Tule Lake Internment Camp

During World War II, 120,000 Japanese-Americans were incarcerated in Federal relocation centers: one out of four spent time at Tule Lake.

Tule Lake Internment covered much of ground seen here including the town of Newell.
photo-Anders Tomlinson

Designed to hold 10,000 internees within a square mile Tule Lake began construction in April 1942. One month later, internees began arriving from Northern California, Washington and Oregon. Confinement peaked at 18,789. Nearly 30,000 were imprisoned at Tule Lake which remained open until 1946, the last Federal relocation center to close.

Tule Lake Internment Camp was the largest and most infamous because in July 1943 it became Tule Lake Segregation Center. Internees from other relocation centers who refused to sign a loyalty oath or caused disturbances were sent to Tule Lake.

An American Story that should never be forgotten.
Hiroshi Kashiwagi shares his poem a Meeting In Tule Lake.
Hiroshi’s life is a great American story. His days in the Tule Lake Interment – Segregation Camp are one of many chapters: poet, playwright, memoirist, librarian, student, civil rights advocate, actor, son, husband, father…
His narration for this film was recorded in 2006 by Anders Tomlinson at Hiroshi’s San Francisco basement with Jimi Yamaichi assisting. Anders Tomlinson edited the archival still images and his Pilgrimage video footage with Hiroshi’s powerful reading and Denver Clay’s piano music, recorded in Tulelake, CA. Produced by Anders Tomlinson, Hiroshi Kashiwagi and Jimi Yamaichi. ©2012 Hiroshi Kashiwagi and Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved. Special thanks to the Tule Lake Committee for their support and encouragement.
To watch more Tule Lake Internment – Segregation Center videos by Jimi Yamaichi and Anders Tomlinson visit My Face Was My Crime .

Modern times
In 2006, 43 acres were designated a National Historic Landmark. Some haunting reminders- a concrete jail house, leaning-tar-papered barracks, bathroom floors, sewage tanks, guard towers and barb wire fencing. Today, there are pilgrimages, film crews, federal caretakers and fading recollections.

In December 2008, Tule Lake became WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Tule Lake Unit. Including Tule Lake in our National Park System will help ensure preservation of the site for future generations to learn first-hand from the lessons of this grave injustice.

Pilgrimages are held that spend several days in Tulelake and Klamath Falls.
photo-Anders Tomlinson.

Jimi Yamaichi spent a great deal of time over six years helping me interview internees. My first day with Jimi was filming a tour of the former internment center’s grounds. One of the many interviews Jimi arranged was with Hiroshi Kashiwagi. Several sessions later Hiroshi performed a spirited reading of his poem A Meeting in Tule Lake. This narration was used for an eight minute film. Three pilgrimages were also documented. For more internment information visit Tule Lake Internment Camp videos.

Jimi at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose.
photo-Anders Tomlinson

©2010 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.