December 7, 1941 changed the lives of thousands of Japanese Americans who became "enemy" in the eyes of the United States government within hours. With Pearl Harbor still smoldering, these men would be arrested and put into the enemy alien internment system. As the study of internment has steadily grown, the information about the confinement sites and ability to piece together the experiences of the men within has remained a challenging task.
Camp Livingston, famous as a site for the Louisiana Maneuvers, holds a darker and less well-known history. From 1942-1943, over 1,000 men of Japanese ancestry were held in this internment camp in the pine forests of central Louisiana. The authors approach this camp's history via the experiences and linkages to and through two families, the Miyamotos and Koharas, who are the beating heart at the center of this saga. Through them, the authors have laid out a historical counter narrative that is part biography and part critical exploration of a forgotten chapter of American history.
This manuscript is the first of its kind to focus primarily on exploring Camp Livingston, arguably one of the lesser-known enemy alien internment camps, in depth including its layout, operations, and the daily life and experiences of the internees within.
Hayley Johnson is head of the Open Scholarship and Government Publications Department at Louisiana State University.
Sarah Simms is Undergraduate & Student Success Librarian at Louisiana State University.
Part I: Foundations in a New Land
Chapter 1: A Consequence of Birth
Chapter 2: Tengoku or Heaven
Chapter 3: A Community Emerges
Chapter 4: Haleʻiwa, Hawaiʻi
Chapter 5: A Temple’s Foundation
Part II: Prelude to War
Chapter 6: Watchers on the Eve of War
Chapter 7: New Residents among the Pines
Chapter 8: When the Tigers Pounced
Chapter 9: Looking Westward
Chapter 10: Becoming an Enemy Alien
Part III: Wartime Experiences
Chapter 11: ISN-HJ-131-CI
Chapter 12: Let Photographs Tell the Story
Chapter 13: “Koton, Koton”
Part IV: Camp Livingston
Chapter 14: Life in Camp Livingston
Chapter 15: Prisoners under the Pines
Chapter 16: Art, Community, and Resistance
Chapter 17: Connections to the Outside World
PART V: A Family Reunited
Chapter 18: The Road to Repatriation
Chapter 19: Reunited Behind Barbed Wire
Part VI: After War
Chapter 20: Life beyond War
Chapter 21: Mysterious Memories
Chapter 22: What Remains
Chapter 23: Talk Story
Closing Quote I
Closing Quote II