JF Ptak Science Books Post 2635
Just this morning I unearthed this interesting document: War Relocation Authority Handbook on Issuance of Leave for Departure from a Relocation Area October 10, 1944, which was basically a set of rules and regs on how an a Japanese person/"evacuee" could apply for dispensation for leaving the relocation center /internment camp. The language and organization of the document is dense, misleading, and labyrinthine, and spread wide and thin over 115 pages. It is in fact difficult to go from page one to the final page, as there is no real pagination that one can distinctly follow to get through the document in order--if you were to take the thing and toss it into the air and then try to put it back together again, it would not be a straightforward task. It is a confusing and seemingly-contradictory work bibliographically, at least if you were try to define it by its structure. Perhaps this speaks to the administration of the places that this document was trying to describe: there are numerous versions of the document issued over several years, some replacing parts of sections and other replacing entire sections though leaving in place sections contiguous to and within the new sections; the tiny sub-pagination at the bottom right of each sheet doesn't necessarily follow from one page to another although the text does (for example, there is a page “C-109 2 p1 of 11 nubu-cos-pun-wp”; further, the pagination which is the most useful is the section/page designation at top right, however the numeration of sections and paragraphs in the actual text seems a little thick, starting sections as “.1” rather than “1” and the “.1 A.” rather than 1A or some such. In the end, when I figured out that the document was actually complete, I was very surprised, because it hardly looked so while trying to follow pagination alone.
The War Relocation Authority was formed on March 18, 1942 via Executive Order 9102, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S. Entry into WWII, with Milton S. Eisenhower as the director. This was the action taken in the interests of national security resulting in rounding up and deporting to remote internal U.S. Destinations more than 125,000 people—mostly U.S. citizens—of Japanese heritage. The WRA was the consequence of the larger initiative, the Roosevelt administration’s Executive Order 9066 (19 February 1942), which was the legal bombshell that gave the War Department the authority to authorize the removal of the Japanese and theoretically prevent those people from engaging in sub rosa and fifth column activities as wartime terrorists fighting for Imperial Japan within the United States—and this effort concentrated mainly on the Pacific coast and West. For the greatest majority these people stayed in the “Relocation Centers” (routinely referred to as “internment centers” and “U.S. Concentration Camps” for the remainder of the war, and then some. The Japanese/internees were bused away from their homes and lives and businesses with extremely limited notice, and were forced to sell nearly all possessions (including lands and businesses) at what were less than fire-sale prices. They were made to board buses and trains and were shipped to locations (mainly in California) where they were processed and sent further and deeper into the trying hinterlands of the West for their final destinations until the war was won. (One of the processing centers was the Santa Anita racetrack, where thousands of Japanese were sent to live for periods in converted, just-painted horse stalls.) After 3+ years and WWII won, the relocation centers were closed, with Tule Lake was the last (that once included Gila River, Granada, Heart Mountain, Jerome, Manzanar, Minidoka, Poston, Topaz,and the Rohwer War Relocation Centers) to close, though that didn't take place until March 20, 1946, via Executive Order 9742, signed by President Harry S. Truman on June 26, 1946.
Here is what seems to be a sample of what the interned Japanese would fill out and submit for leaving the internment camp:
The overall introduction to the document is signed (in the original, and then reproduced) by Dillon S. Myer, who was the Director and oversaw the WRA from 1942 until 1946; other sectional introductions in the document are signed similarly by Duncan Miller (who in 1945 was at the Colorado River Relocation Center at Poston, AZ), Malcolm Pitts (who was an executive administrator and who wrote Administrative Highlights of the WRA in 1945), E(?)D. Brooks, and Leland Barrows—all but Brooks are located as being “Executive Officers” of the WRA.
From my reading this series of rules and regulations for the possibility of an "evacuee" to leave the relocation center is a Menkenian example of using 10 words where one word will do. The introduction is sufficient enough for a general reader to be able to guess at what is to come over the next 100+ pages: