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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • LE BALLON: 1883

This Land: 1940

This Land: 1940

December 1940. "Japanese fruit farmer and his son. Placer County, California." Photo by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

 

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References to Japanese communities in Placer County

The farm was probably somewhere along Interstate 80. japantownatlas.com mentions Japanese communities in Loomis (church), Penryn (several stores, Buddhist church, and hall), Newcastle (school), and Auburn (grocery and church).

http://www.japantownatlas.com/map-placer.html

"Located in the foothills east of Sacramento, the town of Penryn was once surrounded by rolling hills filled with peach, plum, and pear orchards. Japanese farmers leased or owned a substantial portion of the fruit ranches in this area, and the money they made in turn supported a local economy of Japanese businesses.

https://www.asianamericanbooks.com/books/3524.htm

This photo from the Library of Congress may be the same son at an Arts and Crafts desk. Note the cutout of a starlet above his desk and the framed photo on the desk.

https://www.loc.gov/resource/fsa.8c00555/

I've gotten the impression that the Placer County area tended to produce fresh fruit for shipping to the rest of the U.S. Because it was on the Southern Pacific railroad on its way east, it would have been easier for them to ship fresh fruit than places further west. Canning and drying was more common at points west, such as the San Joaquin and Santa Clara valleys.

Missing "Handsome Rakes" tag

I can all but guarantee that young fella did just fine with the ladies.

(And to think these poor guys were likely unjustly rounded up and sent to internment camps after Pearl Harbor)

I'll say what we're all thinking

Soon to be sent to an internment camp, for no other reason than their ethnicity.

Who would have guessed

That in about a year their lives would be forever changed.

The Year Before

It'll be a lot less pleasant for them in the US the following December.

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