Japanese Movable Houses

The Japanese movable houses represent a time of fierce hatred and aggression levied towards the Japanese-American citizens of the Imperial Valley as a result of the Aliens land Act of 1913, a law created that forced many Issei – First Generation – families out of their own homes and barred them from owning land or settling a field for more than three to four years at a time, unfairly thrusting a transient style of living onto these Issei Pioneers. These houses were small wooden box structures, at only 12”x14”, often necessitating each family having around 2-3 each, with one house serving as a kitchen and the others finding use as bedrooms or bathhouses. These houses were not deconstructed during the moving process, rather the ordeal was instead considered a community event, as the men would lift the house and place it onto a flatbed truck, while the women would prepare food. 1

~Japanese Exhibit Downstairs Ethnic Gallery – Photo of houses being moved
~Past Perfect – News article [A2004.32.1