Tule Lake Pilgrimage, August 26-28, 1994: A Report Prepared for the Background Informations on the Tule Lake Center, 1994

Overview of the Collection

Kojima, Takasumi, 1934-2011
Tule Lake Pilgrimage, August 26-28, 1994: A Report Prepared for the Background Informations on the Tule Lake Center
0.1 cubic feet, (1 folder in shared box)
Collection Number
Coll 909
Report by Berkeley, California, architect Takasumi Kojima, written in preparation for a pilgrimage to Tule Lake in memory of the incarceration of Japanese Americans. The report provides background information about the Tule Lake incarceration center specifically, as well as about government incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II in general.
Oregon Historical Society Research Library
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Takasumi Kojima was an architect in Berkeley, California. In 1994, he commented that reunions and pilgrimages to Tule Lake were not worthwhile because they were uninformative about the history of Japanese American incarceration. The Tule Lake Committee then tasked Kojima with writing a report about what he felt should be told about the Tule Lake incarceration camp. A copy of this report was given to each participant in the 1994 pilgrimage to Tule Lake.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Following the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, by Japan, and the entry of the United States into World War II, the U.S. federal government began placing restrictions on Japanese Americans. In February 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which authorized the secretary of war to prescribe areas in the United States from which people might be excluded. Following this, Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, who viewed Japanese people as an "enemy race," created military zones on the western coast of the United States from which all people of Japanese ancestry were to be forcibly removed to incarceration camps away from the coast.

In May 1942, Japanese Americans living in Oregon were compelled by military order to relocate to assembly centers either at the site of the Portland International Livestock Exposition Center or in California's San Joaquin Valley. That summer, they were transferred to incarceration centers further inland that were officially named "relocation centers." Most of those from Oregon were incarcerated either at Tule Lake in California or at Minidoka in Idaho. Over the course of the war, some incarcerated people were permitted to leave the camps either to provide agricultural labor or to serve in the United States armed forces, most notably in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

In December 1944, the U.S. War Department declared that Japanese Americans were free to leave the incarceration camps starting January 2, 1945. However, due to efforts by white Oregonians to prevent the return of Japanese Americans and Japanese Americans' fears of violence against them, many of those from Oregon who had been incarcerated only gradually moved back to to the state over a period of time. Most of those who had been incarcerated had lost most of what land and property they had owned prior to the war. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation that provided $20,000 as compensation for any surviving Japanese Americans who had been incarcerated.

Source: "Japanese American Wartime Incarceration in Oregon," by Craig Collisson, Oregon Encyclopedia, https://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/japanese_internment

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The bulk of the collection consists of a report by Takasumi Kojima titled, "Tule Lake Pilgrimage, August 26-28, 1994: A Report Prepared for the Background Informations on the Tule Lake Center." The first half of the report is an overview about Japanese American incarceration in general, and includes maps of all incarceration centers that the U.S. government built. The second half of the report concerns the Tule Lake incarceration center specifically. In addition to maps of the center, this section contains historical information about the center's construction and operation, statistical information about Japanese Americans incarcerated there, and information about the white Americans who staffed the camp. This section also discusses the factors that led a higher proportion of incarcerated people at Tule Lake to renounce U.S. citizenship as compared to people held at other incarceration centers.

The collection also includes a photocopy of the flyer for the 1994 Tule Lake pilgrimage, and a letter by Kojima explaining the circumstances that led him to write the report.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Tule Lake Pilgrimage, August 26-28, 1994: A Report Prepared for the Background Informations on the Tule Lake Center, Coll 909, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

Restrictions on Use

The Oregon Historical Society owns the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Gift of Takasumi Kojima, July 1994 (Lib. Acc. 21834).

Related Materials

Other collections at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library that contain material about the Tule Lake incarceration center include: the Jerry Jiro Yasutome photographs, Org. Lot 762; an oral history interview with Suma Tsuboi Bullock, SR 315; and an oral history interview with Tatsuro Yada, SR 960, which is available online in OHS Digital Collections at https://digitalcollections.ohs.org/sr-960-oral-history-interview-with-tatsuro-yada.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Japanese Americans--Forced removal and internment, 1942-1945
  • World War, 1939-1945--Concentration camps--United States
  • World War, 1939-1945--Japanese Americans

Corporate Names

  • Tule Lake Relocation Center

Form or Genre Terms

  • reports