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Farm Labor Camp Stories Exhibited at Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center

By The North American Post Staff

The Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center is hosting the traveling exhibit “Uprooted: Japanese American Farm Labor Camps During World War II” until June 19. This will be the only chance to see “Uprooted” in the Pacific North West before it is installed at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.

After President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 authorizing the incarceration of Japanese Americans, some 33,000 individual contracts were issued for seasonal farm labor which included many incarcerated Japanese Americans working in the sugar beet industry.

“Uprooted” tells this story, featuring a selection of photographs from Russell Lee’s documentation of Japanese American farm labor camps near the towns of Nyssa, Ore. and Rupert, Shelley and Twin Falls, Ida. This is the first time many of these images have been exhibited.

As a photographer for the Farm Security Administration (FSA), Lee captured nearly six hundred images of the Nikkei wartime experience. From 1935 to 1944, the FSA’s documentary photography program produced approximately 175,000 black-and-white film negatives and 1,600 color images.

Visitors will learn about Japanese American farm labor camps through Lee’s photographs, interpretative text panels and a short documentary film featuring firsthand accounts of life in the camps. For more information and to view additional photographs, historic documents, video clips, transcripts and lesson plans, visit www.uprootedexhibit. com.