Historic photo of two children of thje Mochida Family

Eleanor Gerard Sekerak

The War Relocation Authority documented various aspects of camp life in posed photos which can be accessed through the National Archive website. Because most of the incarcerees were not allowed to have cameras at Topaz, there are few pictures of everyday events. Eleanor Gerard Sekerak, a high school teacher, took candid photos of her students. Those photos are part of the Topaz Digital Library Browse Eleanor Gerard Sekerak Photo Collection.

Kenji Utsumi, a professional photographer prior to camp, was able to use his own cameras when he was hired to work at the Photo Studio associated with the Co-op. Kaneo Kido also had access to a camera as did Tony Saito, who took many rolls of film but didn’t develop them until many years after camp.

Dave Tatsuno

Perhaps the most famous photographer at Topaz was Dave Tatsuno, who used his home movie camera to take color movies of his family and friends at Topaz. The New York Times noted his passing, and his footage was accepted into the Library of Congress archive.

Historic photo of Dave Tatsuno


Cement footing at the topaz camp site
Remnants of a garden at the Topaz Camp site
Stones that were part of a garden at the Topaz Camp site
Grafitti on a wooden plank
Weathered wooden barrack from the Topaz Camp site
Details of the Topaz Camp Monument
Topaz monument and American flag
Sheetrock fragments at the Topaz Camp site
View of the Topaz Camp site with mountains in the distance
Site of the Topaz Camp in the Utah desert.
Site of the Topaz Camp in the Utah desert.
Topaz Museum exterior

Photo: Brian Buroker

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