Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA) in History




"During World War II, the federal government interned approximately 120,000 Japanese aliens and Japanese Americans in inland relocation camps. Few scholars have investigated the effects of the evacuation, relocation, and resettlement program on non- evacuated communities with pre-World War II Japanese populations. Located outside the prohibited coastal zones in eastern Washington, Spokane's Japanese community of approximately 300 was not evacuated or interned. However, Spokane played an important role as a "safe" zone or "straddle" area for evacuees and resettlers seeking refuge from internment camps. By 1945, approximately 2,500 Japanese aliens and Japanese American citizens called Spokane home. This thesis examines two central questions. First, why were evacuees and relocatees attracted to Spokane during and after World War II? Second, how was the Spokane Japanese community impacted and changed by the influx of evacuees and relocatees during and after World War II? I argue that Spokane's location in eastern Washington State and its established Japanese community made it an attractive evacuation and resettlement location. I divide my investigation into three subject areas: demographics, businesses and occupations, and social and religious organizations"--Document.