Where were the camps in Hawaii located?
Maps and descriptions of the internment camps in Hawaii are available on The The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawaii website.
Why were some people in Hawaii interned, yet some weren’t?
As early as 1937, detailed lists of leaders of the Japanese community were being created including Buddhist and Shinto priests, Japanese language school staff, Japanese language newspaper staff, consular agents, and kibei [American citizens sent to Japan to be educated.] On December 7, 1941, even before martial law was declared, the FBI and military began to pick up several hundred people on the custodial detention list. Arrests continued throughout the war, keeping the Japanese community on edge.
What was life in camp like for these internees from Hawaii?
More detailed information about the life of the internees is available is available on The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawaii website.
How can I find out more about a photo, artifact, or transcript that is found on this page? How do I license these photos?
For more information, please contact the Tokioka Heritage Resource Center at Resource.Center@jcch.com or call (808) 945-7633 Ext. 42.
I thought cameras weren’t allowed in camp. Where did these pictures come from?
Most of the formal photos on this site were taken in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Internee Yasutaro Soga noted that only one photographer from Santa Fe was allowed into the camp to take the photos. The photographer charged the internees one dollar for each reprint—a price Mr. Soga remembers with much consternation. Nonetheless, internees wanted photos to commemorate events or various groups. Internees from Hawaii often requested photos in the snow.
What do the internee group numbers signify?
Group numbers were important frames of reference for the internees. They are the ship numbers on which the internees were sent from Hawaii to the mainland internment camps. Groups tended to made of up internees predominantly from one of the islands. Because they traveled together, they got to know each other well.
What did the internment in Hawaii and on the West Coast have in common?
Leaders of the community were first to be arrested, questioned and imprisoned by the FBI and military. No charges were ever filed against any person of Japanese ancestry. There were no acts of sabotage or espionage committed by a person of Japanese ancestry. Both—the selective internment in Hawai‘i and mass incarceration on the mainland—were based on race.