The War Relocation Authority (WRA) was a civilian agency in charge of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The WRA staff documented the internment with reports by community analysts assigned to the relocation centers. These reports analyze the Japanese culture within the camps, reactions of the Japanese Americans to being incarcerated and interviews with “evacuees”.
The Washington State Library Federal Collection contains three sets of WRA reports, which we have also added to our digital collection.
The Community Analysis Notes “reveal the life experience and viewpoints” of the incarcerated Nisei. Why did many young men say “no” to two questions on the Army registration form? How did the Japanese deal with engagement and marriage in the camps? How did it differ from pre-internment days? How did they adjust to life in the camps?
The Community Analysis Report concerns how authorities should “deal” with the Japanese and Japanese American people they have incarcerated through an understanding of their customs and cultural background. Causes of social unrest, segregation, education, Buddhism and labor relations are topics covered within these papers.
The Project Analysis Series analyzes various events that occurred during the relocation project. What happened at Tule Lake in November 1943? Why did it happen? What was the reaction to opening Selective Service to Nisei? What are the motives behind Nisei requesting repatriation?
To find the answers to these questions and learn many other fascinating details of this tragic time in history, visit 20th Century Events in our Classics in Washington History.