On-Line Historical Documents

Commission of Indian Affairs

Letter: From John Collier to General Charlton. May 23, 1942.
Re: The arrival of evacuees to Parker, AZ

Speech: John Collier (Commissioner of Indian Affairs) to Poston evacuees
Re: Why Poston was created.

Poston's First Project Director

Letter: From Wade Head to Lt. Col. Cress. May 8, 1942.
Re: Bringing pets to Poston.

Letter: From Wade Head to Carl Hartman.
Re: Schools at Poston

Wade Head's scrapbook dedication page, given following resignation as camp director.

Letter to Wade Head from Poston block managers & executive staff members (with signatures)
Re: Sending 2 paintings (thank you gifts)

Other Media: About Poston

"Through Innocent Eyes: Life in Poston, Arizona Internment Camp 1942-1943." Cassette tape. Available at: http://www.janmstore.com/40496.html

"Passing Poston." Documentary film. Directed by award-winning journalists Joe Fox and James Nubile.

The Poston Restoration Project has a number of DVD copies available with a donation of $30 or more.  If you are interested, send a message to: diannerd79 (at) yahoo (dot) com


"An Internment Camp Within an Internment Camp" http://a.abcnews.com/US/story?id=4310157&page=1

"Celebrating a Shared History"

"Going Psychologically Deeper with 'Passing Poston'" http://www.pacificcitizen.org/content/2008/entertainment/july18-lin-passing-poston-1080.htm

"Has Anyone Seen Passing Poston?" http://www.topix.com/forum/sacramento/T28MHO2AFPOVR9TNG

"Remembering Poston" http://www.rafu.com/en/2008/0712/feature.html

"When Being Japanese Meant Losing Freedom"

"Road Back to Poston "
Newsweek Video by John Groat.

3/5/08: Part 1. http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1416570538/bclid1453535863/bctid1448204861

3/8/08: Part 2.http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1416570538/bclid1453535863/bctid1445126543

3/10/08 Part 3. http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1416570538/bclid1453535863/bctid1449628260

3/12/08 Part 4. http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1416570538/bclid1453535863/bctid1454954343

3/14/08 Part 5. http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1416570538/bclid1453535863/bctid1456276873

"Rabbit in the Moon" filmmakers suppressed internment-camp experiences
By Tom Keogh
Published in 2008
Emiko Omori
     "The worst thing about the internment camps was what they did to people's spirits," says Chizuko Omori (Poston 22-10-C), a producer of the documentary "Rabbit in the Moon," directed by her sister, Emiko Omori (Poston 22-10-C). "Nobody knew how long they would be there, or where they were going. Families were torn apart."

     "Rabbit in the Moon" (1999), which screens at Northwest Film Forum today and Sunday, is an evocative, haunting work about surviving the so-called "War Relocation Camps" that forcibly held more than 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese nationals during World War II. After Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Franklin Roosevelt authorized the internment of people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast of the United States.

     Detainees were taken to one of 10 internment camps spread over the U.S. The Omori siblings were sent with their parents from California to a center in Poston, Arizona block 22-10-C. There, Chizuko spent part of her adolescence, from ages 12 to 15, while Emiko was a toddler. Upon their release, Chizuko quickly put the experience behind her. "I repressed that stuff for years," she says. "It's still hard to remember it."

     In time, Chizuko attended college in California. She married, had two children and moved to Seattle. Eventually she became involved in a decade long effort to advance legislation calling upon the U.S. government to apologize for internment policies. Ronald Reagan signed the bill in 1988. During those years, Chizuko, now 78, says she learned more about the record of detention. "I became educated on material buried in government files," she says, such as a "loyalty questionnaire," which tried to determine who was loyal or disloyal to the U.S. and which placed Japanese immigrants in a situation that could have left them stateless.

     "It dawned on me that the loyalty question was a little-known episode of the history," Chizuko says. "I thought there must be some way to get this out there. I approached my sister, who is a filmmaker."

     "When we found out about the loyalty question, it made us angry," says Emiko, 67. Calling from her home in San Francisco, Emiko says discussions with Chizuko returned them to the long-suppressed subject of the camps.

     "Rabbit" won several awards, including a Sundance Film Festival prize for Emiko's cinematography. Much of the story's historical ground is covered in a uniquely personal way.

     "I avoided using stock footage as much as I could," she says, though she did make ironic use of government-produced propaganda full of staged scenes of detainees happily engaged in the camps.

     Nothing in that material suggests the many ways families were uprooted from homes and successful businesses. Or how tensions over whether detainees should surrender to or resist government policies divided relatives and neighbors.

     Emiko, who attended film school at San Francisco State in the 1960s, interviewed numerous camp survivors and captured insightful commentary from Chizuko. But "Rabbit" has also been praised for the muted emotions of the filmmaker's stylized images, which lead to the strange, somber heart of the internment story without illustrating every detail.

     Among other things, Emiko, who cites French director Chris Marker as an influence, visited some of the ruins of former camps and found many possessions hurriedly left behind by freed detainees. Her camera captures shards of dishes and scraps of clothing scattered like unburied bones. "It's important to visualize what's not easy to see," says Emiko. "The impressionistic, the emotional. It's a way of saying: Don't forget us."

Filmmaker Interview with Emiko Omori


Poston Restoration Project Artifact Donations

* Wedding Guest Book, 1944 Diary, final leave card, Poston Red Cross Directory, letters from George (camp 1) to Clara (camp 3) before/after wedding - family of George K. and Clara H. Obayashi

* Block 308 Cooks photo- T.  Kurihara (camp 3)

* Personal photos - G. Y. Kiyomoto (camp 3 visitor), L.(Nagata) Kiyomoto (camp 3), M.(Nakamura) Masada (camp 2), G.T. Ohama (camp 2)

* G.A.A. Championship Volleyball Team wooden plaque- L.(Nagata) Kiyomoto (camp 3)

* 4 painted hand-carved wooden bird pins- N. Kurokawa (camp 3)

* 1945 Campus Echoes Yearbook-L.(Nagata) Kiyomoto (camp 3)

* 1944 Campus Echoes Yearbook-L.(Nagata) Kiyomoto (camp 3)

* What I Have Accomplished In Core Studies essay by L. Nagata (Sophomore 1942-1943) (camp 3)

* "Autobiography" by L. Nagata (camp 3)

* Poston III blueprints - family of Yoshiyuki Nakamura (camp 3)

* Mohaveland" YBA Photo Directory - family of Paul Suyeda (camp 3)

* The First Year: Story of the Red Cross in Poston. Red Cross Membership Directory- K. Iwo (camp 2)

* Pacific Citizen (newspaper) - M.(Morioka) Ishida (camp 3)

* Poston Chronicles (newspaper)- M.(Morioka) Ishida (camp 3)

* Internee suitcase- Malcolm Matsumoto

* original Poston wood barrack with 2-tier roof - Virginia Ramsey