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Jack Muro Amache Photo Album

Licensing

This is Jack Muro, "The Undergound Photograper of Amache." This is his Photo album and supplements the Discover Nikkei Journal essay, "Jack Muro, The Underground Photographer of Amache." It contains photographs by Jack, who not only "took the pictures," he processed the film and printed the photographs with his home-built enlarger in his underground photographic darkroom which he dug-out beneath his cot in his and parent's concentration camp barrack. (Note: The tag, "The Underground Photographer of Amache" is my creation with Jack Muro's blessing. I wanted a nick-name hook) His photographs are shown full-image as scanned of his 35mm negatives. There were some amateur problems (under/over/double exposures and processing errors), but basically his photographs are well-composed, compelling and vividly capture his views of life in Amache, one of ten War Relocation concentration camps scattered throughout the USA during WWII. Now, view just a few of Jack Muro's photographs that were virtually unseen for almost 70-years. Some of his photos were displayed at an Amache reunion in Las Vegas in 1994, but beyond that the negatives were kept in a candy box and some of his photographic prints in various envelopes. Jack, 92 donated his extensive photographic collection to JANM in 2012. Please contact the Hirasaki National Resource Center of the JANM if you wish to use any of them. hnrc@janm.org * Editor's note: Gary Ono also wrote an article about Jack Muro. Read his article to learn more about Jack Muro: Jack Muro, The Underground Photographer of Amache

Slides in this album 

Jack Muro, "The Underground Photographer"

Jack evidentily handed off his camera for his friends to photograph him as well, shown here near his 6H Block of barracks. "Underground" might imply that he took his photographs secretly, but that was not the case. The WRA authority in Amache allowed cameras to be returned to and/or purchased by ...

Jack Muro at Amche camp
Contributed by: garyono

Barbed wire fence of Amache

This striking photograph shows the 5-strands of barbed wire against a beautiful backdrop of billowy clouds that fenced in the WRA concentration camp of Amache.  Some books on the camps say 4-strands of barbed wire were used, but Jack captured this dramatic image of what fenced in his family and ...

Barbed wire fence
Contributed by: garyono

Parents of Jack Muro

Father Tokoichi and mother Koito Muro stand in a field near their Amache barracks. Their 6H block of barracks were on the corner of the Amache camp complex next to the open field and kitty-corner from the camp hospital and outpatient clinics compound. The Muros are originally from the farming community ...

Parents of Jack Muro
Contributed by: garyono

Tokuichi Muro and Poochie

Jack Muro photographed his father Tokuichi and Poochie standing in the field near their barracks. Their Block 6H is near the administration area towards the entrance of the camp compound and is where many early internees lived as part of the advanced party of workers to help get Amache ready for ...

Tokuichi and Poochie
Contributed by: garyono

Art Class Studio

The positive side of being incarcerated, imprisoned without due process of law, in WWII U.S. concentration camps was the establishment of education programs for pre-school through high school as well as for adults.  Creative outlets were provided for in the form of woodworking, ceramics, paper floral arrangements, and art. Jack's father ...

Art class studio
Contributed by: garyono

Tokuichi Muro carvings

A positive aspect of camp life was the availability of leisure time outlets for the internees. Jack's father took advantage of the woodcarving workshop to produce beautifully carved figurines. Jack captured his father's art depicting their block 6H garden and animals and people, which were displayed at the fair.

Tokuichi Muro carvings
Contributed by: garyono

Main Street Granada

Jack photographed this view of 'downtown' Granada showing the Groceries and Meat Market, where many Amache internees were allowed to shop. Some walked, the mile and a half distance, or rode in camp vehicles. This picture doesn't show it, but there was also a Japanese internee operator of a fish and poultry market ...

Granada main street
Contributed by: garyono

Granada Fish Market

Jack caught this image of the inside of the Granada Fish Market run by Japanese and shopped at by Amacheans and Granada townspeople. They also sold poultry. Amacheans were allowed to go into the town of Granada, which was a mile and a half away. Besides a couple of grocery ...

Granada Fish Market
Contributed by: garyono

Granada Main Street Labor Office

Japanese men, internees, hang around in front of Labor Office in Granada in hopes of getting jobs. Note sign in upper left corner seeking "Hod Carriers and Laborers." Many Amacheans worked in the Colorado region on various farms

Granada Labor Office
Contributed by: garyono

Block 6H Laundry Room

Jack produced this very detailed photograph showing the Laundry Room, which is part of the latrines and washroom building that served the 12 barracks of Block 6H. Jack used this to wash his processed photographic films and prints, but he would dry them in his barrack darkroom.

Block 6H Laundry Room
Contributed by: garyono

Mess Hall of Block 6H

This is the mess hall that served the Jack Muro and other Block 6H families. In fact, Jack's mother, Koito worked there.

Mess Hall 6H
Contributed by: garyono

Train Coal Car Unloaded

In the town of Granada, Amacheans unloading coal from the train car to a waiting truck. Jack also had another picture showing more train coal cars being unloaded to several Amache trucks in a wider angled view. Coal being the main source of heat for the flimsy barrack created the need ...

Train Coal Car unloading
Contributed by: garyono

Brush Clearing Project

Fire prevention brush clearing by block community of adults and young children. Smoke bellows from controlled burning of tumble weeds and shrubs

Fire Prevention Brush Clearing
Contributed by: garyono

Amache Administration Buildings

Jack shows the four adminstration buildings, which are near the front entry way into Amache. The tree lines in the background is along Highway 50 that runs in front of the Amache entry way and shortly past into the town of Granada.

Notice that there is more landscaping and even what ...

Amache Administrarion Buildings
Contributed by: garyono

Amache Press Office

Amache Press workers (3) men and (1) woman, with "United We Stand" banner on wall.

Amache Press Room
Contributed by: garyono

Silk Screen Shop

Workers near rack of drying posters and pot belly stove. The Amache Silk Screen program was awarded a contract with the U.S. Navy to produce their posters, which they did for two-years. They also produced many of the posters, flyers, booklet covers, dance bids and programs for all the Amache ...

Silk Screen Shop
Contributed by: garyono

Silk Screen Shop in Action

This shot shows more of the talented silk screen artists working at their drawing tables.

Silk Screen Shop in Action
Contributed by: garyono

Police Station Office

Jack shows us where his father Tokuichi worked. Police officers working at table/benches left as another officer checks bulletin board on right. Notice the billy clubs and flash lanterns hanging ready on the background wall.

Police Station Office
Contributed by: garyono

Police Billy Clubs and Lanterns

Jack focused closer on the Police station billy clubs and lanterns hanging in readiness on the corner wall. Water pitcher and glasses sit on a table nearby.

Police Billy Clubs and Lanterns
Contributed by: garyono

Firemen Play Pool While On-Call

Firemen play pocket billiard while waiting on alarm calls for any fire or other emergencies. Fire truck ready on the left. Jack got up high to capture this story-telling overall view.

Firemen On-Call Play Pool
Contributed by: garyono

Vehicle Repair Shop

Two trucks being serviced in vehicle repair shop garage.

Auto Repair Shop
Contributed by: garyono

Carpentry Shop

Machines in what appears to be a well-equipped wood working shop.

Carpentry Shop
Contributed by: garyono

Water Tower Tank Ladder

Jack captured this abstract and rare view of the ladder that goes up to the water tank platform on top of very tall tower that can be seen from all points in Amache. This view is looking back down at the ground and start of the climb up the ladder. ...

Water Tower Ladder
Contributed by: garyono

Western View from Water Tower

This one of many shots Jack took from the water tower. This is looking westward down the eastern edge of Amache. Small, but you can make out one of the six guard towers that surrounded the camp. Right next to this guard tower is 12G, a barrack that served as ...

View from Water Tower
Contributed by: garyono

Out-Patient Clinics and Pharmacy Portal

Roadway portal and covered walkway connecting Amache Hospital and it's Out-Patient Clinics and Pharmacy and other medical service departments.

Out-Patient and Pharmacy Portal
Contributed by: garyono

Amache Post Office

An internee fills out a form in the Amache Post Office. The post office is the reason the original name for the camp was changed from Granada to Amache. The confusion of two post offices so close together and with the same name started causing too much address confusion.

Amache Post Office
Contributed by: garyono

Train Mail Bag Rack

Jack captured the train moving past the rack that holds canvas mail bags which serves as a transferring device. This was how and where Granada and Amache post offices received and delivered their mail. Outgoing mail sacks hung on the same rack are grabbed by the train crew. Incoming bags were hooked ...

Train Mail Bag Rack
Contributed by: garyono

Co-Op Canteen Opening

Jack photographed banners proclaiming: "Christmas - New Year Special Co-Op Canteen" and "New Canteen" on Co-Op building complex.

Co-Op Canteen Opening
Contributed by: garyono

Inside Co-Op Canteen

This shot by Jack shows the busy inside of the Co-Op Canteen.

Inside Co-Op Canteen
Contributed by: garyono

Shoe Store and Shoe Repair

In this photograph Jack captures the overall Co-Op Shoe Store and shows internee customers at the Shoe Repair pass-through window.

Shoe Store and Shoe Repair
Contributed by: garyono

Inside Shoe Repair Shop

Through a window inside the Shoe Store is the Shoe Repair shop where the shoe cobblers worked is shown here by Jack. In the previous  (2012.2.5) photograph, Jack captures both the shoe store and the repair shop window.

Inside Shoe Repair Shop
Contributed by: garyono

View from Truck

Jack drove delivery trucks as one of his many jobs and evidently always carried his camera with him. Here he captures an intresting photo of a man and boy out riding their bicycles down an Amache roadway.

Bicyclists in front of Truck
Contributed by: garyono

Pickle Department and Field

Jack photographed and labeled the print "Pickle Department" This nice wide angle view shows the field and barrels of pickles. Notice a guard tower in the background.

Pickle Department Field
Contributed by: garyono

Hay Stacking Machine

Jack captured one of his friends riding up on the hay stacking machine to the top of the hay stack against a dramatically clouded sky.

Hay Stacking Machine
Contributed by: garyono

Workers Atop Hay Stack

Workers sit on top of hay stack built with the help of the hay stacking machine to the side of the stack. Jack had taken many more photographs of this operation, which will be in the Jack Muro JANM collection

Workers Atop Hay Stack
Contributed by: garyono

Friend Up a Tree

Jack catches a friend who climbed up a tree top. This was taken on the Koen Ranch property away from Amache. Jack and his friends were on a farm work detail.

Jack Muro's friend Up a Tree
Contributed by: garyono

Community Swing Set

A very substantial swing set was built in the 6H Block neighborhood, where children and adults alike enjoy. The internees were very skillful in woodcrafting furniture to make their bleak living quarters more liveable and to build such a welcome recreation for their youths as well.

Block Swing Set
Contributed by: garyono

Block 6H Girls

Jack photographed the girls of block 6H posing in front of their pride and joy rock garden around which many block events take place.

Block 6H Girls
Contributed by: garyono

Another Block of Friends

These guys were from a block other than Jack's 6H, but they were still friendly acquaintances, especially "Peanut" third from the left with a sweater around his neck. "Peanut" Hirai was a well-known Sumo wrestler and in many Sumo action photos taken by Jack, which are in the collection.

Another Block of Friends
Contributed by: garyono

Bar Bell Lifing

Another of Jack's friends lifting weight. Evidently, because of other photographs showing this activity, they must have gotten together for regular work-outs. One group picture of his friends in another photograph showed one young man with a "Tule Lake Bar Bell Club" patch with a picture of a barbell on his ...

Friend Lifts Barbell
Contributed by: garyono

Another Strong Friend

Jack photographs one of his unidentified strong friends lifting a couple of saw-horses over his head.

Friends Lifts Sawhorses
Contributed by: garyono

Jack Muro Friend Pushes Wheelbarrow of Coal

One of Jack's muscular friend wheels a load of coal to his barrack. Jack and his friends, judging from other photographs, seem to be active in a weight-lifting club.

Wheelbarrow of Coal
Contributed by: garyono

Tired Kite Flyer

Jack captured his friend Willie Hamamoto's kid brother, Henry taking a nap. Young Henry wa evidently tired out after flying a kite. Notice that he's holding a kite string spool. Also, notice the taps on his shoes, probably put-on by the cobblers who worked in the Co-Op Shore Repair shop.

Tired Kite Flyer
Contributed by: garyono

Getting Ready for the Parade

Young girls in their stripped sashes get ready to pull the Liberty Bell float in the carnival parade. Notice the "Buy Savings Bond" banner. Also, see the Amache water tank tower in the distant background, which is the southeast corner of the camp. This is just one of many story-telling photographs taken by Jack ...

Rady to Parade
Contributed by: garyono

Boys Anticipate the Coming Parade

These young internees look down the parade route in anticipation of what's coming next in the parade.

Boys Anticipate Parade
Contributed by: garyono

Amache High School Majorettes Lead Band

Jack captured the Amache High School majorettes leading the high school band down the parade route.

Majorettes Lead Band
Contributed by: garyono

Boys Scout Flag Bearers

Blurry, but an interesting low-angle view of the BSA flag bearers leading their troop in the camp parade.

Boy Scout Flag Bearers
Contributed by: garyono

Block 11F Girls Pull Liberty Bell

Girls with 11F caps on and wearing striped sashes pull the Liberty Bell float in the Amache parade.

Girls Pull Liberty Bell
Contributed by: garyono

Characters on Parade

Youths dressed-up as a farmer and a big-headed clown march along in parade as a scout leader looks on.

Characters on Parade
Contributed by: garyono

Amache Policemen Parade by Boy in Awe

The Amache policemen participating in the parade are watched closely by a young boy who stands in awe.

Boy in Awe of Police
Contributed by: garyono

Uncle Sam in Parade

This low-angle view by Jack heightens the tall Uncle Sam on stilts, a popular figure in the parade.

Uncle Sam on Stilts
Contributed by: garyono

Inside a Carnival Booth

Jack didn't quite remember, but it looks like the inside of the booth with a public address speaker hanging in the middle could be a Bingo Game concession. If there any Amacheans who recognize otherwise, please add your comment to this album.

Inside a Carnival Booth
Contributed by: garyono

Carnival Booths Near the High School

Internees mill around Carnival booths set-up beside part of the newly-completed Amache High School. The Carnival was held along with other activities to celebrate the new school opening.

Carnival Booths by High School
Contributed by: garyono

Boy Scout Color Guard in Gym Auditorium

Color Guards bearing flags at the start of a program in the new gymnasium auditorium of the Amache High School. Jack took a few other pictures this event before and during the program.

Boy Scout Color Guard
Contributed by: garyono

Wide Angle View of New Auditorium Program

Jack captured this nice high and wide-angle photo of the opening ceremony program to commemorate the opening of the newly-built Amache High School. The Boy Scout color guards stand onstage for the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

Wide Angle View of New Auditorium Program
Contributed by: garyono

Amache Girls Enter Barrack Class Room

Jack photographed girl internee students, some boys along side, entering a barrack class. This was before the opening of the new Amache High School

Barrack Class Line before New High School
Contributed by: garyono

Peek Into New High School Class

Jack who finished High School before the evacuation, was free to photograph into a new high school classroom.

High School Class Window
Contributed by: garyono

Amache High School Hallway

Jack photographically captured the hallway of the newly opened Amache High School.

New High School Hallway
Contributed by: garyono

Music Classroom

Jack photographs a few students practicing on their insturments in the new Amache High School music classroom.

Music Class Room
Contributed by: garyono

New Classroom Waiting

Jack photographs a new classroom waiting for it's students in the newly-completed Amache High School.

New Classroom
Contributed by: garyono

Baseball Batters-Up

Jack captures flavor of a baseball game with spectators framing a batter and a batter-up player in a well-composed photograph.

Baseball Game Batter Up
Contributed by: garyono

Amache Football Team Huddle

During the Holly High and Amache High football game, Jack captures the Amache huddle alongside the spectators.

Football Team Huddle by Spectators
Contributed by: garyono

Football Game Amache vs. Holly High

Football game in progress in field in front of Amache High School. This was their first game against Holly High School and Amache won. Jack shot a few more pictures of this event. Holly is a town about 15-miles east of Granada, near the Colorado-Kansas states border.

Amache High Football
Contributed by: garyono

Sumo Tournament

Jack captured the overall atmosphere of the Amache Sumo Tournament, showing the excited crowds surrounding the sumo combat platform. The combat area is usually a circle almost 15-feet in diameter called a dohyo. The roof suspended over the dohyo is symbolic of a Shinto shrine (Wikipedia).

Sumo Tournament
Contributed by: garyono

Sumo Wrestlers Circle in Opening Ceremony

The sumo wrestlers cirlce the combat area before the start of the competition. This is called dohyo-iri, the entering circle ceremony (Wikipedia). The smiling sumo looking at Jack Muro the photographer, is his friend Yoshio "Peanut" Hirai.

Sumo Wrestlers Circle in Opening Ceremony
Contributed by: garyono

Sumos in Combat

Two sumos in competition trying to throw their opponent out fo the ring (dohyo) or to be forced to touch the ground with other than the bare sole of their feet.

Sumos in Combat
Contributed by: garyono

Obon Dance in Block 6H

Kimono dressed girls dance in an O-Bon festival around the Block 6H Rock Garden fence and lantern.

Obon Dance Block 6H
Contributed by: garyono

Icicles and Snow Pile

Jack must've had to dress warmly to photograph this photo of iclicle hanging from the roof eaves and the pile of snow that slid-off the roof. This looks like part of the Amache hospital which is connected with covered walkway to the outpatient services.

Icicles and Snow Pile
Contributed by: garyono

Winter Walk

Mother and young daughter brave a winter walk by snow covered barbed wire fencing.

Mother Daughter Snow Walk
Contributed by: garyono

Truck Drive Snowscape of Amache

Delivery truck drives on snow covered Amache road.

Truck Drive on Snow
Contributed by: garyono

Icicles Hangs from Roof

Jack photographed these long icicles hanging from a roof looking as if piercing another barrack.

Icicles Hang from Roof
Contributed by: garyono

Snow on Railing and Trees

Jack photographed snow sitting on railing of low fence and trees. I imagine a lot of Amache folks huddled around pot-belly stoves.

Snow on Railing and Trees
Contributed by: garyono

Garden Hidden Under Snow

Jack photographed the snow covering the beloved rock garden of Block 6H

6H Garden Under Snow
Contributed by: garyono

Jack and his father with Poochie and Snowman

Jack and his friends built the eight-foot tall snowman that he, his father and Poochie are standing in front of. Jack took many other pictures of friends and family posed in front of the Block 6H Snowman. Jack said he gave away many photos. Even one with my uncle Butch ...

Jack, Dad, Poochie and Snowman
Contributed by: garyono

Red Cross Gifts from Japan

Jack photographed the arrival of a shipment of Kikkoman shoyu and green tea from the Japan International Red Cross. The trucks are being unloaded in front of the Amache Town Hall.  Amazing and ironic that Japan, a country the U.S.A. was at war with could send "care packages" to Japanese Americans ...

Red Cross Gifts from Japan
Contributed by: garyono

Jack and Friends Listening to Phonograph Records

Jack took this available-light photograph at night of (9) friends listening to a phonograph player. A second similar photograph has Jack in the picture and his friend Taro Tanji is not in that one so evidently Jack had Taro take the camera in that photograph. As a photographer, I'm impressed ...

Night Record Party
Contributed by: garyono

Sunset Over Amache

Jack took many photographs of the amazing sky displays of sunset. Even the many day skies photos show different clouds patterns that Californians are not used to seeing.

Sunset Over Amache
Contributed by: garyono

Silhouettes at the End of Day

Jack captures this contemplative man standing in the field at sunset as other Amacheans mill around at the end of another day. Makes you wonder what's on the mind of the young man, who although relatively free inside, is still imprisoned from a normal free life outside.

Sihoulettes at the End of Day
Contributed by: garyono


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