Riverside Metropolitan Museum

Reading the Walls Online Exhibit - Room #2 : Case 5

May 23, 1942

<p>"List for Internees." Riverside Metropolitan Museum, Harada Family Collection.</p>

<p>This typed list indicates items "internees" should and should not bring. It includes some hints as to what they should expect, such as bring drape for doors, as well as suggests that they bring a sandwich for the trip.</p>
<p>Instructions to All Persons of Japanese Ancestry, 1942. Riverside Metropolitan
Museum, Harada Family Collection.</p>

<p>These notices were posted throughout the community, on telephone poles and 
sides of buildings, instructing those residents of Japanese ancestry when and 
where they were to report.</p>
<p>1942 Calendar. Riverside Metropolitan Museum, Harada Family Collection.</p>

<p>This 1942 calendar inscribed in pencil on the bottom margin "left May 23" was 
still hanging in the Harada House behind the laundry room door when the family 
donated the house to the Museum in 2004.</p>
<p>Wall Inscription, Harada House.</p>

<p>The inscription Harold Harada wrote on an upstairs bedroom wall the day that 
they left Riverside.</p>
<p>Riverside Daily Press, May 25, 1942. Riverside Metropolitan Museum, Harada
Family Collection.</p>
					<p> Photograph Courtesy of The 
					Press Enterprise</p>

<p>Sumi and Harold Harada joined others of Japanese descent at 5th and Main 
Streets opposite the Mission Inn to get on buses for their "evacuation" to 
Poston, Arizona. Junji Kumamoto recalled, "Coffee and donuts were served. . . By 
women of Riverside churches under the direction of Mrs. C. L. Small. . . Some 
had the decency to see us off . . . You don’t know the feeling to be rejected 
out of society." [Source: Press Enterprise, August 16, 1966]</p>
<p>Photograph, Jess Stebler, ca. late 1930s. Riverside Metropolitan Museum, Harada
Family Collection.</p>

<p>Jess Stebler agreed to care for the Harada’s home during internment. Harold 
recalled, "And he took care of this house through those war years, Jesse Stebler. 
I don’t know whether I would do that today if we were to got to war with 
whomever, and I knew that that family was going to be imprisoned in a camp . . . 
at the time of evacuation we asked –my sister and I – my sister Sumi and I asked 
him – or he asked us, if there was anything that he do for us during this 
period. So, we asked him if he wouldn’t mind living in our house, free of rent, 
collect the rents from two of the houses that my dad had, and if he would just 
water the lawn, take care of the garden the best he could, and he agreed to it." 
[Rawitsch, Mark H., Interviews with Members of the Harada 
Family, Mark H. Rawitsch, 2003, p. 148]</p>

<p>Harold further reflected, ". . . that man had a lot of guts. A lot of 
courage. But I guess, a friend is a friend and I think that’s the mark of a good 
friend." [Rawitsch, Mark H., Interviews with Members of the 
Harada Family, Mark H. Rawitsch, 2003, p. 149]</p>
Mouse over and click items for additional details. Click here to return to Room 2

On February 19, 1942 President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 into law which directed the Secretary of War to designate military areas from which "any or all persons may be excluded." Executive Order 9102 established the War Relocation Authority (WRA) to implement the forced relocation. The United States government quickly proceeded with the largest incarceration in American history. All those of Japanese descent, both aliens and citizens, were informed of their impending incarceration by the posting of "Civilian Exclusion" notices on telephone poles, fences and other public areas. Internment camp assignments were determined by geographical locations, not to preserve family unity.

On March 27th, the Haradas sold their Washington Restaurant business for $150, a significant loss. The Haradas were given one week’s notice to leave their home. Harold drove his parents to Masa Atsu’s Sacramento home. The family believed physician Masa Atsu could provide the best care for their elderly parents. They did not have to sell their home. Longtime customer and family friend, Jess Stebler, agreed to stay in their home until their return. They were allowed only to take what they could carry. They only had room for sheets, toiletries and a variety of warm and cold weather clothing.

Before they left 3356 Lemon Street, Harold wrote on an upstairs bedroom wall the inscription: "Left May 23 1942 7 a.m. Shig HH – DYI". Shig (short for Shigetsu) was Harold’s Japanese name and the initials DYI were for his friend, Dorothy Y. Inaba. They also left the 1942 calendar inscribed, "Left May 23" behind the laundry room door. Riverside’s Japanese community assembled at Fifth and Main Streets to be transported to the American concentration camps. The Riverside Haradas were tagged Family # 34018A-E and boarded a bus. They arrived at Poston, Arizona the same day. By May 25, 1942 all residents of Japanese ancestry had been removed from Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

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