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Tule Lake Revisited
A Brief History and Guide to the Tule Lake Internment Camp Site
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Tule Lake Revisited
A Brief History and Guide to the Tule Lake Internment Camp Site

By Barbara Takei and Judy Tachibana
2001, 49 pages, Paperback.
Book Description from the Preface
About the Authors

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Book Description from the Preface

Many have returned to the site of the former incarceration center at Tule Lake only to be bewildered. How could it be that a place so huge, with such a major impact on so many lives, has vanished? What is left of that barbed wire encircled, tar-paper barrack community where 18,000 people lived?

Both of us wondered the same thing while searching for evidence of the place where our mothers were interned during World War II. The rows upon rows of inmate barracks are gone. People we encountered in the township of Newell and Tulelake did not seem to know very much about the Tule Lake camp or about the history of that event. Visiting in the early 1970s and 1980s, we were unaware that the abandoned concrete structure in the field beyond was a jail for the Segregation Center - the prison within a prison - used without regard for due process.

For many years, we felt that a self-guided tour of the Tule Lake site was needed. Thanks to the support of the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program, we were able to research and produce this brief history and guide to Tule Lake. It is intended to direct visitors to the remains of the site and to foster an understanding of the forces that resulted in the wartime incarceration. We hope that readers will be motivated to learn more about this period of American history. Moreover, we wish that each visitor will recognize their responsibility to ensure that another such aberration of our laws and principles will never happen again.

In putting together this guide, many individuals provided information and resources. Foremost among them is the Tule Lake Committee, a loosely organized group of volunteers who have organized pilgrimages to Tule Lake since 1978. Every two years, their efforts bring together a Japanese American diaspora that honors the memory and meaning of Tule Lake. We thank them for their continuing passion.

Barbara Takei and Judy Tachibana
Sacramento, CA 2001

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Background on the Authors

Judy Tachibana previously reported for the Metro section of The Sacramento Bee. Her mother, Elsie (Kondo) Tachibana, and her family were interned at Tule Lake and later Minidoka. Her father's family spent the war years at Manzanar. Two of his siblings Kiyoshi Tachibana and Shigeko (Tachibana) Taketomo - were incarcerated in Tule Lake after segregation. In addition to visiting the two California internment camps in the early 1970s, the former Torrance Unified School District math teacher has driven to the remains at Topaz, Utah and Minidoka, Idaho.

Barbara Takei, a freelance writer focusing on civil rights topics, graduated with honors from Howard University in Washington, D.C. During the 1980s, she and spouse, Yoshinori "Toso" Himel and their son Carl took family trips to visit internment camp sites at Tule Lake and Manzanar in California, and Rohwer and Jerome in Arkansas that led to an interest in developing a guide. Her mother, Bette (Sakaye Sato) Takei, and her family, were interned at Tule Lake and Amache while her father spent the war years in Europe with the 522nd field artillery battalion that liberated Dachau.

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