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The Poston (Colorado River Relocation Center) Tailor School

Licensing

After the inital trama of imprisonment, the Japanese American inmate community with the help of the Office of Indian Affairs (OIA) and the War Relocation Authority (WRA) wanted to to ease the stress of imprisionment.  (The OIA managed Poston for the WRA for the first 2 years.)  Stress was successiful eased by adding educational, recreational, and sporting activities for almost everyone.  One major success was the Poston Tailoring School where hundreds of inmates learned tailoring and were able to make clothing for themselves and their families in the camp. See the photo of the large graduating class of 1945.  The school was headed by Kesajiro Urata a 71 year old tailor from Los Angeles. Sewing machines were in short supply in the camp but fortunately for the inmates, a Los Angeles Japanese American owner of a sewing factory was interned in Poston.  He offered to lease his machines for a small fee and his sewing machines were sent to Poston.  Mr Urata gathered up inmate tailors and trained inmates to become teachers of Poston Tailor School. My mother Michiko Kakuda became one of these teachers and was very honored to teach under Mr Urata's tutorage. Cloth and tailoring accessories were purchased via Sears and Roebuck and Montgomery Wards catologs or the Poston Cooperative Store.  Banking services were supplied by the Bank of America at Poston.

Slides in this album 

Poston Tailoring Center

Recreational Hall Block 35.  Kesajiro Urata head to tailoring school sitting center.

Poston Tailoring Center
Contributed by: RoyKakuda

Tailoring teachers lesson plans

Tailoring school teachers with Head Tailor Mr Kesajiro Urata.  My mother Michiko Kakuda is left in foreground.

Tailoring teachers lesson plans
Contributed by: RoyKakuda

Teachers and Students of the Poston Tailor School

Teachers and Students in class room.  Head of school K. Urata and assistant.

Teachers and Students of the Poston Tailor School
Contributed by: RoyKakuda

Teachers Poston Tailor School

Teachers with K. Urata Head of Poston Tailor School.  Michiko Kakuda top row second from the left.

Teachers Poston Tailor School
Contributed by: RoyKakuda

1944 Commencement Exercise Anouncement

First commencement of the Poston 1 Tailor School.

1944 Commencement Exercise Anouncement
Contributed by: RoyKakuda

Teachers and Students at 1945 Graduation of Poston Tailor School

Poston 1 Adobe school and auditorium in backgrond.  Teachers are wearing badges. Head of school K. Urata 3rd row on right of photo.  Michiko Kakuda 7th from the left in front row wearing skirt made from Army blanket.

Teachers and Students at 1945 Graduation of Poston Tailor School
Contributed by: RoyKakuda

Display of Poston Tailor School Clothing

Suit tops vests and dresses made at the Poston Tailor School.  Photo taken at the Poston Fair.  Note the Poston families Gold Stars represented with wooden rifles and flower arrangement.

Display of Poston Tailor School Clothing
Contributed by: RoyKakuda

Display of Slacks made by the students of the Poston Tailor School

Display at the Poston Fair where produce, products, hobbies and clothing were shown.

Display of Slacks made by the students of the Poston Tailor School
Contributed by: RoyKakuda

Display of Poston Tailor School Clothing

Suit tops made at the Poston Tailor School.  Photo taken at the Poston Fair. 

Display of Poston Tailor School Clothing
Contributed by: RoyKakuda

Kesajiro Urata presenting at the Poston Fair

K. Urata showing the clothing made at the Poston Tailor School.

Kesajiro Urata presenting at the Poston Fair
Contributed by: RoyKakuda

Women sewing at the Poston Tailor School

Note the sewing machine covers and inmate made benches.

Women sewing at the Poston Tailor School
Contributed by: RoyKakuda

Poston Tailor School students

Women sewing. Note the sewing covers and the tags on the sewing machines.

Poston Tailor School students
Contributed by: RoyKakuda

Sewing at the Tailor School

Note the space heater, the dusty wooden floor, and gaps in the door and walls.

Sewing at the Tailor School
Contributed by: RoyKakuda

Students of the Tailor School cutting patterns and hand stitching.

Cloth and tailoring accessories purchased via Sears and Roebuck and Montgomery Wards catologs or the Poston Cooperative Store.

Students of the Tailor School cutting patterns and hand stitching.
Contributed by: RoyKakuda


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