The events, descriptions, and details in this story are based on hours of interviews with Chiyoko Omachi, Teresa Omachi, and Chris Omachi. They’re also based on photographs, documents, and memorabilia the family generously shared. Numerous scholars have been consulted for their perspectives, as were research materials, oral histories, and archival collections.

The definitions for key terms featured in this story are in part derived from the Japanese American Citizens League’s “Power of Words Handbook, ” the Densho Encyclopedia, and Densho’s Curriculum Guide, “Examining Racism and Discrimination Through Oral History.

Archives and Manuscript Collections

Brethren Archives - Japanese Relocation Collection

Chicago Japanese American Historical Society

Densho Digital Repository

Japanese American Service Committee

National Archives

National Japanese American Historical Society

UC Berkeley Bancroft Library - Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Records

San Pedro Bay Historical Society


"Evacuee Bulletin to Minister-Counsellors [sic]," Folder "Chicago Church Federation and United Ministry to Resettlers," box 3, Japanese Relocation Collection, Brethren Archives, Elgin, IL.

“Instructions to Hostelers,” The Brethren Relocation Hostel. Japanese Relocation Collection, Brethren Archives, Elgin, IL.


Austin, Allan W. From Concentration Camp to Campus: Japanese American Students and World War II. Univ. of Illinois Press, 2007.

Cahan, Richard, et al. Un-American: the Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. CityFiles Press, 2016.

Hatta, Julie. “Exploring the Japanese American Internment through Film and the Internet.” Exploring Japanese American Internment, National Asian American Telecommunications Association ,

Harden, Jacalyn D. Double Cross: Japanese Americans in Black and White Chicago. University of Minnesota Press, 2003.

Hirahara, Naomi, et al. Terminal Island: Lost Communities of Los Angeles Harbor. Angel City Press, 2015.

Lillquist, Karl. Imprisoned in the Desert: The Geography of World War II-Era, Japanese American Relocation Centers in the Western United States,

Murata, Alice K. Japanese Americans in Chicago. Arcadia, 2002.

Myer, Dillon. Uprooted Americans: The Japanese Americans and the War Relocation Authority. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1971.

Okada, Victor N. Triumphs of Faith: Stories of Japanese-American Christians during World War II. Japanese-American Internment Project, 1998.

Osako, Masako. “Japanese Americans: Melting into the All-American Melting Pot.” Ethnic Chicago: a Multicultural Portrait, by Melvin G. Holli and Peter d'A Jones, Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007, pp. 409–435.

REgenerations. Oral History Project: Rebuilding Japanese American Families, Communities, and Civil Rights in the Resettlement Era. Japanese American National Museum, 2000.

Weglyn, Michiko Nishiura. Years of Infamy. William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1976.

Dissertations and Theses

Doi, Elizabeth. (2016). What Happens to a Dream Conferred? Japanese American race, space, and place in Chicago, 1945-1965. [Unpublished Master's thesis]. University of Chicago.

Langowski, Eric. (2019). Education Denied: Indiana University's Japanese American Ban, 1942 to 1945. Indiana Magazine of History, 115(2), 65-115. doi:10.2979/indimagahist.115.2.01

Films and Videos

Ginzberg, Abby and Ken Schneider, directors. And Then They Came For Us. Social Action Media, 2017.

Street, Erika, director. Orange Story, Full Spectrum Features, 2016,

Takada, Anna and Maria Pimentel, directors. Resettled Roots. Resettled Roots: Legacies of Japanese Americans in Chicago,

War Relocation Authority in cooperation with the Office of Strategic Services, director. The Way Ahead, Department of the Interior, 1943,

Government Documents

People in Motion: The Postwar Adjustment of the Evacuated Japanese Americans, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1946.

The Evacuated People: A Quantitative Description, Department of the Interior, 1946.

United States, War Department. Leave Clearance Interview Questions - 25 August 1943, Assistant Secretary of War, 1943.

United States, War Relocation Authority. When You Leave the Relocation Center, War Relocation Authority, 1945.

Journal Articles and Reports

Charlotte Brooks, _In the Twilight Zone between Black and White: Japanese American Resettlement and Community in Chicago, 1942–1945, _ Journal of American History, Volume 86, Issue 4, March 2000, Pages 1655–1687,

Miyamoto, Shotaro Frank. Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study, 1944, Interim Report of Resettler Adjustments in Chicago.

Shibutani, Tamotsu. Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study, 1944, The First Year of the Resettlement of Nisei in the Chicago Area.

Social Analysis Committee. Chicago Resettlers Committee, 1947, Chicago Resettlement 1947 A Report.

Takeshita, Yumika. “Resisting Integration: Japanese-American Recreational Activities and Development of Civic Identity in Postwar Chicago.” Clio's Scroll, vol. 17, no. 2, 2016, pp. 47–60.

Tanaka, Togo. Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study, 1944, Adjust Problems of Chicago Resettlers.

News Articles

Graves, Michelle. “Memories of Wartime.” Manistee News Advocate, 23 Sept. 2017.

Hoffecker, Lilian Takahashi. “A Village Disappeared.” American Heritage, 2001,

Meares, Hadley. “Off the coast of San Pedro, a Japanese community erased.” Curbed Los Angeles. 30 March 2018.

Petersen, William. “Success Story, Japanese American Style.” The New York Times. 9 January 1966. Print.

Newspapers, Periodicals, and Serials

Daily News (Los Angeles)

Houghton Star

Intelligencer Journal

Kampus Krier

Lancaster New Era

Los Angeles Times

New York Times

San Pedro News-Pilot

Interviews and Speeches

John Kats Marumoto remembers his father's arrest by the FBI. (2016, March 31). Densho Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:53, April 12, 2021 from

Min Tonai describes the prewar Japanese American community on Terminal Island. (2016, March 31). Densho Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:50, April 12, 2021 from

Myer, Dillon. Press Conference of Dillon S. Myer, May 14, 1943. Papers of Dillon S. Myer. The War Relocation Authority and the Incarceration of Japanese-Americans During World War II, Harry S. Truman Library & Museum.

Omachi, Chiyoko. Interview by Anna Takada. March 30, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois. Japanese American Service Committee,

Ralph E. Smeltzer, "Present Status of the Community Integration Program in Chicago," typescript, July 9, 1943, box 4, Japanese Relocation Collection, Brethren Archives, Elgin, IL.

Private Collections

Conestoga Valley High School papers and photos

Omachi family papers and photos


Graves, Donna. “Terminal Island.” Preserving California's Japantowns, California Japanese American Community Leadership Council (CJACLC),

Matsunaga, Erik. “Japanese Americans on Chicago’s South Side - Oakland/Kenwood 1940s-1950s - Part 1.” Discover Nikkei, 1 Dec. 2015,

Matsunaga, Erik. “Japanese Americans on Chicago’s South Side - Oakland/Kenwood 1940s-1950s - Part 2.” Discover Nikkei, 2 Dec. 2015,

Matsunaga, Erik. “Japanese Americans on Chicago’s South Side - Oakland/Kenwood 1940s-1950s - Part 3.” Discover Nikkei, 3 Dec. 2015,