Japanese American National Museum
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Ishigo, Estelle [ bio ]

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H: 8 1/2 in, W: 11 in

Heart Mountain, Wyo., 1943


Japanese American National Museum


1 drawing on paper ; 8.5 x 11 in.

Pencil drawing of the segregation of Japanese Americans during 1943 in the United States. Rough sketch of a crowd of people gathered in front of trucks and buses as they prepare to leave Heart Mountain concentration camp in Wyoming to go to Tule Lake Segregation Center, California. Five holes punched along top ; one hole torn, upper right.

Written in pencil, top: Segregation

In the spring of 1943 the United States government mandated the registration of inates through a questionnaire. It served two purposes: to identify those "loyal" to the United States, and to recruit male Nisei for the military. Some questioned how the government could ask Nisei to fight while denying their civil rights. In addition, Issei, legally banned from becoming naturalized U.S. citizens, were asked to forswear allegiance to Japan. The controversial nature of the questionnaire led to massive resistance, refusal to register, and a large number of requests for repatriation or expatriation. Following this, all those who resisted or raised questions about the registration were sent to Tule Lake Segregation Center. This drawing shows Heart Mountain inmates prior to their departure for Tule Lake.

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