Made in Amache: Objects from a Japanese American Incarceration Camp

Since 2016, Dana Ogo Shew, Sonoma State Anthropological Studies Center oral historian and archaeologist, has been a driving force in a project to work with former incarcerees and their descendants to digitally capture the many and varied objects that tell some of their stories in the Amache incarceration camp in Colorado between 1942 and 1945. Shew and her student volunteers have collected over 400 items reflecting this history.

Wood handles from a handbag with carved images of Amache barracks (circa 1942-1945).

This digitization project was coordinated with the Japanese American Citizens League of Sonoma County, and these cultural resources are currently being added to our Sonoma State University Library’s North Bay Ethnic Digital Collection in an effort to preserve the stories of Sonoma County families who were imprisoned simply because of their Japanese heritage.

For more background, see the Santa Rosa Press Democrat article from December 2021, “How Pearl Harbor brought sorrow to Sonoma County’s Japanese community.

View the Made in Amache Collection

Pheasant pin made of wood (Shigeko Taniguchi, circa 1942-1945).
 "Three ladies outside of rec hall barracks" (Kumiko Homma, circa 1942-1945)
Color print of water tower and barracks (Amache Silk Screen Shop, 1945).

 

Bear carving made from orange crate wood (Frank Ito, 1943).