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Tule Lake

To document the forced removal, incarceration and resettlement of Japanese Americans during World War II, more than 17,000 images were taken under the auspices of the War Relocation Authority (WRA). Independent photographer Ansel Adams and WRA contractor Dorothea Lange were two of the more prominent photographers who documented the incarceration experience. Dorothea Lange’s earlier Dust Bowl photographs, showing the human face of "hard times," were widely distributed to the public under the Farm Security Administration. However, many of her photographs of Japanese Americans were censored. Even as Lange adhered to strict WRA guidelines to exclude armed soldiers and their bayonets, her images still captured raw emotional experiences.

Many of the photographs in the WRA collection paint an idealistic portrait of camp life. Still, other images convey the hardship, hope and perseverance of Japanese Americans during World War II. Many of the WRA photographs are accessible through the Online Archive of California and the Library of Congress . Other photographic collections exist in archives, museums, and private collections, and when paired with those taken by the WRA, provide a more comprehensive portrait of this chapter in history. Some of these collections include, the Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive and Densho Digital Archive.


3D point cloud of the Tule Lake jail.

3D point cloud of the "relocation entrance&qu...

3D point cloud of the on-site Imhoff, Tule Lake's ...

Excerpt of Tulean Dispatch Vol. IV No. 54, publish...

Excerpt of Tulean Dispatch Vol. V No. 32, publishe...

Excerpt of Tulean Dispatch Vol. III No. 24, publis...

Excerpt of Tulean Dispatch Vol. III No. 50, publis...

Excerpt of Tulean Dispatch Vol. IV No. 77, publish...

Excerpt of Tulean Dispatch Vol. VI No. 23, publish...

Farewell message given by Reports Officer John D. ...

Excerpt of Tulean Dispatch Vol. II No. 1, publishe...

Excerpt of Tulean Dispatch Supplement, published 1...

Letter written by former Heart Mountain incarceree...

Letter written by James Omura, The Rocky Shimpo ed...

Letter written by James Omura, The Rocky Shimpo ed...

Letter written by James Omura, The Rocky Shimpo ed...

Loyalty Questionnaire distributed by the War Reloc...

Excerpt of Tulean Dispatch Vol. III No. 7, publish...

Drawing of the Tule Lake jail.

Historic photograph of incarcerees lined up outsid...

Historic photograph of incarcerees, bidding farewe...

Historic photograph of the administration building...

Historic photograph of one of the barracks at Tule...

Historic photograph of streets and firebreaks that...

Historic photograph of the transportation of a 100...

Historic photograph of barracks along the main fir...

Historic photograph showing a Labor Day celebratio...

Historic photograph of land being cleared for the ...

Historic photograph looking east down Tule Lake's ...

Historic photograph of Japanese-American incarcere...

Historic photograph depicting the site of Tule Lak...

Historic photograph of construction at Tule Lake i...

Historic photograph of a cameramen from a San Fran...

Historic photograph of the farm at Tule Lake.

Historic photograph of Tule Lake incarcerees harve...

Historic photograph of the bank and newsstand at T...

Photograph of a WRA motor pool auto repair shop, t...

Photograph of a WRA motor pool auto repair shop, n...

Photograph of a WRA motor pool auto repair shop, s...

Photograph of a WRA motor pool auto repair shop, t...

Photograph of a WRA motor pool auto repair shop, s...

Photograph of a WRA motor pool auto repair shop, t...

Photograph of a WRA motor pool auto repair shop, n...

Photograph of a WRA motor pool auto repair shop wi...

Photograph of the West Building at the WRA motor p...

Photograph of the West Building at the WRA motor p...

Photograph of the West Building at the WRA motor p...

Photograph of the West Building at the WRA motor p...

Photograph of the West Building at the WRA motor p...

Photograph of the West Building at the WRA motor p...

Photograph of the West Building at the WRA motor p...

Photograph of the West Building at the WRA motor p...

Photograph of the remains of the carpenter's shop ...

Photograph of remains of carpenter's shop at Tule ...

Photograph of the carpenter's shop at Tule Lake, f...

Photograph of the carpenter's shop at Tule Lake to...

Photograph of a coal bin, one of the few remaining...

Photograph of a coal bin, one of the few remaining...

Photograph of a coal bin, one of the few remaining...

Photograph of a coal bin, one of the few remaining...

Photograph of a coal bin, one of the few remaining...

Photograph of a coal bin, one of the few remaining...

Photograph of a coal bin, one of the few remaining...

Photograph of a coal bin, one of the few remaining...

Photograph of the jail from the stockade compound,...

Photograph of the jail, looking northeast, taken a...

Photograph of the jail, taken as part of the Histo...

Photograph of the jail, looking southeast, taken a...

Photograph of the jail, taken as part of the Histo...

Photograph of the jail, looking southwest, taken a...

Photograph of the jail, taken as part of the Histo...

Photograph of the jail, looking northwest, taken a...

Photograph of the north cell corridor, taken as pa...

Photograph of the Tule Lake jail with Castle Rock,...

Photograph of the Tule Lake jail, facing southwest...

Photograph of the Tule Lake jail, facing northwest...

Photograph of the Tule Lake jail.

Photograph of the Tule Lake jail, facing northeast...

Photograph of the Tule Lake jail, from west.

Photograph of the Tule Lake jail, facing southeast...

Photograph of the Tule Lake jail with Castle Rock,...

Photograph of the southeast and southwest walls of...

Photograph of a stove in the main room of the Tule...

Photograph of the jail's main room, taken as part ...

Photograph of the jail's main room, taken as part ...

Photograph of the guards' quarters at the jail, wi...

Photograph of the jail corridor, showing cells 9 a...

Photograph of a typical south cell at the Tule Lak...

Photograph of a typical cell at the Tule Lake jail...

Photograph of the jail interior from the rear door...

Photograph of the jail interior; transverse rear r...

Photograph of the remains of the latrine, Resident...

Photograph of the remains of the latrine, Resident...

Photograph of the remains of the latrine, Resident...

Photograph of the remains of the latrine foundatio...

Photograph of the remains of the latrine foundatio...

Photograph of the remaining part of the latrine fo...

Photograph of the remaining part of the latrine fo...

Photograph of the remaining part of the latrine fo...

Photograph of the remaining part of the latrine fo...

Photograph of the remaining part of the latrine fo...

Photograph of the remaining part of the latrine fo...

Photograph of the California State Historic Regist...

Photograph of an incarceree residential barrack, n...

Photograph of the stockade through the jail fence,...

Photograph of Castle Rock, also known as the Penin...

Photograph of Abalone Mountain, also known as Hors...

Photograph of the Tule Lake surrounding landscape.

Photograph of the entrance gate to Tule Lake.

Photograph of the Tule Lake entrance gate and stoc...

Photograph of the Tule Lake entrance gate and memo...

Photograph of the Tule Lake entrance gate with Aba...

Photograph of the Tule Lake entrance gate with Cas...

Photograph of the remains of the facility’s Imho...

Photograph of the remains of the facility’s Imho...

Photograph of the remains of the facility’s Imho...

Photograph of the remains of the facility’s Imho...

Photograph of the remains of the facility’s Imho...

Photograph of the remains of the facility’s Imho...

Photograph of the remains of the facility’s Imho...

Photograph of the remains of the facility’s Imho...

Photograph of the remains of the facility’s Imho...

Photograph of the remains of the facility’s Imho...

Photograph of the Water Treatment Plant No. 2 on t...

Photograph of the Water Treatment Plant No. 2 on t...

Photograph of the Water Treatment Plant No. 2 on t...

Photograph of the Water Treatment Plant No. 2 on t...

Photograph of the Water Treatment Plant No. 2 on t...

Photograph of the Water Treatment Plant No. 2 on t...

Photograph of the Water Treatment Plant No. 2 on t...

Photograph of the Water Treatment Plant No. 2 on t...

Photograph of the WRA motor pool's South Building,...

Photograph of the WRA motor pool's South Building,...

Video of Kazuko Uno Bill describing the Tule Lake ...

Video of James A. Nakano recalling the efforts he ...

Video of Taneyuki Dan Harada describing art educat...

Video of Betty Morita Shibayama describing the fac...

Video of Peggy Tanemura remembering her attendance...

Video of Toshikazu Okamoto (aka Tosh) sharing his ...

Video of Elaine Ishikawa Hayes remembering the joy...

Video of Mitsuko Hashiguchi recalling her daily sc...

Video of Sumiko M. Yamamoto describing life at Tul...

Video of Frank S. Fujii describing how Japanese in...

Video of Bill Nishimura recalling the shooting of ...

Video of Hiroshi Kashiwagi remembering the impriso...

Video of Kenge Kobayashi sharing his experience of...

Video of Fred Tadashi Shingu remembering the fear ...

Video of K. Morgan Yamanaka sharing his story abou...

Video of Peggie Nishimura Bain recalling that she ...

Video of Mitsuko Hashiguchi sharing her story abou...

Video of Hiroshi Kashiwagi recalling how he felt a...

Video of Arthur Ogami describing the Hokoku Seinen...

Video of Tetsujiro Tex Nakamura remembering advisi...

Video of Kunio Otani remembering sports at Tule La...

Video of Fred Tadashi Shingu sharing a story about...

Video of Taketora Jim Tanaka sharing why he remain...

Video of Edith Takagi Watanabe sharing the story o...

Video of Jimi Yamaichi sharing his experience abou...

Video of Jimi Yamaichi describing his job of inspe...

Video of Kazuko Uno Bill describing the hospital f...

Video of Betty Morita Shibayama describing the Jun...

Animation of the Tule Lake jail, created from 3D p...

Animation of the Tule Lake "relocation entran...

Video of the Imhoff facility, Tule Lake's sewage s...