NVC Newsletter

Images of America—Minidoka National Historic Site

by Mia Russell
December 2018, Volume 68, Issue 11

On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese military forces attacked the U.S. military bases located in and around Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  This attack on U.S. military forces set in motion a chain of events that would change the lives of 110,000 civilians of Japanese heritage.  Japanese Americans hailing from Alaska, southern Arizona, California, and western Oregon and Washington were given only a few days’ notice before being forcibly removed from their homes and businesses and were sent to one of 10 incarceration sites scattered across the United States.   Images of America-Minidoka National Historic Site, published by Arcadia Publishing and written by Hanako Wakatsuki, Mia Russell and Carol Ash tells the story of one of the 10 incarceration sites.

Minidoka War Relocation Center was located in the vast sagebrush desert of Southern Idaho.  The wartime operation incarcerated over 13,000 American citizens and legal resident aliens of Japanese ancestry from August 1942 to October 1945. The residents of Minidoka came primarily from Washington, Oregon, and Alaska.

The following passage is taken from the introduction page of the book, Images of America—Minidoka National Historic Site.  I believe this gives a very good description of what the reader will find in this book.

“Minidoka was a place where some lives began, and others ended.  It was a place where many of those incarcerated internalized the trauma of their experience, which continues to be passed down from generation to generation.  The loss of belongings, freedom, and identity haunted some for the rest of their lives.  Pets were left behind, homes abandoned, and businesses lost through the experience of confinement.  This is the story of Minidoka and how those incarcerated created a life behind barbed wire.”

The book, Images of America—Minidoka National Historic Site is available for purchase from retailers, such as Barnes and Noble and also Amazon.  You can also purchase a copy of the book by going to the Friends of Minidoka website at www.minidoka.org/shop.

If you purchase the book on the Minidoka website, you may use your credit card and receive free shipping.  For those interested in purchasing by mail, please send your order request to, “Friends of Minidoka”, Box 1085, Twin Falls, ID  83303.  If you have any further questions, please contact Mia Russell at mia@minidoka.org or (208) 863-0076.