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Landscaping America: Beyond the Japanese Garden - Timeline




Japan attacks U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawai`i, prompting U.S. entry into World War II.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, authorizing forced removal and incarceration of West Coast Japanese Americans in concentration camps.
After only one month in the camps, Japanese American inmates under take individual and community landscaping projects. Thousands of gardens are built throughout all of the camps.

During the war, many Japanese gardens are vandalized. Others are renamed and labeled as “Oriental” or Chinese gardens.


Over 5,500 Japanese Americans renounce their U.S. citizenship under duress and due to disillusion caused by their forced removal and incarceration. Some are deported to Japan in 1945.
Attorney Wayne Collins files a suit that eventually restores citizenship in most of these cases.


Japanese Americans are permitted to return to West Coast. Gardening is an accessible occupation during the resettlement period, and at times the only options.
Post-war gardening ranks are also increased by return to West Coast of many “renunciants” as well as Kibei, who had been living in Japan for various reasons.


Organized labor targets Japanese maintenance gardeners, considered an expanding working-class niche. A group of Southern California gardeners, pressured by rubbish-disposal and trucking lockouts, reluctantly joins Local 399 of Service Employees International Union.
To see more photographs from the 1940's, please see:

Sitting on a Truck

Based on this original

Japanese American Students Withdraw
uploaded by eishida
Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School newspaper announces the withdrawal of its Japanese American students, Los Angeles, 1942. This picture is courtesy of Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School (NRC.2002.27.8) This picture … More »

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