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Connecting the Pieces: Dialogues on the Amache Archaeology Collection Online Exhibit 


Colorado's tenth largest city during World War II was Amache, a one-mile square incarceration facility surrounded by barbed wire, guard towers, and the scrub of the High Plains.

Over the course of three years, over 10,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry lived there, yet their experience is muted in our national discourse. The objects in this exhibit, fragments of those uprooted lives, encourage dialogue about this history.

This exhibit was created as part of the DU Amache Project, engaging University of Denver students, scholars and community members. The curators, community members and University of Denver students chose these objects because of the history they reveal and the stories they help us tell. 

This exhibit was created at the University of Denver as part of Dr. Bonnie Clark's American Material Culture Course, Spring Quarter 2015, as well as the DU Amache project. Exhibit design by Halena Kapuni-Reynolds and Anne Amati. Exhibit photography by Orla McInerney and Mason Seymore.Thank you to the students and community members who gave their time and shared their voices: Cassandra Cortright and Mary Ann Amemiya, Megan Debard and Gil Asakawa, Trevor Gilbert-Mayes and Ann Yoshihara-Murphy, Kelley Rankins and Linda Takahashi Rodriguez, Todd Savolt and May Murakami, Mason Seymore, Millie Morimoto King, James Knoblauch and Cassidy King, Olivia van den Berg and Erin Yoshimura. This exhibit is funded in part by a State Historical Fund grant award from History Colorado.

Aerial View overlooking Amache from the Water Tower. Courtesy of the Amache Preservation Society.   

This map shows the location of the Exclusion Zone, the portion of the U.S. from which Americans of Japanese ancestry were forcibly removed in the Spring of 1942. Most of the over 120,000 people affected would spend the majority of World War II in one of the ten incarceration camps on this map. 

Posters like this one notified Japanese Americans living in the Exclusion Zone that they had one week to prepare for removal. Residents of the northern coast of California, where this notice was posted, were interned at Amache. Other Amacheans hailed from the Central Valley and greater Los Angeles area. Original poster housed in Fresno State University special collections. Photograph courtesy of Bonnie Clark.