Detail of Lonesome Moon by Tameichi Wada, Santa Fe Internment Camp, 1944.

Wada, Tameichi. Detail of Lonesome Moon. Santa Fe Internment Camp, January 1944.

Santa Fe Internment Camp Photos from the collection of George Mojuro Nishi

Valerie Nishi sent four Santa Fe Internment Camp photos from the collection of her grandfather, George Mojuro NISHI. The first of the group shots shown here has a caption handwritten by Mr. Nishi noting the shot was taken on July 20, 1943, and depicts prisoners on the second week of a hunger strike at Santa Fe. Judging from historical context, these men may have been pressing for expedited repatriation to Japan.

You may recognize Jack Kaichiro YASUTAKE, intrepid poet and the governor of the camp, sitting there — tirelessly fighting for his fellow prisoners' rights!

The second image taken in front of the Liaison Office is a group of spiritualists. The third picture regales the championship baseball team. The last photo shows men who were arrested from West Los Angeles.

Thank you, Valerie, for preserving these remarkable images of our shared history!

Santa Fe Internment Camp Photos from the collection of Rev. Hakuai Oda

Edna Horiuchi of Silver Lake, Los Angeles, graciously shared her grandfather's collection of photographs from the Santa Fe Internment Camp. Horiuchi has been investigating the history of her grandfather, Rev. Hakuai ODA of Aiea, Oahu, Hawaii. The photos include various group photos, one depicting the men sporting CCC badges, a few Buddhist services, a party scene complete with countless beer bottles and one extremely rare photo from Fort Missoula of a group of Japanese and what appear to be Italian prisoners.

Haiku North America Conference 2013

Haiku North America is holding its biennial conference aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, August 14-18, 2013. I'm impressed by the variety of programs and the many talented poets!

Mitsuye Yamada, poet, teacher and activist, spoke Friday, August 15, 2013, about her father's World War II era poetry group. Yamada reports that she is recuperating with minor injuries after a slight mishap at the end of the night. We wish her a speedy recovery!

Under the Moon I Saw in Exile

El Palacio, a quarterly magazine published by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs printed my article about the poet prisoners at the Santa Fe Interment Camp. We appreciate the editor, Cynthia Baughman, for devoting much time and energy to help spread this facet of American history to the Santa Fe art community and beyond.

The cover image is a beautiful painting of the camp by Santa Fe artist, Jerry West. Mr. West's father, Hal, was a guard at the camp during WWII and drew numerous sketches of life from a guard's point of view.

Santa Fe Internment Camp conference to commemorate New Mexico's state centennial
A symposium titled "From Inside and Outside the Barbed Wire: New Mexico's Multicultural World War II Internment Stories" was held April 21-22, 2012, at the New Mexico History Museum at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe.

Congratulations to all involved for an informative and inspirational weekend. Special thanks goes out to Bill Nishimura, nisei prisoner at Santa Fe, for livening up the event with his sharp wit, memorable commentary and boundless enthusiasm!

See photos of the conference here.

Historic Santa Fe Internment Camp Photographs Found!

Lou Schatz, niece of Lloyd Jensen, former Acting Officer in Charge at Santa Fe in 1943, has generously donated a collection of 22 original large format photographs taken at the camp. The photos, many of which have never been published, depict the camp buildings, an art and calligraphy exhibition, group photos, internees in the canteen, the mess hall, the bakery, the dispensary and on stage in elaborate kabuki costumes. One of the silver gelatin prints, that of a tennis team at the camp, was stamped on the back by Santa Fe photographer, T. Harmon Parkhurst.

Mr. Parkhurst was active in the Santa Fe area in the first half of the twentieth century and produced an excellent archive of images of the Native American people. A collection of his original 7 in. by 11 in. nitrate negatives is stored at the Palace of Governors in Santa Fe.

Poetry Group, Santa Fe Internment Camp  Courtesy of Reiko Matsumoto.

Welcome to! Our name is derived from the kanji the issei prisoners invented for the town of Santa Fe, New Mexico. They called their new home, San Ta He, or Many Mountains Surrounding.

Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the FBI arrested and imprisoned thousands of immigrants. Japanese, German and Italian immigrants were branded "dangerous enemy aliens" and confined in military and INS prisons without trial. No charges were brought and no evidence was produced by the US Justice Department. Some men were held until 1947.

Click the buttons at left for reproductions of a poetry manuscript from the Santa Fe Internment Camp historic photos of the issei detainees and their families, oral histories, and more information about the Justice Camps.

Read about the April 2002 Santa Fe Historical Marker Dedication and visit to see what former Justice Camps at Lordsburg and Santa Fe look like today. Having problems locating the Santa Fe Camp Historical Marker? Here is a map!

Learn how to use the Freedom of Information Act to request copies of previously classified FBI files stored at the National Archives.

Contact us at for more information or to be notified of updates to this site.

Today, the Justice Department continues its assault on the innocent. Under the guise of the "War on Terrorism," and in reaction to the 9/11 attacks, the INS has been conducting clandestine deportations of Muslims living in the U.S. Listen to Amy Goodman's interview with the wife of one detainee. For many of you, the account of her husband's arrest will sound all too familiar.

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