocation Authority (WRA), and the man who ran
the WRA for most of the war, had the audacity to state that the camps were
"way stations" and "havens of rest and security" where internees would have
their most basic needs provided for until the war was over and where people
could have a refuge away from the "discrimination and race-baiting" that they
may have been subjected to outside the camps (Harvey 2004:77).
Initially Executive Order 9066 established portions of the entire west
coast and southern Arizona as "Military Area Number 1" (Simmons and
Simmons 1994: 11). Within this area, all persons of Japanese descent were
required to notify the government if they intended to move. At first, the
government had hoped to relocate some people to Civilian Conservation Corp
.(CCC) camps where they could conduct public service work for the duration of
the war (Harvey 2004:35). It was hoped that others could find sponsors
inland who would be willing to take in Japanese from the west coast.
Ultimately, the extraordinary number of people who were faced with
relocation made such aspirations unfeasible. Therefore, in order to control
and monitor the movement of Japanese and Japanese-Americans while the
government pondered what to do with all of these people, on March 27,1942,
General DeWitt issued Public Proclamation No. 4. This prohibited anyone of
Japanese descent from leaving Military Area Number 1, and thus the stage
54


was set for the beginnings of the mass evacuation. As plans coalesced,
Japanese and Japanese-American individuals, families, and communities were
eventually barred from living and working in the exclusion area entirely, and
were advised to move away, voluntarily. In early 1942 almost 2,000 people
from the west coast moved to Colorado of their own accord (Endo 1985:104),
but only 2,519 additional people voluntarily moved away from the coast to
other land locked states (Burton et al. 1996a:18). It had come time for the
government to find a way to accomplish what CCC camps, sponsorship, and
voluntary movement had not.
DeWitt justified the evacuation in a 1943 report submitted to the U.S.
Government which stated that mass evacuation of the west coast Japanese
was necessitated by the fact that enemy signal lights and radio transmission
were said to be emanating from the west coast after the Pearl Harbor,
bombing (neither of these were ever proven to be true), and that secret
stockpiles of weapons had been seized from Japanese living on the west coast
(Burton et al. 1996a: 15-17). These "secret" stockpiles were usually weapons
confiscated, however, from Japanese stores that sold such items (Burton et
al. 1996a:15).
In an effort to emphasis their loyalty to the United States, members of
the Japanese American Citizen League (JACL), a Nisei social organization,
emphasized their willingness to do whatever it took to make their loyalty and
commitment to the United States known (Burton et al. 1996a: 16). The JACL
leaders opposed mass evacuation, but agreed to cooperate if it would be for
the general well being of their adopted homeland. Others, however, were so
filled with outrage and a sense of betrayal that they renounced their U.S.
citizenship. These individuals were eventually housed atTule Lake, the
relocation camp best known as the camp where dissenters and troublemakers
55


were sent. After the war though, over 4,000 people, most formerly from the
Tule Lake camp returned to Japan. All but 357 reapplied for their U.S.
citizenship in the post-war years.
During the course of the war there were five different types of camps
for the Japanese and Japanese-Americans living on American soil (Harvey
2004). The first type of camp was the assembly center. These were used as
holding and staging areas for the internees before they were transported to
more permanent destinations. The second type of camp was the internment
camp, and there were several throughout the western United States. These
were used by the Justice Department to house those who were considered to
be the biggest threats to the United States and to national security. The third
type of camp was the segregation center. In late 1943 the aforementioned
Tule Lake camp was converted to a segregation center and all internees who
were determined to be disloyal or who were troublemakers were sent to this
camp, often alone, leaving families and friends behind. The fourth type of
camp was the isolation center. There were two during the war; the original
was located at an old CCC camp in Moab, Utah, but was later moved to a
deserted Navajo boarding school in Arizona. The isolation center housed
individuals who "resisted the authoritative style of the relocation centers"
(Harvey 2004:79-80). The fifth and final type of camp was the relocation
center, such as Amache. Even though there were camps specifically
designated "internment camps" that were nothing like Amache, the term
"relocation center" is used interchangeably with the term "internment camp"
to describe the ten camps that were like Amache and which housed the bulk
of Japanese and Japanese-American internees during the war.
56


Mobilizing for Internment
Relocation of tens of thousands of people required the highest possible
level of organization. On March 19, 1942, while people were still in the initial
stages of voluntary relocation, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order
9102, which created the WRA. The WRA became the government agency in
charge of relocation and management of the camps for the duration of the
war (Burton et al. 1996a:25; Harvey 2004:32). Because there was concern
about the use of military personal to carry out the evacuation when the
military was so desperately needed elsewhere, the WRA was a civilian branch
of the government tasked with picking up where the military left off in the
evacuation process (Burton et al. 1996a:25).
Once the decision was made to relocate all those of Japanese descent
to internment camps, and the initial groundwork was laid in place, public
hostilities often forced Japanese-Americans to move from their homes
whether they were prepared to or not. The majority who were not forced out
by unsympathetic community members and neighbors, received an Exclusion
Order which gave them only six days to get their affairs in order (Burton et al.
1996a: 19). People were then sent to fifteen different assembly centers in the
west where they waited to be rerouted to their new homes, the ten
internment camps, for the rest of the war.
The camps were constructed in the most barren places imaginable in
the western United States and Arkansas. The camps were located near
Granada in southeastern Colorado; Manzanar and Tule Lake in California;
Minidoka in Idaho; Topaz in Central Utah; Heart Mountain in Wyoming; Gila
River and Poston in Arizona; and Jerome and Rowher in Arkansas
57


(Figure 3-1). Family members who were not of Japanese heritage (for
example, someone who had married a person of Japanese ancestry) initially
were forced to go to the assembly centers with their family, but later the rules
were relaxed and they could choose to join their families at the internment
camps, or not (Tamir et al. 1993).
Theoretically; the internees were supposed to be routed to the camp
that had a natural environment that was most similar to that of their home
(Burton et al. 1996a:27). Additionally, efforts were made to have a fairly
even mix of rural Japanese and city Japanese at the camps, which points to
the obvious flaw in the government's attempt to match internees with
environments similar to the ones they came from. Interviews confirmed that
there was a mix of rural and city internees at Amache, and some informants
told me that the rural kids from farming communities were intimidated and
even a bit fearful of the city kids from the Los Angeles area (Various internee
interviews, 2004). Parents of the country kids were concerned about the
possible bad influence the worldlier city kids might exercise on their own
children. After all, as one informant said, the city girls wore lipstick and tied
ribbons in their hair.
People were ill prepared to deal with the sudden and total upheaval,
and many lost most of their worldly possessions, including their homes and
businesses. Few had sufficient time to get their affairs in order, and were
forced to sell their possessions for whatever price they could get. Less
common were those lucky enough to have links with people who allowed the
internees to store their things in their homes, in churches, or other storage
facilities. The government offered to store or to ship some items at the
owner's expense, but many people were hesitant or distrustful of this option
58


FIGURE 3.1 MAP SHOWING THE LOCATIONS OF THE TEN INTERNMENT
CAMPS.
(Burton et al. 1996a: 19). Some were fortunate enough to have connections
with people who offered to run family businesses in their absence. Former
Amache internee Tom Nakashima said that his family was able to keep their
farm for just this reason (Tom Nakashima, personal communication 2004).
Nakashima's family was a member of one of three well-established Japanese
Co-Ops in the area where they lived prior to the evacuation. The Co-Ops
collectively hired a manager to run their farms during the war, and to make
the necessary payments for the land. These farming families actually had
something to go back to after the war, and had a small income during the
59


war. Others were less fortunate and either sold everything, or stored their
things only to return and discover that their possession had been looted or
vandalized. Lorna Uno remembered that when her family returned to
California after the war all of their worldly goods had been set on fire (Lorna
Uno, personal communication 2004). Howard Taniguchi recalled that his
family found a custodian to care for their things and their home in Turlock,
California during the war (Howard Taniguchi, personal communication 2004).
They were one of the families who had a home to return to, though they were
dismayed to discover that all of their possessions had been heavily looted. A
poll taken of the internees after the war indicated that 80 percent of the
possessions stored during the war were sold, stolen, or at the very least rifled
through by strangers (Weglyn 1976:77). Masaku "Mako" (Morimoto) Nakae
said that her family fully expected to return to their farm, but when they got
back to California the individuals who had been living on their farm would not
leave, so the Morimotos were unable to move back (Masaku Nakae, personal
communication 2004).
The collective material and economic loss for internees was
staggering. It is estimated that property losses ranged from $41 to $206
million (in 1943 dollars) for those forced into the camps (Harvey 2004:208).
Interestingly, there were Japanese and Japanese-Americans at that time who
were living inland who escaped the west coast panic. Japanese living and
working in Colorado prior to the war were allowed to continue their lives in a
fairly normal fashion, even as the west coast Japanese were forced into an
internment camp on Colorado soil (Endo 1985:104). The Colorado Japanese
experienced none of the upheaval and material losses that the west coast
Japanese did.
60


People were very limited to what they could take with them to the
camps. The phrase "only what they could carry" is a well-known one often
used in stories about the internment camps. Generally this phrase was true,
and Howard Taniguchi remembers being told that they could only have one
suitcase of possessions per person (Howard Taniguchi, personal
communication 2004). How does one encapsulate a full life into one suitcase?
When asked, internees spoken to for this project responded a variety of ways.
Many said their families took only practical things such as clothing and
bedding. George "Knobby" Watanabe said that it was common though for
people to bring sentimental and "impractical" items because these items were
family "treasures" often originally brought over from Japan and passed down
through the years (George Watanabe, personal communication 2004). These
treasured traditional items were needed for special occasions, and the
archaeological record supports Mr. Watanabe's statements, since many non-
essential items were found amongst the material culture on the ground at
Amache. Tom Nakashima does not recall any family mementos taken to
camp, but his family were farmers and he remembers that his younger
brother took a single strawberry plant with him (Tom Nakashima, personal
communication 2004). Alice (Makita) Okazaki remembers agonizing over
which doll she could take, and Lorna Uno remembers taking Chinese Checkers
(Alice Okazaki and Lorna Uno, personal communications 2004), and a number
of marbles, Chinese Checker and otherwise, were found during the
archeological survey of Camp Amache (Carrillo et al. 2004).
More unusual were the cases where families drove themselves to the
assembly centers. Often communities were transported together, especially
in cities and towns where there were entire neighborhoods of Japanese and
Japanese-Americans, but some people from the outlying rural areas drove
61


themselves to the assembly centers and sold their cars once they arrived and
had unloaded all of their belongings (Harvey 2004). Often those who drove
themselves were able to bring considerably more personal items with them,
despite the fact that evacuation notices stated that only items such as
bedding, toiletries, extra clothing and "essential" personal items were allowed
(Harvey 2004:40). .Why certain non-essential items were ultimately permitted
is unclear. Robert "Bob" Uragami recalled that his family drove themselves to
the Santa Anita assembly center, and that he was able to take his bike with
him not only to the assembly center, but to Camp Amache as well (Robert
Uragami, personal communication 2004). Incredibly, even though Mako
Nakae's family lived in two camps during the war (Tule Lake for a year, then
Amache), they were able to take their washing machine with them to both
camps (Masaku Nakae, personal communication 2004). Eugene "Eumo"
Moritani remembers loading his Uncle's Model A Sedan to capacity and taking
a radio and his bike to camp (Eugene Moritani, personal communication
2004). A family friend shipped Lorna Uno's mother her sewing machine after
she arrived at Amache (Lorna Uno, personal communication 2004).
Volunteers and JACL leaders were the first to arrive at the assembly
centers (Burton et al. 1996a:21). Upon arrival, individuals and possessions
were processed by the WRA, and the internees then settled in to wait for the
camps to be completed. The staging centers were located primarily at
fairgrounds and racetracks, and it was common for people to live in barns and
horse stalls while awaiting their transfer to one of the camps (Harvey
2004:41). Some families lived in "Theater of Operations" barracks, which had
been divided into small 20-foot by 20-foot apartments similar to those they
would eventually inhabit at the various internment camps (Burton et al.
1996a:24). Most of the internees spent the summer of 1942 at assembly
62


centers, and many Amacheans ended up at the Merced and Santa Anita
Assembly centers (Various internee interviews, 2004). Some say that the
assembly centers were the beginning of the break down of the traditional
Japanese family structure, a trend that would continue throughout the
internment period (Harvey 2004:44). Husbands and fathers were unable to
work or provide for their families. Children did not initially attend school or
organized clubs and extracurricular activities. Mothers no longer cooked the
meals. Often meals were not even taken together as a family since
communal mess halls provided all meals.
People generally spent several months at the assembly centers. Once
the camps were completed (or in the case of Amache, almost completed) the
next leg of the journey began. Transport to the camps occurred by train, an
experience that was uncomfortable and frightening for most. At the end of
August 1942, the Amache internees started their exodus from California to
Colorado, although the internees had no idea where their final destination
was. Often trainloads of people were told to pull down the blinds and keep
them down for the duration of the trip, further contributing to the state of
confusion and uneasiness for the internees (Harvey 2004). Some were told to
keep the blinds down only when they passed through cities. The train
journeys to Amache took three days and three nights, a much longer time
than they would normally take from California, but the heavy war related
traffic forced the internees' trains to take more circuitous routes. Internees
interviewed for this project corroborated this information. George Watanabe
and Howard Taniguchi vividly remember armed guards in the train cars and
perpetually closed window blinds (George Watanabe and Howard Taniguchi,
personal communications 2004). The journeys have been described as
wretched, hot, and cramped. The elderly and families with small children
63


were allowed to travel in Pullman cars where they could more comfortably
rest. Everyone else was forced to ride in passenger cars and spend three
days in their seats. Some trains made only occasional stops for the internees
to move about and get fresh air. Others were not allowed such stops. Mr.
Taniguchi remembers the first time the train he was on stopped in the desert
so that people could get off and stretch. At the time, the passengers did not
know why the train had stopped in the middle of nowhere or why they were
asked to get off (Howard Taniguchi, personal communication 2004). Many
feared that they were being forced off the train to be shot and left for dead in
the desert.
Life at Camp Amache
Unlike other states where outrage from the public and from
government officials was the norm regarding Japanese-Americans moving to
their states for the duration of the war, Colorado was different. Colorado's
Governor Ralph Carr strongly believed that the State of Colorado had to do its
duty to assist the war effort in a time of national emergency (Harvey
2004:53). Carr was one of an all too small group of people willing to publicly
acknowledge that (most of) the evacuees were U.S. citizens and deserved to
be treated as patriotic Americans. At a time when public officials in many
states were vehemently opposed to having an internment camp in their state,
Governor Carr did all that he could to ensure that Colorado was prepared to
take in Japanese-American internees for the duration of the war.
Camp Amache is located in southeast Colorado on the plains of
Prowers County about 15 miles east of the small town of Lamar, a mile
64


southwest of the even smaller town of Granada, and 15 miles west of the
Kansas border (Figure 3.2). As with the other nine camps, the location for
Amache was chosen for the utter remoteness of the site. The WRA had strict
criteria for the locations of the internment camps. These criteria included that
the camps must be located in places where, "work opportunities in public
works, agriculture, production, and manufacturing" were possible for the
internees, and where "adequate public faculties" (roads, water, power,
railways, etc.) already existed or were immediately available (Hayashi in
Harvey 2004:58). Finally, the camps had to be located in areas where there
was not a large Caucasian population and where the camps would be far from
war related factories or other locations that would be attractive to those who
might seek to sabotage such critical areas. Bent County lobbied hard to
house the camp because locals viewed the camp as a source of ready and
willing labor for an ongoing irrigation project. The consideration came down
to undeveloped areas near two towns: Holyoke and Granada. Ultimately
Granada was chosen, and work commenced on the Granada Relocation camp,
more commonly known as Camp Amache. Unlike the other camps, the land
that Amache was located on was formerly privately owned and was
"condemned" by the government then bought at below market value prices
(Harvey 2004:61). The land was completely bulldozed prior to construction so
all trees or vegetation that were there before, were gone at the time of
occupation. The site was a barren expanse of dirt, with intensely hot
summers, and bitterly cold winters.
65


i .1 2
tn Q-
. - V.
*. 6 >

ms
,.jj- 3£r >>&/

u
* n : -W' I
FIGURE 3.2 LOCATION OF CAMP AMACHE
(Carrillo et al. 2004a: Figure 2.1)
66


The first 212 internees arrived at Amache on August 27, 1942 (Harvey
2004:74). Most were men who were primarily laborers, specialists, and
hospital workers sent to further prepare the camp for the next wave of
internees to arrive. Each trainload that followed contained 450-550 people.
The first 4,492 people to arrive at camp were mostly from the Merced
assembly center, but in September the stream of internees shifted from
Merced to the Santa Anita Assembly Center. Precise population numbers
vary, but by Fall of 1942 Camp Amache was the tenth largest "city" in the
state of Colorado (Simmons and Simmons 1994:19). Over 10,000 people
moved through the camp from August 1942 through October 1945. Though
Amache was the smallest camp of the ten, at its most crowded, 7,318
evacuees lived there.
Internees were awed to find upon their arrival that construction at the
camp was not completed, and buildings were still being finished. Only two-
thirds of the housing blocks had fully functional bathhouses and laundry
rooms, and people living in blocks without plumbing were forced to use
outhouses until plumbing was installed (Harvey 2004:78). The first several
weeks the camp was open were also plagued with an additional problem: no
potable drinking water. Drinking water had to be rationed and was brought in
to the camp in a water truck from Granada. Camp Director Lindley
understood the evacuees' frustration and regretted the miscalculation that
brought so many internees to camp before construction was finished. If
evacuation to the camp had been delayed until the camp was completed, the
addition of further stress and frustration to what was an already unpleasant
situation could have been avoided.
As with other camps, Amache was planned to be a self contained, self-
sufficient community. The conspicuous difference between the ten new
67


internment communities and pre-existing neighboring communities was that
all of the camps were surrounded by barbed wire fences and had guard
towers dispersed around the perimeters with armed guards observing camp
community activities. Like the other nine camps, the main administrative area
and internee portion of Camp Amache were separated by a 300-foot wide
"buffer zone" (Simmons and Simmons 1994:Section7:3). Amache was also
surrounded by agricultural fields that further separated people from the
outside world (Simmons and Simmons 1994:Section7:7). Amache covered
almost 10,500 acres including the adjacent vacant fields, and according to
WRA records dated June of 1944, Amache devoted 505 acres to vegetable
cultivation, 2,185 acres to "field crops," and raised 1,017 hogs, 4,712
chickens, 2,210 egg hens, and 456 head of cattle (Burton et al. 1996a:33). At
Amache, the actual living area where all of the buildings and structures were
located is just over 300 acres in size and the internee living area comprised
the southern three-quarters of the site (Simmons and Simmons 1994) (Figure
3.3). The northern portion of the camp was divided into an administrative
area (Figure 3.4) which included warehouses (one of which was an internee
run tofu factory), and storage facilities, military police (MP) facilities, the small
camp gas station, the camp's newspaper office, the camp post office, various
administrative offices, administrative and staff housing, and the hospital
(Harvey 2004; Simmons and Simmons 1994). The full service camp hospital
had over 150 beds and was able to handle most of the medical needs at the
camp (Harvey 2004:101).
Archaeological survey revealed that an extremely large dugout area
still remains in an open field west of the administrative area where the root
cellar was previously located, and the dump is still intact south of the root
cellar dugout (Figures 3.5, 3.6, and 3.7). This area also housed a coal
68


FIGURE 3.3 MAP OF CAMP AMACHE AS IT EXISTS TODAY
(Carrillo et al. 2004a).
69


FIGURE 3.4 MAP OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE AND STORAGE AREA AT CAMP
AMACHE TODAY (Carrillo et al. 2004a).
70


FIGURE 3.5 WESTERN PORTION OF CAMP AMACHE TODAY, INCLUDING
THE CAMP DUMP AND THE CAMP CEMETERY (Carrillo et al. 2004a:).
71


FIGURE 3.6 THE ROOT CELLAR TODAY (photograph by Dave Killam, for
RMC Consultants Inc.,2003).
FIGURE 3.7 THE MAIN DUMP AT CAMP AMACHE AS IT APPEARS NOW
(photograph by author, for RMC Consultants Inc., 2003).
72


storage area, the sewage treatment facilities, and in the far southwest corner
of the camp is the camp cemetery. Staff and MP housing was similar to
internee housing with the notable addition of both kitchen and a bathroom
within the individual apartments (Burton et al. 1996a:32). The staff and MP
housing also featured multiple rooms rather than the standard single room of
the internee apartments. In all, there were approximately 569 buildings at
the camp (Simmons and Simmons 1994:Section7:l). Original dirt roads still
exist at the site and are laid out in a roughly north-south and east-west grid.
The north-south roads were named for letters of the alphabet and "A" street
was in the westernmost portion of the camp (Harvey 2004:83). The east-
west roads were numbered and 1st Street was the northernmost road in the
camp. Each block therefore had a number and letter designation. If a block
was bordered by "A" street to the west and 1st street to the north then that
block was designated Block Al. The main entrance is located at the north
central portion of the camp and had a gatehouse where anyone coming into
or leaving the camp had to check in or out (Harvey 2004).
The internee area took up the southern three-quarters of the camp
and consisted of 34 blocks, 29 of which were for internee housing (Harvey
2004:83; Simmons and Simmons 1994:Section 7:3). The blocks that were
not set aside as residential were used for school buildings, athletic fields, and
the internee business area, which featured a Co-Op. Each residential block
had a mess hall, recreation building, an H-shaped bath/laundry facility, and
twelve 20 x 120 foot military style housing barracks with five or six single
room apartments within each barrack (Harvey 2004:84; Simmons and
Simmons 1994:Section 7:4). There was little variation in the construction of
housing barracks from camp to camp, but Amache's did differ somewhat from
other camps. Amache's barracks had exterior walls made of weatherized
73


wallboard. Most of the other camps had exterior walls constructed of
tarpaper over wood frames (Burton et al. 1996a:31). Amache's barracks also
had brick floors rather than wood floors and the barracks were constructed on
concrete foundations elevated about a foot above the ground surface (Burton
et al. 1996a:31; Harvey 2004:84).
Although Amache had "amenities" such as its own utilities and sewer
system, a high school, the Co-Op, a post office, a hospital, and police station,
living conditions at the camps were crowded and humble. The apartments in
the barracks came in three sizes and the typical layout was two 16 x 20 foot
apartments at each end of the barrack, two 24 x 20 foot apartments next to
the two end units, and two 20 x 20 foot units in the center of the building
(Harvey 2004:84). Families of up to seven people were forced to live in the
cramped one-room apartments. Cots were the only furniture in the
apartments, and the only other features in each unit were one semi-finished
closet, one window, a single bare light bulb, and a small coal stove to provide
warmth in the drafty, hastily constructed living quarters. Sand in the summer,
and snow and frigid winds in the winter, penetrated the sub-standard
housing. The barracks had no cooking facilities or running water. Meals were
served communally in the block mess hall and laundry facilities and
bathrooms were shared.
Each block had a recreation building and these were the same types of
structures that the housing barracks were, but were 20 feet shorter in length
and lacking interior partition walls (Burton et al. 1996a:31). These were used
for office space, places to meet and socialize, one was used for a silk
screening shop, another was a Red Cross station, and several were used as
church facilities (Harvey 2004:85). Buddhism and Christianity were the two
predominant religions within the camp. Former internee, Mas Takano, stated
74


during an interview that Buddhism was the more common religion in the
camp, but Christians were more visible (Mas Takano, personal communication
2004).
Meals were taken communally at mess halls located in the center of
each block. Children and parents often ate separatelykids with their friends,
and the adults together. Adjacent to the mess halls were the H-shaped
community bathrooms and laundries. One side of the H-shaped bath and
laundry buildings housed the laundry facilities for the block, and the other
side of the H had the separate men's and women's toilet and bathing facilities.
The breezeway in the center of the H housed the hot water heater for the
laundry/bath. Privacy was non-existent and people unaccustomed to public
nudity or displays of the most basic human functions found the situation
nearly unbearable. Accommodations were spartan at best, and barely
adequate at worst.
The barrenness and lack of vegetation at Amache, as well as the
sameness of each living quarter and each block, must have made for a very
depressing landscape. In this desolate environment the internees
immediately set to make the situation not only more bearable, but more
livable and home-like. Some of these modifications to the environment are
i
explored in more detail later in this text, but Burton makes an important
point; "the physical changes the internees made in their environment were
important ways of taking control over their own lives" (Burton et al.
1996a:34). The summer 2003 archaeology survey and post-fieldwork
research both indicated that the internees made deliberate changes and
modifications to their environment in order to make it more pleasing and
tolerable. Eugene "Eumo" Moritani recalled that Jsseiand teens would steal
75


lumber from the camp lumberyard for home improvements including furniture
making (Eugene Moritani, personal communication 2004).
A stack of lumber brought in for the new schoolhouse began to
disappear in the night, and furniture began to appear in the
living quarters. The barbed wire fence [around the camp] was
held up by cedar posts. Soon the wire was laying on the
ground without posts (Mas Sugimoto, personal communication
2005).
Trees were planted during occupation and several garden boarders
and Japanese "koi ponds" have been recently discovered, one of which has
been excavated by a Granada High School class. Archival evidence in the
form of a 60+ year old photo shows the same pond during occupation
(Joseph McClelland Collection 1942-1945). It was surrounded by lush growth
and carefully cultivated ornamental plants. Personal gardens were also
created, for both decoration and for food. Vegetables like tomatoes as well as
Asian vegetables like Chinese cabbage, and daikon were grown (Harvey
2004). Mas Takano indicated that "id/," a Japanese cucumber, was also
commonly cultivated at the camp (Mas Takano, personal communication
2004). Foods not considered traditionally Japanese were the primary staple
served in the mess halls, much to the chagrin of many at camp. Eumo
Moritani recalls many people complained about ham, bacon, and egg
breakfasts and longed for meals that were more Japanese (Eugene Moritani,
personal communication 2004). Gardens, therefore, probably served as more
than just a relaxing way to keep one's self busy.
The internees generally did what they could to make life at camp more
normal, as well as interesting and entertaining. Former internee Min Tonai
was a teen during the internment and said that during the first winter at
Camp Amache the internees found a way to construct an ice rink (Min Tonai,
76


personal communication 2004). Robert "Bob" Uragami and Howard Taniguchi
remember that the kids in camp did the typical things kids anywhere did;
attended school, got involved in groups like the Scouts, played sports, played
hide and seek and war, walked around the camp and explored surrounding
fields, visited one another, and went to dances (Howard Taniguchi and Robert
Uragami, personal communications 2004). Camp Director Lindley even
allowed Bob Uragami's father to take the Boy Scout troop on a weeklong
camping trip to Two Buttes (Robert Uragami, personal communication 2004).
Mr. Moritani recalled that the Boy Scout drum and bugle corps participated in
many events, and he also recalled the Two Buttes camping trip and the "Two
Buttes Club" (Eugene Moritani, personal communications 2004). The Two
Buttes Club was a group of Scouts who repeatedly slid into the lake (not on a
manmade slide) during the trip and burned holes in their shorts as a result.
Mr. Uragami and Mako Nakae remember kids catching and killing rattlesnakes,
which were pickled by the adults and were valued for supposedly producing a
state of virility when consumed (Robert Uragami and Masaku Nakae, personal
communications 2004). The Boy Scouts apparently were known for throwing
dances, and Eumo Moritani stated that the Scouts always made sure every girl
got to dance and that every girl got an escort home (Eugene Moritani,
personal communications 2004). Mas Sugimoto noted though that because
there was a mix of country people from rural farming communities in
California, and city people from L.A. at Amache, "it was difficult [for the L.A.
boys] to get by the fathers of the country girls to get dates" (Mas Sugimoto,
personal communication 2004). Mr. Sugimoto also said that the L.A. kids
were viewed as "yogolaf (ruffians) (Mas Sugimoto, personal communication
2004). Tom Nakashima said that parents had little control of their children
compared to before the camp, and that the kids ran amok (Tom Nakashima,
77


personal communication 2004). Mr. Nakashima marveled that the kids did
not become "hoodlums." As a general rule, youth of Amache were quite well
behaved. But, not surprisingly, in the autumn of 1944, Amache experienced a
wave of petty crimes and vandalism committed by young people, and there
were several instances of run ins between teens from Amache and locals from
neighboring communities (Harvey 2004:99).
The WRA was required to provide the internees with not just food and
housing, but also employment opportunities and education (Tamir et al. 1993;
Harvey 2004; Simmons and Simmons 1994). Many adults chose to work in
some capacity, although the pay was little more than pennies an hour. The
wages ranged from $12, $16, or $19 per month depending on the job and the
skill level involved (Harvey 2004:122). It is hard to imagine that a trash
collector at camp earned $7 per month less than a doctor who worked in the
camp hospital. Most roles required to keep the camp functioning were filled
by internees, and these jobs, though absurdly underpaid, provided a diversion
during the internment period.
There was a general public outcry from neighboring communities
when it was announced that schools would be built at Amache, and eventually
only the high school was actually constructed. Many on the outside were
outraged that government money was allotted for education for the internees-
-the perceived enemy-during a time of rationing, shortages, and personal
sacrifice (Harvey 2004). Since elementary and junior high schools were never
constructed, lower grades were taught in modified barracks buildings
(Simmons and Simmons 1994:Section 8:23). In 1944 there were about 2000
children attending classes. In addition to classes, there were social clubs such
as the aforementioned Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the YMCA and YWCA, athletics
for the youth, and church groups. Ping-pong, badminton, and wrestling
78


(including Sumo wrestling) were also popular (Harvey 2004:110). Interviews
indicated that team sports like football and baseball were not only popular,
but the high school teams played the teams of other high schools outside of
the camp (various personal communications 2004).
Although employment during the internment was certainly an option,
Min Tonai speculated that adults who had been used to working hard
suddenly had time to relax and to pursue leisure activities if they wished, and
many took up traditional Japanese hobbies with enthusiasm (Min Tonai,
personal communication 2004). Japanese dance, calligraphy, oil painting, tea
ceremonies, and woodcarving were popular pursuits. Adults also participated
in sports such as basketball, baseball, and softball, and played Japanese
games such as shogi, goh, and mahjong (Harvey 2004:126). The Issei
tended to engage in more traditionally Japanese pursuits, and the Nisei
pursued more American ones (Tamir et al. 1993:45). Various classes
including vocational classes were also offered to adults. Lorna Uno, a former
Amache internee, said that her mother crocheted and also made silk flowers
prior to the internment so she took the necessary items with her so that she
could continue her hobbies at camp (Lorna Uno, personal communication
2004). Movies were also popular forms of entertainment and were shown
with regularity in the mess halls (Harvey 2004:126). A Little Theater group
was established in November of 1942 (Carrillo et al. 2004a:38).
It has already been mentioned that there was a breakdown in the
general family structure at camp due to the totally non-traditional lifestyle that
the internees were forced to adopt. The disintegration of traditional roles
extended beyond individual families to larger issues between generations.
Tensions were pronounced between the more traditional Issei and Kebei (first
generation Japanese-Americans who were educated in Japan but returned to
79


the United States), and the American born and educated Nisei (Burton, et al.
1996a:34; Harvey 2004:138-139). The elder generation Isseilost much
during the internment in not only businesses and possessions, but in
traditional community (and familial) roles. Many Issei spoke only Japanese.
Camp rules stated that the Japanese language was not allowed in the
campsboth in speaking and in all camp publications, but the enforcement of
this particular rule seemed to have been lax at Amache. Despite the
supposed prohibition on the usage of the Japanese language at the camps,
the Amache camp newspaper was printed in both English and Japanese. If
this rule was indeed enforced, at least publicly, this would have put the elders
at a great disadvantage compared to the younger Nisei, most of whom spoke
English and who had lost less in the internment transitions. Even though the
/sse/"resisted acculturation" they simultaneously encouraged the Nisei to
become well educated and "Americanized" and to embrace American lifestyle
and habits as well as traditional Japanese ones (Endo 1985:108). Former
internee Mas Sugimoto recalled that the Issei "tenaciously stuck to the old
Japanese culture and language . they hung on to old traditions and values.
The Nisei were quickly assimilating into the American way of life, and the gap
[between the two generations] widened" (Mas Sugimoto, personal
communication 2004).
The very nature of this thesis is to study the tenacious preservation of
cultural traditions amongst the Japanese community while in the camps, but
there was definitely tension and dichotomy between preserving Japanese
traditions, while simultaneously embracing American traditions and
assimilating into the greater American culture. Rumi (Tonai) Uragami recalls
that her parents avoided Japanese traditions and holidays because her
parents wanted their children to not only be Americans but to act like it as
80


well (Rumi Uragami, personal communication 2004). Certainly differences of
beliefs and practices varied from Nisei to Nisei, Kebei to Kebei, and Issei to
Issei. Research for this project, however, and discussions with former
internees revealed that at least at that time when there was generally but one
American generation (the Nisei), and many other people had been born and
lived in Japan {Kebei and Issei), the differences within peer groups were far
less pronounced than they are today. At that time, Issei and many Kebei
tended to hold on to traditional Japanese customs and practices, including
cultivating relationships primarily with other Issei, rather than extending their
relationships to the larger American (Caucasian) society (Endo 1985). Nisei
may have been raised by traditional Japanese parents but their social
networks expanded beyond the Japanese community, and their knowledge of
how to successfully conduct themselves in American society put the Nisei at a
definite advantage during the internment. The Afee/'were better prepared
then their elders to balance their lives and the traditions of both cultures.
Older Nisei often took on leadership roles in camp that would have
been reserved for the Issei'xo traditional Japanese and Japanese-American
communities. At Camp Amache, a community council was established which
in no way served as a governing body, but which provided a means of
communication between the internees and the administrative staff and Camp
Director Lindley (Harvey 2004:92-94). Initially the council was made up of
five men, two Nisei and three Issei. Within months, the council had grown to
a body of 29, one for each residential block. All 29 were Nisei At first blush,
this seems to have been a blatant slap in the face for the Issei who were
accustomed to being respected community leaders. Closer consideration
though makes one wonder. As Michi Weglyn asserts, perhaps the younger
council was encouraged by the Caucasian administration because they were
81


viewed by the camp administrators as more easily controlled than the
traditional, more experienced and more Japanese Issei(Weglyn 1976:120-
121). It was only over time as many A&e/left camp for the military or for
jobs elsewhere that that power started to shift and take on more balance
(Harvey 2004:93). There must have been both an emotional and actual
struggle for the Kebei and Issei during the internment period as traditional
roles were cast aside due to circumstance, and new roles were defined and
created.
Camp Amache differed considerably from many other camps, in a
number of ways. Other camps had incidences of revolts, protests, and
violence that occasionally led to bloodshed and death, while Amache had very
little reported violence. For reasons that are not clear, at other camps,
violence, labor strikes, and protests were not directed exclusively at the
Caucasian staff but often focused on other internees. The camp at Poston
verged on complete revolt after two men suspected of being informants were
violently beaten (Burton et al. 1996a:35). In December of 1942, months of
"gang activity" and tensions between those who supported the administration
and those against it culminated in an event where a JACL leader was beaten
by a half dozen masked individuals (Burton et al. 1996a:35). The situation
escalated and soon thousands of protestors converged on the Poston
administration area. When all was said and done, military police had
intentionally or not, shot and killed one person, and wounded 10 others (one
of whom later died). It is curious that such violence and tensions did not
seem common at Amache among the camp residents as well as between the
residents and the administration. It is perhaps the reason that the internees
at Amache had more freedoms than many people at other camps. The Sheriff
of Prowers County stated in 1943, "If we put that many white people in a
82


relocation camp, under the same conditions, there'd be hell to pay. There
would be fights every day, and we would feel a lot more resentful than the
Japs do" (Holsinger 1960:99 in Simmons and Simmons 1994:22). As
discussed in Chapter 3, Scott noted that often resistance to a dominating
group can be characterized by the avoidance of "direct, symbolic
confrontation with authority" (Scott 1985:xvi), something that was definitely
relevant more so at Amache than at a number of other interment camps.
Interviews and the written record indicate that internees were
sometimes allowed to go into the neighboring towns to shop. Granada
seemed to be more welcoming than Lamar in this respect. Some Lamar
businesses had "No Japs Allowed" signs in their windows, whereas stores in
Granada welcomed the internees and the town thrived during the internment
period as a result (Harvey 2004). Bruce Newman, a resident of Granada
recalled that his father owned a drug store during the war, which flourished
due to the sudden influx of thousands of new customers. The Newman's sold
ice cream at their soda fountain, and one person I spoke with remembers that
it was a treat to get to walk to Granada and get black and white sundaes at
the soda fountain. It is also rumored that sake was covertly sold from the
back of the Newman's store (Carrillo et al. 2004a:50). A fish market owned
by internee Frank Tsuchiya was established next to the Newman's store, and
served as a small Japanese market selling not only fish but also more
traditional Japanese staples such as soy sauce and noodles (Harvey
2004:127; Min Tonai, personal communication 2004). Shopping from
catalogues was also common during internment. "Eumo" Moritani said that
the Sears and Montgomery Wards catalogs were important items in his family,
and he recalls perusing the catalogues and dreaming of the things that they
wanted (Eugene Moritani, personal communication 2004). As previously
83


mentioned, the camp also had its own Co-Op, located on block 9F in the
center of camp. The 10 x 8 x 7 foot concrete vault associated with the Co-Op
is one of the only remaining standing structures at the camp today. The Co-
Op initially only provided items like candy, cigarettes, and soda (Harvey
2004:90). At first glance it would seem that allowing the internees to have a
Co-Op was an act of outright permissiveness, but in fact all of the camps were
to be as self-sufficient as possible. On a small scale the Co-Op could provide
opportunities for both onsite commerce and employment. Regardless of why
the Co-Op was established, an initial $25 investment became a $400,000 per
year enterprise with 3,500 members (Harvey 2004:90).
Life After Amache
As the war started to come to an end, thousands and thousands of
displaced people were faced with the very serious consideration of what to do
next. In December of 1944, the exclusion orders were lifted and evacuees
were free to leave the camps (Simmons and Simmons 1994:Section 8:28).
For many the $25 given to each person plus train fare, and free meals if the
individual had less than $500 cash was hardly enough to make a new start
(Burton et al. 1996a:43). Hostels were established in major cities including
Denver to provide temporary housing and assistance during the transitional
period (Harvey 2004:192). "Cal" Kitazumi remembers the confusion and
concern people suddenly felt when faced with what to do next. He said,
When they closed the camp in October of 1945, we were given
a one-way ticket to any destination in the [contiguous] United
States without a job waiting for us or a place of residence ..
.so you're more or less shipped out... and not too many
84


places to turn. Therefore, people my age who decided to go to
school had to take any job available (Kitazumi, personal
communication, 2004).
He listed the types of jobs that people had no choice but to take after the
war, regardless of their age, education level, social standing, or business
experience or ownership prior to the war. For many, those jobs were menial
labor jobs.
A number of people at Amache decided to stay at the camp through
the end of the school year in May of 1945. However, many were hesitant to
leave for reasons beyond simply wanting their children to complete the
current school year. In June of 1945 only 31% of the Amache population had
left the camp (Harvey 2004:194). Most people had lost everything as a result
of the internment, so were reluctant to venture out from camp. Mako Nakae
remembered that the people who had been living on her family's farm refused
to move and so her family was unable to return home after the war (Masaku
Nakae, personal communication 2004). As a result her family was on the very
last train from Amache, even though they had been free to leave for months.
In the autumn of 1945 there were still several thousand internees at Amache.
At 3:15, on October 15, 1945, the last 85 to 126 individuals left the Granada
train station (the numbers differ from source to source on this final count)
(Harvey 2004:199; Simmons and Simmons 1994:Section 8:29). The camp
was officially closed. Over 10,000 internees passed through the camp during
the 1,146 days of its existence, 415 babies were born at camp, and 107
people died at Amache (Harvey 2004:200).
Although a number of people returned to the west coast, a great many
never did. The majority of those who did not return to their pre-war homes
moved to Denver, Chicago, and Salt Lake City (Burton et al. 1996a:43).
85


Colorado was second only to Illinois (a state which had had no internment
camp) for numbers of evacuees who chose the state as their new, permanent
home (Endo 1985:103). Denver's post-war Japanese population was eight
times higher than it was prior to the war.
For those who chose to return to the homes, cities, or communities
they had left, returning must have been bittersweet. Mas Takano recalled
that before his family left their home, a neighbor told them that when they
returned, the Takano family could stay in the neighbor's guest cottage on
their property until the Takanos got back on their feet (Mas Takano, personal
communication 2004). True to their word, once the Takanos returned to
Alameda after leaving Amache, the neighbor took them in. Mr. Takano said
the four-room cottage was small, but seemed huge after living in the cramped
barracks apartment at Amache. For others, feelings of relief and joy at being
able to resume life and go back to what was known and comfortable, were
mixed with feelings of concern about how they would be received by the local
communities. Tom Nakashima recalls that once he returned to their farm in
Livingston, things were initially very tense (Tom Nakashima, personal
communication 2004). Mr. Nakashima remembers that local people took "pot
shots" at them, and tried to run off his family as well as others who had been
in the camps. As if interpersonal relations such as this example were not
stressful enough, the loss of property and income was staggering. Hundreds
of millions of dollars were lost on property alone during the internment
(calculated in 1943 dollars), and up to $164 million were lost in income
(Harvey 2004:208). However, restitution was not forthcoming until over 40
years later. In the 1980s the Commission of Wartime Relocation and
Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) was established in an attempt to make
amends for some of the hardships inflicted on those forced into internment
86


camps during the war (Harvey 2004). The primary objectives of the CWRIC
were the following: pass a resolution in Congress that apologized for the
internment; issue pardons to those who were prosecuted for protesting the
internment; allow the former internees to file for restitution for positions,
status, or "entitlements" lost as a result of the internment; have Congress
establish a fund that would be expressly for "educational and humanitarian
purposes;" and finally, to establish a fund that would pay a one time financial
settlement of $20,000 per person to former internees (Harvey 2004:209).
These objectives were indeed carried out, but it was commonly accepted by
internees that it was too little too late. Many who had been in the camps had
already died. Many of those who suffered the most losses, the Issei, never
had a chance to hear the presidential apology or take advantage of the
financial assistance that would have been best used at the time they most
needed it: immediately after the war. The effects of the internment were felt
long after the war ended, and in fact continue to still be felt today. The
legacy of the Camp Amache lives on not just in those who were there, but
also in more understated but tangible ways, in subsequent generations as
well.
87
;


CHAPTER 4
PROJECT METHODOLOGY
Although I am an archaeologist by trade, I decided to take what to
me, was a new approach to archaeology by combining archaeology and
ethnographies. This was something that I ultimately found to be
extraordinarily fascinating and enriching. The archaeology was interesting on
its own, but hearing stories about life at the campthe stories of daily
activities that lead to the deposition of the artifactswas even more satisfying
than the archaeology alone. I chose to use both ethnographies and
archaeology for my thesis because I knew that by combining the two I could
possibly bolster not only the validity of my findings (or perhaps even disprove
my initial assumptions), but also gain information that would not be possible
through a singular avenue of research. Together, the theories discussed in
Chapter 2, and the archaeology provided me with the initial data from which I
formulated my research questions. Also, the material culture on the ground
suggested to me habits and practices of the internees at Camp Amache, but
the ethnographies helped to explain the reasons behind those habits and
practices.
I chose to look primarily at sake related artifacts, rather than other
"Japanese" artifacts because I was intrigued by the presence of sake at the
camp. Although I do mention other such "Japanese" artifacts and features in
this thesis, such as porcelain tea set fragments or koi ponds, what fascinated
me about sake was that it was something that played a role in traditional
cultural practices and rituals, but it was also something that was forbidden in
camp. I was curious why people were willing to take chances by smuggling
88