Hikaru “Carl” Iwasaki

(1923 - 2016) WRA photographer

Introduction to Photography Joining WRA Photographic Section No WRA Censorship Visiting Deep South Returning to San Jose Career as a professional

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Hikaru Carl Iwasaki (b. 1923) grew up in San Jose, California, developing his interest in photography while working on his high school newspaper and yearbook. With Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, the Iwasaki Family was sent to the Santa Anita Assembly Center and then to a concentration camp at Heart Mountain, Wyoming—where he was forbidden to have a camera. He was given a job as an X-ray technician in the hospital where the head of the camp newspaper took notice of his abilities and recommended him for work as a photographic darkroom technician with the War Relocation Authority photo unit in Denver, Colorado. Within a year, Iwasaki had become a WRA photographer, traveling freely around the country, assigned to document hundreds of Japanese Americans who had left camp and begun resettlement in various regions of the U.S. After the War, Carl began a long career as a photographer for Life, Time, Sports Illustrated, People, and many other national publications. 

He passed away on September 2016 at age 93. (September 2016)


Photography San Jose Heart Mountain World War II WRA discrimination segregation south California post war resettlement Life magazine photographer

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