“Assembly Centers” in Little Tokyo

With the outbreak of the Pacific War, all people of Japanese descent living on the West Coast were removed from their homes and incarcerated, subject to mass removal and incarceration. To prove their loyalty, many American-born men served in the army or military intelligence service. Their heroic contributions helped the Nisei to break through racial barriers and gain rapid social mobility after the war. The image on the left is of the Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo (currently the Historic Building of the Japanese American National Museum), which became a roundup point for the Japanese Americans who were sent to “assembly centers” in 1942. These “assembly centers” booked and transported all people of Japanese descent to internment camps.