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Benjamin Tanaka Internment Camp Scrapbook

Identifier: AC 620-s

Scope and Content

The scrapbook contains pastel, watercolor and pencil landscapes, botanical studies and portraits, as well as pen and ink calligraphy in Japanese characters with occasional notations in English lettering. One leaf contains the legend "Doctors and all other office workers, Clinic and Hospital. Santa Fe, N.M., September 19, 1945". Another is marked "Hospital Santa Fe, New Mexico September 18, 1945".


  • 1942-1946?

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of print materials allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biography / History

Benjamin Tanaka was born in Hawai'i in 1887, before it became a state. He graduated from the University of Oregon Medical School in 1920, and set up a general practice and raised a family in Portland, OR. He was arrested by FBI agents on Dec. 7, 1941 and was transferred to several facilities before being sent to the camp at Santa Fe, NM. He served there as doctor in the prison hospital until his release in 1946. His wife and three children were interned at other camps.

Following release from internment, the Tanaka family moved to Ontario, OK where Benjamin and his son Gus, a surgeon, opened a medical clinic. Benjamin Tanaka retired in 1971 and died in 1975, at the age of 88.


1 scrapbook

Separated Material

One page of Japanese calligraphy was removed from the scrapbook and is on long-term exhibit in the New Mexico Museum of History
Finding Aid of the Benjamin Tanaka Internment Camp Scrapbook, 1942-1946?
Edited Full Draft
© 2015
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library Repository

Fray Angélico Chávez History Library
New Mexico History Museum
113 Lincoln Ave
Sante Fe NM 87501 USA
(505) 476-5090