Rev. Duncan Ryuken Williams, project director, conducts a ceremony in front of the Ireichō on Sept. 24 at the Japanese American National Museum. (MARIO GERSHOM REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

On Sept. 24 at the Japanese American National Museum, an installation ceremony was held for the Ireichō, a national names monument honoring persons of Japanese ancestry incarcerated in the U.S. during World War II.

Participants in the ceremony included representatives of 75 wartime confinement sites located across the country.

Although the most frequently mentioned camps are the 10 “war relocation centers” operated by the War Relocation Authority, there were many others, including the assembly centers where Japanese Americans were held before the WRA camps were opened. Department of Justice internment camps included one in Crystal City, Texas, where the government held Nikkei who were forcibly brought to the U.S. from Latin America. Incarcerees labeled as “troublemakers” were sent to “citizen isolation centers.”

The Ireichō includes over 125,000 names compiled by a team of researchers led by project director Rev. Duncan Ryūken Williams. It was produced under the guidance of the project’s creative director, Sunyoung Lee (publisher, Kaya Press), working with a team of artists and designers. Williams was also the officiant for the installation ceremony

Book designers: Jon Sueda (professor and dean of design, California College of the Arts) and Chris Hamamoto (professor, Seoul National University). Type designer: Berton Hasebe. Data designers: Chez Bryan Ong and Eric Ong. Calligrapher: Shumyo Kojima. Book binder: John Demerritt. Ceramicist: John Hasegawa.

The Ireichō compilation of the names involved the assistance of nearly a hundred individuals. They cannot all be listed here, but the key personnel who spent thousands of hours transcribing, researching, and editing the names include: Frederick D. Kakinami Cloyd, Jesse Hendler, Karen Kano, Skye Oyama, Shoichi Shingu, Yukari Swanson, and Mikoto Yoshida.

Major institutional collaborators included Densho (especially Geoff Froh and Dana Hoshide), Japanese American National Museum, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i, Manzanar National Historic Site (especially Patricia Biggs), and New Mexico JACL (especially Shelley Takeuchi).

Individuals from whom the project adapted previously produced camp rosters include Grant Din (Angel Island), Russell Endo (Tuna Canyon), Saara Kekki (Heart Mountain), Dennis Neumann (Fort Lincoln), Hayley Johnson/Sarah Simms (Camp Livingston), and Patricia Wegars (Kooskia).

Funding to support the creation of the Ireichō and Ireizō has come primarily from the Mellon Foundation and the USC Ito Center. A future initiative to enhance the Ireizō through a collaboration with Densho is funded by the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program.

Other participants in the installation ceremony were Rev. Shumyo Kojima (abbot, Zenshuji Soto Mission); Rev. Grant Hagiya (Gila River descendant; bishop, United Methodist Church, California Pacific Conference); Rev. Mark Nakagawa (Poston descendant; United Methodist Church); Rev. Marvin Harada (Minidoka-Tule Lake descendant; bishop, Buddhist Churches of America); and Rev. Noriaki Ito (bishop, Higashi Honganji, North America District). Post-ceremony remarks were given by  William T Fujioka, chair, JANM Board of Trustees.

Following is a complete list of camps represented at the ceremony, in alphabetical order. Former incarcerees and their survivors are invited to view the Ireichō and confirm their names or the names of family members.

JANM is located at Central Avenue and First Street in Little Tokyo. Viewing and stamping of the Ireichō will begin on Oct. 11 and will require a reservation. For more information, call (213) 625-0414 or email publicprograms@janm.org. Visit the museum’s website at www.janm.org.

Amache (Granada) Concentration Camp, Colorado

Angel Island Immigration Station/Fort Mcdowell Internment Camp, California

Bedford Springs Hotel, Pennsylvania

Camp Algiers Internment Camp, Louisiana

Camp Forrest Internment Camp, Tennessee

Camp Livingston Internment Camp, Louisiana

Camp McCoy Internment Camp, Wisconsin

Camp Upton, New York

Chicago INS Detention Station, Illinois

Cow Creek Camp, California

Crystal City Internment Camp, Texas

East Boston INS Detention Station, Massachusetts

Ellis Island Immigration Building, New York

Fort Bliss Internment Camp, Texas

Fort Howard Internment Camp, Maryland

Fort Lewis Internment Camp, Washington

Fort Lincoln Internment Camp, North Dakota

Fort Meade Internment Camp, Maryland

Fort Missoula Internment Camp, Montana

Fort Richardson Internment Camp, Alaska

Fort Sam Houston Internment Camp, Texas

Fort Sill Internment Camp, Oklahoma

Fort Stanton Internment Camp, New Mexico

Fresno Assembly Center, California

Gila River Concentration Camp, Arizona

Greenbrier Hotel (White Sulphur Springs), West Virginia

Griffith Park Detention Camp, California

Grove Park Inn, North Carolina

Haiku Camp Detention Station (Maui), Hawaii

Heart Mountain Concentration Camp, Wyoming

Hillcrest Sanitarium, California

The Homestead (Hot Springs), Virginia

Honolulu INS Administration Building, (Oahu) Hawaii

Honouliuli Internment Camp (Oahu), Hawaii

Jerome Concentration Camp, Arkansas

Kalaheo Stockade (Kauai), Hawaii

Kenedy Internment Camp, Texas

Kilauea Military Camp (Big Island), Hawaii

Kooskia Internment Camp, Idaho

Leupp Isolation Center, Arizona

Lordsburg Internment Camp, New Mexico

Manzanar Concentration Camp, California

Marysville (Arboga) Assembly Center, California

Mayer Assembly Center, Arizona

Merced Assembly Center, California

Minidoka Concentration Camp, Idaho

Moab Isolation Center, Utah

Montreat Assembly Inn, Nebraska

Nyssa Tent Camp, Oregon

Old Raton Ranch Internment Camp/Baca Camp, New Mexico

Owens Valley Reception Center, California

Parker Dam Reception Center, California

Pinedale Assembly Center, California

Pomona Assembly Center, California

Portland Assembly Center, Oregon

Poston Concentration Camp, Arizona

Puyallup Assembly Center, Washington

Rohwer Concentration Camp, Arkansas

Sacramento (Walerga) Assembly Center, California

Salinas Assembly Center, California

San Francisco Ins Detention Station, California

San Pedro INS Detention Station, California

Sand Island Internment Camp (Oahu), Hawaii

Santa Anita Assembly Center, California

Santa Fe Internment Camp, New Mexico

Seagoville Internment Camp, Texas

Seattle U.S. Immigrant Station and Assay Office, Washington

Sharp Park Detention Station, California

Stockton Assembly Center, California

Tanforan Assembly Center, California

Topaz Concentration Camp, Utah

Tulare Assembly Center, California

Tule Lake Concentration Camp, California

Tuna Canyon Detention Station, California

Turlock Assembly Center, California

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  1. I could be wrong but I thought there was a camp in Utah as well that I didn’t see listed here. several years ago while working for The City of Ogden Utah I found a box of records in an old abandoned cannery that was being torn down to build a homeless shelter. I went through the papers, mostly time sheets, where I found a letter listing the young men who were brought in from the camp to work at the cannery. it listed them as the individuals who’s pay needed to be doct. every week to pay for the lunch rhat a local woman was making for them . I saved that letter and turned it over to the City Recorders office.