Mono no Aware: Challenges of Impermanence in the Archaeological Record of a WWII Japanese American Concentration Camp
Author(s): Clara Steussy
From 1942 to 1945, the third largest city in the state of Wyoming was the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, one of ten camps where Japanese immigrants and their Japanese American descendants had been forcibly relocated from their homes along the West Coast for the duration of World War II. During their residence, the incarcerees did everything they could to make the camps their home, establishing gardens and fields, building swimming pools and root cellars, and otherwise trying to make life comfortable. After the camps were closed at the end of the war, however, they vanished from the landscape, as buildings and land were both given away to new homesteaders. In this paper, I offer a broad overview of how these involuntary settlements have both vanished from sight and yet still linger. In particular, I focus on the gardens and agricultural fields of the Heart Mountain camp, neither of which were clearly documented at the time and both of which now lie beneath active agricultural fields today. I ask what, if anything, can be done to extend our understanding of these areas, and discuss plans for continued research.
Cite this Record
Mono no Aware: Challenges of Impermanence in the Archaeological Record of a WWII Japanese American Concentration Camp. Clara Steussy. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442781)
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min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22206